TOKYO – Jumpei Yasuda, a Japanese freelance journalist who disappeared in Syria in 2015, appeared to be released from his detainees Tuesday, according to Japanese government officials.
Yoshihide Suga, Japanese chief secretary, said Qatar officials reported that Mr. Yasuda had been released and was in a Turkish immigration facility in Antakya. Japanese officials had not confirmed Mr. Yasuda’s identity on Wednesday, but waited for the afternoon.
His wife Myu Yasuda told the Japanese broadcaster TBS that the news was “incredible, but I want to be calm until his identity is confirmed.”
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told NHK, a Japanese transmitter that he was “relieved to hear the news about Mr. Yasuda’s release . I would like to confirm the confirmation of his identity as soon as possible. “
Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Wednesday morning that Japanese ambassadors officials and a doctor led to the immigration facility. It was not immediately known what Mr Yasuda was in, but Mr. Kono said,” He may have trouble after being held for a long time. “
Mr. Suga told reporters that Japan had not paid cash or directly negotiated with the militant group.
A photo of freelance journalist Jumpei Yasuda was released in 2016. The handwritten note reads:” Please help. This is the last chance. “ Credit Jiji Press / Agence France-Press – Getty Images
” The Japanese government made every effort and requested cooperation to affected countries like Qatar and Turkey and to complete the use of different information networks, “he said.
Hay Tahrir al-Sham declared his connection to Al Qaeda in 2013, but says it is no longer connected. The government declare it a terrorist group in 2012 and renewed its name this year.
In July, Japanese sent TV stations A video where Mr Yasuda spoke to the camera against a black background.
I hope my whole family is good, “says Yasuda in the video.” I want to see you. “
Before it had He last seen in a video in 2016, followed by a photograph two months later that showed him holding a handwritten note that reads in Japanese: “Please help. This is the last chance. “
Mr. Yasuda had been hostage before. In 2004, he spent three days in captivity when he and several Japanese citizens were caught in Iraq, but they were not warmly welcomed when they came back. Critics said they were” Japan’s shame ” who had “caused trouble” for all, and the government said it would charge them for their air ticket.
He then said that stress in his return was greater than the stress of his captivity. He had finished his job in a regional newspaper for to report from Iraq.
“We must check what the Japanese government is doing in Iraq,” said Yasuda 2004. “This is Japan’s responsibility citizen, but people seem to leave everything up to the government. Mrs. Yasuda’s mother, Sachiko Yasuda, said on Wednesday at NHK that she had wiped nearly 10,000 paper origami cranes because he missed and did at least one every day.
“I could not stand without doing anything “she said.” I held down the cranes asking for his safety. “