Jin Tian: Eight dead after cargo ship sinks off coast of Japan

Eight people including several Chinese nationals have died after a cargo ship sank in Japan's waters, say Chinese authorities.

Rescue workers have been searching for survivors since the Jin Tian went down on Tuesday evening.

Multiple vessels and aircraft from Japan's coast guard and military, South Korea's coast guard, and private ships have been involved in the search.

Five people who have been rescued are said to be in a stable condition.

The Jin Tian, a cargo ship that had a crew of 22 people, sent a distress signal from a position around 110km (68 miles) west of the remote and uninhabited Danjo Islands in far southwestern Japan, near the maritime border with South Korea.

Six of the dead were Chinese nationals, according to Lu Guijun, China's consul general in the Japanese city of Fukuoka.

"We express our deepest condolences to the unfortunate victims," Mr Lu told Chinese state broadcaster CGTN.

Japanese authorities are yet to confirm the death toll given by Mr Lu, but have said that nine people remain missing. No reason has been given so far for the ship's sinking.

According to MarineTraffic, the Hong Kong-flagged vessel left Port Klang in Malaysia last month. It was scheduled to to arrive in Incheon, South Korea on Wednesday.