Japan Coast Guard Official Details Mauritian Oil Spill Response

Society Politics

Yokohama, Sept. 24 (Jiji Press)--A Japan Coast Guard unit specializing in cleaning up oil and toxic liquids spilled into the ocean was deployed to Mauritius last month to assist local authorities in responding to a fuel oil leak from a stranded Japanese-owned cargo ship.

Hisashi Otsuka, head of a National Strike Team deployed to Mauritius, said that it worked behind the scenes to offer technical and coordination support.

The Japanese government sent a group comprising the JCG team and staff of the Japan International Cooperation Agency at the request of the Mauritian government. The six-member group worked for Mauritius from Aug. 10 to 23.

According to Otsuka, expert teams from the United Nations and other institutions were already on the island when the Japanese delegation arrived there. The group's main task was to advise local authorities on preventing the further spread of oil from the Wakashio freighter, which grounded off the Indian Ocean island state in late July.

When the Japanese group arrived, removing oil that had washed up in mangrove forests along the coast was a major challenge in the disaster. The group briefed disaster response personnel, including members of the Mauritian government, on the state of the oil spill using satellite images from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press