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Japanese official skeptical of US word on collision

Foreign Minister Masayoshi Ito said he was not convinced by American statements over a collision between a US nuclear-powered submarine and a Japanese freighter. Mr. Ito told parliamentary questioners that the United States must make a thorough investigation of last Thursday's incident. The freighter Nissho Maru sank after the collision with the submarine George Washington in the East China Sea.

The US Navy said the submarine surfaced after the collision but could not see any ship in distress because of fog and rain. But Mr. Ito said: "I cannot be convinced by the statement that the visibility was insufficient or that they lost sight of the ship ."

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