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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2007, 06:29 GMT
US sub collides with Japan ship
Model of the tanker Mogamigawa in Tokyo
A model of the tanker was shown to reporters in Tokyo
A US nuclear-powered submarine has collided with a Japanese tanker near the Straits of Hormuz, Japanese and US government officials have said.

The USS Newport News did not suffer substantial damage, and there were no injuries to crew, a US Navy spokeswoman told the AFP news agency.

There were no oil spills from Japanese tanker, the Mogamigawa, and no injuries, a company official said.

The tanker will dock in the United Arab Emirates to check the damage.

The bow of the submarine collided with the stern of the oil tanker at 1915GMT just outside the busy shipping lanes of the Straits of Hormuz.

The Mogamigawa is operated by Kawasaki Kisen Ltd, the Kyodo news agency reported.

Map of Strait of Hormuz

Japanese oil company Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. told the agency the ship was en route from the Gulf to Singapore with a crew of eight Japanese and 16 Filipinos.

A US Navy spokesman in Bahrain said that there had been a collision.

"I can confirm that an incident took place between one of our submarines and a merchant ship," said Commander Kevin Aandahl of the US Fifth Fleet.

The 110-metre (360-foot) USS Newport News carries a crew of 127.

The BBC's Chris Hogg, in Tokyo, says there will be embarrassment for the US navy over the incident but also relief that the collision was not more serious.

In February 2001, the US nuclear submarine Greenville sank a Japanese fisheries training vessel, the Ehime Maru, off Hawaii, killing nine sailors on the fishing boat.

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