Japanese navigation records, abandoned on boat, sail to Pyongyang organization

Government (Foreign) // Other Critical Infrastructure // Japan

Japan sold a decommissioned coast guard vessel to North Korea supporters without ensuring the destruction of key data.

The “navigation system was left intact, with the 10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Kagoshima admitting that no checks were made to ensure data records had been wiped.”

The Takachiho boat was taken out of service in 2011 and sold to a ship breaker run by a senior figure from the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan.  

The ship buyer “carries out many of the functions a NORKS embassy would have in Japan, as there are no formal diplomatic relations between the two countries.”

The vessel could have recorded as many as 6,000 locations over about 250 days when it was transferred.

Such poor security is “certainly not the case these days, with heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula and the Japanese coast guard regularly involved in patrols around the disputed Diaoyu (Senkaku) islands.”

Additional report in Yomiuri Shimbun