An Israeli ship that collided with a Japanese fishing boat and killed seven of its crew was due to arrive in Hong Kong Thursday as Japanese and Israeli investigators prepared to board the vessel.
The Zim Asia collided with fishing boat No. 3 Shinseimaru Sept. 28 about 40 kilometers (25 miles) off the cape of Nosappu in Hokkaido, northern Japan, causing the Japanese vessel to capsize. Of the boat's eight crew members, seven were found dead, but the other was rescued.
Japanese coast guard inspectors are headed for Hong Kong Thursday, Michio Harada, director for policy planning at the Japanese Consulate-General in Hong Kong, said.
Eliezer Sternberg, a spokesman for Israel's transportation ministry, said the Japanese team will be allowed to board and a ministry representative will also conduct a separate investigation in Hong Kong.
Harada said Zim Asia is scheduled to leave Hong Kong Friday.
Zim Asia's captain had denied responsibility for the incident. But Idan Ofer, chairman of The Israel Corp., the holding company that controls Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd., said Monday in Tel Aviv that the captain did not notice the accident when it happened or hear a distress call afterward.
He said Zim would cooperate with Japanese authorities and investigators, reports the AP.
Photo: the AP P.T.