crime

Investigators raid Hokkaido tour boat company's office after sinking

29 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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29 Comments
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Criminal chargs comiing. The owner earned it.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Seiichi Katsurada, president of tour boat operator Shiretoko Yuransen has already thrown the boat driver 'under the bus' in a sacrificial effort to save his own worthless backside...but will it be enough to keep him out of jail?

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Is raid the correct word here?

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

All utterly avoidable tragedies & memorials in J news lately due to the greed and overall lack of concern for public safety by the operators of these tour, rail and transportation companies putting profit first.

As we see unfolding in this case, criminal charges should be put on company officers making decisions to send them out despite prevailing weather conditions and the questionable constitution of their drivers, pilots, engineers and conductors.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

These stories mentioned many ‘guidelines’ worded as ‘shouldversuslaws’ specifying ‘must’. - Have we heard from the Japanese ‘lawmakers’ yet?

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Doesn’t make any sense. You won’t find the missing bodies and you also can’t reanimate them by any size of investigating or raiding the tour operators’ office. Just accept that it has already really happened and that they are really dead. There won’t be any other outcome, forget it.

-21 ( +1 / -22 )

Doesn’t make any sense. You won’t find the missing bodies and you also can’t reanimate them by any size of investigating or raiding the tour operators’ office. Just accept that it has already really happened and that they are really dead. There won’t be any other outcome, forget it.

You seem to be confused, the purpose of a criminal investigation is not to bring people to life again but to decide responsibilities, best case scenario anyone that did something wrong (even by pure negligence) is punished and other people that are in the same situation understand they can be made responsible for these kind of tragedies and correct things before other lives are lost in the same way.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

Police raids are famous for being real nasty.

Some examples:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MogExZ9NBVI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbBeFhuwqTM

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

There were safety violations in the past. Questions I would like to see answered is why an operator can continue to do business while there are outstanding safety issues? Why weren’t they suspended until all was in order?

The company and its officers should be held to full account, but also let’s look into whoever licenses/monitors the operators - it is clearly not being done to a high enough standard.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

snowymountainhellToday  05:12 pm JST

All utterly avoidable tragedies & memorials in J news lately due to the greed and overall lack of concern for public safety by the operators of these tour, rail and transportation companies putting profit first.

Why are you blaming all tour operators when the other companies refused to send their boats out that day for safety reasons?

3 ( +18 / -15 )

9 days after the accident, that's fast. Not.

They have had enough time to get rid of any evidence that might criminalize them so what are they gonna find after more than a week?

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Timely.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Never used the word “all” as only you’ve implied here @OssanAmerica6:02pm. - Please try reading my @5:12pm post again in the correct context it was proffered, along with these other recent stories about the tour & transportation accident ‘memorials’ I was pointing out. - Looking forward to your cordial response. -

Apr 30: https://japantoday.com/category/national/relatives-of-victims-of-fatal-2012-bus-crash-offer-prayers-at-site-in-gunma-1

Apr 25: https://japantoday.com/category/national/107-victims-of-2005-fatal-train-derailment-in-hyogo-remembered-2

*- @OssanAmerica 6:02pm: “Why are you blaming all tour operators…” *

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

This president is an absolute scumbag by all accounts and was happy to put the crew and passengers at risk for his own financial gain. I hope he goes away for a very long time!!!

8 ( +15 / -7 )

Raid ?

And at multiple locations.

Perhaps they are looking for something else also ?

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

snowymountainhellToday  06:17 pm JST

Never used the word “all” as only you’ve implied 

Sure you did, read your own words. You do not criticize the one tour compay which is clearly at fault,

snowymountainhellToday  05:12 pm JST

All utterly avoidable tragedies & memorials in J news lately due to the greed and overall lack of concern for public safety by the operators of these tour, rail and transportation companies putting profit first.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

My criticism of this tour operator has been clear since to incident was first reported @Ossan 7:18pm and since then has been calling attention to the additional stories in the news recently. Seems you may just want to spin my criticism out of context for some reason and argue semantics.

