Military Wiki
Japan Coast Guard
Abbreviation JCG
Ensign of the Japanese Coast Guard.svg
Japan Coast Guard ensign
Agency overview
Formed 1948 (As Maritime Safety Agency)
April 2000 (As Japan Coast Guard)
Preceding agency Maritime Safety Agency
Dissolved April 2000 (Dissolution of Maritime Safety Agency)
Superseding agency Japan Coast Guard
Employees 12,671
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
Legal jurisdiction Japanese Maritime Zone
Governing body Japanese Government
General nature
  • Law enforcement
  • Civilian agency
Operational structure
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
Official Websites in Japanese and English

Japan Coast Guard "Shikishima (PLH 31)" is the largest patrol vessel in the world.

The Japan Coast Guard (海上保安庁 Kaijō Hoan-chō?), formerly the Maritime Safety Agency, is the Japanese coast guard. Comprising about 12,000 personnel, it is under the oversight of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and is responsible for the protection the coast-lines of Japan. It was founded in 1948.


JCG officer conducts night inspection of fishing boat

The duty of the JCG is to ensure security and safety at sea.This provided through the following services:

  • Maritime patrol – patrols Japan's territorial seas and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of (12–200 nautical miles out from the shore which is approximately 4,470,000 km2).[1]
    • Countermeasures against Smuggling and Illegal Immigration
    • Countermeasures against Piracy (Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia-ReCAAP)
    • Counter Terrorism
    • Security against Maritime Conflict – includes the Special Guard Team
    • Surveillance of Illegal Operations by Foreign Fishing Vessels
    • Countermeasures against Suspicious Vessels and/or Spy Ships
    • Dealing with Unlawful Acts by Foreign Oceanographic Research Vessels
    • Patrolling and Guarding the Waters near the disputed Senkaku Islands, Takeshima, and the Northern Territories
  • Search and rescue
  • Hydrographic and oceanographic surveying
  • Maritime traffic management


National Headquarters

Main building of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Kasumigaseki, under which the Japan Coast Guard operates, and where it is headquartered

The Japan Coast Guard is led by Commandant Hiroyasu Suzuki and two Vice Commandants. Lower ranking officers include the director general, directors and inspector generals. Organization (as of April 1, 2009)

  • Commandant
    • Vice Commandant
    • Vice Commandant for Operations
  • Administrative Inspector General
  • Administration Department
  • Coast Guard Research Center
  • Equipment and Technology Department
  • Guard and Rescue Department
  • Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department
  • Maritime Traffic Department
  • Coast Guard Academy (Kure)
  • Coast Guard School (Maizuru)
  • Moji Branch school (Kitakyushu)
  • Miyagi Branch school(Iwanuma)

The Japan Coast Guard Academy is a 4-year-training institution, located in Kure, Hiroshima prefecture, established within the Coast Guard for the purpose of training students to become officers. Graduates are given a bachelor's degree upon graduation. About 40 cadets graduate from the academy each year. The JCG maintains two special forces units:


Founded in 1948 as the Maritime Safety Agency of Japan, its English name was changed to Japan Coast Guard in April 2000.[2] In 1950, the Maritime Safety Agency sent minesweepers to the Korean Peninsula under the United Nations flag during the Korea War. On December 22, 2001, JCG ships intercepted a Chinese-flagged vessel believed to be North Korean in origin, in the Japanese Exclusive Economic Zone between Kyushu and China. When the vessel failed to respond, she was fired upon by the JCG and an exchange of gunfire resulted. The unidentified vessel sank in the Chinese EEZ with all hands.[3] The ship, later salvaged by the JCG, was found to be carrying weapons and spy equipment.[4] The wreck and its contents were put on display at the Japanese Coast Guard Museum at Yokohama.[5]

Operational regions

A map of the division of jurisdiction between the 11 JCG regions

Headquartered in Tokyo, the JCG has divided the nation into eleven regions to facilitate its coast guard operations. Each region maintains a Regional Coast Guard Headquarters, under which there are various Coast Guard Offices, Coast Guard Stations, Air Stations, Hydrographic Observatory, and Traffic Advisory Service Centers.

  • 1st Regional Coast Guard Headquarters: Otaru, Hokkaidō (claim to include southern Kuril islands but never ever dare conduct cruise operations under Soviet Union's/Russian presence[6] )
  • 2nd Regional Coast Guard Headquarters: Shiogama, Miyagi
  • 3rd Regional Coast Guard Headquarters: Yokohama
  • 4th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters: Nagoya
  • 5th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters: Kobe
  • 6th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters: Hiroshima
  • 7th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters: Kitakyūshū
  • 8th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters: Maizuru, Kyoto
  • 9th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters: Niigata, Niigata
  • 10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters: Kagoshima
  • 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters: Naha, Okinawa

Major equipment

A vessel of the Japan Coast Guard – Hida powered with four MTU 20V1163TB93 diesel engines

A Eurocopter AS322 Super Puma of the Japanese coast guard flying over Tokyo Bay


The JCG operates 455 watercraft, these include the following:

  • Patrol Vessels: 121
  • Patrol craft: 234
  • Special guard and rescue craft: 63
  • Hydrographic survey vessels: 13
  • Aids to navigation evaluation vessels: 1
  • Buoy tenders: 2
  • Aids to navigation tenders: 18
  • Training boats: 3


The JCG operates 73 aircraft, these include:

  • Fixed Wing: 27
  • Helicopters: 46

See also


  2. New Fighting Power! Retrieved on April 25, 2008.
  3. 国境を守る海上保安庁. (Japanese)
  4. 北朝鮮 工作船. (Japanese)
  5. 海上保安資料館 横浜館-Japan Coast Guard Museum YOKOHAMA-. (Japanese)
  6. Xiao, Xiao (23 August 2012). "JCG Provoking in All Directions" (in Chinese). Retrieved 3 June 2013. ""面对俄方船只的强势武力,日方的“海上维权”明显底气不足,即便发生俄舰枪击日本渔船事件,海保船只也不敢过于靠近俄海岸。"" 
  7. Advanced Land Observing Satellite "DAICHI" (ALOS) (JAXA webpage)

External links

Coordinates: 35°40′33″N 139°45′00″E / 35.67583°N 139.75°E / 35.67583; 139.75

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