Japan journalist freed from Syria says sorry for involving gov’t

Freelance journalist Jumpei Yasuda apologized on Friday for getting the Japanese government involved in efforts to rescue him from Syria where he was held in captivity for more than three years.

«I’m sorry for involving the Japanese government in the case,» Yasuda, 44, said in front of hundreds of reporters at his first press conference since returning to Japan last week. He said he was captured in Syria shortly after he crossed the border with Turkey on foot in June 2015.

He recounted details of his ordeal including suffering violence at the hands of the militant group that held him. But he said he was never told the name of the group.

According to a document distributed at the press conference, Yasuda was held in around 10 locations after entering Syria, including residential homes and a large detention center.

Yasuda has been staying at a hospital since returning to Japan on Oct. 25. He entered Syria to cover the civil war there before going missing.

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(Still image from online video in July 2018)

The Japanese government confirmed on Oct. 24 that Yasuda had been released. During his return to Japan he spoke to some media organizations, saying he had faced abusive treatment during three years and four months of captivity in Syria.

It is not the first time Yasuda had been detained in the Middle East. A former staff reporter on a local newspaper in central Japan, Yasuda was detained in Iraq in 2004.

All — Kyodo News+

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