TOKYO, June 14. /TASS/. The Japanese authorities are closely cooperating with the United States in investigating the Thursday attacks on the two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference on Friday.
"We are exchanging information in close cooperation with the US," Suga said. "The government is in the process of collecting information about the incident. I want to abstain at this moment from any statements about the consequences and those responsible for the attacks," he added.
According to Kyodo news agency, Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told another press conference on Friday that Tokyo does not yet plan to use military force to protect oil tankers.
Earlier on Friday, Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko refused to comment on US statements that Iran is involved in the attacks on the tankers. Seko only said that Japan is investigating the incident.
Two tankers caught fire in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday after a torpedo attack. The crews, with Russian nationals among their members, were evacuated by the Iranian rescue services and taken to the port of Jask. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that Iran is responsible for the attacks. Tehran has denied any involvement in the incident.
The Kokuka Courageous tanker, registered in Panama and owned by a Japanese transport company, was carrying methanol from Saudi Arabia to Singapore. The Marshall Islands-flagged Front Altair vessel, owned by Norway's Frontline, was sailing from the United Arab Emirates to Taiwan with petrochemical feedstock.