(ANS) – Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports that Japanese aid worker Takayuki Noguchi has been released by China after serving an 8-month prison sentence for attempting to assist two Japanese-born North Korean refugees. A CSW press release says: At about 9pm on August 9, he arrived in Japan to be greeted by family members, friends and dozens of reporters. Looking thinner, but smiling, Noguchi had an emotional reunion with family members before holding an impromptu press conference. CSW says his mood sobered as he spoke with sorrow of the fate of the North Koreans he had been arrested with. He described how he is haunted by the male refugee’s desperate groan of “I ‘m already dead” when the Chinese police entered their hotel room. The man’s prediction is sadly realistic, as those returned to North Korea regularly face mistreatment, imprisonment, torture and even execution. Those found to have come into contact with foreigners and aid workers or who have sought to leave the country are treated with particular brutality, with reports of executions in such cases. The man was in his 50s and was born in West Japan, but moved to North Korea in the early 1960s. The other refugee was a woman in her 40s who was born in Japan, but was taken to North Korea as a child by her mother who believed the propaganda that North Korea was ‘a paradise on earth’, the CSW release states.