Journalist Released in Myanmar Returns to Japan


Bangkok, May 14 (Jiji Press)--Freelance Japanese journalist Yuki Kitazumi, imprisoned in Myanmar after indictment on suspicion of spreading fake news, was released on Friday, 26 days after his arrest in the country where a military coup took place in February, and returned to Japan within the day.

Kitazumi, 45, who left Yangon International Airport in Yangon, the biggest city in Myanmar, arrived at Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo, via Naha in the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa, on Friday night.

"Many people worked to rescue me," Kitazumi told reporters at Narita, expressing his gratitude to them.

Meanwhile, Kitazumi said that it was "very regrettable" that he had to return to Japan although he, as a journalist, wanted to continue his reporting activities in Yangon, where he had been based. "From now on, I want to tell people in Japan and many other countries about what's happening in Myanmar."

Myanmar's state-run media said that although Kitazumi had violated a law by supporting citizens who abandoned their jobs to participate in disobedience campaigns and riots against the military, Myanmar took into consideration its friendship and future ties with Japan and decided to release the Japanese journalist. The charges against him are believed to have been dropped.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press