crime

Gov't trying to confirm report of Japanese man held in Syria

68 Comments

Japan's government said Monday it was investigating a video posted online that appears to show a kidnapped Japanese man being roughly interrogated by Syrian militants.

The video, which surfaced over the weekend, shows a man who identified himself as Haruna Yukawa lying on the ground with blood trickling down his face as his apparent captors question him.

The man, with matted brown hair and wearing a black T-shirt stained by dust and sweat, offered brief responses to questions posed in English about why he was in Syria and the reason he was carrying a gun.

He replied in stilted English that he was a "photographer" and a "journalist, half doctor", as his interrogators accused him of lying, with one placing a long knife near his chest before the video stops.

"I'm no soldier," the man said in the video as apparently dubbed on Middle-Eastern music played.

Japan's foreign ministry said it was trying to verify the man's identity through its embassy in violence-wracked Syria, which is now operating out of neighboring Jordan.

"We are gathering all available information available, including on social media such as Facebook and Twitter, but we have to be cautious about the credibility of that kind of information," a ministry official told reporters. "We need to confirm facts around the case."

Some messages on social media referred to Yukawa as a spy, and said he had been executed by Islamic State (IS) militants.

The foreign ministry was "not in a position to directly contact" the group, the official said.

"We are trying to make a contact with them in any way we can," he added.

No one has claimed responsibility for the apparent kidnapping.

Vice foreign minister Akitaka Saiki later told reporters that the civil war in Syria made it difficult to investigate the case.

"Syria is in a very confused state and we are seeking to confirm the safety of the person through various routes," he said.

Since 2011, Japan has been recommending that its nationals stay away from the strife-torn country.

The foreign ministry as well as the prime minister's office and National Policy Agency have set up a special team to deal with the incident, the ministry official said.

But he declined to confirm the identity of the person on the video, or even if a person named Haruna Yukawa was missing.

"Because of the situation in Syria, we don't have any staff in the country and we have no plan to send anyone," he said.

Early last year, a Japanese trucker who entered Syria clandestinely through Turkey made headlines as a war tourist who said he was shooting photos and video of conflict.

Another online video that appeared at the weekend showed a man believed to be Yukawa test-firing an AK-47 assault rifle in Syria.

The video can also be seen at the website of Tokyo-based private military firm PMC, which lists Yukawa as its chief executive. Pictures on the website, which kept crashing Monday afternoon, show him with right-wing Japanese activists.

Details about the kind of services the firm offered were not immediately available.

Calls to the firm went unanswered on Monday and it was unclear if the company had other employees. Its website said the firm has branch offices in "Turkey, Syria, Africa".

There was no evidence of the company at the Tokyo address given on the website, a 13-storey office building.

Yukawa also has a blog with video footage of what he describes as massacres in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo by President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

Japanese nationals' involvement as combatants in foreign conflicts is limited, although the country's extensive media is usually well-represented in hotspots.

© Japan Today/AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

68 Comments
Login to comment

Is Yukawa a mercenary soldier? Probably wasn't the smartest idea publicising this on facebook. If so, good luck - but I dont fancy his chances.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Doesn't look good. A simple web search has turned up a company down in Tokyo. I might not be the smartest cookie in the jar, but that Kalashnikov he is carrying doesn't look like a camera.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Cue thousands of Japanese people suddenly become aware of a country called Syria, and a group called ISIS....

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Yukawa's Facebook page identifies him as the CEO of a private military company and shows photos of him brandishing firearms in Iraq.

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

' What is a private military company? Is it a legal or illegal Japanese company? It will be nice we learn about business of this company beside registered name of this company since he is CEO. Can't JT get his facebook page???

3 ( +8 / -5 )

if this link is correct this is the facebook page people are referring too.

https://www.facebook.com/haruna.pmc?fref=ts

Anyway I don't know why he is there. Private military company? Like blackwater? Perhaps selling arms or maybe a Muslim turned Japanese? one can only speculate. Anyway he should've known the risks.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I don't have much sympathy for mercenaries.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

I guess we'll soon be seeing viral videos of this man being beheaded by the jihadists.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@papigiulio: How about write what you found? Link you wrote showed an entertainer girl haruna ono and her cute faces..

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

What is a private military company? Is it a legal or illegal Japanese company? I

What difference does it make if it is a Japanese company or not? The dude got himself involved in arms dealing and is now facing the circumstances of his choices.

