Bodies Handed by Russia Identified as Boat Accident Victims

Society

Sapporo, Sept. 14 (Jiji Press)--Three bodies recently handed over from Russia to Japan have been confirmed as those of victims of a sightseeing boat accident in April, according to the Japan Coast Guard.

As a result, the number of people confirmed dead in the accident, in which the Kazu I sightseeing boat sank off Hokkaido's Shiretoko Peninsula, reached 18. Meanwhile, eight people remain unaccounted for.

The three are crew member Akira Soyama, then 27, and two passengers, namely a 21-year-old woman of Hokkaido's Kitami and a 59-year-old man of the northernmost prefecture's Ebetsu, the 1st Regional Coast Guard Headquarters, based in Otaru in the same prefecture, said Tuesday.

The bodies of Soyama and the woman were found in May at the Kunashiri Island, one of the four Russian-held northwestern Pacific islands claimed by Japan. The body of the Ebetsu man was discovered in the Sakhalin region in Russia's Far East.

Russian DNA analysis found that the bodies were those of the three Japanese. Japan conducted additional DNA analysis after receiving the bodies from Russia on Friday.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press