HOKKAIDO (TR) – Japan Coast Guard officials believe a boat found drifting off the coast of the town of Matsumaecho last week possibly originated from North Korea, reports the Sankei Shimbun (July 12).
At around 5:30 p.m. on July 11, a male passerby in a vehicle reported seeing the vessel drifting at Cape Shirakami. The following day, town and Japan Coast Guard officials visited the scene and found the 8-meter-long craft capsized 50 meters off the coast.
According to the officials, the size and shape of the vessel is similar to other crafts that have washed ashore from North Korea in the past.
Water currents and winds regularly send ships whose engines have become disabled to the northern coasts of Japan.
According to the Japan Coast Guard, a record 104 wooden vessels likely from North Korea washed shore in northern Japan last year. In 2016, the figure was 38.