Freed Japanese Journalist Becomes Subject of Online Debate


Tokyo, Oct. 30 (Jiji Press)--Japanese freelance journalist Junpei Yasuda has become a subject of online debate since he returned home last week after being freed from more than three years of captivity in Syria.

Held hostage by militants after being captured in June 2015, Yasuda, 44, was freed and returned to Japan on Thursday. He was held captive during the Iraq War in 2004.

Many online postings criticize Yasuda for seeking help despite visiting a dangerous area for self-responsibility, and for forcing the Japanese government to spend large sums of tax money to collect information.

Similar criticism raged after three Japanese citizens became hostages of an armed group in Iraq in 2004.

But Naoki Monna, honorary professor at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, said that "judging journalists' actions solely based on self-responsibility could lead to a denial of journalism."

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Jiji Press