Japanese coast guard rescuers are looking for nine people believed missing after a Chinese ship sank off Japan's western coast.

The coast guard says its regional branch dispatched a patrol ship Wednesday to look for the missing for at the request of Chinese rescue authorities.

Coast guard official Naoto Ishimaru says they are crewmembers of Chinese-registered cargo ship Lurongyu 2859. The ship sank Tuesday in the Sea of Japan off the coast of Shimane prefecture in western Japan. He said China informed Japanese officials that five crewmembers have been rescued.

No other details were immediately known.