Mystery man turns out to be a Chinese sailor

Kyodo

A mystery man rescued earlier this month while floating off Tanegashima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture, has been identified as a Chinese sailor and will soon be deported, officials said Monday.

The man, a 27-year-old crew member of a Chinese fishing vessel, was rescued by a local fisherman Sept. 2.

The man was treated in a hospital but remained silent for days, despite being questioned by police and Japan Coast Guard investigators in Japanese, Chinese, Korean and English.

On Wednesday, a bag containing a notebook and clothing made in China washed ashore just north of Kagoshima in Shintomi, Miyazaki Prefecture.

When the sailor was first sighted, he was seen holding what appeared to be a knapsack, which was lost during his rescue.

The contents of the notebook convinced the police that the bag belonged to the sailor. After showing the man photos of the bag’s contents on Thursday, he broke his silence and told them he is a Chinese sailor, the officials said.

The sailor has said he wants to be sent back to China, according to the officials. He has been sent to the Kagoshima branch of the Fukuoka Regional Immigration Bureau.

The officials said the man told immigration officials he jumped from his ship “without thinking about anything.” Investigators think he might have had some trouble with his fellow crew members.

He has not given a reason for why he initially remained silent, they said.

His belongings did not include a passport.