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Japanese man detained in North Korea leaves Pyongyang by air

A Japanese man detained in North Korea left Pyongyang by air on Tuesday, Kyodo News confirmed, two days after Pyongyang’s official media suddenly reported that the country has decided to expel him «on the principle of humanitarianism.»

Tomoyuki Sugimoto, who visited North Korea as a tourist, had been in custody to be inquired into his crime against the laws, but the nation was «decided to leniently condone him,» the Korean Central News Agency said in English on Sunday.

A man, who was on a plane to Beijing from Pyongyang on Tuesday morning, told Kyodo News that he is Sugimoto. He is expected to return to Japan via Beijing later in the day.

A Japanese government source said earlier this month that a man, who was thought to be a videographer in his 30s from Shiga Prefecture in central Japan, was detained in North Korea.

The man may have been suspected of shooting video footage of a military facility when he visited the western port city of Nampo with a tour group, the source said.

The man was visiting North Korea on a tour arranged by a China-based travel agency, the source said, adding that there is unconfirmed information about him having visited the country in the past.

All — Kyodo News+

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