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Japanese journalist says he is 'safe' in Turkey

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Japanese journalist says he is 'safe' in Turkey

Japanese journalist says he is 'safe' in Turkey

Japanese freelance journalist Jumpei Yasuda on Wednesday (October 24) confirmed that he was alive and well and in Turkey after being captured in Syria three years ago, according to a video released by the local governor's office.

Francesca Lynagh reports.


Japanese journalist says he is 'safe' in Turkey

Three years held hostage in Syria has finally came to an end for this Japanese freelance journalist.

That confirmed by Jumpei Yasuda himself in a video released on Wednesday.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JAPANESE JOURNALIST, JUMPEI YASUDA, SAYING: "My name is Jumpei Yasuda, Japanese journalist.

I am (have) been held in Syria for 40 months, now in Turkey.

Now I am in safe condition.

Thank you very much." Reports suggest Yasuda was captured by an al Qaeda affiliate after he crossed over into Syria from Turkey in 2015.

Only making contact with the rest of the world through the occasional video released by his captors.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) MAN PURPORTED TO BE JAPANESE JOURNALIST JUMPEI YASUDA, SAYING: "Hello, I am Jumpei Yasuda and today is my birthday, 16 March.

They told me that I can speak what I want freely.

And I can send a message through this to anyone.

I love you my wife, father, mother, brother.

I always think about you.

I want to hug you.'' Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he was 'relieved' about the release.

And thanked Qatar and Turkey for their help in freeing him - which involved no ransom being paid.

The foreign minister says Yasuda will be brought home as soon as possible.

Two other Japanese nationals - one a journalist Kenji Goto - were captured by the Islamic State in Aleppo in 2014.

Both were beheaded.

Yasuda's release marks the second time he has survived a hostage situation.

He was also held in Baghdad in 2004, and drew criticism for involving the government in the negotiations for his release.

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