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Pirates attack fishing boat captained by Okinawan

Date Posted: 2008-11-21

The Okinawa family of a fishing boat captured by pirates off the African east coast last Friday is waiting for news.

Toyokazu Kugai was captain of the Chinese Fishing Association vessel attacked by pirates. The 53-year-old Kugai, who lives in Nanjo City, has been working the tuna fishing boat based in Tenshin City for more than four years, and been the captain for the past year.

His wife is anxiously pleading for any news, but the Japanese Foreign Ministry has said “we can’t say anything now. This is a very special case and human life is influence.” The official told her “we must take things very carefully. We need to protect the lives of crew members, so we can’t say anything about this.”

The Foreign Ministry spokesman said “We don’t know if there were any Japanese on the boat, but we’ve been notified not to say anything to the media. Everything is being treated as a secret case.”

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