Your implication here is that my use of the word “All” at the beginning of my comment implied the others on this recent occasion that chose not to go out as well. It didn’t. Again:

All utterly avoidable tragedies & memorials in J news lately due to the greed and overall lack of concern for public safety by the operators of these tour, rail and transportation companies putting profit first.” -

Bus Tours:

Apr 30: https://japantoday.com/category/national/relatives-of-victims-of-fatal-2012-bus-crash-offer-prayers-at-site-in-gunma-1

Rail:

Apr 25: https://japantoday.com/category/national/107-victims-of-2005-fatal-train-derailment-in-hyogo-remembered-2

Those boat operators that chose not to go out in the rough seas on this occasion weren’t included. - Regards. -

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

This raid is just for show. It's the government pretending to care, which if they "actually did" this accident never would have happened.

Also, if you don't want to drown, don't ride a boat.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

snowymountainhellToday  07:46 pm JST

Those boat operators that chose not to go out in the rough seas on this occasion weren’t included.

That's all you had to say. LOL

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Marine passenger safety rules try to ensure passenger and crew safety just as in the airline industry. First, you try to prevent accidents, then you try to mitigate them, and finally, you learn to improve. When you compare Japanese maritime safety rules with economically similar countries you will find that Japan is lax. In other countries the passenger (tour boat) vessel, KAZU I would have been required to have a licensed Captain and crew, cold-water survival suits, life jackets, actual life boats, VHF marine radios, flares, smoke, horn, Class A AIS, master vessel EPIRB, an automatic EPIRB on each raft. The crew is required to operate the vessel to ensure passenger safety. However, in the event of an accident, the rest of the equipment is designed to help the passengers and crew survive and guide rescuers to the scene. Apparently KAZU I had none of these. Why doesn't Japanese maritime law require all of this? When will that change?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

My thought is this, the investigators will go in and look at the books. They already know that the operator had some safety problems in the past. The investigators will look more importantly what those violations were and what they did to comply or see if they were mitigated. If not he is in deeper water.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Richard Burgan

You are absolutely correct !

Safety standards are lax or non existent in comparison to other countries.

3 hour emergency response time to arrive by the coastguard was also lax.

Situational awareness and critical thinking are definitely an issue here in Japan.

Airplanes , boats .buildings with fire Safety , roller-coasters , buses and the list of dysfunctional Safety standards is disturbing.

In this regard Japan is underdeveloped.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

I bet Katsurada has never operated a boat himself. If he was an experienced captain he knew how fast the weather can change.

We went on a tour to Gunkanjima and the weather changed within five minutes from sunny to heavy downpour and high waves.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@OssanAmerica

these tour operators

I think you misunderstood what was being said:

these tour, rail and transportation companies

From how I read it "these" refers to several different types of companies that put greed ahead of safety. Not all and not a single one hence "grammatically" these is the appropriate pronoun.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Investigators raid Hokkaido tour boat company's office after sinking

I CEO has already said that he will fully co-operate with the investigation. I think that a request for evidence is more appropriate than a "raid".

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Sure you did, read your own words. You do not criticize the one tour compay which is clearly at fault,

Having read the commentators words, "all"'is used. Incidentally, the investigation is at an early stage, so it is not clear ("clearly") at all who is at fault.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

In other countries the passenger (tour boat) vessel, KAZU I would have been required to have a licensed Captain and crew, cold-water survival suits, life jackets, actual life boats, VHF marine radios, flares, smoke, horn, Class A AIS, master vessel EPIRB, an automatic EPIRB on each raft. 

The vessel in question was only 19 tons displacement. It might have rafts but it would be too small for even one life boat. The exposure suits, aka "Gumby Suits", you mention are tailored to fit the wearer. I know because I once had to use them. It is not something you would have for passengers and they are quite expensive. A crew on a fishing boat for example would have fitted dry suits like I had. One size fits all on those means one sizes fits none and is either too tight to do or too loose and it leaks. Marine VHF is line of sight so maybe it would not have been any better than a cell phone. Don't know what the comms infrastructure is there, if there are repeaters, though having a VHF would have allowed a MAYDAY call any vessel nearby would hear. Seems like their primary failure was the decision to depart. In aviation we like to say it is better to be on the ground wishing you were flying than to be in the air wishing you were on the ground.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I think that a request for evidence is more appropriate than a "raid".

It was not a request. They will take whatever documentation they consider relevant whether or not the company owner agrees or disagrees.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It was not a request. They will take whatever documentation they consider relevant whether or not the company owner agrees or disagrees.

However it is over a week since the accident occurred any relevant documentation that would be incriminating would long be shredded and burnt.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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