Jumpei Yasuda Photo: REUTERS file
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Ex-captive journalist denied passport issuance for 5 months

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Give him his damn passport, but put a big stamp on the first page..."If you are captured again, we will do absolutely nothing to help you. You have been warned."

14 ( +24 / -10 )

Give him his damn passport, but put a big stamp on the first page..."If you are captured again, we will do absolutely nothing to help you. You have been warned."

Agreed.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

wants to go to Syria to take pictures and make tax payers pay when he gets captured selfish

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

It is the right decision. If he is captured again, it will result in both negative press for the government, and secondly, pressure groups will demand his freedom is bought. Who knows, it might even be a novel ruse to raise funds for the terrorists.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Good!

The Govt is working in Yasuda's best interest , as clearly he places himself and J foreign relations at risk.

.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

Under the Constitution, for all Japanese nationals, freedom to leave and enter Japan is guaranteed. But the passport law stipulates that the government may not issue a passport if a destination country denies entry to the applicant, or it is deemed the applicant could harm national interest.

According to Yasuda, the ministry explained he might go against regulations under the law, as he was deported from Turkey where he had been released last October and is refused entry by the country.

He was asked by the ministry to submit his travel plan in April and he explained that he and his family wanted to travel to India in May and Europe in June. Turkey was not included in the plan.

This doesn't make sense. He's not planning to go to Turkey, it's not a destination country. But if he said he's planning to go there, then they can refuse to issue his passport because Turkey is denying him entry?

I guess they can still refuse to give him a passport on the harm to national interest bit since his last trip cost the government quite a bit.

So much for the guaranteed freedom to leave Japan even for people who have committed no crimes.

19 ( +21 / -2 )

I guess they can still refuse to give him a passport on the harm to national interest bit since his last trip cost the government quite a bit.

It cost the government nothing. I did, however, cost we taxpayers "quite a bit".

This doesn't make sense. He's not planning to go to Turkey, it's not a destination country.

Then I guess the Foreign Office thinks that he might be lying about his travel plans.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Under the Constitution, for all Japanese nationals, freedom to leave and enter Japan is guaranteed. But the passport law stipulates that the government may not issue a passport if a destination country denies entry to the applicant, or it is deemed the applicant could harm national interest.

The Constitution takes priority over the passport law. The government must issue a passport or it will be breaking the law.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

”If you are captured again, we will do absolutely nothing to help you. You have been warned."

Great idea. Many questions remain about treating him as a reporter

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

It isn't that he is begging for Japan to bail him out. Those that capture him force him to do so they can have a payday. He was already captured before the last incident and he returned to the Middle East with the warning that he wouldn't be bailed out the next time. If kidnappers make a public display out of this, people whine for Japan to do something.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yes agreed:

Give him his damn passport, but put a big stamp on the first page..."If you are captured again, we will do absolutely nothing to help you. You have been warned."

A nation can't take the same trouble for him. it's not a fun.

He should find a Job that he don't need to visit overseas.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

The Law of the Constitution supersedes all other laws.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The Constitution takes priority over the passport law. The government must issue a passport or it will be breaking the law.

For better or worse the legal reality is that the government is not obliged to issue a passport in all cases. As far as the constitutional right to leave Japan, this man is still perfectly free to leave at any time. If he were to buy a boat and attempt to sail away, the government could not stop him. The fact that most other countries tend to deny entry to foreigners unless they hold a passport (and most airlines will not allow you to board a plane without a passport) is the real problem here, but this is not something that the Japanese government is directly responsible for.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

By what justification should the government not help him if it happened again? Anyone?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

My passport clearly says it is the property of the government and issued at the discretion of the government. I wonder if it says this on Japanese passports?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Let him BUY a Thai Passport, hold two. Revoke his Japanese one, they'll say, BYE!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yasuda"I'm effectively banned from traveling overseas, as a decision to issue my passport has not been made for some time," Yasuda said.

I'm surprised his wife Myu didn't slap the soul out of him for even thinking about getting a passport to travel, so he can run off on another god-forsaken escapade for a third time. Obviously Yasuda doesn't know how to not look a gifted horse in the mouth.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

he is welcome to swim away... nobody will ask him for passport.. good luck !

maybe he should be first thinking about repaying taxpayer debt for his release?

I also hope he is monitored by the national security org, to make sure he has not been brainwashed....

