TOKYO – Jumpei Yasuda, a Japanese freelance journalist missing in Syria in 2015, was released by Japanese officials on Tuesday.
Yoshihide Suga, Japan's senior cabinet secretary, said Qatari officials have reported this. Mr. Yasuda had been released and was in a Turkish immigration office in Antakya. Japanese officials confirmed his safety on Wednesday.
"We hear his health looks good at first glance," said Taro Kono, Japan's Foreign Minister, on Wednesday afternoon by Mr. Yasuda. "After the doctor é confirmed his health, we want him to come home as soon as possible."
Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, said of NHK, a Japanese broadcaster, that he was "relieved to hear the news of Mr. Yasuda's dismissal"
Mr. Suga told reporters that Japan had not paid a ransom or negotiated directly with the militant group.
"The Japanese Government made every effort to call for cooperation with affected countries such as Qatar and Turkey, as well as to use various information networks," he said.
Hay & # 39; s Tahrir al-Sham declared his affiliation in 2013 Al Qaeda, but says it is no longer connected. The US State Department declared it a terrorist group in 2012 and renewed it this year.
In July, Japanese television channels broadcast a video in which Mr. Yasuda spoke to the camera against a black background.
I hope my family is fine, "Mr. Yasuda said in the video," I want to see you. "
He was last seen in a video in 2016, followed by a photo that gave him two Months later showed that he was holding a handwritten note with the inscription in Japanese: "Please help. This is the last chance.
Mr. Yasuda had previously been a hostage, spending three days in captivity in 2004 when he and several Japanese citizens were captured in Iraq, but they were not warmly welcomed on their return, and critics said they were He said that the stress of his return was greater than his stressful imprisonment, and that he had left his job at the time a regional newspaper abandoned to report from Iraq.
"We need to check ourselves for what the Japanese government is doing in Iraq," Yasuda said in 2004. "This is the responsibility of the Japanese citizens, but it seems as if people leave everything to the government. "Yasuda's mother, Sachiko Yasuda, said at NHK on Wednesday that she has folded nearly 10,000 paper origami cranes since he was missing, at least one every day."
"I could not stand without she said, "I folded the cranes and prayed for his safety."