• Kyodo

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The owner of a fishing vessel damaged in a collision with a freighter off Fukuoka Prefecture last week that left one person dead and six missing said Wednesday it is seeking more than 1 billion yen in compensation.

Kyowa Suisan fisheries company said it is negotiating with the South Korean company that owns the Panamanian-registered freighter over compensation for damage to the 135-ton Koyo Maru No. 18.

The company’s representatives also expressed discontent over the lack of a clear apology from the South Korean company.

Kyowa Suisan said it will set up a support section for the families of those who remain missing and will discuss issues such as education fees for their children. Some of the families have expressed their intentions to hold funerals for their missing loved ones, the representatives said.

Other ships in the Koyo Maru’s fleet continue to search near the collision scene, and other ships belonging to the fisheries company are also taking part in the search. The company said they will suspend the search Thursday.

The fishing vessel sank in the Sea of Genkai, about 25 km northeast of Okinoshima Island, after it was hit by the 3,372-ton freighter Heung-A Jupiter on July 3. All of the Koyo Maru’s 21 crew members, except the six missing, were rescued from the sea. One died after arriving at a hospital.

The fishing boat had been scheduled to return to the port of Shimonoseki on the day of the collision after a five-day expedition. The freighter was traveling to Hiroshima from Pusan, South Korea, with a crew of 13 South Koreans and three Chinese. None of the crew was injured.