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Mysterious Looking Boats Wash Up On Japan’s Shores

In+this+Wednesday%2C+Nov.+15%2C+2017%2C+photo+provided+by+the+9th+Regional+Japan+Coast+Guard+Headquarters%2C+a+boat+of+the+Japan+Coast+Guard+approaches+a+capsized+wooden+vessel%2C+top%2C+for+a+rescue+operation+in+the+water+off+Noto+peninsula%2C+northern+coast+of+Japan.+Three+crew+members+rescued+from+the+capsized+boat+are+North+Koreans%2C+and+Tokyo+is+arranging+their+return+home.+The+area+is+a+rich+fishing+ground+where+poachers+from+North+Korea+and+China+have+been+spotted.+%289th+Regional+Japan+Coast+Guard+Headquarters+via+AP%29
In this Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, photo provided by the 9th Regional Japan Coast Guard Headquarters, a boat of the Japan Coast Guard approaches a capsized wooden vessel, top, for a rescue operation in the water off Noto peninsula, northern coast of Japan. Three crew members rescued from the capsized boat are North Koreans, and Tokyo is arranging their return home. The area is a rich fishing ground where poachers from North Korea and China have been spotted. (9th Regional Japan Coast Guard Headquarters via AP)

In this Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, photo provided by the 9th Regional Japan Coast Guard Headquarters, a boat of the Japan Coast Guard approaches a capsized wooden vessel, top, for a rescue operation in the water off Noto peninsula, northern coast of Japan. Three crew members rescued from the capsized boat are North Koreans, and Tokyo is arranging their return home. The area is a rich fishing ground where poachers from North Korea and China have been spotted. (9th Regional Japan Coast Guard Headquarters via AP)

In this Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, photo provided by the 9th Regional Japan Coast Guard Headquarters, a boat of the Japan Coast Guard approaches a capsized wooden vessel, top, for a rescue operation in the water off Noto peninsula, northern coast of Japan. Three crew members rescued from the capsized boat are North Koreans, and Tokyo is arranging their return home. The area is a rich fishing ground where poachers from North Korea and China have been spotted. (9th Regional Japan Coast Guard Headquarters via AP)

Sophie Macko

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In 2015, twelve “ghost ships” containing dead bodies washed up on Japan’s coast and recently in the past month this tragedy has began again with at least four boats. Although not confirmed for all by Japanese authorities, these boats possibly carrying fishermen or refugees seem to be North Korean. Food shortages in North Korea in 2015 would explain why there were constantly boats taking high risks for possibly food or to escape in extreme enough waters to devastate these vessels and their crews. And the causes of this year’s disasters may be because Kim Jong Un created  a higher demand for fish in order to increase North Korea’s military revenue and may be enough, once again, to push fishermen into going into rough waters.

Getting a closer look at the boats and its containments may provide better insight and evidence supporting this convincing theory and as John Nilsson-Wright, head of the Asia program at the Chatham House policy institute, said, “There’s no doubt that these boats are North Korean.” In this month, the first incident occurred on November 15 on the shores of Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa prefecture where three North Koreans were rescued from an overturned boat, but unfortunately three dead bodies were later found in the boat. Two days later another boat came ashore in the same area as the last although there were no survivors as four dead bodies were found on the boat. Fast forward six days to November 23 on Akita prefecture eight North Koreans were rescued from their yet on November 27 a boat containing eight skeletons were found on the shores of the same region. “(The boats) are made of wood and are old and heavy. They can’t travel very fast and the engines are not powerful enough to turn the ships against the currents,” said Yoshihiko Yamada further confirming this theory by providing reasoning for why these boats were devastated and just how big of a risk these fishermen were willing to take to increase their earnings. “They are using old boats manned by the military,” said Miyamoto, “by people who have no knowledge about fishing. It will continue.”

This unfortunate recurrences must be tormenting memories for these fishermen as they return to North Korea, some by choice, to continue their lives and hopefully won’t have to take these risks to battle the sea again.

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Mysterious Looking Boats Wash Up On Japan’s Shores