August 16, 2021 – The Kingdom of Mount Vema has expressed its intention to establish formal economic and security relations with Japan.
Economic relations with Japan could see Mount Vema becoming a major market for Japanese exports and a major source of Japanese imports especially fisheries and seafood products from Mount Vema.
Japan has the technology that Mount Vema needs to build its floating city. It has a large industrial
capacity and is home to some of the "largest and most technologically advanced producers of machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, and ships.
On security, Mount Vema needs Japanese cooperation with regards to illegal fishing specially after several Japanese fishing vessels have been spotted fishing illegally in Mount Vema.
Mount Vema has already fined a Japanese fishing vessel spotted fishing illegally within the Vema Seamount territorial waters. The fishing vessel which home port is KAMAISHI, and operates from Cape Town under the flag of Japan, was spotted fishing without a Mount Vema fishing licence in 2019.
The Mount Vema Ministry of Fishery and Maritime Affairs allowed the owners of the vessel to settle charges with Mount Vema without facing criminal prosecution. However, the vessel was later pardoned by the Vema Seamount Authority and banned from returning to the Vema Seamount Territorial waters.
This was not an isolated incident. There are more penalties to come as Mount Vema continues to investigate fishing vessels failing to register the transfer of fish between vessels, falsifying logbooks, giving false readings when weighing fish at sea, and fiddling of fishing quota. The Vema Seamount Authority has also ordered investigations into claims that fishermen are switching off their Automatic Identification System (AIS), which gives off electronic signal that indicate their speed, location and heading every 10 minutes.
Illegal fishing activities is one of the reasons why Mount Vema seeks security cooperation with Japan as the territory starts to prepare to deploy forces to fully enforce its maritime laws and confiscate vessels operating illegally within the Mount Vema territorial waters.
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