• Kyodo


A South Korean citizen arrested earlier this week for allegedly entering Japan illegally might be a former spy for North Korea, local police said Wednesday.

The police arrested Shuichi Shin, 82, on Tuesday for allegedly entering Japan illegally via Kansai International Airport on May 13, 2002, in violation of the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law.

Police officials said suspicions were raised after Shin was found to be in possession of a forged Japanese passport and some mysterious belongings.

Police found North Korean and South Korean passports as well as a false Japanese passport at his home.

They also found tables of seemingly random numbers. North Korean agents reportedly use number codes to communicate with each other or their headquarters in the country.

A small notebook found in the house documented a trip between Japan and North Korea on a spy ship in 1973 and outlined what he learned during training for espionage in the country, the police said.

Shin has denied the allegation, they said.

In November 1973, Shin allegedly left Japan for North Korea on a spy ship without re-entry permission. He re-entered Japan illegally the following month aboard the same vessel.

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