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Detained Japanese man expelled from N. Korea: KCNA

BEIJING (Kyodo) -- North Korea has decided to expel a detained Japanese man on the principle of humanitarianism, the country's state-run media said Sunday, with Japan's government trying to collect relevant information.

Tomoyuki Sugimoto, who visited North Korea as a Japanese tourist, was kept under control by an institution to be inquired into his crime against the nation's law, the Korean Central News Agency reported.

The institution "decided to leniently condone" Sugimoto, KCNA said.

A Japanese government source said earlier this month that a man detained in North Korea was thought to be a videographer from the central Japan prefecture of Shiga.

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, believed to work as a videographer in Japan, was visiting North Korea on a tour arranged by a foreign travel agency, the source said, adding there is unconfirmed information about him having visited the country in the past.

The Japanese government made efforts to collect information about the incident and contact Pyongyang through a communication channel at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing to have the man released.

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