Arab News Japan
TOKYO: The Japanese government decided to dispatch a third disaster relief team to Mauritius to help with cleanup from the oil spill, it announced September 1.
The team is set to leave for Mauritius on September 2, after a Japanese-owned ship ran aground on a coral reef near the island nation on July 25 and leaked over 1,000 tonnes of oil into the Indian Ocean.
The spill has been particularly concerning to locals and experts because of its proximity to protected marine ecosystems and its expected effect on tourism, which was already facing difficulties from the pandemic.
“The accident has caused serious damage to the environment in the Republic of Mauritius, which could have a serious impact on the country’s tourism industry as well,” said a statement from the Japanese government.
“Japan has decided to dispatch the team out of comprehensive and holistic consideration of all circumstances, including the request of assistance from the Government of the Republic of Mauritius and the friendly relationship between the two countries.”
The first team from Japan was sent August 10 and returned August 23, while the second team was dispatched August 19 and is still working on-site to help with environmental cleanup.
The Japanese government said it would continue to cooperate with Mauritius and relevant organizations and make the utmost effort toward restoring the area’s natural environment and economic activities.