World Bulletin / News Desk
Japanese officials said Monday they were investigating a group of North Korean fishermen after items reportedly including a fridge, a TV -- and an anime poster -- disappeared from a remote island where they had taken shelter.
The fishermen -- who identified themselves as North Korean -- briefly landed on an uninhabited island to take refuge.
But soon after the group left, officials noticed items from buildings on the island had vanished.
"There are solar panels at the lighthouse on the island and some of them are missing," a spokesman told AFP on Monday.
A TV, a fridge, a washing machine, an anime poster and blankets were also missing from a shelter facility for local fishermen, according to state channel NHK.
Government top spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters that police and the coastguard were "conducting necessary investigations" such as question the crew, who are still in Japanese waters.
Dozens of North Korean fishing vessels wash up on Japan's coast every year, sometimes with dead bodies aboard.
Separately, three bodies were found off northern Yamagata prefecture, according to the coastguard.
The coastguard also found a wooden boat nearby, but it is not confirmed whether the three came from North Korea.
NHK reported that one of the three wore a badge with a photograph of Kim Il-Sung, who founded the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in 1948.
Experts say some North Korean fishermen travel far out to sea in order to satisfy government mandates for bigger catches.
But their old and poorly equipped vessels are prone to mechanical and other problems, including running out of fuel, and there are few ways for them to call for rescue.
Last year, 66 boats that appear to have come from North Korea were found floating in Japanese seas.
More than 50 have already been discovered this year, according to the coastguard.
Resources strained as thousand crossing into Canada from US
American Civil Liberties Union granted request to halt deportations for one week after reunification
Trump declared that US-Russian relations have turned a corner after a summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that he described as "open, direct and deeply productive".
Operation is aimed at restoring confidence after last year’s illegitimate poll on Kurdish regional independence
The U.S. State Department is negotiating a potential deal to sell Turkey the Raytheon Co Patriot missile defense system as an alternative to the Russian-made S-400 system Turkey has agreed to purchase, an official said on Monday.
ISIL still maintains a limited presence in northern and western Iraq
90 more migrants in critical condition found inside shipping containers
Obama arrived in his father's native Kenya on Sunday, where he paid courtesy calls on President Uhuru Kenyatta and main opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Tensions have steadily mounted in southern Iraqi province over unemployment and lack of basic services
Speaking in an interview with CBS Evening News conducted on Saturday ahead of his meeting with the Russian leader in Helsinki on Monday, the US president also sought to temper expectations about how much could be achieved.
FETO orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured
The protests hit several provinces including Basra, despite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announcing fresh funds and pledges of investment for the oil-rich but neglected region.
US director of documentary on FETO-linked schools in US says FETO terrorists spent 18 years spreading false image of group
Basra residents complain of high unemployment and lack of basic services