Japan Coordinating with Russia on Search for Missing Tour Boat: Matsuno

Society Politics

Tokyo, April 26 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is coordinating with the Russian side on the search for the passengers and crew members of a missing sightseeing boat off Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, despite their soured relations over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Tuesday.

"We will continue to conduct required coordination with the Russian side, including on waters covered by the search, if necessary," Matsuno told a press conference.

While the missing people may drift to waters effectively controlled by Russia, Matsuno said, "We don't think at the moment that the search and rescue efforts will be affected by our current relationship with Russia."

The top government spokesman revealed that Japan has provided basic information on the accident to Russia under a bilateral agreement on mutual cooperation in search and rescue operations. "The Russian side has told us that it will offer related information, if any," he said.

Since the tour boat with 26 people aboard went missing on Saturday, 11 people, including a three-year-old child, have been discovered and confirmed dead.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press