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(Update) Bereaved Families Sue Operator over Hokkaido Boat Accident

(Update) Bereaved Families Sue Operator over Hokkaido Boat Accident

   Sapporo, July 3 (Jiji Press)--Bereaved families of victims of an accident caused by the Kazu I sightseeing tour boat off the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido in 2022 sued the boat's operator and its president for damages on Wednesday.
   In the lawsuit filed with Sapporo District Court, 29 plaintiffs, including family members of 14 passengers of the sunk boat, are seeking 1,499 million yen in damages from Shiretoko Yuransen, the boat's operator, based in the Hokkaido town of Shari, and its president, Seiichi Katsurada, 61.
   On the afternoon of April 23, 2022, the boat sank off the coast of the Shiretoko Peninsula in the eastern part of Hokkaido, leaving 20 passengers and crew members aboard dead and six others missing.
   The plaintiffs argued in their complaint that Katsurada was responsible for the incident because he and Noriyuki Toyoda, the 54-year-old boat captain who died in the accident, decided to operate the boat despite a faulty hatch on the bow deck and the Japan Meteorological Agency's forecast of wind speeds and wave heights exceeding standards for suspending operations.
   Katsurada was "the only person who could supervise" the captain, who violated the basic duty of care to ensure safety, they said.

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