JAPAN CONDEMNS HIJACK OF SHIP BY HOUTHI REBELS
Written by Tunde Adeyemi on November 20, 2023
Japan has strongly condemned the hijacking of Japanese-operated cargo ship, Galaxy Leader in the Red Sea by Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Hirokazu Matsuno says it is working towards its release.
The military spokesman of Yemen’s Houthi rebels, Yahya al-Sarea, claimed the ship was Israeli and had been taken to a port in Yemen but a Japanese government spokesperson said the car carrier was operated by Nippon Yusen.
Twenty-two people including Bulgarians and Filipinos, with no Japanese nationals are believed to be on board the vessel which is thought to be British-owned.
The Houthis had earlier threatened to target any Israeli ship within their reach in response to Israel’s retaliatory military action in the Gaza Strip following the 7 October attack by Hamas militants.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran, which backs the Houthi militia, for the hijacking describing it as a “very grave incident of global consequence”.