3,000 Structures In Japan Have Ship Collision Risk

3,000 structures in Japan have ship collision risk

Japanese officials say more than 3,000 facilities and structures nationwide could potentially be struck by ships being blown about by a strong wind. At least 360 cases of drifting ships were reported across Japan last year.

The Japan Coast Guard put together a list of such places after a tanker set adrift by a typhoon seriously damaged an access bridge for Kansai Airport in Osaka Bay, western Japan, last September.

About 3,200 facilities and structures are susceptible to a similar accident. Piers account for the largest number, followed by bridges, power plants, oil storage facilities, sea berths, and airports.

Tokyo Bay, which is prone to vessel-linked accidents, has some of the key facilities, including thermal power plants and Haneda Airport.

The list of bridges includes Isewangan Expressway in central Japan, which passes over water. It's an important route connecting eastern and western Japan.

An oil spill is feared if a storage facility or sea berth is damaged.

After last year's tanker accident, a new rule barred marine transit within about 5.5 kilometers from Kansai Airport when rough weather is predicted.

Japan Coast Guard officials say discussions on having similar rules apply to places on the list will take into account harbor situations.