Japanese Destroyer Collides With Chinese Fishing Boat

Shimakaze (file image)

Published Mar 31, 2020 6:32 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Monday night, a Japanese destroyer collided with a Chinese fishing vessel off Zhoushan, within the 200 nm Chinese EEZ boundary. 

Japanese defense ministery Kono Taro confirmed the accident in a message on Twitter on Tuesday. According to the minister, the destroyer Shimakaze collided with a vessel about 350 nm to the west of Japan's Yakushima Island. The collision left a hole of about three feet long by three-quarters of an inch wide located about 15 feet above the Shimakaze's waterline, he said. 

Taro reported that no personnel were injured and that the Chinese vessel was not lost in the collision. 

In remarks at a daily briefing on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying asserted that one fisherman had suffered a lower back injury in the accident and that the China Coast Guard was still addressing the aftermath of the casualty. 

"I want to point out that the collision occurred in the coastal waters of China," Chunying said. "The Chinese side has expressed concern to the Japanese side over the Japanese SDF warship sailing in the relevant waters and endangering the safety of the Chinese vessel. We are in communication with the Japanese side over this and hope they will cooperate to determine the cause as soon as possible and prevent such incidents from happening again."

The Japan Coast Guard, the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and Chinese authorities are investigating the accident.

The Shimakaze is a Hatakaze-class guided missile destroyer built in 1988. She has a displacement of about 6,000 tonnes, a 70,000 horsepower all-turbine powerplant and a top speed of about 30 knots.