KATSURRA, Japan, March 2 (UPI) -- The family of two fishermen killed when their boat was rammed by a Japanese destroyer received an in-person apology from their country's leader Sunday.
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda had tears in his eyes when he apologized to the grief-stricken relatives of Haruo Kichisei, 58, and his son, Tetsuhiro, 23, in Katsuura, the Kyodo news service reported.
"I am really sorry for all the troubles," the victims' families quoted Fukuda as saying. "I feel sorry ... as they still had their lives ahead of them."
The two men were killed Feb. 19 when their fishing trawler was sliced in two by the Atago.
Fukuda, who was shown photos of the victims during his private, 30-minute visit with the family, once again dismissed opposition calls for the resignation of Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba because of the incident, the worst involving a Japanese naval vessel in years. Ishiba and Ken Funato, the captain of the Atago, also have met with the family and apologized.
Speaking after the meeting at his office in Tokyo, Fukuda said the family had written to him, saying that while they want steps taken to prevent future accidents, they don't want anyone to lose their jobs.