III. Japan Coast Guard Law (Law No. 28 of April 27, 1948 as amended through Law No. 102 of 1999)
Chapter I. Organization
(Establishment and Purpose)
For the purpose of protecting life and property and preventing, detecting and suppressing violation of law at sea, there shall be established as an external organization under the jurisdiction of the Minister of LIT, the Japan Coast Guard in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 3 of the National Government Organization Law (Law No.120 of 1948).
2. The line of demarcation between a port in the mouth of a river and the river shall be as prescribed by the Cabinet Order issued under Article 2 of the Port Regulations Law (Law No. 174 of 1948).
The Japan Coast Guard shall, for the purpose of ensuring safety and order at sea perform the duties concerning enforcement of laws and regulations at sea, maritime search and rescue, prevention of maritime pollution, prevention and suppression of crimes at sea, detection and arrest of criminals at sea, regulation of vessels' traffic at sea, services concerning hydrography and aids to navigation, other services for ensuring maritime safety and the services concerning matters incident thereto.
2. Those functions heretofore under the jurisdiction of the Secretariat of the Minister of Transport. Director General's Secretariat of the General Maritime Bureau of Ministry of Transport, Bureau of Shipping, Ship Bureau, Bureau for Seafarers, Commissions for Marine Accidents Inquiry, Lighthouse Bureau, Hydrographic Bureau or those functions of other administrative authorities which are mentioned in the preceding paragraph shall be placed under the jurisdiction of the Japan Coast Guard.
(Construction, Equipment and Capabilities, etc. of Vessels and Aircraft)
Vessels and aircraft of the Japan Coast Guard shall be of such construction, equipment and capabilities as required for the maintenance of aids to navigation, conduct of hydrographic survey and oceanographical observation, maintenance of peace and order at sea, assistance to mariners in distress and protection of life and property in case of marine casualty.
2. All vessels of the Japan Coast Guard shall be numbered and so marked as clearly discernible from other vessels and shall hoist the Japanese national ensign and the flag of the Japan Coast Guard.
3. All aircraft of the Japan Coast Guard shall be numbered and so marked as clearly discernible from other aircraft.
In order to perform the duties under Paragraph 1 of Article 2, JCG shall carry out the following functions:
(1) Enforcement of laws and regulations at sea;
(2) Rescue of life, cargo and vessels in case of marine accident and necessary assistance in case of natural calamity and other event where relief is required;
(3) Systems relating to the rescue and protection of vessels in distress and the disposal of driftages and sunken substances;
(4) Investigation of marine accidents (other than those investigations that are conducted by the Marine Accidents Inquiry Agency);
(5) Removal of obstruction to vessels' navigation;
(6) Supervision over those other than the Japan Coast Guard, who are engaged in the services to rescue life, cargo and vessels at sea and removal of obstruction to vessels' navigation;
(7) Supervision required for safety at sea over those engaged in maritime transportation business for passengers or cargoes;
(8) Rules of sailing and signals for navigation;
(9) Port regulations;
(10) Matters the assurance of safe vessel traffic in areas congested with vessel traffic;
(11) Matters concerning prevention of marine pollution and maritime disaster;
(12) Patrol of coastal waters;
(13) Suppression of riots and disturbances at sea;
(14) Search for and arrest of criminals at sea;
(15) Matters concerning international mutual assistance in investigation;
(16) Matters concerning cooperation, mutual assistance and liaison service between the Japan Coast Guard and the National Police Agency and prefectural police (hereafter referred to as "police authorities"), customhouses, quarantine stations and other administrative authorities concerned;
(17) Matters concerning international relief activities under the Law Concerning Dispatch of Japan Disaster Relief Teams (Law No. 93 of 1987);
(18) Hydrographic survey and oceanographical observations;
(19) Preparation and supply of hydrographic publications and aeronautical charts and publications;
(20) Information of matters necessary for the safety of navigation;
(21) Construction, maintenance and operation of lighthouses and other aids to navigation and furnishing of supplies for them;
(22) Meteorological observation with the use of installations attached to lighthouses and other navigation aids, and reports thereof;
(23) Supervision over those other than the Japan Coast Guard, who are engaged in construction, maintenance, or operation of lighthouses and other aids to navigation;
(24) International cooperation concerning the functions;
(25) Training regarding the functions in the educational training institutes provided by the Cabinet Order;
(26) Construction, maintenance and operation of the vessels and aircraft used for the performance of the functions;
(27) Construction, maintenance and operation of communication installations used for the performance of the functions;
(28) Duties provided in the Paragraph 1 of Article 2 other than those mentioned in each of the preceding items.