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

some people seriously dont understand difference between freedom to travel and using a country's travel document to travel.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

"If you are captured again, we will do absolutely nothing to help you. You have been warned."

exactly should be written in all passports, if you visit restricted war zones, you will be on your own, in case of capture the taxpayer will not pay for your ransom, we don't negotiate with terrorists. Terrorist will target Japanese any chance they get because they know the government will pay up when push comes to shove, and these morons will continue to go if they know that the government has got their back if they get caught and they wont be paying for it personally

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

He probably did not declare where he was headed last time.

He ‘lost’ his previous passport.

There were reports in Qatar that the terrorists collected handsomely for his release.

He was deported from Turkey.

So, should he be granted a quick new passport with that track record?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

But the passport law stipulates that the government may not issue a passport if a destination country denies entry to the applicant, or it is deemed the applicant could harm national interest.

Yes, this wording seems to leave a lot to be desired. As I understand it, this is implying you need a destination country in order to apply for a passport. And then that this universal (in that it is not used to allow one to enter a single country but as many countries as recognize it) travel document may be denied an individual if a single country denies entry to them. It would be safe to say that Mr. Yasuda is being discriminated against here on political grounds. Ultimately the decision to grant a passport to an individual is the right of the issuing authority but this does not mean that they are not immune to criticism or legal action if it is evidenced that it is making these decisions arbitrarily or based on political preferences.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Since the constitution is the highest law of the land and nation, which allows for the freedom of movement the government can not use any other law, in this case, the passport law, to deny the enjoyment set out in the constitution. Needs to be challenged in court.

Journalist Jumpei Yasuda is effectively banned from travelling to all countries.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Actually within article 22 paragraph 1, it clearly stipulates that as long as it does not disrupt public welfare, people shall.....

If the government considers you as a potential hazard of disrupting public welfare then the government has the right not to issue a passport.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I also hope he is monitored by the national security org, to make sure he has not been brainwashed....

It's not Russia with the non existent free press and assassinations of outspoken journalists and reports. Tow the Putin line or else. No right of assemble and protests and even a single Red Sq protestor will be dragged away by the security forces.

Article 22. Every person shall have freedom to choose and change his residence and to choose his occupation to the extent that it does not interfere with the public welfare.

Freedom of all persons to move to a foreign country and to divest themselves of their nationality shall be inviolate.

The first part is freedom of movement within the country. The second part is the freedom to move to a foreign country. Public welfare is only applied to the first part, not the second part, otherwise it would come after the second part and not the first part.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Constitution takes priority over the passport law. The government must issue a passport or it will be breaking the law.

So far they've been stonewalling on issuing his passport for half a year.

I'm surprised his wife Myu didn't slap the soul out of him for even thinking about getting a passport to travel, so he can run off on another god-forsaken escapade for a third time. Obviously Yasuda doesn't know how to not look a gifted horse in the mouth.

What if he just wants to go to Guam for a week during the rainy season to get some sun and do some shopping at the Micronesia Mall and get some good food at the Chamorro Village?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Understand if he’s a threat to the national interest but the authorities should make this clear. Prevaricating serves no purpose.

If he’s a taxpaying citizen he is entitled to consular support when he travels, particularly in the job he does. In these days of “fake news”, a journalist’s job is not simply to report that one side says “it’s sunny outside” and the other says “no it’s not it’s raining”. He should open the window and take a look.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This case really highlights how Japanese government actually bends the law and ignores it, and acts like a dictatorship more than a democracy. If the Constitution says a person is entitled to have a passport, then you have to issue it. Otherwise they're gonna start denying it even to normal people, just because.

Moreover, I am totally against people who attack the journalist for being captured.

It's his goddamn job, it's not like he was there on vacation! If the world didn't have brave and courageous journalists that are willing to risk their lives just to make us know what happens in war zones (and the things that governments don't want us to know), we would lose a lot of precious knowledge and individuals. For example If we didn't have brave the people that went to Vietnam during the war to tell us what was happening there, how could have we known?? The same goes for a lot of other cases.

I am 100% supporting the people who put their life on the line just to do their job, and that are passionate about their career. The world needs more of them. And since journalism is a renowned job (but maybe Japan doesn't really get it, since they practically censor their journalists to cover up the misdeeds of the government) I am willing to use my taxpayer money to pay for them, if they get caught.

I am more willing to pay for them, than the useless salary that a lot of idiotic MP receive.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

He needs a new hairstylist for the passport photo...that's one lame "do"

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Unbelievable, in every other socially advanced democracy the necessity of reporters seeking to ascertain the truth, sometimes at risk to them selves is recognised as being both necessary and praiseworthy. Only in dictatorships and repressive regimes would a reporter be punished for seeking to do his job and inform the public of what is happening in a troubled and difficult area of the world.

