Japanese coast guards have made yet another horrific discovery: yet another ’ghost ship’ has washed up on the Japanese coast.

On Sunday, December 6, a 12.5-meter long vessel was found close to the Ushitaki fishing port in Sai Village, a spokesman for the Aomori Coast Guard said. The small wooden boat was carrying four bodies as it floated towards the Japanese shore.

Since October, several wooden boats have been washed up on Japan’s shores, and still seem to be a mystery. All of the boats have so far carried around 20 bodies, according to a Japanese coast guard. This number now reaches 24, after the one found on Sunday.

The boat that was found on Sunday has not been definitively identified, though it was very similar to the other ghost ships that previously came ashore in Japan.

The boats had a striking similarity to the ones used by detectors from North Korea. “(The boats) are made of wood and are old and heavy. They can’t travel very fast and the engines are not powerful enough to turn the ships against the currents,” Yoshihiko Yamada, a maritime expert said.

The condition of latest boat to sail ashore in Japan indicated that it has been drifting for some time, the Aomori Coast Guard’s spokesman said.

“There’s no doubt that these boats are North Korean,” said John Nilsson-Wright, head of the Asia program at the Chatham House policy institute, after analyzing photographs of the boats. Wright also stated that the letting on the boats were Korean, and also the “primitive” boats in reference to the Korean Army made it “very logical” to assume the boats to be from North Korea.

The bodies carried by the wooden vessels were in poor conditions. All of which were very badly composed and “partially skeletonized”, Japan’s coast guard said. One boat was carrying in six skulls, and another carried two decapitated bodies.

Image via Flickr/jase™