Japan Likely to See Drifting N. Korean Boats Hit Record High in 2018

Politics Society

Tokyo, Nov. 12 (Jiji Press)--The number of wooden boats drifting off or brought ashore in Japan is highly likely to hit an all-time high in 2018, the Japan Coast Guard said Monday.

This year, 89 such boats, believed to be North Korean fishing boats, had been found off or on the Sea of Japan coasts as of Friday noon. It is inevitable that the annual figure will top the previous year's 104, the JCG said.

Many of them were spotted floating off Hokkaido or found along the coastline of the northernmost major island of the country.

According to the 1st Regional Coast Guard Headquarters, which puts waters surrounding Hokkaido under its jurisdiction, there had been 35 boats found adrift or cast ashore as of Friday noon, far outnumbering six for the whole of 2017.

The number of such vessels has shot up since November, the headquarters noted. Of the latest Hokkaido total, 23 were recorded from Nov. 1, it said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press