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To prevent another tragedy like the recent flash-flood fatalities on the Kurokura River in Kanagawa Prefecture, the Japan Auto Camping Federation called on campers Monday to camp only at designated campsites and pack equipment for emergency situations.

Junzo Hasegawa, chairman of the federation, which was formed in 1969, told a news conference at the Transport Ministry that the 18 people who set up camp on a sandbar and were swept away by the rain-swollen river on Aug. 14, even after being warned by officials to head to higher ground, lacked a sense of responsibility.

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