Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister Taro Kono
Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 5:57 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.
Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs: We have confirmed the safety of Mr. Jumpei Yasuda, who had been taken hostage in Syria since 2015. A member of the Japanese Embassy in Turkey has gone to Mr. Yasuda’s location and spoken with him in person. Outwardly, Mr. Yasuda seems to be healthy, so we will have a medical officer give him a final medical examination before transporting him back to Japan by whatever means is fastest. Since confirming that Mr. Yasuda was missing in Syria, from the standpoint of putting Mr. Yasuda’s life first, the Government has exerted every effort, while working together with related countries, including Qatar and Turkey, and considering what the best course of action is for ensuring his safety. We are extremely happy that Mr. Yasuda’s safety has been confirmed. I would like to once again express our deep gratitude to all the government officials of Qatar and Turkey involved. The Government has issued an evacuation warning for all of Syria and asks that all Japanese nationals in Syria leave the country immediately. We also ask that they of course refrain from entering the country. The Government has been making every effort to firmly ensure the safety of Japanese nationals abroad, and strongly encourages the public to refrain from travelling to dangerous countries and, even in the case of ordinary travel, to carry out Overseas Travel Registration (“Tabi-Regi”).