Japan says patrol boat, North Korean fishing vessel collide

No damage reported in incident off Noto Peninsula but it comes as Tokyo steps up patrols against North Korean poachers.

    A Japan Coast Guard patrol vessel approaches a North Korean fishing boat to warn it to leave waters near Yamatotai [Japan Coast Guard via AP]
    A Japan Coast Guard patrol vessel approaches a North Korean fishing boat to warn it to leave waters near Yamatotai [Japan Coast Guard via AP]

    The Japanese Fisheries Agency says its patrol boat and a North Korean fishing boat have collided in waters off Japan's northern coast crowded with poachers from the North.

    The agency said that Monday's collision occurred in the area known as Yamatotai, off Japan's northern coast of the Noto Peninsula.

    The agency said the Japanese patrol ship was not damaged and the condition of the other boat was being assessed.

    Japan has stepped up patrols in the area as North Korean squid poaching has surged.

    Experts say the increase is due to a campaign by Pyongyang to boost fish harvests.

    Japan's coast guard in June pushed more than 300 North Korean boats back from the same waters.

    Japan also said an armed North Korean fishing boat "threatened" a Japanese patrol ship in August.

    SOURCE: AP news agency