By Junko Ogura, CNN

Eight people who were aboard a cargo ship that capsized off the coast of Japan earlier this week have died and nine remain missing, the Japan Coast Guard said Thursday.

Six of the dead are Chinese nationals and two are Myanmar nationals, the coast guard said.

The Hong Kong-flagged vessel Jin Tian sent out a distress signal late on Tuesday night as it cruised 110 kilometers (68 miles) west of the Danjo Islands in the East China Sea with a crew of 22 people aboard.

All of its crew — 14 Chinese and eight Myanmar nationals — are thought to have left the Jin Tian in lifeboats, but rough seas hampered rescue efforts.

On Wednesday, the coast guard said thirteen crew members had been rescued — five by commercial vessels cruising nearby, two by Japan Air Self-Defense Force helicopters and six by the South Korean maritime police.

However, eight of those rescued were declared dead after being taken to a hospital in Nagasaki, the coast guard said on Thursday morning

Rescue efforts are continuing for the nine missing crew members, the coast guard said.

The Jin Tian had been heading to the port of Incheon, South Korea, when it got into trouble. It had left Malaysia’s Port Klang in early December, according to tracking site MarineTraffic.

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