Not all Japanese are pacifists.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

onagagamoAug. 18, 2014 - 10:33AM JST Cue thousands of Japanese people suddenly become aware of a country called Syria, and a group called ISIS....

ISIS has been on the NHK news several times day for weeks.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Islamic jihadists

What does this phrase mean? How is it assigned to people?

I'm asking because I've been seeing it a lot lately and it seems to be assigned to anyone from the middle east doing something the writer disapproves of.

I mean look at this article:

embassy officials believe that members of IS (Islamic State), a radical religious group, may have been involved.

"believe" and "may have been involved". That's it. And now everyone involved is mysteriously transformed into Muslim radicals.

Seriously media, cut it out. This crosses the line from sloppy reporting to rampant racism. If and when there's more than some embassy official's "belief" that Muslim radicals "may have been involved" then you can start throwing around terms like Jihadist.

Far more likely this guy running a mercenary company just irritated the wrong people for business reasons and it has nothing to do with religion.

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

Good luck .. trouble seeker .

5 ( +7 / -2 )

onagagamo "Cue thousands of Japanese people suddenly become aware of a country called Syria, and a group called ISIS...."

As OssanAmerica mentioned ISIS has frequently been mentioned by NHK, and I would add, commercial stations and newspapers. The situation in Syria has also received frequent attention. People who might not have been especially aware before certainly learned a lot when Mika Yamamoto was killed there in 2012.

Does this mean everybody here knows about Syria? Of course not. But I would be inclined to think that those who did not know before are those who pay no attention to the news regardless and most likely won't become more aware now either.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

His web-site has some vague information about providing ambulances and medical supplies for refugees. Then he mentions transportation and security being provided in something called a Cross-Over Operation.

The picture of him holding an automatic rifle wont get him a Nobel Peace Prize for sure.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The picture of him holding an automatic rifle wont get him a Nobel Peace Prize for sure.

Look up "Yassar Arafat".

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@YubaruAUG. 18, 2014 - 11:25AM JST What is a private military company? Is it a legal or illegal Japanese company? I What difference does it make if it is a Japanese company or not? The dude got himself involved in arms dealing and is now facing the circumstances of his choices. Not all Japanese are pacifist

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

It makes difference. If it is Japanese company illegally operating, Ministry of Justice can seize its asset and arrest CEO, even CFO and other key employees. If not a Japanese company, Ministry of Trade and Economics can be involved. If it has contracts by foreign secret service, etc, it makes difference, CIA is not only one, /could be from any countries;secret OS or/and CSI WDS or maybe Japan destruction organization.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

With New Self-Defense Forces Law (force exercise three conditions) Japanese government has ball to dispatch Self-Defense Forces to rescue this japanese from Islamic jihadists ?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Japan donated how many millions to the Syrian rebels and this is the thanks they get?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Toshiko......read figuratively speaking not literally.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YouTube has an interview with the gentleman:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MpNCst9A0I&oref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D1MpNCst9A0I&has_verified=1

0 ( +0 / -0 )

pc3eta,

Perhaps his friend (and yours?) Tamogami-san can rescue him in person?

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=248713928653127&set=a.248713991986454.1073741832.100005435643985&type=1&theater

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Im sorry, but I don't sympathize this trouble seeker, I know a Japanese guy who also Did the same thing as this guy, at least the guy I know came back alive here in Japan. The guy I know also participated the war in Syria just for fun, through the French military, For them this is like a vacation something to brag to their friends back home. Can't these people just enjoy the peaceful life in their country? Now ISIS is a no joke and they'll either use him for lot's of money (from the tax payers) or cut his head off like their other captives. He is looking for trouble now he got it!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Was he trying to sell weapons over there? As they say, live by the sword....

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Frungy

"I'm asking because I've been seeing it a lot lately and it seems to be assigned to anyone from the middle east doing something the writer disapproves of."

You mean like beheading and crucifying large numbers of innocent people because of their beliefs or ethnicity? How dare writers "disapprove" of such behavior.

Genocide and mass torture DO have their merits. Too bad these writers can't appreciate that, eh?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I saw his FB page.. His "Private Military Company" provides " armed security services". To whom or how it doesn't say. But considering that fire arms are illegal in Japan, his business is a bit suspect. If he is providing weapons to ISIS, how slimy would this guy be?

Also his FB page looks like a bunch of photo ops of war torn countries, and US Military weapons. What a dummy! If he ever gets released, he needs to rethink his line of work.

