Seven missing as boat capsizes off disputed Japan islands

By Reuters   March 5, 2023 | 06:14 pm PT
Japan's coastguard said Monday it was searching for seven people missing after their boat capsized and was spotted in waters off the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islets, which are also claimed by China.

The overturned boat was spotted on Sunday afternoon, drifting in waters north of the islands by a Japanese navy patrol in the area, coastguard spokesman Keisuke Nakao told AFP.

The crew are one Taiwanese and six Indonesians, he added.

Senkaku islands. Map by AFP

Senkaku islands. Map by AFP

"We have been searching the area with patrol ships and helicopters since receiving the information at around 1:30 pm (0430 GMT) Sunday" from the Maritime Self-Defense Force, he said.

Local media in Japan said the boat was Taiwanese, but the coastguard said it had few details yet on the vessel, though it "seems to be a fishing boat".

Nakao said Japanese authorities were coordinating with their counterparts in Taiwan, which also lays claim to the Senkaku islets. Beijing calls the uninhabited territory the Diaoyu Islands.

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