Reports: Japan seizes passport of journalist trying to visit Syria
It was the first time Tokyo had taken such a measure on the grounds it was needed to protect the passport-holder’s life
Japan has seized the passport of a journalist planning to travel to Syria following the brutal killing of two Japanese hostages by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group there, local media said Sunday.
It was the first time Tokyo had taken such a measure on the grounds it was needed to protect the passport-holder’s life, the Asahi Shimbun and other news reports said.
They said the foreign ministry on Saturday confiscated the passport of Yuichi Sugimoto, a freelance photographer who had planned to enter Syria on February 27 to cover refugee camps among other places.
But the 58-year-old Japanese, who has covered conflict zones in Iraq and Syria over the years, said he had no plans to enter areas controlled by ISIS, Kyodo News reported.
“Tonight, an official with the foreign ministry’s passport division came and took my passport,” Sugimoto told the Asahi.
“What happens to my freedom to travel and freedom of the press?”
The passport confiscation came in the wake of the beheadings of journalist Kenji Goto and adventurer Haruna Yukawa by ISIS extremists.
U.S. supports greater Japan role on world stageAbe has been pushing to alter Japan’s pacifist constitution to broaden the capability of its military World News
Japan’s Abe seeks more active military roleAbe wants legislation this year to lift a ban on the military fighting overseas to help allies under attack World News
Japan to debate rescue missions after ISIS executionsAbe wants to legislate this year to lift a ban on the military fighting overseas to help allies under attack Analysis
Japan reaches ‘deadlock’ in ISIS hostage situationYasuhide Nakayama, who is leading Tokyo’s emergency response team in Amman had been no progress Middle East
Japan, Jordan working closely on fate of hostageJapan said every effort was being made to secure the release of journalist Kenji Goto despite the passing of an ISIS deadline Middle East
Japan working on freeing hostage and Jordan pilotISIS apparently beheaded Japanese contractor Haruna Yukawa last week after a 72-hour deadline for a $200 million ransom passed Middle East
Japan PM says ‘credibility’ of hostage video is ‘high’The government will continue analyzing the images to fully confirm the authenticity of the video, Abe said Middle East
Japan condemns ISIS execution of hostage Haruna YukawaThe government said it would spare no effort to secure the release of the remaining captive. Middle East
Japan vows to ‘never give up’ search for ISIS hostagesWhether freelance journalist Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa, the self-employed contractor he had gone to rescue Middle East