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Locsin refuses to ask other nations to join search for missing sailors off Japan

/ 12:54 PM September 18, 2020

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. refused to ask other countries to help in the search and rescue operations for the still missing crewmen of the sunken Gulf Livestock 1 vessel, which carried 39 Filipino seafarers.

In a tweet Friday, Locsin said asking other nations to participate in the rescue mission would be an “attack” on Japan’s sovereignty.

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“The Japanese government & ambassador & I are on this and Japan did not cease its search that Saturday but had in fact continued it against protocol,” Manila’s top diplomat said.

“On the other hand, I refuse to ask other Asian powers to join in the search because that is an attack on the sovereignty of Japan,” he added.

Locsin’s tweet was in response to the call of Senator Risa Hontiveros, who asked the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to convince the Japanese Coast Guard to expand its search and rescue efforts for the crew members.

She also urged the DFA to persuade Japanese authorities to allow other countries, like the Philippines, to join in the operations.

The ship, which went missing and reported to have capsized last September 3 in the East China Sea on its way to China from New Zealand due to Typhoon Maysak, carried 43 crew members — 39 Filipinos and two each from New Zealand and Australia.

Two Filipinos have so far been rescued while the body of another Filipino was discovered at sea.

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In this photo released by the 10th Regional Japan Coast Guard Headquarters, a Filipino crewmember of a Panamanian cargo ship is rescued by Japanese Coast Guard members in the waters off the Amami Oshima, Japan Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020. Japanese rescuers have safely plucked the crewmember from the sea while searching for the cargo ship carrying more than 40 crew and thousands of cows went missing after sending a distress call off the southern Japanese island. (The 10th Regional Japan Coast Guard Headquarters via AP)

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TAGS: DFA, Features, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Global Nation, Gulf Livestock 1, Japanese government, Senator Risa Hontiveros
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