DNA of 2 bodies found on Kunashiri match missing Kazu I passengers

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Police officials search among wave-dissipating blocks in Shibetsu, Hokkaido, on Thursday, with Kunashiri seen in the background.

DNA samples taken from two bodies found on the shores of island of Kunashiri in the northern territories match the DNA information of two passengers who went missing after the Kazu I sightseeing boat sank off the Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido in April, sources said.

Russia relayed the information to Japan through diplomatic channels Thursday, according to the sources close to the Japanese government.

The Japanese and Russian authorities will coordinate the timing and method of handing over the bodies. The Japan Coast Guard will then conduct further DNA tests to confirm the results of Russia’s tests, the sources said.

The bodies — one male and one female — were found on the west coast of Kunashiri in May.

Following a request from the Russian side, the Japanese government on June 9 forwarded the DNA information of several people who had been aboard the stricken vessel.