Asia

Iraqi authorities release detained Japanese journalist

FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2015, file photo, Kosuke Tsuneoka, a Japanese freelance journalist, speaks about the two hostages held by the Islamic State group, at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo. Tsuneoka detained by local authorities in Iraq was released Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, after being suspected of being a member of the Islamic State group. Tsuneoka was handed over by the authorities in the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq to the Japanese Embassy, Japan's Foreign Ministry said. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2015, file photo, Kosuke Tsuneoka, a Japanese freelance journalist, speaks about the two hostages held by the Islamic State group, at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo. Tsuneoka detained by local authorities in Iraq was released Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, after being suspected of being a member of the Islamic State group. Tsuneoka was handed over by the authorities in the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq to the Japanese Embassy, Japan's Foreign Ministry said. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)  (The Associated Press)

A Japanese freelance journalist detained by local authorities in Iraq has been released after being suspected of being a member of the Islamic State group.

Japan's Foreign Ministry says Kosuke Tsuneoka was handed over by the Iraqi authorities to the Japanese Embassy on Monday.

The 47-year-old journalist, who specializes in the Middle East, was captured last month while reporting on the battle to retake Mosul from IS. He was taken into custody by Kurdish-led, U.S.-backed forces.

Tsuneoka tweeted: "Freed now. Will return home tomorrow evening ... Thanks everyone."

He said he had been investigated after being arrested as he was carrying a key chain with an IS logo that he had obtained on an earlier reporting trip.