The Shiretoko Accident: The Stubborn Claim by the President of the Shiretoko Cruise Ship | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The Shiretoko Accident: The Stubborn Claim by the President of the Shiretoko Cruise Ship

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President Katsurada of Shiretoko Pleasure Boat. Will he also explain to the families of the victims that “the government is also responsible” (Image: Kyodo News)

By 9:30 a.m., the scheduled start time, the man had not shown up. Instead, he submitted a written statement on several sheets of A4 paper, which read as follows

It is ridiculous to assume that the responsibility for the accident lies solely with our company.

In terms of auditing and other checks, the responsibility also lies with the national government, which is the supervising authority.

On June 14, the Hokkaido District Transport Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism held a press conference at its Sapporo City office building to announce the sinking of the KAZU I, the sightseeing ship in which 26 passengers and crew were killed. The hearing was held on June 14 at the Hokkaido Transport Bureau building in Sapporo, where 26 passengers and crew members were killed in the sinking of the KAZU I. The hearing was held behind closed doors to give the operator of the Kazu One, Shiretoko Sightseeing Boat, an opportunity to explain its actions before administrative action is taken. However, the president, Seiichi Katsurada, 58, did not appear.

The Shiretoko Sightseeing Boat submitted a written statement the day before the hearing,” said Mr. Seiichi Katsurada, 58, president of the company. A special audit by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism noted that the company had committed 19 violations of the Maritime Transport Law. These include sailing “Kazuwan” even though stormy weather was forecast, and operating the vessel when waves were expected to reach 1 meter or higher (on April 23, the day of the accident, a strong wind and wave warning was issued, and the forecast was for waves of 1.5 to 3 meters). The forecast was 1.5 to 3 meters), despite the possibility that waves could reach 1 meter or higher.

However, in the statement of “Shiretoko Pleasure Boat,” the company denied some of the violations of the law that were pointed out. On the other hand, there was no statement regarding the reason for the absence or the cause of the accident. In response to the “hearing,” MLIT plans to take administrative action on June 16. It is expected to be the heaviest administrative sanction, and the company will not be able to obtain another permit for at least two years.

Amateurs” on pleasure boats

President Katsurada, who did not appear at the “explanatory meeting,” did not appear to be tense despite the fact that 14 people lost their lives (as of June 15). A resident near the port of Utoro, the home port of the Kazwan, said, “The situation is very serious.

He seems to be busy dealing with the bereaved families and meeting with lawyers, but he doesn’t seem to be exhausted. It is highly doubtful that he understands the seriousness of the accident.

President Katsurada originally specialized in the inn business and is a complete amateur when it comes to pleasure boats. He has rarely been seen in the office, so it seems as if he feels that the accident is somehow someone else’s problem.

Of course, being an “amateur” does not mean that Mr. Katsurada, the president of the ship-operating company, can be forgiven. Why is it that Mr. Katsurada, the president of the operating company, is so bullish in his statement, saying that the national government is also to blame? One of the above-mentioned residents continued, “The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism held a meeting with the passengers.

At a briefing held by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism for the families of the passengers, some people said, ‘The national government is also responsible. They must have felt encouraged, saying, ‘It’s not just my fault.

The “Shiretoko Pleasure Boat” had two accidents last year, including running aground in shallow water. However, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) overlooked these incidents despite the fact that the company’s improvement reports showed the same weather figures day after day, which was unnatural. I believe that such inadequacies on the part of the national government have led to the incomprehensible statements in the statement.

Before pointing fingers at the “responsibility of the national government,” the first priority should be to examine the mistakes that the company itself made. What is important in preventing a recurrence of accidents is not “assigning blame.

  • Photo: Kyodo News Kyodo News

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