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Monday, 3rd March 2008
In General Japan News,

Japan's PM offers 'emotional apology'

The prime minister of Japan has offered an emotional apology to relatives of two missing fishermen.

According to reports by the Japan Times, a tearful Yasuo Fukuda has apologised to the family members of the two fishermen who went missing on February 19th after their boat collided with a destroyer from Japan's Self-Defence Force (SDF).

The meeting, between relatives and the prime minister, lasted for a total of 30 minutes and was not open to representatives from the media.

"I want the defence ministry and the [SDF] to become truly trusted by the people. To that end, we need reform and minister [Shigeru] Ishiba should take the lead," said Mr Fukuda.

Mr Ishiba is the country's minister for defence.

Relatives of the two fishermen quoted the prime minister as saying: "I am really sorry for all the troubles."

Japan's SDF is split into three distinct branches, comparable the UK's separation of air, ground and sea military capabilities.