Japanese Coast Guard during the Battle of Amami Oshima
Battle of Amami-Ōshima
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The Battle of Amami-Ōshima, also known as the Spy Ship Incident in the Southwest Sea of Kyūshū, was a six-hour confrontation between the Japanese Coast Guard and an armed North Korean vessel, which took place near the island of Amami-Ōshima, in the East China Sea. The December 2001 encounter ended in the sinking of the North Korean vessel, which the Japanese authorities later announced was determined to have been a spy craft. The encounter took place outside Japanese territorial waters, but within the exclusive economic zone, an area extending 200 nautical miles from Japanese land, within which Japan can claim exclusive rights to fishing and mineral resources.