13 missing after fishing boat sinks off Japan

Thirteen fishermen were missing off the coast of northern Japan Monday after their boat sank following a collision with a large cargo vessel, the Japanese coastguard said.

The 119-ton tuna-fishing boat, Horiei Maru, had 22 crew members on board -- 17 Japanese and five Indonesians -- when it collided with the Panamanian-flagged 25,000-ton cargo ship Nikkei Tiger early Monday.

The coastguard said it received a distress signal from the fishing boat at around 2:30 am (1730 GMT Sunday) after the collision some 900 kilometres (560 miles) off Miyagi prefecture.

Nine crew were rescued by another ship, the coastguard said in a statement, adding search operations were ongoing. The cargo vessel was undamaged and its crew of 21 was said to be safe.

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