Japan Govt Conducts Hearing from Boat Operator for License Revocation

Society Politics

Sapporo, June 14 (Jiji Press)--Japan's transport ministry on Tuesday conducted a hearing from the operator of the tour boat that sank off the Shiretoko Peninsula in the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido in April, in a step to revoke the company's business license.

The ministry is expected to decide the license cancellation soon. "We'll conduct a close examination (of the results of the hearing) and take the punitive step swiftly," a ministry official said.

It will be the first license revocation following an accident under the marine transportation law. Shiretoko Yuransen, the operator of the sunken Kazu I boat, will thus face the severest punishment stipulated in the law.

The Kazu I sank off the peninsula on April 23, leaving 14 of the 26 passengers and crew members aboard dead and the 12 others missing.

The hearing took place at the ministry's Hokkaido District Transport Bureau. It is a necessary step to revoke the operating license, giving the operator a chance to give an explanation.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press