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.