The head of the Japan Coast Guard shall be the Commandant.
2. The Commandant of the Japan Coast Guard shall preside over the Agency affairs and direct and supervise his subordinate personnel under the direction and supervision of the Minister of LIT : Provided that regarding the service under the jurisdiction of a Minister other than Minister of LIT, he shall be under the direction and supervision of the competent Minister.
(Regions and Regional Headquarters)
The whole country and coastal waters of Japan shall be divided into coast guard regions and each of those regions shall have one Regional Coast Guard Headquarters allotted with part of functions of the Japan Coast Guard.
2. The area and name of each Maritime Safety Region and the name and location of each Regional Coast Guard Headquarters shall be provided by the Cabinet Order.
3. Regional Coast Guard Headquarters may have Deputy Commanders prescribed by the Cabinet order.
4. Regonal Coast Guard Headquarters may have Departments prescribed by the Ministry of LIT Ordinance, within the number prescribed by the Cabinet Order.
5. Other than those prescribed by the preceding two paragraphs, internal organization of each Regional Coast Guard Headquarters shall be prescribed by the Ministry of LIT Ordinance.
6. When he deems it necessary to ensure smooth performance of administration of aids to navigation or other services, the Minister of LIT may allot one regional headquarters with part of functions of another regional headquarters for a matter related to an area adjacent to the jurisdictional boundaries of the two regional headquarters involved.
(Coast Guard Offices and Other Offices)
The Minister of LIT may establish offices of Regional Coast Guard Headquarters at necessary places in order to allot part of the functions of Regional Coast Guard Headquarters. The name, location, area of jurisdiction, scope of functions and internal organization of such offices shall be prescribed by the Ministry of LIT Ordinance.
(Coast Guard Officers, Their Ranks and Duties)
The Japan Coast Guard shall have Coast Guard Officers and assistant Coast Guard Officers.
2. The ranks of the Coast Guard officers and assistant Coast Guard officers shall be provided by the Cabinet Order.
3. Coast Guard officers shall, by order of superiors, perform the duties prescribed in the Paragraph 1 of Article 2.
4. Assistant Coast Guard officers shall assist Coast Guard Officers in performing their duties.
(Status of Coast Guard Officers in Law Enforcement Duties)
When they are engaged under this law in enforcing law or order, Coast Guard Officers shall be deemed, so far as their authorities are concerned, to be acting as agents of the particular administrative office charged with the administration of the particular law and be subject to all the rules and regulations promulgated by such office with respect to the enforcement of that law.
(Coast Guard Officers' Request for Assistance from Nearby Persons, etc.)
Whenever necessary for the performance of the duties mentioned in the item (2) of Article 5, or for the arrest of a criminal or in any emergency, a Coast Guard officers may request for assistance from nearby persons and vessels.
(Coast Guard Officers' Right to Order Presentation of Ship's Papers, to Visit and Inspect a Vessel or Question Persons)
A Coast Guard officer may, when necessary for the performance of his duties, direct the shipmaster or other person commanding a vessel instead of the shipmaster to produce the ship's official papers which are to be kept aboard under law and order; stop, visit and inspect the vessel for the purpose of ascertaining her identity, port of registry, name of the shipmaster, last port or place of departure, port or place of destination, nature of her cargo, or whether she is loaded or not, and all other particulars about vessels, cargo and navigation which are deemed important; or question the crew and passengers on matters necessary for the performance of his duties.
2. When he visits and inspects a vessel or asks questions as mentioned in the preceding paragraph, a Coast Guard officer shall be in uniform or carry with him a certificate identifying official status.
3. The uniform of a Coast Guard officer shall be fixed by the Ministry of LIT Ordinance.
(Compulsory Measures, taken by Coast Guard Officers)
When a Coast Guard Officer witnesses a crime being about to be committed at sea, or when human life or body is likely to be endangered, or property is likely to be seriously damaged in a dangerous situation such as a natural disaster, a disaster at sea, collapse of a structure or explosion of an explosive where immediate action is needed, he may take any of the following measures, besides those specified in other laws and ordinances.
(1) To make a vessel start or stop proceeding, or suspend her departure;
(2) To make a vessel deviate from her pre-determined route, or to make her move to a designated place;
(3) To make the crew, passengers or other persons on board disembark the vessel or to restrict or prohibit their disembakation;
(4) To cause the cargo to be discharged or to restrict or prohibit its discharge;
(5) To restrict or prohibit traffic between vessels or between a vessel and shore;
(6) To stop any act that is likely to endanger human life or body, or seriously damage property at sea, besides the above itemized measures.
