A tour boat with 26 people aboard is missing after reportedly sinking – with no sign of survivors after seven hours, Japan’s coastguard said.
The Kazu 1 made a distress call in the early afternoon local time, saying the ship’s bow had flooded and was beginning to sink and tilt off the western coast of Shiretoko Peninsula in the northern island of Hokkaido, the coastguard said.
It was carrying 24 passengers, of which two were children, and two crew.
The crew also said those on board were wearing life jackets and the boat was keeling at a 30-degree angle.
There has been no contact from the boat since.
High waves and strong winds were observed in the area around 12pm, according to a local fisheries co-operative.
Japanese media reports said fishing boats returned to port before noon because of the bad weather.
The NHK public broadcaster said there was a warning for high waves of up to nine feet high.