Japanese govt. gathering info on cargo ship seizure in Red Sea

Japan's transport minister says officials are gathering information on a cargo ship operated by a Japanese firm that was seized by a Houthi rebel group in Yemen.

Saito Tetsuo told reporters on Monday morning that the ministry had been notified of the seizure from Japanese shipping firm Nippon Yusen, also known as NYK Line.

On Sunday, the Israeli military announced that the group seized the ship in the Red Sea.

The shipping firm says it chartered the vessel from a British company to carry automobiles, and the ship was seized while traveling from Turkey to India. The firm also says the vessel had 25 crew members of various nationalities, but that it remains unknown whether they are safe.

Saito said the ministry will make efforts to gather information on the matter, sharing it with relevant ministries and agencies, as well as having close contact with the shipping firm.

Meanwhile, trade and industry minister Nishimura Yasutoshi said it is his understanding that the incident will not directly affect stable energy supplies to Japan, as crude oil tankers and vessels carrying liquefied natural gas for the country do not navigate in the waters off Yemen.