Japan searching for N. Korean boat crew who fell into sea

TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese coast guard is searching for crewmembers who fell to sea from a wooden North Korean fishing boat that capsized off Japan's northwestern coast.

Japan's coast guard said it dispatched four patrol vessels and two aircraft to their rescue after receiving information earlier Wednesday of the capsizing.

Coast guard officials said the capsizing occurred near an area called Yamatotai, known for rich fishing and crowded with North Korean poachers.

No further details were available, including the number of crewmembers or why the boat capsized.

Last week, a North Korean boat in the area sank after a collision with a Japanese fisheries boat warning it out of the area.

Japan has stepped up sea patrols after seeing more North Korean boats arrive as Pyongyang tries to boost fish harvests.