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Four Japanese tourists, a Chinese tour conductor and a Chinese guide were caught in a blizzard while trekking on a mountain overlooking the Great Wall outside Beijing on Nov. 3. Apparently Amuse-Travel Co., which organized the trekking tour, relied on its Chinese partner to ensure the safety of the party and never sent staff to assess the route. This violation of travel-industry guidelines ultimately cost the lives of three of the Japanese tourists — two women in their 60s and a man in his 70s.

The same firm organized a mountaineering tour to climb Hokkaido’s 2,141-meter Mount Tomuraushi in July 2009, during which eight people died from hypothermia. Due to this incident, the Japan Tourism Agency ordered the company to suspend its operations for 51 days in December 2010.

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