A new Japanese government-run website is offering shipping companies the chance to come up with a comprehensive safety risk assessment of the areas in which they trade by providing detailed historic casualty information for free.
It marks the first attempt to use casualty data and accident investigation reports online in a way that will help shipping companies get an overview of the safety risks they face.
The Japan-Marine Accident Risk and Safety Information System (J-MARISIS) has been operational locally in Japan since 2013 but has recently gone global, offering casualty data sourced from seven major countries and information in English.
Users can select a region of the globe through Google maps and historic information on all casualties in that region, along with an explanation of the casualty and any related navigational recommendations specific to trading in that area.
In some instances, a full accident report is provided via a web link.
Casualty information and accident investigation reports have been provided to the Japanese website by Australia, the US, UK, France, Holland, New Zealand and Canada, which have provided more than 460 reports dating back to 1990.
However, Japan has also provided casualty data from its own historic records around the globe, covering more than 15,000 separate incidents.
More specific information on navigational hazards and warnings is presented on Japanese coastal waters.
The site has also been developed to provide information on other risk factors such as the density of traffic in the main shipping regions and fishing grounds, as well as weather and recommended routes.
J-MARISIS is operated by the Japan Safety Transport Board, a government marine safety body working under the Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport.
The English version of the J-MARISIS website can be accessed at: jtsb.mlit.go.jp/hazardmap