YAMAGATA (TR) – Yamagata Prefectural Police believe a body found along the shore of Tsuruoka City may have come come from a suspected North Korean vessel found last month, reports Nippon News Network (Dec. 15).
At 11:10 a.m., a person out for a stroll reported to police the discovery of the partially skeletal remains on the rocky coast of the Iragawa area.
The clothed body did not have any significant external wounds, police said.
On November 21, a wooden boat was found about 1 kilometer south of where the body was discovered. The vessel contained hangul characters, which is the script of the Korean language, according to police. It is speculated that the body found on Friday came from the boat.
Fisherman are “uneasy”
On Wednesday, the Japan Coast Guard revealed that a record 83 suspected North Korean boats have washed ashore along the Sea of Japan coast in 2017, the largest number since figures began being kept four years ago.
The vessels are believed to be fishing boats launched from North Korea whose engines have become disabled. Water currents and winds send the drifting crafts to the northern coasts of Japan.
“It is unavoidable for fisherman to be uneasy,” said Shoji Honma, the chief of the Yamagata Fishing Cooperative. “Since the wooden boats do not appear on radar when I go out fishing, I am concerned and exercise caution.”
Also on Friday, a capsized wooden vessel was found three kilometers off the coast of Tsuruoka.