The Japanese Coast Guard reported a ship carrying 43 people, including two Australians, had capsized and sank.
The Panama-registered vessel, named Gulf Livestock 1, is carrying 5,867 cattle, according to New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The Japanese coast guard and Maritime Self-Defense Force launched a significant search effort in response.
The freighter was also carrying a crew of two Australians, two New Zealanders, and 39 Filipinos when it disappeared, the Coast Guard told the ABC.
Only one has survived so far, the 45-year-old Philippine chief officer Sareno Edvardo.
Mr. Edvardo was found wearing a life jacket and drifting in the water.
He told authorities one of the ship’s engines lost power before it was hit by a wave and capsized.
When the ship capsized he was ordered to wear a life jacket.
He then jumped into the water and saw no other crew members.
Strong winds and heavy rain from Typhoon Maysak have hampered rescue efforts.
The search continued throughout the day but authorities have not found any more survivors.
Three ships, five aircraft, and two divers have been deployed to continue the search.
The ship left New Zealand on August 14 and is scheduled to arrive at Jingtang Port in Tangshan, China, next Friday.