JAPAN CHINA SENKAKU RESCUE.jpg
A handout picture made available by the Japan Coast Guard shows Japan Coast Guard rescue workers reaching out to the crew of a Chinese fishing boat that sunk following a collision with a Greek cargo vessel in the Senkaku (or Diaoyutai) Islands, Japanese southwestern islands, disputed islands with China and Taiwan, 11 August 2016. The fishing boat collided with the Greek vessel and the Japan Coast Guard is still searching for the the boat and missing crew members.
Photograph: EPA/KIMIMASA MAYAMA JAPAN COAST GUARD / EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

Japanese authorities were scouring the waters near a group of disputed islets in the East China Sea on Friday for eight Chinese crew members who went missing after their fishing vessel collided with a freighter.

The Japan Coast Guard said it had rescued six other crew members of the sunken ship on Thursday after it collided with the Greek cargo ship about 65 kilometres north-west off Uotsuri Island.

The six crew members were flown to a hospital on the island of Ishigaki by a helicopter, a coast guard official said.

Uotsuri is the largest of the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands. The group of disputed islets are also claimed by China and Taiwan, where they are known as Diaoyu and Tiaoyutai, respectively.

Beijing praised cooperation and humanitarianism exercised by the Japanese side, Jiji Press reported.

More than a dozen Chinese coast guard ships as well as about 200 Chinese fishing boats were spotted near the Senkakus in recent days, which prompted Tokyo to lodge a protest with Beijing several times.

Latest news

Serbia's EU negotiator says minority rights neglected

The head of the Serbia's European Union accession negotiation team, Tanja Miscevic, said in Novi Sad on Wednesday that minority rights had been neglected for many years and added that positive results in that regard cannot be achieved over night, the Beta news agency has reported. 

Scientists: Nearby star's 7 rocky planets are "best bet" for life

New analysis of telescope data shows a dwarf star just 40 light years from Earth has at least seven apparently rocky planets with potential to harbour water, an international team of scientists announced Wednesday.

Croatian PM receives EIB Vice-President

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic met on Wednesday with European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Dario Scannapieco for talks on the bank's contribution to a new investment cycle in Croatia and its support to the Croatian government to implement key projects, a press release from the government's office said.

Bomb explodes outside police officer's home in Northern Ireland

A bomb exploded outside a police officer's home in Northern Ireland on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Denmark to charge man with blasphemy over burning Koran

Danish prosecutors said Wednesday they have opened a rare blasphemy case against a man who videotaped himself burning a copy of the Koran.

South Africa to raise taxes for the wealthiest

South Africa will raise the income tax rate for the country's wealthiest to 45 per cent from 41 per cent, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced Wednesday.

Reformist Macron wins support of key centrist leader for French vote

France's reformist presidential hopeful, Emmanuel Macron, got a boost on Wednesday when he picked up the support of a party leader whose centrist constituency played a pivotal role in the last two presidential elections.

Amnesty International warns of nationalist rhetoric and hate speech in Croatia

Croatia continues to have problems with discrimination against ethnic minorities and with freedom of the media, while heightened nationalist rhetoric and hate speech during election time contributed to growing ethnic intolerance and insecurity in the country, global human rights watchdog Amnesty International said in its annual report on the state of human rights in the world in 2016/2017.

Official assigned to Wilders' security team held by Dutch police

A security official assigned to protect Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders is being held by police on suspicion of passing along classified information about the lawmaker to a Dutch-Moroccan crime gang.

100th anniversary of rescuing starving children marked

A special ceremony was held in Zagreb's Croatian National Theatre on Wednesday to mark the 100th anniversary of one of the greatest humanitarian undertakings in the history of the Croatian people which saved children in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina from famine in the last two years of World War I.

Italy's 'Red Thing' could make impact in election debut, polls show

Two polls conducted for RAI public broadcaster released Wednesday showed a new entity that split from Italy's ruling Democratic Party

Council: Nixing grants to "Novosti" would cause far-reaching implications

The Council for National Minorities, a state-level autonomous umbrella organisation for all ethnic minorities in Croatia, has stated that the cancellation of financial grants to the "Novosti", a newspaper of the ethnic Serb minority, would produce far-reaching implications and stir criticism for reduction of free speech and of freedom of expression of the most numerous ethnic minority.