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Two journalists reporting on warship fire go missing following helicopter crash

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is a 16 July 2008 IFJ media release:

Two Journalists Missing From Helicopter Crash in Japan

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is saddened to report that extensive searches have not located two Japanese journalists travelling on a helicopter that crashed in the Tsugaru channel in Aomori on July 6.

Asahi Broadcasting Aomori cameraman Kimura Shingo, 28, and announcer Shinji Omori, 39, were reporting on a fire on a Japanese warship when the helicopter reportedly disappeared from the skies in heavy fog.

The bodies of the pilot and sub-pilot, and the helicopter fuselage, have since been recovered.

The reason for the crash is under investigation.

"As hopes of finding our colleagues alive diminish, we remember and honour the courage and determination of journalists who risk their lives for their profession," IFJ Asia-Pacific said.

"Accidents such as these are a reminder to all media owners to ensure that all safety and security measures are followed when sending journalists out on assignment."

The IFJ extends its deep sympathy to the families, friends and colleagues of the helicopter crash victims.

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 122 countries worldwide.

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