Japan’s government has strongly condemned the hijacking of a Japanese-operated cargo ship in the Red Sea by Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
The Yemeni militia claimed the ship was Israeli, but a Japanese government spokesperson confirmed the vessel was a car carrier operated by Nippon Yusen.
Japan’s chief cabinet secretary said it was working to get the ship released.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran, which backs the Houthi militia, for the hijacking.
Mr Netanyahu said neither the vessel nor the crew were Israeli and called it an Iranian attack on an international ship.