HAKODATE, Hokkaido (Kyodo) Marine accident investigators Thursday asked for an accident inquiry to look into September’s fatal collision between an Israeli-registered containership and a Japanese fishing boat off Hokkaido.

The collision, off the eastern coast of Hokkaido, claimed the lives of seven of the eight crew members on the smaller Japanese boat.

The proposal, equivalent to an indictment in a criminal case, was filed with the Hakodate Marine Accident Inquiry Agency, which is under the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry. A three-judge agency panel will decide whether to hear the case.

A marine accident inquiry is intended to clarify the cause of an accident, to look at prevention and to impose administrative penalties on parties deemed negligent.

Among the defendants named in the filing are Marusan Suisan, a fishing firm in Nemuro, Hokkaido, that owns the 19-ton Shinsei Maru No. 3. The saury boat capsized after colliding with the 41,507-ton Zim Asia on Sept. 28, 2005.

The Zim Asia’s captain, Moshe Ben-David, 50, and a 40-year-old navigator are also named as defendants.

In a document filed with the Hakodate Marine Accident Inquiry Agency, the investigators said the Shinsei Maru had been required to take action to avoid a collision under navigation rules for high seas.

But the deceased chief deckhand of the Shinsei Maru, 50, did not change course or speed, the investigators said.

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