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Citing 17 safety violations, the transport ministry on Thursday revoked the business license of the operator of a tour boat that sank off Hokkaido in April, an incident that left 14 people dead and 12 missing.

It marks the first time the ministry has revoked a business license — the toughest punishment under the marine transportation law — for a tour boat operator because of a maritime accident. Shiretoko Yuransen, based in the town of Shari, Hokkaido, will not be able to apply for a new license for another two years.

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