Artificial Intelligence: Japan To Create AI-Based Surveillance System For Intruder Ships

August 16, 2021 | Artificial Intelligence, News
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The new system will combine AI with satellite technology.

By early 2024, Japan will have in place a monitoring system that will detect and suspicious or hostile ships using artificial intelligence (AI) and satellite data on maritime activity in and around Japanese waters. The system will help the Japan Coast Guard to better patrol Japanese waters. (The Yomiuri Shimbun)

Japan Coast Guard and hostile incursions

The Japanese Coast Guard (JCG), which will be the main user of the proposed system, often has to face off with hostile ships on the vast water surface under its authority.

Incidents in the past include Chinese ships trespassing into Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture; Japan nationalized the Senkaku Islands in 2012, and since then there have been numerous instances when Chinese government-owned vessels have encroached into Japanese territorial waters.

Again, the JCG had to previously fend off Chinese and North Korean vessels indulging in illegal fishing in the Yamato Bank area off the Noto Peninsula in the Sea of Japan, an exclusive Japanese economic zone.

North Korean ships have often conducted illegal trading of refined oil products in the East China Sea. These events have driven Japan’s need for a quicker and more accurate maritime surveillance system powered by AI.

How the system will work

Currently, shipping data and images obtained from satellites are analyzed manually to identify the kind of ship that has entered Japanese waters. However, this method is slow and error-prone.

In the new system under development AI will be able to analyze automatically a huge trove of maritime data received from satellites and immediately raise an alarm in case it finds a suspicious vessel. Japan Coast Guard patrol ships can therefore be despatched at an early stage to head off these ships.

Japan may also use satellite data from European countries and the United States to make the new system more comprehensive and accurate.

Japan will spend ¥450 million on the new surveillance system, and according to a source, it will help to “drastically reduce the number of man-hours.”

Related Story:   How AI Watches For Pirates On The High Seas

Image credit: Japan Coast Guard

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