Japan questions possible North Korea defectors

September 13, 2011 17:49

TOKYO - Japanese authorities are questioning nine people believed to be North Korean defectors after they were found on a boat in the Sea of Japan hoping to reach South Korea, Japan's coastguard said on Tuesday.

Three men, three women and three children are being questioned on a Japanese patrol vessel outside of the port of Kanazawa in northwestern Japan, a spokeswoman at the coastguard told Reuters.

Dealing with North Korean defectors is tricky for Japan which has long feuded with North Korea over issues including Japan's 1910-1945 colonization of the Korean peninsula and Pyongyang's abduction of Japanese citizens decades ago.

Japan sees itself as a possible target of aggression by its unpredictable neighbor.

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