Makes my blood boil just thinking that my tax money may go to trying to bail out this fool!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Since when does PMC equate to illegal arms deals? Do people really not understand what a contractor does?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Makes my blood boil just thinking that my tax money may go to trying to bail out this fool!

Bail him out? Bailing him out implies that he his being held by a legally authorized court.

Why do you think tax money would be used? To pay for any ransom demands?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I saw his FB page.. His "Private Military Company" provides " armed security services". To whom or how it doesn't say. But considering that fire arms are illegal in Japan, his business is a bit suspect. If he is providing weapons to ISIS, how slimy would this guy be?

He seems to not have a clue what he is doing too. Looks like he liked to play dress up too much.

PMCs should stick to embassy security. The good ones have ex military guys working for them. The problems happen when clueless manchild idiots who watched too many movies want to live their fantasies out. Most of those fantasies end up with them coming home in a bag or a bucket.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Doesn't look good for this guy if you look him up, and especially if he's posting video of slaughters by the group that got him. If he's some kind of arms dealer for ISIS and got caught by the wrong people... Well...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yubaru, Maybe Mirai Hayashi was using the term "bail out" as in "bail him out of his predicament." In other words, figuratively.

As the Japanese embassy (or consulate) is checking into the matter, might have to bring him back to Japan (dead or alive), etc., yes I think our tax money is/will be used in this case, regardless of whether any ransom gets paid.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Having looked at his website earlier before it went MIA, this guy had ex-GSDF written all over him. There were also a number of links to groups associated with the Japan Self Defense Force. That being said, however, based on his photos alone, this chap doesn't seem to be in the same hard-case league as those numerous ex-GSDF who have ditched Japan and signed up with the 2e REP, etc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have such little sympathy for this man that it almost scares me.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@As the Japanese embassy (or consulate) is checking into the matter, might have to bring him back to Japan (dead or alive), etc., yes I think our tax money is/will be used in this case, regardless of whether any ransom gets paid

Precisely what I mean. And to add, that ANY resources (whether it'd be travel expenses to fly this fool back, a diplomat to try to negotiate a safe return, a coffin to ship back his corpse) being used to get this guy out of this predicament, is a waste.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

JeffLeeAug. 18, 2014 - 01:22PM JST

You mean like beheading and crucifying large numbers of innocent people because of their beliefs or ethnicity? How dare writers "disapprove" of such behavior.

Genocide and mass torture DO have their merits. Too bad these writers can't appreciate that, eh?

Way to miss the point, why did you bother referencing my post if you didn't understand it?

The behaviour you describe doesn't make them Jihadists. It makes them terrible human beings who have no respect for human life, but they aren't necessarily doing it for religious reasons. Leaping to the assumption that EVERYTHING that happens in the Middle East is religiously motivated is... well, it is racist.

It would be like saying that Judaism (and therefore every Jew in the world) is engaged in a Jihadist engaged in a holy war against Palestine. If you can't see how stupid and insanely racist that is then perhaps you need to stop watching Fox news for a while.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Strangely enough when I did a search his name with Google Images, the first link I saw was

https://plus.google.com/103849233946055436461/posts

Looking at the pics, I'd say the guy looks a little out of his depth.

Also found this. (Not pleasant afternoon viewing)

http://www.japantrends.com/japanese-photographer-doctor-captured-in-aleppo-syria-by-isis/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, according to the Japanese news, this guy is neither doctor, nor journalist. He is arms dealer . He used to buy US weapons, and to sell them to the JSDF. He was in Syria to trade weapons, obviously.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@oldman

I guess we'll soon be seeing viral videos of this man being beheaded by the jihadists.

Usually, I never agree you on much, but I think you are 100% correct. It would be a miracle if he got out alive with his head. The problem is many Japanese have ZERO idea how savage ISIS is. I have seen some crazy jihadist videos, but these guys have hit the pinnacle of sheer barbaric brutality of beyond the highest level. NO Japanese channel shows this. Many Japanese people that I talk with don't know are oblivious and think we should negotiate with them. I gave them some Youtube links, but they don't want to see any carnage, who does, but if you want to get an idea of what you are dealing with, you should.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@ReformedBasher

Looking at the pics, I'd say the guy looks a little out of his depth.

He's at the bottom of the Mariana trench. From looking at the photos and info on him on his homepage, blog, etc, he doesn't look like he's ex-military. More like just a rich fanboy.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Think I saw a tweet by a purported ISIS soldier saying that he had been executed, around 12 hours ago. Any confirmation?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have no sympathy to these stupid people, who goes to war zone for stupid reasons. I don't want him to die, but I don't want Japanese Government to make any deal for his life.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

About standard level of efficiency for Japanese right wingers.......

