Japan submarine collision left more extensive damage than 1st thought

©Kyodo News

The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force submarine that collided Monday with a commercial vessel in the Pacific Ocean off the western main island of Shikoku suffered more extensive damage than initially thought, MSDF officials said Tuesday.

Part of the 84-meter-long Souryu's conning tower has been warped and its starboard hydroplane, which helps control depth, is broken, they said.

The submarine's communications equipment was also damaged in the accident, resulting in the incident not being reported for more than three hours.

The collision occurred at around 10:55 a.m. off Cape Ashizuri in Kochi Prefecture. Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the submarine, which was engaged in routine training, saw the commercial vessel through its periscope as it surfaced but was unable to avoid it.

Three crew members on the submarine were slightly injured.

The commercial ship is believed to be the Ocean Artemis, a Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier, carrying around 20 Chinese crew members, according to coast guard sources.