Bodies of 3 suspected Shiretoko victims arrive in Hokkaido

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A vehicle carrying the bodies of three suspected victims of the Shiretoko boat accident is seen at Otaru Port, Hokkaido, on Saturday.

SAPPORO — A Japan Coast Guard vessel carrying the bodies of three people believed to have been aboard the Kazu I sightseeing boat that sank in waters off Hokkaido arrived at Otaru Port in the prefecture on Saturday.

The bodies of a man and woman were found in May on the coast of Kunashiri Island in Japan’s northern territories, which are occupied by Russia, and the body of another man was discovered in the southern part of Russia’s Sakhalin Island in June.

The JCG’s Tsugaru patrol vessel collected the bodies at Korsakov Port in southern Sakhalin on Friday and arrived at Otaru Port at around 8 a.m. on Saturday.

Russian authorities conducted DNA analysis and linked the bodies to three victims of the Shiretoko accident. The 1st Regional Coast Guard Headquarters will conduct further DNA analysis to confirm the identities.

The bodies are thought to be those of Kazu I crew member Akira Soyama and two passengers.