politics

Japan criticized for weak response to bulk carrier fuel leak off Mauritius

59 Comments
By Junko Horiuchi

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

59 Comments
Login to comment

This tragedy was caused by the negligence of Indian captain and Indian navigator.

It's way severe to blame Japan and the Japanese government.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Being slow and weak to respond is the J-government's motto, and that trickles down, too.

Japan's neighbors in Asia have long preferred a weak Japan dependent to a degree on the US. Until Xi Jinping arrived on the scene the very last thing Japan's Asian neighbors wanted to see was a strong and decisive Japan. That thought makes a lot of Asian's uneasy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Where in this case the state is Japan due to "The bulk carrier Wakashio, owned by Nagashiki Shipping Co and operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd" which is a Japanese registered company. Making Japan legally obligated

Not so fast. Mitsui does not own the ship and has no operational control over it. They hired Nagashiki to haul their cargo for them but it is Nagashiki who owns and operates the ship. Mitsui is Nagashiki's customer. The ship itself is registered in Panama and is operated under the laws of Panama and the rules of the insurance group that certifies the ship is safe to operate and its crew appropriately trained.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Their desultory response is purely face saving. They would much rather some other country organize the clean up and then pay them for pulling Japan’s chestnuts out of the fire.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan is forced to use oil by the USA, so they can be controlled.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Being slow and weak to respond is the J-government's motto, and that trickles down, too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese Abe government is very dull to crisis as same as when domestic Corona virus epidemic. They start to respond after situation worsen.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"It may not be legally responsible for the disaster as the freighter was Panamanian-flagged, but it is effectively a Japanese one as it was operated and owned by Japanese shipping companies," she said. "The government should get more involved as if it was its own problem."

But the article itself is clear that it wasn't the government of Japan's problem nor is it legally responsible.

Of course it's now Japan's problem.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Where in this case the state is Japan due to "The bulk carrier Wakashio, owned by Nagashiki Shipping Co and operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd" which is a Japanese registered company. Making Japan legally obligated

Except it's not, as that's not how international maritime law works.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Japan seems to be slowing down in everything for the past decade, in economy, in factory production, in response to crisis (natural or man-made), in environment protection..

Not limited to the government, you won't believe it, even small retail companies are so damn slow and arrogant.

You order something online shop in Tokyo and they tell you it will take a week to ship as they are waiting for it from the manufacturer warehouse that is in Chiba. They think they are doing the buyer a favor selling to the buyer. One would expect the speed at which Amazon ships would be a wake up call for some of this online

shops but unfortunately they are still behaving like in the past despite the stiff competition.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For those of you who think that it is not Japans responsibility should check the United Nations international laws regarding the the Laws of the sea which Japan is a signatory

Art. 235 proclaims liability of the states for their international obligations concerning the preservation and protection of marine environment. Art. 235 (2) requires the states to ensure the possibility to obtain compensation or other relief in case of the damage caused by the pollution.

Where in this case the state is Japan due to "The bulk carrier Wakashio, owned by Nagashiki Shipping Co and operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd" which is a Japanese registered company. Making Japan legally obligated

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A political idol, Koizumi Shinjiro.

Marutis disaster is Japan's future if Koizumi Shinjiro ever becomes the PM of Japan and another Tohoku style Megaquake + Tsunami hits Japan during his tenure.

Seriously the last think Japan needs in its government leadership is a political idol but real sweat, guts and wit. This riding on daddy's coattails/ family business must end in politics. Enough is enough and I'm pretty sure there are plenty of taxpayers out there who feel the same, just not their way which is unfortunate for all.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Orac

Its the classic double standard, when a Japanese company gets in trouble they blame the whole country

Chigau.

People are not blaming the whole country but the government.

