The president of the company operating a tanker hit in an attack in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday has hinted that the incident may have involved a projectile.
Kokuka Sangyo president Yutaka Katada was speaking at a news conference on Friday.
Katada quoted the crew of the vessel as saying they saw something fly toward the vessel, and that it pierced the hull.
He said the tanker was hit well above its waterline, and that chances are slim that a mine or a torpedo was involved.
The US military had said it spotted an unexploded mine being removed from the tanker by an Iranian Navy boat.
Katada said the tanker is now headed for a port in Khor Fakkan, the United Arab Emirates.
He added that its freight of methanol will be transported on a different vessel to the tanker's planned destination, as long as the sea route is not blocked.