Japan: Rescue operation underway after ship sinks

STORY: The vessel, the 6,651-tonne Hong Kong-registered "Jintian", issued a distress call late on Tuesday, Matsuno said.

"14 Chinese and 8 Myanmar nationals were on board. We learned that the ship was taking in water and in danger of sinking, at about 100 kilometers (62 miles) offshore to the west of the Danjo islands in Nagasaki Prefecture."

According to a local report the 22 crew members on board transferred to lifeboats.

There was no immediate word on what caused the vessel, which was carrying lumber, to capsize. A Coast Guard spokesperson said winds were strong at the time the distress signal was received at around 11:15 p.m. (14:15 GMT) on Tuesday (January 24).