People are not blaming for the government for the trouble but for the lack of response, even just public declaration, in an major international incident caused by one of its tax payer and involving a far poorer victim which obviously need international help and had to get it from friendlier neighbor which have not so much if nothing to do with the companies involved.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan seems to be slowing down in everything for the past decade, in economy, in factory production, in response to crisis (natural or man-made), in environment protection.. The lethargic reaction to stop the oil spill near Mauritius has made Tokyo look less capable of handling such situation. Surely, the nation can do much better..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The only reason France and India had a quick response is to protect their territory. France has Reunion island close by and the oil could very well affect the sea around India, still it's better than looking at the sky with mouth open to catch drops of rain when you're thirsty

2 ( +2 / -0 )

 "We are causing great worries and troubles (over the oil leak). We will give all-out efforts to support (Mauritius),

All-out efforts? They sent a team of six people five days after the event. Is that what they insider to be an ‘all-out effort’? The should have just sent sympathy cards and been done with it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd" tell you pretty much all you need to know. They are the biggest shipping concern in the country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When BP disaster happened no one was blaming Britain or it's government for the oil spill, which they had several.

I did and still do!

Like Kuwait Gulf War, Deep water Horizon, Ixtox1, too many to remember but people just forget. Nature doesn’t and local people don’t.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

When BP disaster happened no one was blaming Britain or it's government for the oil spill, which they had several.

BP stepped up to resolve the issue and subsequent paid megabucks in compo. This was also controversial since those contractors immediately responsible, Transocean and Halliburton, were effectively let off with a slap on the wrist.

Like Japanese, Americans also look after their own.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

TheReds:

The Japanese will say - No Ginger

Perhaps the worst pun I've ever seen. I'm impressed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan dispatched a six-member relief team, 

Let’s be clear: the purpose of this team will be to obfuscate, pettifog, deny, refute, undermine any claims for restitution and appointment of liability. They are there to protect Japan Inc.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

but it was a Non-Japanese Captain....That is who we should blame" but let's have a meeting first

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Japanese will say - No Ginger.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ReasonandWisdomNippon

“So eager to blame everything on the Japanese government instead of a private company.”

Maybe you didn’t read the article. Almost all comments are already written in the article.

Perhaps you can blame JT for posting?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The first reaction from a high-ranking Japanese official came on Aug 11 from Kazuyoshi Akaba, minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism. "We are causing great worries and troubles (over the oil leak). We will give all-out efforts to support (Mauritius)," he said at a press conference.

Four days later, Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi also said at a news conference, "It is a serious crisis that leads to a loss of biodiversity. The Environment Ministry cannot just sit on the sidelines."

Rhetoric. Tatemae, pretend to be concerned, you name it.

Incompetence redifined.

Members of the first response team, comprised of officials from the Foreign Ministry, the Japan Coast Guard and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, told reporters online Tuesday, their activities have been restrained due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Mauritius was requesting more personnel to deal with the crisis.

But the pandemic hasn't restrained the activity of the french and indians.

What a lame, sorry, embarrassing and shameful excuse.

When will the J-media step up and hold the powers-that-be to task, question and ask difficult questions and demand answers instead of hyping and putting people like Koizumi on a pedestal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The govt of Japan is not responsible for the problem created by a private company operated by foreigen people in far off places. The people responsible are the owners and operators of the vessel - Nagashiki Shipping Co and operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd how do you think abe is to blame and should shoulder the responsibility ?

It makes no sense to blame the Japanese govt for a incident created by private industry out side its jurisdiction go after the company concerned., stop Abe and Japan bashing simply because you know nothing else.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

So eager to blame everything on the Japanese government instead of a private company.

When BP disaster happened no one was blaming Britain or it's government for the oil spill, which they had several.

So eager to always divert focus to other countries & companies , notspeakingwisom ...

7 ( +8 / -1 )

this article is about a Japanese ship 

This ship is registered by Panama, it is rather Panamanian ship. Nagashiki shipping co owns it and Mitusi co operates it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I know, let's send a team to investigate the damage so we can be seen to be doing something without actually doing anything...

4 ( +6 / -2 )

only about nine years and practically nothing has happened in Fukushima Daiichi, well apart from planning to throw millions of liters of highly radioactive water in the sea.

so I guess japans plan is to just throw the oil in the sea too?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

LOL, , it's a well known fact that Foreigner people are agile and efficient (sarcasm) and known for their piloting skills.

Lol, about as much as the Japanese managment and bureaucracy are known for their agility and efficiency in just about anything,

3 ( +4 / -1 )

France and even India take a more dynamic approach to a matter which directly involve Japan more than Japan itself.

