Japanese journalist feared missing in Syria

Freelance war correspondent Jumpei Yasuda, 41, was reporting on Syria’s civil war. (Photo courtesy: The Japan Times/ KYODO)

A freelance reporter and friend of Kenji Goto, the Japanese journalist executed by ISIS in January, is said to be missing in Syria.

Freelance war correspondent Jumpei Yasuda, 41, was reporting on Syria’s civil war but the alarm was raised when regular updates to his social media accounts stopped late last month.

Yasuda’s last tweet, dated June 20, said: “I have been hiding my location in blogs and tweets up to now. That is going to be difficult from now. I have thought about doing real-time journalism, but it will be too dangerous from now on.”

Close friend Yu Terasawa told The Japan Times on Monday that he believes Yasuda is in Syria and was reporting on the conflict.

“I believe Mr Yasuda will again be able to escape whatever trouble he is in this time and return,” Yu Terasawa told The Japan Times.

In 2004, Yasuda was abducted by a militant group in Iraq but released after three days due to negotiations by Sunni clerics in Baghdad, The Times reported.

At a news conference on Friday, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said the government had not received information on his whereabouts and condition.

After the execution of Japanese citizens Haruna Yukawa, 42, and Kenji Goto, 47, by ISIS in January, the Japanese government urged its citizens to avoid Iraq and Syria and invoked a law to seize the passport of a photographer who says he was planning to travel to Syria.

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Last Update: 06:45 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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