Coast guard reported that a North Korean boat hit a Japanese fisheries agency patrol ship, sending around 20 North Korean overboard at Japan Sea on Monday.
“We are dispatching rescue boats and aircraft to the area, but we don’t know any more details about it,” Japan coast guard spokesman Kazuma Nohara told AFP.
Nohara added that the collision happened at 350 kilometers northwest of Noto peninsula in Ishikawa in central Japan.
“We’ve been strengthening patrols around the water there in cooperation with the fisheries agency,” in recent years following reports that many North Korean fishing boats were poaching fish and squids, he said.
Reports said that dozens of North Korean fishing vessels wash up on Japan’s water yearly.
Boats have also washed up on Japanese shores with the crew on board dead — referred to as “ghost ships” by local media.
© Agence France-Presse