Myanmar police released a Japanese freelance journalist on Friday after briefly detaining him during a protest in the commercial capital of Yangon, Radio Free Asia showed in a livestream on Facebook.

The arrest of Yuki Kitazumi, who runs a media production company in the city and used to be a journalist with the Nikkei business daily, was the first detention of a foreign reporter since the Feb. 1 military coup.

"Thanks very much to all my friends. I'm OK. I'm safe," said Kitazumi after leaving the police station in the city's Sanchaung district.