Japanese man on way home after release from N. Korean custody

  • Published : Aug 28, 2018 - 15:49
  • Updated : Aug 28, 2018 - 15:49

TOKYO -- Media reports say a Japanese man released by North Korea after being accused of a crime has arrived in Beijing from Pyongyang and is expected to return home.

Tomoyuki Sugimoto had been in North Korean custody for an investigation into the unspecified crime, but the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said Sunday the country decided to be lenient and expel him for humanitarian reasons. 

Japanese tourist Tomoyuki Sugimoto sits on a seat of an Air Koryo plane in flight from Pyongyang, North Korea, to Beijing Tuesday, Aug. 28. (Yonhap)

Kyodo News confirmed Sugimoto’s arrival in Beijing on Tuesday morning. NHK television quoted a Japanese diplomat as confirming the man’s identity. He is expected to return home later Tuesday.

Japanese officials refused to confirm the reports publicly.

Earlier reports say Sugimoto was believed to be a videographer and North Korea may have suspected him of filming a military facility. (AP)