• REUTERS, AFP-JIJI, KYODO

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Inquiries began into what caused the disappearance of a tour boat off the Hokkaido coast as search efforts intensified Monday to find the vessel and its missing passengers, with the confirmed death toll rising to 11.

The Kazu I left harbor on Saturday for a sightseeing trip when it ran into trouble off Hokkaido’s Shiretoko Peninsula. The boat was carrying 24 passengers, including two children, and two crew members. Only a few orange flotation devices bearing its name have been discovered adrift by a rocky area along the rugged coastline.

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