N.korean Fishing Boat Crew All Rescued


N.Korean fishing boat crew all rescued

The crew of a North Korean fishing boat has been rescued after a collision with a Japanese Fisheries Agency patrol ship.

Japan's Coast Guard officials say around 60 sailors were thrown into the sea after the boat sank.

The Coast Guard rescued all of them, and put them onto another North Korean ship.

The two ships collided in the Sea of Japan at around 9 a.m., about 350 kilometers off the Noto peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture.

The fisheries agency says the Japanese ship was calling on the North Korean boat to leave Japan's exclusive economic zone.

It says the North Korean boat drew too close and made contact as it was being warned away.

The fisheries agency has been stepping up its efforts in recent years to crack down on illegal squid fishing in the area.

Japan's deputy chief cabinet secretary Naoki Okada said such activities are unacceptable.

He said, "Patrol vessels of both Japan's fisheries agency and Coast Guard have been participating in the crackdown and lookout activities. We must step up our enforcement even more."

In late May and June, Japan's coast guard drove more than 300 North Korean boats from the same waters.

On Russia's side of the Sea of Japan, the authorities say they seized more than 40 North Korean boats in September alone, and detained over 700 people on suspicion of poaching.