DNA from body found in Sakhalin matches passenger from sunken boat

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Kazu I pleasure boat is seen being hoisted from the seabed by a barge off Shari, Hokkaido, on May 26.

Russian authorities notified Japan via diplomatic channels on Tuesday that DNA samples from a man’s body found in Sakhalin matched one of the passengers aboard the Kazu pleasure boat, which sunk with 26 people aboard off the Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido in April.

Russian authorities notified Japanese authorities when the remains were discovered in the south of Sakhalin in June.

The body was found wearing a red life jacket with the word “Kazu” written on it. A black cell phone, car key and wristwatch were also found on the body.

Russian and Japanese authorities will make arrangements for the body to be returned to Japan.

The Japan Coast Guard will conduct further DNA analysis to confirm the identity of the man.

Of the 26 people who were aboard the boat, 14 have been confirmed dead and 12 remain unaccounted for.

The bodies of a man and woman were found on the coast of Kunashiri Island in the northern territories in May.

Russian DNA analysis found that their DNA matched passengers aboard the Kazu I.

The Russian and Japanese authorities are currently coordinating the repatriation of the two bodies found in May.