Ghost Ships Wash Up On Japan's West Coast

  • Ghost Ships Wash Up On Japan's West Coast

Ghost Ships Wash Up On Japan's West Coast

On Monday, the Coast Guard said a wooden ship had been found on Miyazawa beach.

Sometimes the boats' occupants have already died at sea, a phenomenon local media refer to as "ghost ships".

While officials would not confirm the boat was from North Korea, it matches a spate of vessels and debris that have ended up on Japan's west coast.

"It's after Kim Jong Un made a decision to expand the fisheries industry as a way of increasing revenue for the military", he said.

'They are using old boats manned by the military, by people who have no knowledge about fishing.

In the last 15 days, Japanese authorities have found three other ships.

Their putrefying bodies could not yet be identified, though boxes of North Korean tobacco and Korean script lay nearby, along with a wrecked wooden boat.

The eight men rescued last week have also requested to go home, authorities said.

November 17: Four dead bodies discovered on board another boat which washed ashore in the same area.

A ship that washed up on Japanese shores carrying eight men.

Clues left behind on the boat suggest the itinerants defected from North Korea, 450 miles from the shore. Experts believed they were either bodies of defectors or fisherman who had been forced to search for food in unsafe waters amid North Korean food shortages. The crew were later collected by another North Korean vessel.

Over the past month, at least four ships, some with dead bodies, have been washing ashore in Ishikawa and Akita prefectures.

Television footage showed a wrecked vessel with an eight-digit number on it, which washed up on Oga peninsula on Sunday.

The man's condition, as reported by South Korean doctors, gave insight both into why people may attempt to flee the autocratic country and why fishermen may be heading out into more risky waters in search of bigger catches.

North Korea experienced its worst drought in 16 years this year, which means worsened food shortages for the isolated nation.

High waves had prevented officials from investigating since the boat was first spotted on Friday, they said.

In May, Jiro Ishimaru of Asia Press said: "When Kim Jong-un issues an order no one can ignore it, even if he is asking them to do the impossible".

Japan recently increased its defences against Kim Jong-un's deadly nuclear arsenal.