KYOTO (TR) – The Japan Coast Guard said on Friday that a wooden ship found adrift off the coast of Maizuru City, Kyoto Prefecture contained eight corpses, adding that it is likely of North Korean origin, reports Nippon News Network (Dec. 2).
On Wednesday, the captain of a fishing boat saw the vessel adrift seven kilometers off the coast of the Obase area. By the following day, the ship had drifted to the shore.
Personnel from the Maizuru district of the coast guard found the overturned vessel, which measures 10 meters long and three meters wide, along the coast with eight corpses aboard. Two human skulls and wooden pieces from a ship were also discovered along the seabed nearby.
With currency and cigarette packs found aboard the vessel having Korean writing, it is likely the ship is North Korean, authorities said.
Since 2013, boats have frequently been found to have drifted from the Korean peninsula to Japan. Of the sailors who managed to be rescued by coast guard personnel, some indicated that they were fishermen from North Korea.
Last year, at least 30 bodies inside boats adrift in multiple prefectures off the Sea of Japan, including Aomori, Hokkaido, Fukui and Ishikawa.