The Japanese government said Friday it set up its own operations to vet information about the possibility that oil from Iranian oil tanker Sanchi had reached its shores, UPI reported.
Sanchi was carrying about one million barrels of a form of light crude oil called condensate from Iran to South Korea when a collision took place with a Chinese freighter on January 6 and sank eight days later.
Officials from the Japanese Coast Guard said there no official confirmation the oily substance was from Sanchi, while its fisheries agency said it was considering an independent survey.
Ali Akbar Marzban, an official with Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization, said the government in Tehran considers the Sanchi investigation one of its top priorities.
"Different bodies including the National Iranian Tanker Company, Ports and Maritime Organization and Iran Navy forces acted in a coordinated way in the sad accident," he was quoted as saying by IRNA.
All of the 32 crew members of the Sanchi died as a result of either exposure to toxic gases or to the fire on board the vessel. Two of the crew members were from Bangladesh and the rest were Iranians.
The Iranian government said crews also recovered the vessel's data recorder, known commonly as a 'black box'. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani formed a special committee to investigate the cause of the incident.