Tokyo, Aug 27 (AP/UNB) — North Korea has expelled a Japanese tourist who had been detained by authorities on unspecified charges, the official Korean Central News Agency said late Sunday.
A two-sentence report said that Tomoyuki Sugimoto had been "kept under control" for questioning about "his crime." It did not say what he had been accused of.
Authorities decided "to leniently condone him" and expel him on the principle of humanitarianism, the North Korean news agency said.
The Japanese government confirmed about two weeks ago that it was looking into reports that one of its citizens was being held. It has not identified him by name.
Japan's Kyodo News service, citing a government source, said the man was believed to be a videographer and may have been suspected of shooting video of a military facility while on a group tour to Nampo, a western port city.
The government had sought his release through the North Korean embassy in Beijing, Kyodo said. Japan does not have diplomatic relations with North Korea.