According to statistics provided by the Coast Guard, around 80 people in Japan drown while boating each year and that this figure could be halved if everyone had been wearing a lifejacket.

This has resulted in the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism introducing a new enforcement law for captains and boat operators.

According to the new regulation, which was introduced on 1 February 2018, the captain or responsible operator should make all passengers on board wear lifejackets that are approved by the government or recognised organisations.

Two penalty points will be imposed on the captain who violates this law and the captain must take a re-education training course. Otherwise his or her license will be cancelled and a five-point penalty will be imposed.

People will be exempt from wearing a lifejacket in certain circumstances such as when staying inside the cabin or when swimming.

In addition, the wearing of a lifejacket becomes voluntary when people are on a boat at a mooring or in a marina or where the bulwark height is over 75cm while cruising.

For further details, but only in Japanese, go to