Memorial Service Held for Victims of Sightseeing Boat Sinking off Hokkaido’s Shiretoko Peninsula 2 Years Ago

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A man prays at the altar preor to a memorial service Tuesday for victims of a shipwreck off the Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido that occurred two years ago.

A memorial service marking the second anniversary of a shipwreck off the Shiretoko Peninsula that left 20 passengers and crew members dead and six others missing was held Tuesday in the Hokkaido town of Shari.

A stream of people laid flowers at the service in memory of the victims of the sinking of the Kazu I sightseeing boat, for which company officials are being investigated on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in death.

The father of Michio Koyanagi, a Fukuoka Prefecture man who was 34 at the time of the accident and remains among the missing, attended the memorial service for the second year in a row.

“Just like last year, all I can do is put my hands together in prayer,” the Koyanagi’s father, 65, said briefly before entering the venue.

The Japan Transport Safety Board released an investigative report last September in which it concluded that a lack of safety management by Shiretoko Pleasure Boat, the operator of the Kazu I, was the main cause of the accident.

The 1st Regional Coast Guard Headquarters is investigating company president Seiichi Katsurada, 60, and others on potential charges of professional negligence resulting in death.