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Probie

I'd agree with your assessment. Don't like his chances. Hope I'm wrong.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hope these crazy Islamic/muslim militants don't kill him. It's sad to see so many innocents been slayed. I'm a bit confused about how and why he had been to a warzone.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Frungy

"The behaviour you describe doesn't make them Jihadists."

It sure does!! The Koran clearly recommends decapitation of non-believers as part of jihad. Check out Surat 47:4

"So when you meet in Jihad in Allah's cause those who disbelieve, smite their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them…"

Find it here: http://quran.com/47

3 ( +6 / -3 )

@Jessica Lal, Innocent!? I strongly disagree, this guy is fully aware about the danger, he is seeking for trouble and now he got what he wants...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@frungy Islamic militant's are not just happening in Middle East .. It's happening in Thailand,china,Nigeria,Sudan etc etc... They kill men and take away women's as slave check BBC world for more information.. What they say is either get convert else get killed. So do you still believe journalist's are racist?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

JeffLeeAug. 18, 2014 - 05:52PM JST It sure does!! The Koran clearly recommends decapitation of non-believers as part of jihad. Check out Surat 47:4

Have they beheaded him? No. Then my point is made. There's no evidence they're Jihadists.

In fact JT has even changed the text in the article removing all reference to Jihadists.

I believe someone took note of the racist connotations of attempting to attribute every action in a Muslim country to religious reasons. It would be like trying to attribute everything that happens in America to Christianity... it just doesn't work and is fundamentally racist.

Jessica LalAug. 18, 2014 - 06:15PM JST @frungy Islamic militant's are not just happening in Middle East .. It's happening in Thailand,china,Nigeria,Sudan etc etc... They kill men and take away women's as slave check BBC world for more information.. What they say is either get convert else get killed. So do you still believe journalist's are racist?

Jessica, you're not getting the point I was making. I'm not denying that Islamic militants are doing stuff. What I am doing is questioning WHY the people involved in THIS CASE were labelled "Jihadists" (JT has since changed the text, but that was what they were referred to as in the original).

There seems to be no hard evidence at all linking this case to Islamic militants, just the suspicions of some person at the Embassy.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@Frungy, how do you know they haven't decapitated him?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

JT: You should show a bit more professionalism by making a note somewhere in your article that the news has been updated or edited. Most if not all PROPER news sites do this. Silently changing it in the background and pretending that it was always lie that is a bit sophomoric and unprofessional IMO.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I was interested in Yukawa's given name, Haruna. Not saying it would never be given to a male, but I have only seen it as a female name (both the kanji and the pronunciation). Then I had a quick scroll down the google+ link provided by ReformedBasher. Noticed a post from two months ago in which Yukawa seems to be claiming to have been Yoshiko Kawashima (who is also known by a slew of other names) in a past lifetime and to be living a similar sort of life again this time around. Anyone who doesn't know Kawashima's story is welcome to check out Wikipaedia, in (very) short, she was a spy who often dressed as a man, lead a military group, was executed after WWII.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@jefflee

So when you meet in Jihad in Allah's cause those who disbelieve, smite their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them If you go further(in context) it says and reconciliation is better which means it is better to come toward peace. just making point I am not in favor of them(terrorists). Even (bible) Gospel of luke says; take the sword and fight. but it does not means to kill whole humanity! you have to understand the context of the statement

0 ( +3 / -3 )

sensenotsocommon:

Perhaps his friend (and yours?) Tamogami-san can rescue him in person?

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=248713928653127&set=a.248713991986454.1073741832.100005435643985&type=1&theater

Jesus, I thought that was a woman in the photo!

But yes, people like Tamogami and Abe can lead the way and fly to Syria themselves to save this guy. After all, they want the freedom to fight in wars - please lead the way instead of asking others to go head first.

This guy gives me the shivers with all those military photos, his uploads of Yasukuni and photo-ops with Tamogami. When you play with fire....

It will be interesting to see how Japanese society reacts if or when he comes back (dead or alive). I remember when an aid worker and some other non-military Japanese nationals were caught out in the Middle East a few years back. Upon their return, they were ostracized and treated harshly in a very sickening, but typically Japanese way.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

What does this phrase mean? How is it assigned to people?

I'm surprised you don't know. It is a word of their own choosing. Rather than being "assigned" to anyone, it a term that is enthusiastically embraced by murderous scum to refer to themselves and their brothers as they go about their criminal, anti-social behavior.

