TOKYO – Japan says three crew members rescued from a capsized boat off the northern coast are North Koreans, and Tokyo is arranging their return home.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters the Japanese coast guard rescued the three men who were floating on the small wooden vessel Wednesday in the open sea off the Noto peninsula.
Coast guard officials are searching for about a dozen of their fellow crew members believed to be missing.
Suga says Japan is arranging to accommodate the men's wish to return home. He did not elaborate.
The area is a rich fishing ground where poachers from North Korea and China have been spotted.
Three North Korean boats with 10 bodies inside washed up on the peninsula in 2015.