Japan confirms release of journalist held in Syria

Tokyo: The Japanese government on Wednesday confirmed that a man released by Syrian militants is freelance journalist Jumpei Yasuda who is currently at a Turkish immigration facility.

“We have confirmed the safety of Jumpei Yasuda who has been detained since 2015 in Syria. We’ve been informed that he looks healthy at first glance,” Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono told a press briefing.

“We hope to bring him back home in the fastest way possible after checking his health condition,” Kono told reporters at the Foreign Ministry here.

Yasuda, 44, went missing after entering Syria three years ago to cover the civil war. He was feared to have been held captive by militants after entering the country.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has also said late Tuesday that the Qatari government had notified Japan that Yasuda had been released.