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Japanese authorities have arrested 17 Asians aboard a South Korean freighter in Kitakyushu and another 13 at Osaka Minami port on suspicion of illegally entering Japan, officials said Thursday.

The Japan Coast Guard said the 17 people were arrested Wednesday at Moji port in Kitakyushu.

Police in Osaka said the 13 Asians — 12 men and one woman — were taken into custody in the early hours Thursday after they were found hiding inside a container at the port.

The container was offloaded to Osaka Minami wharf from a freighter that arrived in Osaka on Wednesday afternoon.

The coast guard officials said six people — three men and three women — detained at Moji claimed they were Chinese and the other 11 — all men — claimed to be Bangladeshis. They were found in a room on the 977-ton 15 Jang Yung.

The ship left the South Korean port in Pusan on Tuesday and arrived at Moji on Wednesday morning.

Fukuoka police also said they arrested two South Korean nationals on a wharf near the 15 Jang Yung who did not have valid passports. The police said they suspect Kim Jong Nam, 41, and Chon Chang Gwa, 35, had something to do with the 17 illegally entering Japan.

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