Tokyo, Dec. 9 (Jiji Press)–Japan is seeing a sudden increase in the number of boats that have drifted to the country apparently from North Korea, Japan Coast Guard data have shown.
Between the start of November and Friday, 47 such boats approached or reached the Japanese coast, hitting the highest levels for November and December since 2013.
The ships were found on or near the central to northern Japan coast facing the Sea of Japan, which separates Japan and the Korean Peninsula.
The coast is close to Yamatotai, a rich fishing ground in the Sea of Japan, where many North Korean ships were spotted conducting illegal fishing in the Japanese exclusive economic zone earlier this year.
Given rough waters in the Sea of Japan in winter, using wooden boats for fishing in the area during the season is considered dangerous.