What would drive someone to swim between countries?
Shibetsu is a small fishing town on the east coast of Hokkaido with a population of only a few thousand people. It’s also one of the few corners of Japan not accessible by train and about an hour drive from Sapporo, leaving it a rather quiet, peaceful community.
So it came as quite a shock when an unidentified man turned up at the Nakashibetsu Police Station on 19 August and told them that he had just swam in from Russia and was seeking asylum. The man — described as dressed