The Latest: Japan's leader sends sympathy message to Trump

Damaged part of USS Fitzgerald is seen at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo Sunday, June 18, 2017. Navy divers found

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, Commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, speaks during a press conference on the status of USS Fitzgerald, seen at the

U.S. military personnel work on board the damaged USS Fitzgerald at the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo Sunday, June 18

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, third from right, commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, walks in the rain to the venue of a press conference on the

YOKOSUKA, Japan (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Navy ship collision off the Japanese coast (all times local):

7:05 p.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sent a sympathy message to President Donald Trump over the fatal collision involving a U.S. Navy destroyer.

Seven U.S. sailors went missing after the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship early Saturday off Japan's coast. Several of their bodies were found inside the ship's flooded compartment Sunday.

Abe said in his message to Trump on Sunday, "We are struck by deep sorrow," expressing condolences and sympathy "straight from my heart" to the victims and the injured.

Abe wrote, "I express my heartfelt solidarity to America at this difficult time," praising U.S. servicemen in Japan under the allies' bilateral security pact.


2:50 p.m.

The commander of the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet says that search and rescue efforts are over for the seven sailors missing after a destroyer collided with a merchant ship in waters off Japan.

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin told reporters at a Navy base in Yokosuka, Japan, that a number of bodies have been recovered. He wouldn't say how many, pending notification of next of kin.

The USS Fitzgerald sustained significant damage after a collision with a Philippine-flagged merchant ship on Saturday around 2:20 a.m.

The bodies were found in flooded compartments Sunday after it returned to the base in Yokosuka with the help of tug boats.


11:15 a.m.

The U.S. Navy says the bodies of sailors who went missing in the collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship have been found aboard the stricken destroyer.

The Navy says in a statement that searchers had gained access to the spaces that were damaged during the collision. A total of seven sailors had been missing since Saturday's crash off Japan's coast.

The Navy says the remains are being transferred to Naval Hospital Yokosuka where they will be identified.

It says the families are being notified and being provided the support they need during "this difficult time." The names of the sailors will be released after all notifications are made.


7:30 a.m.

The U.S. Navy says the search is continuing for seven missing American sailors in the sea off Japan, after a collision between a Navy destroyer and a huge cargo ship.

The Navy says it remains uncertain how long it will take to gain access to the spaces inside the damaged destroyer in order to methodically search for the missing crew members.

Aircraft and vessels have been looking for the missing personnel since the two ships crashed in the pre-dawn hours Saturday.

The USS Fitzgerald is back at its home port in Yokosuka Naval Base south of Tokyo, with extensive damage to its hull.

The Navy says the ship was damaged above and below the water line.

In a tweet Sunday, the Navy says the search for the missing sailors is continuing.

Investigators now face trying to determine how a sophisticated U.S. warship collided with a container ship four times its size.