TOKYO — Japan's coast guard said Monday that a Chinese fishing boat sank off a southern Japanese island and five of its crewmembers were missing. Three others were rescued.

The coast guard said it received a distress call earlier Monday and was later informed that the boat sank about 370 kilometers (230 miles) west of Japan's Amami Oshima island.

The coast guard dispatched a patrol aircraft to the area but saw no sign of the vessel. It said three crewmembers were rescued by another fishing boat, and that other ships in the area were searching for the five missing fishermen.

Japanese officials they sent a patrol boat to help with the rescue. The cause of the accident was being investigated.

Amami Oshima is about 1,200 kilometers (740 miles) southwest of Tokyo.