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TOKYO (AP) _ A Japanese tanker carrying liquid chemicals capsized after hitting a much larger freighter Saturday in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of eastern Japan, coast guard officials said.

The 400-ton tanker Eiwa Maru collided with the 53,000-ton Ever Reward about 12 miles off the coast of Shizuoka prefecture (state) early Saturday, coast guard spokesman Tomohisa Hashimoto said.

Four crewmen on the Japanese tanker were injured and taken to a hospital with minor injuries. There were no reports of injuries from the Panamanian-registered freighter, he said.

The Japanese vessel was carrying 500 tons of xylene _ a highly-flammable liquid solvent used in paints and cleaning products. Only a small amount was thought to have leaked, coast guard spokesman Kuniichi Ide said.

The cause of the accident was still under investigation. Visibility was good and the sea was calm, Hashimoto said.

Shizuoka is about 95 miles southwest of Tokyo.