Statement by Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, on the Safe Return of the Two Japanese Who Were Missing in Iraq

April 17, 2004

Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi, Minister for Foreign Affairs, issued the following statement regarding the safe return of the two Japanese who were missing in Iraq.

  1. The Embassy of Japan in Baghdad reported that the two Japanese, Mr. Junpei Yasuda and Mr. Nobutaka Watanabe, who were missing in Iraq, were under secure custody of Embassy officials, at 12:30 local time (17:30 Japan time) today. I am very much pleased, and I express my heartfelt delight for their families.

    The Government of Japan has made utmost efforts to recover them safely since it had received the information that they were missing. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude for the efforts of those concerned in Iraq and for the support from all over the world.

  2. I continue to strongly advise against any travel for any purpose to the areas under "Evacuation advice for all residents", and I strongly request those who will go abroad bear in mind that "one needs to be responsible for one's own safety".

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