The Foreign Ministry said Saturday another Japanese national was temporarily detained as a suspicious person by authorities in northern Iraq's Kurdish autonomous zone earlier this month.

The national, whose sex and age were not disclosed, has already been released after being detained in mid-February near Irbil, a major city in the Kurdish region, after entering Iraq via Iran by land.

On Feb. 14, the ministry said a Japanese national was detained by Kurdish authorities near Irbil in early February as a suspicious person after entering Iraq via Turkey by land.

A diplomatic source has said that person is male and was apparently a tourist. The source said he was detained for several days but has already returned to Japan.

Kurdish authorities have become increasingly vigilant toward foreigners traveling to areas controlled by militants belonging to the Islamic State group, according to the ministry.

The jihadi group claimed earlier this year to have beheaded Japanese nationals Kenji Goto, a freelance journalist, and Haruna Yukawa, a self-styled security contractor.