• AFP-JIJI, Kyodo

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More than a dozen crew members of a cargo ship are missing after it collided with a fishing boat in waters off northern Japan, a Japan Coast Guard official said Sunday.

The 1,989-ton Belize-flagged cargo ship Guoxing 1 was carrying some 3,000 tons of iron scrap and rapidly took in water after the accident some 12 km off the coast of Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, Tomoyuki Hanzawa, a spokesman for the coast guard said.

The collision between the Guoxing 1 and the 138-ton Japanese fishing boat happened around 10 p.m. Saturday and the cause is unknown, he added.

The Guoxing 1 had a crew of 14 Chinese and Vietnamese, of which 13 are still missing and the JCG is searching for them, Hanzawa said.

One Vietnamese crew member was rescued by a nearby ship and the 15 Japanese members of the fishing boat are safe.

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