A Japanese man detained in China for allegedly engaging in smuggling people by helping them flee from North Korea has met members of his family, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

Takayuki Noguchi, a member of Life Funds for North Korean Refugees, a Tokyo-based nongovernment organization, is being held in Nanning, in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of southern China.

He told his family during a 30-minute meeting Tuesday that he is healthy and asked them to pass on his regards to his friends and other relatives, ministry officials said.

The meeting took place at the request of the Japanese Consulate General in Guangzhou on behalf of Noguchi’s family. A consular staff member was also present, it said.

Noguchi was arrested in December near Nanning, along with two North Koreans who had been residents of Japan before moving to North Korea.

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