Several fishermen of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) were tipped into the sea after their boat collided with a Japanese Fisheries Agency vessel in waters off Japan’s west coast, public broadcaster NHK said, adding at least 20 people had been rescued.
It was not clear how many people were on the DPRK boat, NHK said, after having reported earlier that 20 people were sent overboard. The collision took place at about 9:10 a.m., some 350 kilometers northwest of the Noto Peninsula, and within Japan’s exclusive economic zone, the Japan Coast Guard said in a statement.
The Japanese ship had been warning the DPRK boat to leave the fishing grounds of Yamato Bank when the two collided, NHK reported the agency as saying.
The DPRK fishing boat sank, according to Jiji Press, while the coast guard said it had dispatched rescue vessels and at least one plane to the area. No one was injured on the Japanese ship, NHK said.
Japan’s Fisheries Agency is charged with expelling foreign boats from the country’s EEZ if they are found to be engaging in illegal fishing. The agency expelled more than 5,000 boats last year and a further 500 by Aug 5 this year. The agency used water cannon in 120 of those cases, according to its website.
HONG KONG NEWS