Japan ‘strongly condemns’ ship seizure by Yemen rebels

The Japanese government said Monday that it “strongly condemns” the seizure of a Japanese-operated ship in the Red Sea by Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels.

“Yesterday we received information that car carrier Galaxy Leader, operated by Nippon Yusen, was seized by Huthis when it was navigating down southward in the Red Sea off Yemen… The government strongly condemns such an act,” government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said.

Huthi rebels said on Sunday they had seized an Israeli ship but Israel said it was British-owned and that no Israeli nationals were on board.

Nippon Yusen, the Japanese operator of the ship, said earlier Monday that it was not immediately able to confirm the vessel’s ownership.

The Japanese transport ministry said around 25 people were on board including Bulgarians and Filipinos, but no Japanese. (AFP)

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