Japan Envoy to Manila expresses alarm on coral harvesting activities in the West PH Sea
Japan Envoy to Manila expresses alarm on coral harvesting activities in the West PH Sea
Japan Envoy to Manila expresses alarm on coral harvesting activities in the West PH Sea
by Karen Ow-Yong18 September 2023
Photo courtesy: Ambassador of Japan in the PH X account

MANILA – Japan’s envoy to Manila expressed alarm after reports of coral harvesting activities by Chinese vessels in the West Philippine Sea.

In a post on X (former Twitter), Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa expressed alarm after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) confirms the destruction of coral reefs in Rozul and Escoda Reef in the West Phillippine Sea.

“Very alarming news. Our oceans are the lifeblood of our planet and coral reefs are its colorful heartbeats,” Ambassador Koshikawa posted.

He added that protection and preservation of the coral reefs are vital for the next generation.


“Let’s preserve and protect these vital ecosystems for generations to come,” he added.

Koshikawa further mentioned in his succeeding posts on X about the damages on the marine environment and economy of Japan when large-scale poaching of corals were done by foreign vessels 10 years ago.

“In the territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around Japan’s Ogasawara Islands, a large-scale poaching of precious corals by foreign vessels occurred 10 years ago, causing marine environmental and economic damages to Japan, leading to diplomatic issue and strict JCG controls,” Koshikawa posted.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, September 2014 was when multiple vessels believed to be Chinese coral vessels have been found in the waters near the Ogasawara Islands, prompting relevant ministries and agencies of Japan to take diplomatic actions, including a meeting between Japan and China’s Foreign Ministries.


Through enhancement of controls, the Japanese Coast Guard arrested ten Chinese captains in Japan’s territorial waters and EEZ since October 2014, according to the ministry.

On Monday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) confirmed “severe damage” to the marine environment and coral reef in the seabed of Rozul Reef and Escoda Shoal.

According to reports, while doing maritime patrols, BRP Sindangan and BRP CABRA spotted 33 Chinese maritime militia (CMM) vessels in Rozul Reef and 15 CMM vessels in Escoda Shoal from August 9 to September 11.

“The surveys conducted in Escoda Shoal revealed visible discoloration of its seabed, strongly indicating that deliberate activities may have been undertaken to modify the natural topography of its underwater terrain,” PCG spokesperson for WPS Commodore Jay Tarriela said in a statement.


He added that the presence of crushed corals suggests a “potential act of dumping, possibly involving the same dead corals that were previously processed and cleaned before being returned to the seabed.”

listen Live
DZRH News Live Streaming
Most Read