The Japan Coast Guard reports that over the weekend it found three bodies, along with a partially capsized boat, just off the coast of central Japan. The weathered wooden boat was first spotted near the city of Wajima on the Noto Peninsula, a part of Ishikawa Prefecture, on Sunday, and the bodies were discovered when the coast guard went to investigate.
The boat was described with markings of Korean writing on it, but a recent string of similar boats point to this one also coming from North Korea, as opposed to the South. An official with the coast guard said the three bodies were recovered, but they are still determining things like gender and how long they were deceased. On December 1st a boat was found with a single dead body near the shores of Sado Island, just to the northeast of Noto Peninsula. The boots on the body also had Korean writing on them. Only a few days before, a boat with Korean markings turned up in the same area with five deceased bodies, appearing to have been fishermen.
Not all boats that turn up on Japan’s central coasts contain dead bodies, other times they are very much alive and say they have come from North Korea. Just last week, on the same day that North Korea launched its long-range missile, the Japan Coast Guard rescued four fishermen who had engine trouble and were swept out to sea. They asked to return home once their boat was repaired, but in 2011, when nine North Korean nationals were rescued after five days at sea, the group was given the chance to resettle in the South.
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