Local captain arrested by Japan after Osaka Bay incident: report
By Joseph Yeh, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- A Taiwanese cargo ship captain was arrested by Japanese police yesterday after his ship collided with two Japanese fishing vessels in waters off Osaka Monday, leaving one Japanese crew member dead and another missing, reports said.
February 27, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
The 64-year-old skipper, Lee Yuan-ming (李元明), and the boat's 27–year-old Japanese national navigator were both arrested by local authorities on charges of causing death through professional negligence, the Japanese-language Yomiuri Shinbun (讀賣新聞) said yesterday.
Lee's ship collided with two fishing boats in waters off western Japan's Osaka Bay around 6 a.m. local time Monday, resulting in the death of one crew member on one of the Japanese vessels and leaving another missing.
No Taiwanese crew members were injured in the incident.
The ship, named Te Chun (德春), registered under the Wan Hai Lines Ltd. (萬海航運), is a small-sized cargo vessel with a carrying capacity of 1,088 20-foot equivalent units.
Commenting on the report, Wan Hai Vice President and spokesman Davis Kao (高國隆) yesterday claimed that Lee was not arrested but only questioned by investigators to facilitate the probe into the incident.
According to the report they received from Lee, Kao said the Taiwanese ship sailed into Osaka Bay Monday under the instructions of the Japanese navigator.
Lee's ship later found two fishing vessels near the ship's bow and attempted to avoid striking the pair.
The Taiwanese skipper was not aware that his cargo ship had clashed with the two Japanese ships, causing the death of the Japanese crewman, Kao added.
The case is being investigated by Japanese police to determine who should be held responsible for the incident, he added.
MOFA to Offer Assistance
Asked to comment on the case, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday said that Japanese authorities were still probing the case to determine the cause of the incident.
The ministry's representative office in Osaka was in contact with local authorities to understand the cause of Lee's arrest, MOFA spokesman Steve Hsia said yesterday.
MOFA will offer all necessary assistance to Wan Hai over the case, he added.