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Japanese ship among tankers attacked near Strait of Hormuz

Christian Fernsby ▼ | June 14, 2019
Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said on Thursday that two tankers were attacked near the Strait of Hormuz, with at least one of them operated by a Japanese company.
Minister Hiroshige Seko
Asia   Minister Hiroshige Seko
Seko said the Japanese government is looking into the incident and collecting related information.

A Japanese shipping company in Tokyo has confirmed that one of its tankers, Kokuka Courageous, was damaged.

All 21 Filipino crew members of the Japan-operated 19,349-ton ship escaped safely in life rafts and are heading to the United Arab Emirates, according to the operator of the ship Kokuka Sangyo Co.

The company said that the ship was sailing in the Gulf of Oman near the UAE emirate of Fujairah enroute to Thailand and Singapore from Saudi Arabia. Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co. said the tanker was carrying methanol.

"I don't know why our ship was attacked," said Kokuka Sangyo President Yutaka Katada. "I'm angry that lives were threatened."

The transport ministry said details of the attack and the extent of damage are not yet known, and the tanker is currently drifting without crew.

The incident comes when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been visiting Iran to help ease tensions between Tehran and Washington.