I'm asking because I've been seeing it a lot lately and it seems to be assigned to anyone from the middle east doing something the writer disapproves of.

Yes, anything we "disapprove" of. Like beheading and raping people for belonging to the wrong religion - or in many cases the wrong sect of the same religion. And yes, you've "seen it a lot lately". That would be a direct result of having a few dozen countries where jihadis are actively seeking to establish their warped teachings at the end of a gun barrel. And killing anyone who gets in their way.

And now everyone involved is mysteriously transformed into Muslim radicals.

You may be able to split hairs and say that this or that individual is not a jihadi, but rather just a garden variety murderous scumbag, but the one thing they all certainly have in common is that they are muslim radicals.

Seriously media, cut it out. This crosses the line from sloppy reporting to rampant racism.

Rampant racism. Good grief. What gives you the authority to tell media outlets to stop referring to groups of murderous thugs in the very terms by which they wish to be identified? You might even have a point if you were railing against the use of the word "terrorist", but no, you've gone and taken pc double speak to a whole new level.

If and when there's more than some embassy official's "belief" that Muslim radicals "may have been involved" then you can start throwing around terms like Jihadist.

Its beyond a doubt that "muslim radicals" were involved. The fact that you would suggest otherwise calls into question your grip on reality.

Leaping to the assumption that EVERYTHING that happens in the Middle East is religiously motivated is... well, it is racist.

Please point out the events that are not motivated by religion. Every conflict in the Middle East comes down to religion. And when they can't find any Christians, Buddhists, atheists to kill, they'll happily kill members of their own religion because they have slightly different ways of worshiping the same "god".

It would be like saying that Judaism (and therefore every Jew in the world) is engaged in a Jihadist engaged in a holy war against Palestine. If you can't see how stupid and insanely racist that is then perhaps you need to stop watching Fox news for a while.

No, it would be nothing like that. Because the Palestinians are in fact the ones who have been engaging in a decades long jihad against the state of Israel. They've said so themselves. At least Israeli's pay lip service to the notion of peaceful co-existence. Hamas et al have the stated goal of wiping Israel off the map. Furthermore, nice try with the bolded. Nobody has suggested that every muslim around the world is a jihadi. Just the ones carrying guns and slaughtering people for not worshiping their "god".

In fact JT has even changed the text in the article removing all reference to Jihadists.

No they didn't. Its a different article. They just tacked all the old comments onto the new article.

I believe someone took note of the racist connotations of attempting to attribute every action in a Muslim country to religious reasons.

Again with the racist red herring? Muslim is not a race. Neither is jihadi. The term racist is entirely inapplicable. But since you brought it up, please make a list of all the countries where Muslims are a force for peace and goodwill. Next make a list of all the countries with significant muslim populations that have managed to move out of the 18th century. People still denying that this religion is a world wide problem are doing the rest of us a disservice.

It would be like trying to attribute everything that happens in America to Christianity... it just doesn't work and is fundamentally racist.

Like your other false analogy above (the one about the Jews), this holds about as much water as a town water tank after the jihadis have gone through. You might have a point to make if there were any crusaders left in the world. But I think they ceased being active some 800 years ago.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Taking photographs in a war torn country is just as bad as having a gun whether he had a gun or not, especially when you look like you are from some place else. Idiot should have stayed out and let someone else do the reporting instead of trying to be a hero, now he is about to become a zero!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Interesting links, Pukey and others. Maybe Yukawa is hoping - in a deluded manner - to be enshrined in his Yasukuni heaven? It would be ironic if he gets his head liberated with a sword like some of his - possible - heroes dished out all those years ago. I hope he gets returned safely, but his future catch-up with his mate Tamogami must be at long-odds.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A Facebook posting by the head of the Japanese security firm, PMC (Private Military Company) Co Ltd, on July 11 showed him test firing an assault rifle in what he says is Aleppo, Syria. His Facebook page also showed pictures purporting to be from the Iraqi border. In a series of pictures, he poses in an armoured vehicle and complains of the heat.

The firm was set up in January and according to its filing with the Japanese government, engages in a range of business from website design and pet food sales to security services.

