Japan Coast Guard

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"JCG" redirects here. For the Channel Islands school, see Jersey College for Girls.
Japan Coast Guard
Kaijō Hoan-chō
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
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
Operational structure
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
Official Websites in Japanese and English
Japan Coast Guard "Shikishima (PLH 31)" is the largest patrol vessel in Japan.

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 of the coastline 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[edit]

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 a Commandant 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 Korean 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[edit]

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.

Major equipment[edit]

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 74 aircraft, these include:

  • Fixed Wing: 27
  • Helicopters: 46

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°40′33″N 139°45′00″E / 35.67583°N 139.75000°E / 35.67583; 139.75000