Japan Reviewing Passenger Boat Safety Measures 6 Months On

Society Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 23 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is accelerating its review of safety measures for passenger ship operators six months after a fatal accident in which a sightseeing boat carrying 26 people sank off Hokkaido.

The Kazu I boat, operated by local company Shiretoko Yuransen, sank near the Shiretoko Peninsula of the northernmost prefecture April 23. Of those aboard, 20 have been confirmed dead, while the remaining six are missing.

In the town of Shari, which the boat departed just before the accident, an altar for memorial flowers was set up in the town office. Many people still visit the place.

"I hope the remaining people will be found as soon as possible," said a local woman, 70, who came with friends to lay flowers. "I can't forget (the accident) since it was so painful."

Behind the accident were the company's sloppy safety management practices, which were largely left unchecked.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press