Japan searches for missing Chinese boat crew near disputed islets

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.

Last update: Fri, 12/08/2016 - 11:30

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