Tokyo: The Russian vessel with 23 people on board and the Japanese fishing schooner carrying five people collided on Wednesday at about 6 a.m. local time (21:00 GMT on Tuesday), 23 kilometers (14 miles) from Monbetsu in Hokkaido. Five people on board the Japanese ship were rescued by the Amur crew, but three of them were unconscious. Later in the day, they were confirmed dead.
The office of Japan Transport Safety Board in the city of Hakodate had sent an investigator to take part in the probe into the circumstances of the collision.
None of the crew members of Russia’s Amur merchant ship was arrested or sought assistance after the collision. The Russian Embassy expressed its condolences to Tokyo in connection with the death of three Japanese fishermen.
“If Japan does not file charges over the recent collision of vessels in its waters, Russia’s Amur merchant ship will leave the Japanese port by Friday morning,” said Russia’s Consul General in Sapporo Sergey Marin.