2. When a Coast Guard officer considers it obvious that a crime will be committed at sea, based on his reasonable judgment from the appearance of a vessel, the way she sails, the abnormal behavior of crew members, passengers or other persons on board or other circumstances, or when he considers that public order is likely to be considerably disturbed at sea and finds no other proper measures available, he may take the measure mentioned in item (1) or item (2) of the preceding paragraph.
(Carrying of Arms)
Coast Guard officers assistant Coast Guard officers may carry arms with them in order to perform their duties.
(Use of Arms)
Article 7 of the Law Concerning the Execution of Duties of Police Officials (Law No. 136 of 1948) shall apply mutatis mutandis to the use of arms by Coast Guard officers and assistant Coast Guard officers.
(Captains of the Ports)
The Commandant of the Japan Coast Guard shall appoint Captains of the Ports from among Coast Guard officers.
2. The Captain of the Port shall handle matters for the enforcement of the Port Regulations Law under the direction and supervision of the Commandant of the Japan Coast Guard.
(Performance of Duties of Personnel)
Regulations for the execution of duties by the Japan Coast Guard personnel shall be established by the Minister of LIT within the limit of existing laws and orders governing the status of national public officials.
(Bases and Areas of Activities of Vessels)
For the purpose of maintaining aids to navigation, preventing smuggling and rendering assistance to mariners in distress, the Commandant of the Japan Coast Guard shall designate bases and areas of activities of vessels as occasion demands.
(Precaution to be Taken in Construction of the Law)
Nothing contained in this Law shall be construed to permit the Japan Coast Guard or its personnel to be trained or organized as a military establishment or to function as such.
Chapter II. Deleted.
Chapter III. Mutual Aid
(Liaison, Consultation and Cooperation between the Japan Coast Guard and Other Administrative Agencies)
The Japan Coast Guard, the police authorities, the customs and other administrative authorities concerned shall maintain liaison and may, when deemed necessary for the prevention and suppression of crimes and search for and arrest of criminals, consult and coordinate with each other and request each other to dispatch competent officials or to render other necessary cooperation.
2. The Japan Coast Guard, the police authorities, the customs and other agencies concerned shall, when requested under the preceding paragraph, render cooperation as far as practicable.
(Chain of Command)
In the case prescribed in the preceding Article, the official who has been dispatched shall be placed under the direction of the administrative authorities who have requested such dispatch.
In accordance with Law Concerning Cooperation for United Nations Peace-Keeping Operation and Other Operations (Law No. 79 of 1992), the Commandant of the Japan Coast Guard may, so far as it does not hamper performance of other duties of the Japan Coast Guard. assign the Japan Coast Guard personnel on board its vessels and aircraft to International Peace Cooperation Assignments, and upon the request, to the transport operation.
Chapter IV. Additional Provisions
(Delegation of Commandant's Authority)
The Commandant of the Japan Coast Guard may delegate part of his authority to any one of the personnel under his jurisdiction.
(Acting for the Commandant)
In case where the Commandant of the Japan Coast Guard is unable to perform his duties or where the post of the Commandant has become vacant, other officials of the Agency shall temporarily perform the duties of the Commandant in such order as shall be designated by the Minister of LIT.
(Status of Coast Guard Officer as Police Officials)
In regard to crimes committed at sea, a Coast Guard officer and an assistant Coast Guard officer shall, as fixed by the Commandant of the Japan Coast Guard, perform the duties of a judicial police official as provided by the Code of Criminal Procedure (Law No. 131 of 1948).
(Prohibition of Use of Markings or Flags by Vessels other than the Agency's Vessels)
No vessel other than that of the Japan Coast Guard shall be marked with such marking or hoist such flag as prescribed in the Paragraph 2 of Article 4 or any other marking or flag misleading to be as such.
2. No aircraft other than that of the Japan Coast Guard shall be marked with the marking prescribed in the Paragraph 3 of Article 4 or any other marking misleading to be as such.
(Commitment of Certain Matters to Cabinet Order)
Matters other than those provided by this Law, concerning classification of the personnel of the Japan Coast Guard, their functions, and other necessary matters concerning the personnel of the Japan Coast Guard shall be provided by the Cabinet Order.
2. The regulations for the classification of personnel mentioned in the preceding paragraph shall become void, when the classification of personnel based upon the Law for Public Service Classification System is established.
(Commitment to JCG Ordinance)
The name, location and internal organization of the educational training institutes of the item (25) of Article 5 shall be provided by the Japan Coast Guard Ordinance.