RELIGION

Japanese journalist denies allegation he is IS sympathizer

  • Kosuke Tsuneoka, a Japanese freelance journalist who was detained by local authorities in Iraq, speaks during a press conference in Tokyo, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Tsuneoka was released Monday, Nov. 7 after being suspected of being a member of the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

    Kosuke Tsuneoka, a Japanese freelance journalist who was detained by local authorities in Iraq, speaks during a press conference in Tokyo, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Tsuneoka was released Monday, Nov. 7 after being suspected of being a member of the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)  (The Associated Press)

  • Kosuke Tsuneoka, a Japanese freelance journalist who was detained by local authorities in Iraq, speaks during a press conference in Tokyo, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Tsuneoka was released Monday, Nov. 7 after being suspected of being a member of the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

    Kosuke Tsuneoka, a Japanese freelance journalist who was detained by local authorities in Iraq, speaks during a press conference in Tokyo, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Tsuneoka was released Monday, Nov. 7 after being suspected of being a member of the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)  (The Associated Press)

A Japanese journalist deported from Iraq has denied allegations by Kurdish officials that he is a sympathizer of the Islamic State extremist group.

Kosuke Tsuneoka told reporters in Tokyo on Thursday that he was in Mosul only to report as a journalist on the battle to retake the militant-held city.

Tsuneoka, a journalist who has covered militant groups in the Middle East, was arrested Oct. 27 after he was stopped at a security check and found to be carrying a key chain with an IS logo that he obtained on an earlier reporting trip.

The Kurdistan authority released Tsuneoka on Monday at the request of Japan's Foreign Ministry.