An adviser to the firm, Nobuo Kimoto, told Reuters that Yukawa had travelled to Syria earlier this year "because he thought it would be useful for his work". Kimoto, a regional representative of nationalist group "Gambare Nippon" (Stand Firm, Japan) also said Yukawa was active in the group.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In addition to liking the right-wing Tamogami, the LDP, and conservative journalist Yoshiko Sakurai, his Facebook page also shows he likes Justin Bieber. The beginning of the fall...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

hidingoutAug. 18, 2014 - 10:53PM JST

If and when there's more than some embassy official's "belief" that Muslim radicals "may have been involved" then you can start throwing around terms like Jihadist.

Its beyond a doubt that "muslim radicals" were involved. The fact that you would suggest otherwise calls into question your grip on reality.

Beyond a doubt? Then prove it. Please give me evidence that would prove "beyond a doubt" that "muslim radicals" are holding this individual and that they are holding him for the purposes of furthering their holy war.

Because the only "proof" we have about what happened was that it was in Syria and some unnamed guy at the Embassy speculating that maybe, possibly, perhaps some muslim radicals might be "involved" in some way (did they kidnap him or just serve someone a falafel somewhere within a 5 block radius?)

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I believe his private security firm was setting up for expecting job from Japanese Oil Company which doing business in security risk country like Algeria where Japanese oil Company workers were killed by Islamist terrorist group. He went to Syria for to express prospective customers about his experience in war zone. Majority of Japanese peoples do not know how serious Islamist extremism was. This guy is really stupid idiot and naive. Now he got really big problem in there. I hope ISIS does not take serious about what he talks to them and what he said on facebook. I'm sure he was not ex soldier and he is just one of many wanna be Rambo in Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@escape_artistAUG. 18, 2014 - 11:36PM JST In addition to liking the right-wing Tamogami, the LDP, and conservative journalist Yoshiko Sakurai, his Facebook page also shows he likes Justin Bieber. The beginning of the fall..

??? Only Haruna Yukawa story here. Are you sure Tomogari, LDP, Sakurai involved in this incident that Japanese Embassy there is still trying to figure out? What is your info source?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

If he were some slick arms dealer, I don't think he would have posted so many goofy photos of himself online. Poor dumb guy will probably lose his head trying to live out his fantasy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It doesn't look good. His only hope is if the Japanese government stumps up large sums of cash for his release, but that would amount to funding terrorism.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@toshiko

??? Only Haruna Yukawa story here. Are you sure Tomogari, LDP, Sakurai involved in this incident that Japanese Embassy there is still trying to figure out? What is your info source?

Did you read and understand what escape_artist wrote?

In addition to liking the right-wing Tamogami, the LDP, and conservative journalist Yoshiko Sakurai, his Facebook page also shows he likes Justin Bieber.

There is your source. If you look at his fb page, you'd see the picture of him with a dig dumb smile on his face shaking hands with Tamogami.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=248713928653127&set=a.248713991986454.1073741832.100005435643985&type=1&theater

escape_artist didn't say anything about Tamogami being involved.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Please give me evidence that would prove "beyond a doubt" that "muslim radicals" are holding this individual and that they are holding him for the purposes of furthering their holy war.

Although I will be the first to admit that very few things are 'beyond a doubt', Kyodo news agency is reporting that the Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility.

The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for detaining a Japanese man in Syria in a post on the Internet, Kyodo news agency reported on Tuesday.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/islamic-state-claims-responsibility-for-detaining-japanese-man

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Thanks, Probie.

Yeah, Toshiko, I was only perusing through his Facebook page, and making light of his interests, nothing more. I have no idea whether Tamogami, the LDP, Sakurai and others he liked were involved in his adventures, and in no way tried to imply that. I notice that I share a number of music & movie interests with him, but it doesn't mean I'm involved with or support his antics. Interestingly, too, the few minutes I was just on his FB page just now, his number of followers jumped up another 10 or 15 people.

His Facebook page, Google+ page, and YouTube channel page all still are up, with lots of videos and photos and more. If it turns out something happened to him other than being released, then who knows how long these pages will remain. I think he's an idiot and rather reckless, but that's his choice, and hope he's OK all the same.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

im sry,but he is just a idiot,nothin more.he should think more before going to warzone,it s not a game,which u can return back to save point when u captured or die.some of guys here said "he is a mercenary", its just a bollix..he is a guy the who thinks he can impress his friends in that way or just a salesman the who tried increase his sales.poor guy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope the Japanese government will not fork out millions of taxpayer money to buy freedom for this fool. He should have known what he got into.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The government has repeatedly issued advisory to travelers not to go thoes areas. But the government is doing best it can to help this man out of the danger.

Think first and make a move next. Your life is always at your risk.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites