Japan's coast guard says 16 South Korean and Indonesian crew members are missing after two cargo ships collided in waters off an island in central Japan.

Coast guard spokesman Hidefumi Onoue says the collision early Tuesday involving a South Korean-registered vessel and a Panama-registered cargo ship occurred in waters off Izu Oshima, about 74 miles south of Tokyo.

Onoue says the coast guard has dispatched six ships and three helicopters to search for seven South Koreans and nine Indonesians who are missing from the South Korean ship.

He says all 19 crew on the Panama ship are confirmed safe.