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Ship flying Cambodian flag sinks off Japan

Ship flying Cambodian flag sinks off Japan

More than a dozen crew members of a coal-laden cargo ship flying the Cambodian flag that sank in the Sea of Japan have been rescued, Russian maritime news outlet PortNews reported yesterday, citing the Russian Transport Ministry.

Tong Yuan Hai sank in Japanese waters after departing the Russian port of Nakhodka on Sunday with 5,000 tonnes coal.

PortNews did not report exactly when the sinking occurred but said that eight Chinese and six Vietnamese crew members had been rescued by the Japanese coast guard.

The Cambodian government allows a South Korea-based company to register ships under the Cambodian flag, a practice criticised by opposition lawmakers.

International environmental groups have linked these so-called “flags of convenience” to pirate fishing vessels.

There were 176 vessels flying Cambodian flags in 2009, according to the Environmental Justice Foundation.

Last year, the European Commission announced a ban on seafood imports from Cambodia after they deemed the country had not done enough to combat illegal fishing by vessels.

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