A body found in bush on the West Coast late last night is expected to be confirmed today as that of missing Japanese tramper Katsusbaro Nagashima.

A large scale search was launched yesterday for the 65-year-old tourist after he failed to return from walking the Inland Pack Track, near Punakaiki.

Mr Nagashima was visiting New Zealand by himself.

The officer in charge of police search and rescue, Mike Tinnelly, said today that a white water rescue team found the body caught in a logjam in the Fox River just before dusk yesterday.

A pack belonging to Mr Nagashima was earlier found in the area.

It was believed that Mr Nagashima had tried to cross the Dilemma Creek near the convergence with the Fox River.

At the time the river was up after heavy rain and police believed he had been washed down the river, Mr Tinnelly said.

The body was removed from the river area by helicopter this morning.

- NZPA