Deep-water divers wound up their two-day search inside a sunken tour boat off Hokkaido on Friday after finding no trace of the 12 people still missing after the accident in late April, the Japan Coast Guard said.

The transport ministry is now planning to start work as early as Saturday to salvage the 19-ton Kazu I, which currently sits on the seabed some 120 meters below the surface, officials said. The boat went missing off Shiretoko Peninsula on April 23, and 14 of the 26 people on board have been confirmed dead.

The divers were using a special technique known as saturation diving, in which they absorb a mix of oxygen and helium to adjust to the water pressure at the depth they intend to work at.

Transport minister Tetsuo Saito said at a news conference Friday that preparations to salvage the boat, Kazu I, are "progressing steadily," though a final decision to lift it has yet to be made.

The coast guard is searching the area with aircraft and boats, while local police have expanded their search on land to areas south of the peninsula.

Meanwhile, a body, possibly of one of the missing, was found on the shore of Kunashiri Island, one of the islands controlled by Russia and claimed by Japan near Hokkaido, according to the coast guard.

Russian authorities contacted Japan's Foreign Ministry about the body on Thursday, the coast guard said.

This marks the second time an unidentified person has been found dead on the island's shore since the boat accident. A woman's body was found washed ashore on the island on May 6.