Two Men Found In Wooden Boat Off Aomori

Two men found in wooden boat off Aomori

Japan Coast Guard officials have found two men on a wooden boat drifting in the Sea of Japan off Aomori Prefecture in northeastern Japan. The men are believed to have come from North Korea.

A local fishing cooperative informed the Coast Guard of the boat's presence on Sunday morning. It was drifting about 1.5 kilometers off the town of Fukaura.

Coast Guard officers said they transferred the two men from the 10 meter long boat onto a Japanese vessel. They said both of them speak Korean.

The men reportedly said three other crewmembers fell into the sea during a storm after an engine failure.

The men are said to have told Japanese officials that they had left from a North Korean port in mid-December, and want to return home.

Coast Guard officials say the men appear to have no health issues.

Such boats believed to be from North Korea have been frequently spotted along the Sea of Japan coast.