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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 February 20 - 26  > JCP chair urges government to thoroughly investigate Aegis ship collision with fishing boat
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2008 February 20 - 26 [SDF]

JCP chair urges government to thoroughly investigate Aegis ship collision with fishing boat

February 24, 2008
At a press conference on February 23 in Okayama City, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo urged the government to conduct a through investigation into the collision between the fishing boat Seitoku Maru and the Maritime Self-Defense Force Aegis-equipped destroyer Atago, and to extend urgent financial aid to the fishermen’s cooperative.

Shii said that the task now is for the Diet to press the government to use every possible means to find the missing fishermen and find out the facts and cause of the accident.

He said the published facts show clearly that the Aegis ship neglected to fulfill its responsibility to avoid a collision. The Diet is responsible for determining the facts regarding how the accident occurred and whether the MSDF ship carried out an operation to rescue the fishermen soon after the collision, he added.

Shii stated that after taking these steps, the Diet should discuss the defense minister’s responsibility in this accident. “Given the graveness of affairs relating to the collision, the JCP believes that it is necessary to consider whether the defense minister is qualified to perform his duties,” he said.

Shii said, “Although the government is totally responsible for the search and rescue of the missing fishermen, local fishermen are also searching for them. According to reports, the search operation costs them 50,000-70,000 yen for each mission. They have no income while participating in the search operation. The government is should also take urgent steps to financially reimburse the local fishermen’s cooperative.”
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