A Japanese Fisheries Agency patrol vessel collided with a North Korean fishing boat off the northwestern coast of the Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa prefecture, Japan Monday, Oct. 7.
The North Korean boat had made an unauthorized entry into Japan's exclusive economic zone and the collision occurred just as the Japanese patrol boat was warning it to move out. Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Taku Eto said the North Korean boat suddenly changed course before crashing into the Japanese ship. The collision took place 217 miles northwest of Noto peninsula within Japan's exclusive economic zone. The North Korean boat sank about half an hour after the collision. A major search and rescue mission was launched. Japanese authorities said they rescued all of about 60 North Korean fishermen. No one was missing.
Japanese rescuie operation after collision
The Japanese patrol ship had no major damage and was able to move on its own. Japan has stepped up patrols in the area in recent years as North Korean squid poaching has surged. Japanese fisheries patrols have issued nearly 500 expulsion orders to poachers between May and August this year, most of them from North Korea. During Monday's parliamentary session, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to thoroughly investigate Monday's incident.