The bodies of three people believed to have been aboard a tour boat that sank off Hokkaido earlier this year have arrived in Japan, after being handed over by Russia.
A Japan Coast Guard patrol boat carrying the bodies arrived at the port of Otaru, in Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, at 8 a.m. on Saturday. The bodies were transferred to separate vehicles and then left the port.
The Coast Guard received the bodies on Friday at a port on Sakhalin island, in Russia's Far East.
The tour boat "Kazu I" was carrying 26 people when it sank off the Shiretoko Peninsula in April. Fifteen people have been confirmed dead. Eleven remain unaccounted for.
Sources say DNA testing by Russian authorities matched three of the passengers from the sunken ship.
Japanese officials plan further tests to confirm the identities of the deceased.
Two of the bodies were found on Kunashiri Island, while the other was recovered on the southern coast of Sakhalin.
Kunashiri is one of four Russian-held islands claimed by Japan.