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13 South Korean sailors rescued after collision with Japanese fishing boat in Sea of Japan

No casualties reported; 13 rescued so far off Takeshima islets

Staff Report

A South Korean fishing boat collided with a Japanese fishing vessel in the Sea of Japan about 250 kilometers north of the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture early Thursday, throwing 13 sailors from the South Korean boat into the sea, media reports and Japanese authorities said.

All 13 crew members, none of whom were reported to be injured, were rescued by private vessels operating nearby, while eight people aboard the Japanese boat were also not injured, the Japan Coast Guard said in a statement.

The collision happened at around 9:38 a.m. about 180 nautical miles (330 kilometers) east of the disputed South Korean-controlled Takeshima islets, Yonhap quoted the South Korean Coast Guard as saying.

The islets are known as Dokdo in South Korea.

The accident site is within Japan’s exclusive economic zone, according to the coast guard and the Fisheries Agency.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference Thursday that no casualties have been reported from the Japanese crew so far and that the damage to the boat was minor.

The Japanese boat is a squid fishing boat from Yamagata Prefecture.

It was clear and the sea was calm at the time of the accident, the coast guard said.