August 02, 2018
BRUSSELS - The International Journalists Federation (IFJ) has reiterated its call to the Japanese government to take all necessary steps to free Jumpei Yasuda, a Japanese journalist who has been held captive in Syria since June 2015, after his appearance in a video posted online by his captors on July 31.
In the new video, which is around 20 seconds long, Yasuda, a 42-year-old freelance journalist, wears an orange suit and is surrounded by two armed men. In his short speech, the journalist describes himself as South Korean- although he’s Japanese -, he claims he is “in a terrible situation” and asks for immediate help. The recording is dated July 25 but was posted last July 31.
It is the third video that his captors, who are reportedly an Islamic terrorist group, have posted since Yasuda’s kidnapping. They published similar videos showing him alive in 2016 and another one on July 8, 2018. The group is reportedly seeking a $10 million ransom for his release.
Mr Yasuda went missing a few months after fellow Japanese colleague and friend, Kenji Goto was killed by the Islamic State (IS) in February 2015. Goto was killed by IS after the Japanese government failed to pay a US$200 million ransom.
The IFJ joins its Japanese affiliates, Minpororen (JFCBWU – Japan Federation of Commercial Broadcast Workers Union) and Shinbunroroen (Japan Federation of Newspaper Workers’ Union), in their urgent call to the Japanese authorities to take all necessary steps to free Yasuda and enable him to return to his family and friends. - IFJ media release
The News, January 11, 2019