Japanese authorities are trying to identify eight people whose badly decomposed remains were found on a wooden boat that washed up on a beach.
The discovery took place in the northern Akita prefecture.
Crew-less boats or vessels with bodies on board, known as “ghost ships” and thought to be North Korean fishing boats, regularly wash up in Japan.
They have usually been found on the western coast, which faces North Korea.
In the latest incident, Japanese broadcaster NHK said the boat, measuring about 7m (23ft) long, was found on a beach near Oga city on Sunday. The vessel was missing a rotor blade and navigational devices.
On Monday officials found the remains of eight people, some reduced to bones, while inspecting the boat.
Kyodo news agency reported that the coast guard suspected the boat and its occupants had come from North Korea.
The discovery is the latest in a string of similar incidents. On Friday, a wooden boat carrying eight men – alive and in reasonably good health – washed up at Yurihonjo city.
Source: BBC News