The Japanese side response is not the most efficient for sure.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Oh quick response in fact. It took “only” two weeks for Japan to send an investigation team, which is only assessing the damages. The team work has been hampered locally by covid restrictions, which is credible. Now, a team is going there to assess the environmental damages. For me, all these teams are useless and Japan should have first sent and a quickly manner (no need for thousands of meetings) some materials, a vessel and human power to help in containing the oil dispersion and cleaning.

Now it is true the responsibility is in the hands of Mitsui and Nagasaki. The other day, NHK could not get any comments from Mitsui who said NHK has to refer to the ship owner, Nagasaki. Then Nagasaki denied any comments, waiting for the investigation from the Mauritius government to end. To summarize, nobody wants to take responsibility.

It will take dozens of years to get the environment back, and will cost certainly millions of dollars in compensation to the responsible companies. But for compensation, if given after a trial, it might be in 10 or 20 years from now.

Oh quick response in fact. It took “only” two weeks for Japan to send an investigation team, which is only assessing the damages. The team work has been hampered locally by covid restrictions, which is credible. Now, a team is going there to assess the environmental damages. For me, all these teams are useless and Japan should have first sent and a quickly manner (no need for thousands of meetings) some materials, a vessel and human power to help in containing the oil dispersion and cleaning.

Now it is true the responsibility is in the hands of Mitsui and Nagasaki. The other day, NHK could not get any comments from Mitsui who said NHK has to refer to the ship owner, Nagasaki. Then Nagasaki denied any comments, waiting for the investigation from the Mauritius government to end. To summarize, nobody wants to take responsibility.

It will take dozens of years to get the environment back, and will cost certainly millions of dollars in compensation to the responsible companies. But for compensation, if given after a trial, it might be in 10 or 20 years from now.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes, they were super slow to respond but to make an entire front page news article with one criticism from a random person from a small independent Japanese environmental agency? More people need to speak out on it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Translation: They took a couple of photos.

J government would really need much detailed information and photos and maps when real team go and do sweep clean-up operation there. It would take a couple of years to clean there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Slow response in Japan? Strange, it's a well known fact that Japanese people are agile and efficient (sarcasm).

"Mauritius has arrested the captain of the Japanese freighter, an Indian national, along with a Sri Lankan crew member, on suspicion of negligence in operating the vessel,"

LOL, , it's a well known fact that Foreigner people are agile and efficient (sarcasm) and known for their piloting skills.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

and assist in grasping the environmental damage from the incident.

Translation: They took a couple of photos.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

And they should be criticized and punished. Japan INC is very good at building, but very bad at repairing and aftercare.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Blame the operator and crew of the vessel, the Japanese government are not the one piloting the ship

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

so it's Panama's problem

The vessel Wakashio is owned by Nagashiki Shipping Co and operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. so both companies have responsibilities according to the international marine law.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

So eager to blame everything on the Japanese government instead of a private company.

When BP disaster happened no one was blaming Britain or it's government for the oil spill, which they had several. It was only BP as a company who was blamed. Always double standards when it comes to Japan. Don't let me stop you, I know how much you enjoy trolling on this type of news.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

@rgcivilian1

What kind of Environmental Minister do we really have

A political idol, Koizumi Shinjiro.

Marutis disaster is Japan's future if Koizumi Shinjiro ever becomes the PM of Japan and another Tohoku style Megaquake + Tsunami hits Japan during his tenure.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"MV Wakashio was registered under Panamanian flag, so it's Panama's problem, not ours"

The government of Japan
7 ( +9 / -2 )

Sure, the ship is owned by a private company, but Japan should have stepped up quicker. A little common sense and bureaucratic competence would be nice to see.

What am I thinking? Never mind.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

"The government should get more involved as if it was its own problem."

Probably the Wakashio vessel doesn't belong to the government of Japan. It is just a private company. There are billions of private companies. It seems to me the government can't take full care of them when they fell in deep trouble. Abe thinks the company do something about it first, and government second.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Wait hold on why is this the Japan government problem? There is not ownership by the GOJ regarding this ship or claims of ownership of any of the private business entity "The bulk carrier Wakashio, owned by Nagashiki Shipping Co and operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd". There is no buck to pass, afterall wasn't reported this was all caused by a NEED for WIFI over a birthday party, " Mauritius has arrested the captain of the Japanese freighter, an Indian national, along with a Sri Lankan crew member, on suspicion of negligence in operating the vessel, local authorities said Tuesday. The ship may have sailed close to the coast of Mauritius to get Wi-Fi connection, according to a local newspaper." Now this tidbit in the article managed to get a laugh out of me, "The first reaction from a high-ranking Japanese official came on Aug 11 from Kazuyoshi Akaba, minister of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism. "We are causing great worries and troubles (over the oil leak). We will give all-out efforts to support (Mauritius)," he said at a press conference.

