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International relations

North Korean fishing in Japan's economic zone drops 77%

Early patrol by coast guard ahead of squid season pays off

A Japan Coast Guard patrol ship warns a North Korean fishing boat in waters off Japan in June.

TOKYO -- North Korean boats fishing illegally in a vital part of Japan's exclusive economic zone appear to have decreased almost 80% on the year in July, after the Japan Coast Guard began issuing earlier warnings ahead of prime squid season.

The Yamatotai area of the Sea of Japan, about 300 km northwest of the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture, offers ideal squid and crab fishing. Foreign ships are allowed to navigate in the area but not fish.

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