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Japan coastguard arrests Chinese crew over fatal crash

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A boat of Japan Coast Guard passes before the international cargo terminal in Tokyo on May 22, 2013 (AFP/File)

Japan's coastguard said Monday it had arrested a Chinese crew member of a Sierra Leone-registered vessel over a collision with a Japanese ship that left five people dead and one missing.

Xia Hong-bo, 35, was on duty when the 2,962-tonne Jia Hui collided with the 498-tonne Eifuku Maru No. 18 on Friday, the official said.

The bodies of five of those aboard the smaller vessel have been recovered. A sixth man is still missing, a coastguard official said.

Xia has been questioned on suspicion of professional negligence over the pre-dawn accident, which occurred in waters off Japan's Izuoshima island, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Tokyo.

Local media said the suspect had admitted the allegations.

The Japanese ship capsized following the accident, while the 2,962-tonne Sierra Leone-registered cargo vessel was unaffected.

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