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8 dead, including 6 Chinese nationals, after ship sinks near Japan

China’s Consul General in the city of Fukuoka, Lu Guijun, told state broadcaster CGTN on Thursday that of the 13 people found, “eight have been confirmed dead, of whom six are Chinese”.

“Five of them – including four Chinese crew members – are not in life-threatening conditions,” he added.

“We express our deepest condolences to the unfortunate victims.”

Japanese authorities are yet to confirm the toll given by the Chinese diplomat, telling AFP on Thursday they could only say that nine remain missing and, of the 13 retrieved, two are dead.

Officials from local Chinese missions visited the Nagasaki coast guard, the Fukuoka consulate said, where they laid flowers for the dead crew members and expressed their condolences.

They also visited survivors, conveying a message from China’s ambassador to Japan, Kong Xuanyou, while providing clothing, food and drinks, the consulate said.

The accident came as a cold snap hit much of Asia, with daytime temperatures in some Japanese islands nearest the rescue site reaching just 3 degrees Celsius.

The 6,651-tonne Jin Tian is registered in Hong Kong, Japan’s coast guard said.

In 2020, a cargo ship with 43 crew and 6,000 cattle on board sank off southwestern Japan after being caught in a typhoon. Two crew survived.

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