Japan Govt Identifies Freed Man as Journalist Yasuda

Politics Society

Antakya, Turkey, Oct. 24 (Jiji Press)--Japan's government has confirmed that a man who was released from captivity in Syria on Tuesday and is now in Turkey is Japanese freelance journalist Junpei Yasuda, 44, Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Wednesday.

The government wants Yasuda to return home as early as possible after checking his health condition, the Japanese minister told reporters in Tokyo. "Yasuda appears to be in good shape," he added.

Yasuda was taken into protective custody at an immigration facility in Hatay province, southern Turkey, after moving into the country from Syria. Officials at the Japanese embassy in the Turkish capital of Ankara were sent to the facility and identified him as Yasuda on Wednesday.

The development came after Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a hastily called press conference in Tokyo Tuesday night that a man, highly likely to be Yasuda, who is believed to have been held by militants in Syria since 2015, was released the same day.

The Japanese government obtained the information about the release of the man from the Qatari government, Suga said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press