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A Japanese woman who fled North Korea in October and sought protection at the Japanese Consulate General in Shenyang, northeastern China, returned to Japan on Friday, government sources said.

Her elder brother, who was taken into protective custody earlier at the consulate, arrived with her at an undisclosed airport, according to the sources.

The woman, whom sources said hailed from Kanagawa Prefecture and is now in her 50s, had been held in protective custody at the consulate since her arrival on Oct. 21.

Her brother, who fled North Korea in 1996 and has already been repatriated to Japan, reportedly helped her to flee the North.

The woman’s repatriation was made possible after the Japanese government confirmed her citizenship status, and negotiated with Chinese authorities to allow her to leave the country.

The Chinese side had promised to deal with the matter “appropriately.”

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