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KNCA: North Korea deports Japanese tourist

By Wooyoung Lee
KNCA: North Korea deports Japanese tourist
Former United States President Jimmy Carter waves to the media after returning Aijalon Mahli Gomes to his family in Boston, Mass.. Gomes, who was arrested in January and sentenced to eight years for illegally entering North Korea from China, was released in a humanitarian gesture by North Korea's leader after meeting with Carter. Photo by Kelvin Ma/EPA

SEOUL, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- A Japanese tourist who was detained in North Korea has been released, North Korea's state media reported.

The Korea Central News Agency said Saturday that a Japanese man, who was held for investigation for "his crime against the law of the DPRK," was released on a humanitarian basis.

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"The relevant institution of the DPRK decided to leniently condone him and expel him from the DPRK on the principle of humanitarianism," it said.

The Japanese man is known as a 39-year-old professional working in the filming industry. He traveled to North Korea before via travel agencies, according to Sankei, citing a Japanese government official.

The man was detained earlier this month and released much faster than a Japanese newspaper reporter who had been held captive for two years in the late 1990s.

The reporter was arrested for spying allegations in 1999 and had spent two years in prison, according to Asahi Shimbun.

The Japanese government refrains its citizens to travel to the North.

The man just released has never notified the Japanese government his travel plan to the North, according to Asahi Shimbun, citing unnamed officials.

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