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A 275-foot Japanese submarine collided with a commercial ship on Monday about 31 miles off the coast of the southwestern part of the country, reports said.
Japan’s Defense Ministry said that the crew onboard the Soryu-class submarine spotted the ship through its scope, it tried to avoid the ship but was unsuccessful. Nikkei Asia reported that the collision damaged the submarine’s communication system.
Kyodo News reported that the crew used a mobile phone to report the accident. Three in the sub’s crew suffered minor injured and the ship is not believed to have been damaged.
The navy did not identify the commercial ship, but NHK public television said it was the Hong Kong-registered bulk carrier Ocean Artemis. It was transporting 90,000 tons of iron to Okayama in western Japan after leaving the Chinese port of Qingdao last Friday with 21 Chinese crewmembers, it said.
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Defense Minister Nobou Kishi called the accident “extremely regrettable,” the report said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report