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There are few legal marine protected areas in Japan rather than fishing-ban areas. Fishers did not seek legal fishing-ban areas but they did establish fishing-ban areas by autonomous bases. We briefly introduce the institutional history and features of Japanese coastal fishery management, including the past decade's major legislative developments. Japan still has a decentralized co-management system involving fishers and the government, and ca. 98% of Japanese fishers are artisanal. There are several successful cases of coastal fisheries management in Japan. However, offshore industrial fisheries have problems in Japan. We compare coastal fisheries co-management between Japan and Chile. We finally discuss the possibility of improvement for Japanese fisheries.