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Japan to Send Team to Mauritius to Assist in Oil Spill

Japan to Send Team to Mauritius to Assist in Oil Spill

Saturday, 15 August, 2020 - 10:30
Japan's Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi attends a news conference at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan September 11, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Japanese Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi said on Saturday Tokyo planned to send a team of officials from the ministry and other specialists to Mauritius to assess the damage from an oil spill.


A Japanese bulk carrier struck a coral reef off Mauritius on July 25, spilling about 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil and triggering a state of “environmental emergency” in what some scientists call the country’s worst ecological disaster.


Removing the ship will be a delicate operation and is likely to take months. France, which once ruled Mauritius as a colony, has said it will assist with the cleanup.


Koizumi also told reporters on Saturday he saw the oil spill as a grave crisis that could lead to a loss of biodiversity.


The ship, MV Wakashio, is owned by Japan’s Nagashiki Shipping and chartered by Mitsui OSK Lines.


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