Launch the ship even in stormy weather! Two years after the sinking of a ship that killed 26 people, the president of Shiretoko Sightseeing Boat “Too Black | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Launch the ship even in stormy weather! Two years after the sinking of a ship that killed 26 people, the president of Shiretoko Sightseeing Boat “Too Black

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President Katsurada held an apology press conference four days after the accident and got down on his knees three times (Image: Kyodo News)

Twenty people died and six are missing. ……

On April 23, two years have passed since the unprecedented sinking accident. It was the tragedy of the KAZU1, a sightseeing ship that disappeared into the sea off the coast of Shiretoko, Hokkaido. The Japan Coast Guard is investigating Seiichi Katsurada, 60, the president of Shiretoko Sightseeing Boat, on suspicion of manslaughter, but has yet to make a case. The 30 bereaved family members plan to file a group lawsuit against President Katsurada and the company in May.

President Katsurada has not been seen in public since his press conference following the accident. FRIDAY Digital” published an article on April 29, 2010, immediately after the accident, introducing President Katsurada’s “black face” based on the testimonies of those involved. We would like to recount the background of the incident and the reality of the aggressive management (some parts of the article have been revised).

It looks like a performance.

During the two-and-a-half-hour press conference, he got down on his knees three times.

On April 27, 2010, four days after the accident in which the sightseeing boat “Kazuwan” (12 meters long, 19 tons) with 26 passengers and crew went missing off the coast of Shiretoko in Hokkaido, President Katsurada of the operating company “Shiretoko Sightseeing Boat” finally held a press conference to apologize. However, he went on to explain that “it was not stormy in the morning,” and other such statements that cast doubt on his ability to judge the state of the sea. The content of the press conference revealed a lack of safety awareness.

He said, “Kneeling down on the ground also looks like a performance. The president is an amateur in the sea. I don’t think he really understands the cause of the accident or what went wrong.

Mr. A, a resident living near the port of Utoro, the home port of Kazuwan, who knows President Katsurada, said, “He is an amateur in the sea. What kind of person is President Katsurada, whom his acquaintance describes as “an amateur in the sea?

Mr. A continues, “I went to high school in Abashiri, which is about 60 km away from my hometown of Shari. I went to high school in Abashiri, about 60 kilometers from my hometown of Shari. After graduation, I think I went to a vocational training school in Ibaraki Prefecture to learn pottery making techniques. I came back to Shari-machi after I turned 40, I think. I was helping my parents run a guest house and hotel.

It was April 2003 when Mr. Katsurada succeeded his parents and became president of Shoritokomura, which operates the National Lodging House Katsurada and other facilities. It was the following year that he acquired Shiretoko Sightseeing Boat.

The previous president had become old, so he put the company up for sale. President Katsurada came forward. He bought the entire office and ship for tens of millions of yen.

Immediately after that, however, internal strife broke out at Shiretoko Pleasure Boat.

President Katsurada is a professional in the inn business, but he is an amateur when it comes to the sea. I heard that business came first. Even when the seas were rough, he would tell them, ‘Just start the boats! ‘ to make a profit, even when the sea was rough. All of the skilled crew members who rebelled quit. I heard that they had no choice but to hire inexperienced staff back at lower wages.

[Black company], right and left.

Captain Toyoda Noriyuki (then 54) of Kazuwan, the company that caused the accident, was also questioned about his abilities. He joined “Shiretoko Sightseeing Boat” about two years before the accident. Before that, he had worked for an amphibious vehicle organization, but he had no experience piloting a ship in the often rough seas off the coast of Shiretoko.

Normally, it is said that it takes three years for a person to become proficient at piloting a ship, but President Katsurada said that Mr. Toyoda “has good sense” and made him a captain in about one year. He also put him in charge of two vessels by himself. Mr. Toyoda, who was said to have been serious and taciturn, must have been troubled by the fact that he could not refuse the request. On his Facebook page, he posted the following I’m stuck right and left in a black company.

Shortly after setting sail in June 2009, Captain Toyoda ran aground on a shoal. He was referred to prosecutors in January 2010 on charges of professional negligence and endangering pedestrians. Mr. A, who testified at the beginning of this report, said, “At the apology press conference, Mr. Katsurada said he was sorry.

At the apology press conference, President Katsurada said that the final responsibility was “mine” and that “the ship (that caused the accident) left the port at the captain’s discretion. I get the impression that he is placing the blame on Mr. Toyoda. It is customary for small sightseeing boats to go into service during the Golden Week holiday season, but the Shiretoko excursion boat was moved up nearly a week, probably because profits were prioritized. I believe that President Katsurada’s disregard for weather conditions and disregard for safety resulted in this catastrophe.

At a briefing for the bereaved families, President Katsuraida spoke ambiguously, saying, “It was my negligence, including the fact that I did not know the cause (of the accident). It can be said that the accident was caused by his “black history” of management without sufficient knowledge of the ocean. Participants at the briefing said, “Give us a convincing explanation! What do you think about the people who died? and “What do you think about the people who died?

  • Photo Kyodo News

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