3 Bodies Still Kept by Russia 3 Months after Tour Boat Sinking

Society

Sapporo, July 22 (Jiji Press)--Despite Japan's request, Russia has not yet handed over three bodies of people who were believed to be aboard the Kazu I tour boat, which sank off the Shiretoko Peninsula of Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, in April.

The Japanese and Russian governments are still negotiating the handover of the bodies discovered on the Russian island of Sakhalin and Kunashiri Island, one of the four Russian-held islands claimed by Japan.

At issue is how to turn over the bodies to Japan, informed sources said.

According to sources at the Japan Coast Guard, Russian tests have shown that the DNA types of two bodies found on Kunashiri matched those of 27-year-old male crew member Akira Soyama and a female passenger from the Hokkaido city of Kitami, respectively, and the DNA type of the body discovered on Sakhalin matched that of a Hokkaido man.

To finally confirm their identities, DNA type tests will be conducted again after they are brought back to Japan, the sources noted.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press