Agreed he must know and accept the risk he faces, and no government should pay ransom to a terrorist organisation and that is part of the risk he must accept, as must the public so the Japanese government needs to make it clear to everyone that in his case and any other they do not provide funds to terrorists.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

be a man rescind your Japanese citizenship and get on with life never let anyone control your actions

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@zichi Today 02:18 pm JST

The Japanese actually says:

外国に移住し、又は国籍を離脱

The word 移住 means more than "travel" or "move". It is closer to emigrate, or at least taking up permanent residence in another country. Indeed, the GHQ draft uses this wording:

All persons shall be free to emigrate and to change their nationality.

of which "emigrate" was translated to "移住シ". Since our reporter is clearly not moving out to another country permanently (thus making him the responsibility of another country), literally interpreting Article 22 says it is not a Constitutional violation to not issue the passport.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Since passports are not issued for travel to specific countries, any country in the world could deny him entry and the Foreign Ministry would deny him his constitutional right to travel outside Japan. Its strange that Japan lets foreign countries control who gets a passport.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Dango Bong

What planet do you live on? When people like you allow the government to decide who can go where and when, there is no semblance of a free left anywhere in that nation.Mr Yasuda was well aware of the potential risks of his work and never once asked the government to save his ass. I respect that in journalists. If you have a good memory, you will recall that the government "gave up" on him several times and never once offered to pay any renumeration to save his life, as per his request. The "miracle" of his release only became a government talking point after it was evident that he was coming home. If you believe for a minute that governments like Japan's have HIS best interest in mind, you are a just another one of the thoughtless reactionaries that the machine has created. Stop thinking, stop challenging.Good citizen? Bot?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sorry, first line.

No semblance of a free society...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Finding it hard to believe how many of the people commenting here are actually against a free press. His life is in his hands and he has risked in for many years to inform us. What are you guys thinking? Do you need a free media or are you content to absob the news that mainstream outlets push down your throat? Think! Don't feel!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japanese authorities and most of the above comments are scary. Freedom seems to be not a society objective anymore.

I feel very very sad but I will fight hard against tis!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

englisc aspyrgendJune 7  05:01 pm JST

Unbelievable, in every other socially advanced democracy the necessity of reporters seeking to ascertain the truth, sometimes at risk to them selves is recognised as being both necessary and praiseworthy. Only in dictatorships and repressive regimes would a reporter be punished for seeking to do his job and inform the public of what is happening in a troubled and difficult area of the world.

Agreed he must know and accept the risk he faces, and no government should pay ransom to a terrorist organisation and that is part of the risk he must accept, as must the public so the Japanese government needs to make it clear to everyone that in his case and any other they do not provide funds to terrorists.

Agreed. Freedom of movement is a fundamental right of a democratic society, as should be the seeking of the truth. Going into war zones is dangerous which is why we should be supporting journalists who put their lives on the line in order to get out the stories of those who might otherwise suffer and die unheard. Stop drinking the Kool-Aid offered by those quasi dictators who want you to believe the stories that best suit them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He could have had that passion for his job at the expense of national interest. He probably had the worst nightmare of his life all through those yrs in Syria and could have that invincible feeling that he could possibly pass through another worst nightmare. For safety purposes, he shld just write into a book all his experiences as a journalist. Or he could just choose a South East Asian country like mine and go touring and island hopping to paradise like places and he'll probably get what some had underwent. Foreigners in those places are like walking yen/dollars!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even if the got gave out ransom, they won't publicly admit that. Otherwise the life of everyone outside Japan would be in danger. Even in my home country when ransom was paid, it is euphemistically branded as rent/accomodation as if the victims were billed at 5 star hotel resort!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese authorities and most of the above comments are scary. Freedom seems to be not a society objective anymore.

that is a lead of hogwash. freedom does not include a lifeline funded by taxpayers because you want to take pictures in a war zone

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Everyone should know that he was captured for five times.

A journalist? No! he is a professional hostage. haha!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Finding it hard to believe how many of the people commenting here are actually against a free press. His life is in his hands and he has risked in for many years to inform us. What are you guys thinking? Do you need a free media or are you content to absob the news that mainstream outlets push down your throat? Think! Don't feel!

People here are more worried about their tax dollars, which would be spent regardless, than a free press.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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