ASAHIKAWA, Japan: A Singaporean woman along with three companions who had gone missing while hiking the highest peak in Hokkaido were found alive on Wednesday (Oct 18) afternoon, Kyodo News reported quoting police officials.
The four hikers – including a Japanese couple and a Malaysian man – had lost their way while descending the 2,291-metre Mt Asahidake.
According to Kyodo News, police received a call for help from a Japanese man at around 7.35pm on Tuesday evening saying that four hikers had lost their way.
A woman, who told authorities she was Singaporean, called the police on Wednesday morning saying that all four hikers were safe. But the police were subsequently unable to contact them, Kyodo News said.
Police were quoted as saying that one of the four hikers “is said to be” unable to walk, possibly suffering from hypothermia.
Kyodo News identified the Japanese couple as 71-year-old Masahiko Kato and his 65-year-old wife Yumiko. The pair, who are from Yokohama, started climbing the mountain on Tuesday morning.
Kyodo News said they “apparently” gave up on reaching the summit due to bad weather and got lost while descending as it became dark.
The Japanese couple then met the Singaporean woman and a Malaysian man, both of whom are believed to be in their 20s, police reportedly said. Police added that the four hikers likely spent the night on the mountain without a tent in freezing conditions.