Japan fishermen strike over fuel

Some 200,000 boats stand idle as thousands rally to demand government help.

    The fishermen say soaring fuel prices could force them out of business [AFP]

    Faced with a shift in eating patterns at home towards more meat, cheaper competition from abroad and stocks depleted by years of overfishing, Japan's fishermen say the government must step in.

    "Fisherman have exceeded the limits of what they can do on their own, and in the current situation face mounting losses when they set out to catch fish," the National Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations said in a statement.

    The federation, along with a host of other protesting organisations, say boat fuel prices have tripled over the last three years, threatening to force thousands of fishermen out of business.

    Yoshiro Kiyono, a 74-year-old fisherman from Katsuura in Chiba prefecture, said he had "stopped going out to sea because I can't make a profit".

    Oil prices have doubled over the past year and are up five-fold since 2003, hitting record heights above $147 a barrel last week.

    Tuesday's strike by Japanese fisherman is the latest in an international wave of protests by workers in fuel-intensive industries.

    Lorry and taxi drivers and fishermen in Asia, Europe and the US have gone on strike to demand their governments provide relief from soaring fuel costs.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Almost 300 people died in Mogadishu but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.