Stricken Iranian oil tanker drifts into Japan


TOKYO (Reuters) – A stricken Iranian oil tanker drifted into Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) on Wednesday afternoon, a spokesman for Japan’s Coast Guard told Reuters on Friday, as strong winds pushed the burning ship away from the Chinese coast.

The ship, which has been burning for almost a week since it collided with another vessel on Saturday night, was about 300 kilometers (186 miles) northwest of Amami Oshima island as of Thursday afternoon, a spokesman from the Coast Guard’s 10th region based in Kagoshima said.

The tanker Sanchi was carrying almost 1 million barrels of condensate, an ultra-light, highly flammable crude oil, to South Korea.

He said that Chinese authorities turned down an offer from the Japanese Coast Guard to help, saying it would ask for help when needed.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi in TOKYO; Writing by Josephine Mason in BEIJING; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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