A rash of ghost ships have run ashore in Japan this month, some with human remains on board. Nobody can confirm where they came from, some are saying they sailed from North Korea.
One such wooden ship was filled with eight skeletons which ran aground on Miyazawa beach in the northwest of Japan’s main island Honshu, the Akita Coast Guard said Monday
Spotted drifting in the water on Friday, the macabre crew members were only discovered after the wayward vessel made it to land.
Local officials will not confirm that the ship is from North Korea, but some say it matches those that have already made landfall on Japan’s west coast.
CNN reports that Satoru Miyamoto, a professor at Seigakuin University and an expert on North Korea, said the number of ships washing ashore on Japan’s coast has risen since 2013.
“It’s after Kim Jong Un decided to expand the fisheries industry as a way of increasing revenue for the military. They are using old boats manned by the military, by people who have no knowledge about fishing,” Miyamoto said. “It will continue.”
The shipwrecks may be due to fishing sanctions recently put in place by the U.N. and North Korea’s fuel shortage which in turn causes fisherman to use under-equipped wooden boats in waters that are often treacherous and unpredictable.
But none of this can be confirmed.