Eight 'N.korean' men found in Japan coast

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Japan's Coast Guard found the body of a male and parts of a wooden boat suspected to be from North Korea on the coast of one of Japan's outlying islands on Saturday, an official said, Asahi Shimbun writes.

Eight men claiming to be from N.Korea and a boat was found on the coast of Japan's Akita prefecture, police said on Friday.

The eight men had no life-threatening injuries and appeared to speak Korean, the Kyodo News agency reported, citing police.

The cause of the death is still unknown, the official said.

Police took them into protective custody, where they were being questioned with the help of interpreters.

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"We understand that the eight individuals are reporting that they came from North Korea for fishing, but drifted there after their ship experienced [technical] troubles", Hachiro Okonogi, chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, said.

North Korean fishing boats show up fairly frequently in Japan but do not always spark alarm.

The North Korean men told local authorities that they were fishing before the boat's engine failed.

According to police, the men spoke Korean and identified themselves as North Korean fishermen who washed ashore in Japan after their boat broke down. Japanese Coast Guard ship is seen during their annual joint anti-piracy exercise with their Philippine counterparts in the waters off Manila Bay on July 13, 2016.