Japan



Spill Notification Point

Japan Coast Guard

Guard & Rescue Department Rescue Division Operations Office Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre 2-1-3 Kasumigaseki Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100 Web: http://www.kaiho.mlit.go.jp/e/index_e.htm

Tel: +81-3 35919812 (24hr)
Fax: +81-3 35812853

Alternatively, notification of spills should be made to the nearest Regional Coast Guard Headquarters

1st Regional Coast Guard Headquarters

Hokkaido

Tel: 0134-32-6161
2nd Regional Coast Guard Headquarters

Miyagi

Tel: 0134-32-6161
3rd Regional Coast Guard Headquarters

Kanagawa

Tel: 045-211-0771
4th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters

Aichi

Tel: 052-661-1611
5th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters

Hyogo

Tel: 078-391-6551
6th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters

Hiroshima

Tel: 082-251-5111
7th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters

Fukuoka

Tel: 093-321-2931
8th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters

Kyoto

Tel: 0773-76-4100
9th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters

Niigata

Tel: 025-244-4151
10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters

Kagoshima

Tel: 099-250-9800
11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters

Okinawa

Tel: 098-866-0083

Competent National Authority

Japan Coast Guard - contact details as for the Spill Notification Point.


Response Arrangements

The Japan Coast Guard (JCG) is the lead government agency in Japan for salvage and spill response but looks to the tanker owner to undertake clean-up operations.

Japan is divided into 11 Coast Guard regions, with a total of 66 Coast Guard Offices and 51 Coast Guard Stations. Contingency plans for a maximum spill of 810,000 tonnes have been prepared for the three sea areas at most risk; Tokyo Bay, Ise Bay and Seto Inland Sea. Joint government/industry oil spill control committees have been formed in 95 oil ports, where local harbour authorities are legally responsible for controlling pollution within port limits but usually have little or no spill response capability.

The Maritime Disaster Prevention Centre (MDPC) was established to respond to oil spills and is funded jointly by government and industry. In addition to the 40 equipment bases established by MDPC, agreements for rapid response to spills have been made with a total of 143 private clean-up contractors in 83 ports. In the event of a major oil spill, coordination within the various government agencies will be established by the National Land Agency.

After notification of a major potential or actual spill, the JCG will dispatch vessels and aircraft to assess the situation. The ship's owner is required to take emergency or damage control measures and to clean up the spill. If the incident exceeds his capability, MPDC will respond, either under the direction of JCG under direct contract to the owner.

Tripartite councils involving government, local and private sector representatives have been established at ports & harbours and on a wider basis to promote contingency planning and to consider equipment requirements. The responsibility of these councils is expanding. The Ports & Harbours Department of the Ministry of Transport is responsible for guidance on disposal.

The national contingency plans are under review as a result of the NAKHODKA incident.


Response Policy

Japanese policy focuses on physical containment and recovery, anticipating that much of the spilled oil will be recovered with skimmers and nets and the remainder recovered or dispersed using sorbents and dispersants. The latter must be approved by JCG and their use is increasingly rare as the agreement of local Fishermen's Cooperatives is required. Aerial application of dispersants is an option although rarely undertaken. Recovered oil is usually incinerated, although it may be taken for blending or refining if it is reasonably free from contamination. Contaminated waste may be landfilled.


Equipment

Government

JCG maintains stocks of equipment and materials at its local offices, consisting of specialised vessels, boom, skimmers, recovery nets, dispersant and sorbents, which are primarily intended for initial response. MDPC has oil recovery vessels stationed at 10 major oil ports and maintains stockpiles of equipment and materials through a network of 30 commercial clean-up contractors around the coast and islands.

Private

By law, facilities receiving oil and tankers using Japanese ports or entering certain sea areas must maintain stocks of equipment and materials for combating spills. Much of this capability is supplied to tankers by MDPC under contract, however the larger refineries have substantial stocks of boom and recovery vessels. The Petroleum Association of Japan (PAJ) has established six stockpiles of containerised equipment, including boom, skimmers and temporary storage, at strategic locations around the coast which can be made available in the event of a major spill.   It also has 5 other stockpile bases abroad.


Previous Spill Experience

There have been many small spills, which frequently result in extensive cleanup operations and generate large claims for damage to mariculture. The JULIANA (1971) spilled some 7000 tonnes of crude oil after running aground in Niigata. The NAKHODKA (1997), carrying 19,000 tonnes of fuel oil, broke in two in the Sea of Japan. Approximately 1000km of coastline was affected to varying degrees. Extensive at sea recovery using skimmers & crane grabs, and manual shoreline clean-up exceeding 500,000 man hours, was undertaken. The DIAMOND GRACE (1997) spilt 1,300 tonnes of crude oil in Tokyo Bay. A large response was mounted, although oil affected the largely industrial shoreline only


Hazardous & Noxious Substances (HNS)

Since April 2008, it is mandatory for HNS tankers over 150GT when sailing in specified areas (Tokyo Bay, Ise Bay, Seto Inland Sea including Osaka Bay)  to ensure that materials, equipment and experts are readily available in the event of a spill.  An “HNS Materials, Equipment and Experts’ Placement Certificate” is available from MDPC who are empowered to provide an emergency response service for HNS spills at the request of the shipowner and under instruction from the Coastguard.  


Conventions

Prevention & Safety

MARPOL Annexes
73/78IIIIV V VI

Spill Response

OPRC '90 OPRC HNS

Compensation

CLC FundSuppHNS*Bunker
'69 '76 '92 '92Fund

* not yet in force  


Regional and bilateral agreements

  • The ASEAN - OSRAP (Association of South East Asian Nations Oil Spill Response Action Plan) with ASEAN countries.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding exists with South Korea for the Sea of Japan.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding exists with the USA on pollution preparedness & response.

Date of issue: April 2008

Terms & Conditions

These Country & Territory Profiles are provided in good faith as a guide only and are based on information obtained from a variety of sources over a period of time.  This information is subject to change and should, in each case, be independently verified before reliance is placed on it. Country & Territory Profiles may have been re-issued solely to incorporate additional or revised information under one heading only.  Each Profile has therefore not necessarily been completely verified or updated as at the stated Date of Issue.

ITOPF Limited (“ITOPF”) hereby excludes, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, any and all liability to any person, corporation or other entity for any loss, damage or expense resulting from reliance on or use of these Country & Territory Profiles.

©ITOPF Limited 2018

These Country & Territory Profiles may be reproduced by any means for non-commercial distribution without addition, deletion or amendment, provided an acknowledgement of the source is given and these Terms & Conditions are reproduced in full. 

These Country & Territory Profiles may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of ITOPF either for commercial distribution or with addition, deletion or amendment.