Four days later, Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi also said at a news conference, "It is a serious crisis that leads to a loss of biodiversity. The Environment Ministry cannot just sit on the sidelines."

What kind of Environmental Minister do we really have, really 4 days later? I could have said the same thing on days before. Well EM Shinjiro Koizumi, is really proven he is not FIT for the job and should be left to a more experienced person who actually has a background in Environmental matters. Not saying I'm against Mr. Koizumi, but not for this job, perhaps tourism is a better fit? Surely to use his own words, nothing "cool and sexy" yet again.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Koizumi? ..... Oil that's sexxxyyyy. Mmmmm slippery

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Does Japan ever give a strong response to anything that happens outside of Japan?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Of all the countries that would know what a loss of tourism would entail, one would think that Japan would have reacted earlier, and with more strength. Unfortunately, its response is just like its pandemic response, woefully inept and without vigor. Eventually the government will pass it off to the commercial sector claiming that it was a commercially operated vessel. They will pass the buck just like they're doing with the pandemic response by letting the governors respond to the crisis. To the world; don't trust Koizumi or whatever comes out of his mouth when he talks about the environment, he's just a poster boy, nothing more.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Simple problem: no trough, no snouts.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I don’t about past governments, but this one under Abe / Aso is nothing but aloof, arrogant, out of touch, recklessly hands-off, and simply not caring about us, their employers. Any crisis, and Japan suffers frequently from various crises, is met with all of the above descriptors. How’s Abenomics going?? Womenomics??? How about the rebuilding and looking after people after the earthquake and tsunami with subsequent nuclear disaster??? Abenomasks??? The general response to this recent existential crisis????

abenothanks
18 ( +20 / -2 )

Desperate efforts are under way to contain the oil spill that is polluting the small island's iconic reefs and protected ecosystems. It has muddied crystal-clear waters, damaged coral reefs, mangroves and white sand beaches.

The crisis deals a heavy blow to the country's tourism industry, already hurt by the new coronavirus pandemic. Experts say they fear it will take decades for the environment to recover from the damage.

Tragic.

Some people believe the media need to “get a grip” because this is a minor incident, not japans problem and bigger oil spills occur anyway.

Some people really don’t have a clue and need to get a grip on reality. This started leaking 2 weeks ago. Move it.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

erbavivaToday  06:44 am JST

But in Japan they have to have a meeting first to discuss about a meeting then they schedule a meeting after they will have a meeting about the meeting, Soon they will planning, then they will discuss about the plan...

you forgot the two to three weeks of a ringishyo getting a few dozen hankos for approval.

24 ( +26 / -2 )

Weak crisis response from Japan?

.

.

.

.

.

.

Who would have thunk it?.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

It seems japan doesn’t have much respect for oceans. Between this slow response, the plan to dump nuclear waste, over fishing.....

29 ( +33 / -4 )

Absolute disgrace as someone else said if a foreign ship did the same off Japan's coast the caniptions would be long and loud. It was only the other day the environment Minister decided to send a assessment group to see the damage. No help just a group of bueuracrats to mull over what to do? I'd like to say they could have watched the Internet a week ago. It's pretty bad guys, oil everywhere. But no pack your cool biz fly over there and mull some talking points. As efficient and useful as a turtle on its back in the Sahara.

27 ( +31 / -4 )

It is a shame. If this had been the responsibility of another country, Japan would've sent help and money right sharpish. But when it's their own responsibility, everything gets life-threateningly sluggish.

31 ( +35 / -4 )

Slow response in Japan? Strange, it's a well known fact that Japanese people are agile and efficient (sarcasm).

31 ( +37 / -6 )

But in Japan they have to have a meeting first to discuss about a meeting then they schedule a meeting after they will have a meeting about the meeting, Soon they will planning, then they will discuss about the plan...

46 ( +51 / -5 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites