Japanese police have confirmed that one of six Vietnamese sailors who jumped off a Taiwanese fishing boat in Japanese waters is dead, news website Dan Tri reported.
The report cited the Vietnamese Labor Management Board in Japan as saying the police analyzed the fingerprints of the six workers sent from Vietnam and identified the dead person as Thieu Sinh Song, 20, after his body was found floating off the village of Kazamaura in Aomori Prefecture on October 12.
On October 11 the Japan Times had reported that six Vietnamese sailors may have jumped into the Tsuruga Strait off the southern coast of Hokkaido, prompting Japanese Coast Guard vessels and aircraft to scour the area.
A crew member of the 2,944-ton Taiwan-registered boat claimed to have seen the six, aged 18 to 23, jump into the sea between Aomori and Hokkaido without life vests at around 8:50 p.m. on October 11, the Japan Coast Guard said.
The five others are still missing.
After identifying Song, the police allowed the Hanoi-based Tourist, Trade and Labor Export Joint Stock Company (TTLC), which sent the six to work on the Taiwanese boat, to take his body back to Vietnam.
Song’s family was also informed about his death.
On October 15 Nguyen Huu Phong, deputy director of TTLC, said it sent seven workers to work on the Taiwanese boat.
The company has contacted the remaining sailor on the vessel, he said.
The sailor, whose name was not revealed, said the six others had discussed plans to flee though they had no major problems at work.
They had asked him to join in, but he had declined.