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Japanese journalist freed from Syria says sorry for involving gov't


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He has absolutely nothing to be sorry for.

If only half of the journalists in Japan had his dedication to journalism and the truth in the face of risk to themselves we may not be looking at a country that has had the same bumbling narrow-minded government in power for multiple decades basically consecutively and making a complete joke of even feigned democracy.

Well done sir. We owe you a round of gratitude.

14 ( +20 / -6 )

Honestly speaking, he doesn't have to give any apologize to the government. I said literally ANY. Why should he?

If the gov't really cares about its citizen in trouble somewhere overseas like Yasuda-san (with mentioning how much important and honorable his job is), it must do anything in its power to rescue them.

Also I need to say that he's not his fault if Yasuda-san got captured by those freaks. That's why I am saying that he doesn't have to give any apologize to the gov't, whatever it is.

His witness about what's happening is Syria is really valuable and must considered as such.

J-gov must learn from what's happened to him, so they will realize what's their role and how they should use the power at their disposal: help their citizens, if they really care.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Sorry for taking our millions in tax money for your release, coward. Luckily we don't live in feudal Samurai times, different fate would of came.

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

Jumpei Yasuda , from now onwards, must desist from going on dangerous assignments in future to protect his life .He has whole of JAPAN before to do constructing reporting for his country.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I beg to differ with you two. He knew what he was, cuz he had already done it once before. Simply put, he wants his 15 minutes of fame. Granted he did risk his life, be he knew that going in. His being Jspanese is probably what saved him. If he was American, he would have bern dead long ago. So yeah, I think he should apologize for what he did, and all the crap he's going to do because of it.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

he knew what he was doing, Japanese, and been. not used to my new keyboard and I didn't check

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

but he knew that going in

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Kenji. What makes you think Japan paid any money for his release? Even if they did (and they didn't from the literature I have read), the Japanese government pisses that money away in far lesser ways on a daily basis than to save a human being's life. And what about this whole ordeal makes him a coward?

I think we are ALL very lucky we don't live in "feudal samurai times"! I'll agree with you 100% there Kenji 'ol pal.

11 ( +14 / -3 )


"Prime Minister Shinzo Abe thanked Turkey and Qatar for their help in freeing Yasuda, the Japan Times reported."

"Some have accused the Japanese government of paying a ransom for Yasuda's release.

The Japanese government however, has denied the accusation."

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Hmmm. Brave? I guarantee Yasuda will not use his reporting skills to do anything to uncover or be critical of the many problems, injustices and corrupt practices in Japan.

I know his type. No thankyou.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

People know going in that by reporting critical views of the right-wing or monarchy will possibly end in violence in Japan as well. Does that mean that they should not report such perspectives or news?

It's good that you know his type. I'll go ahead and be satisfied with that empirical evidence.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

He meant to say, "thank you for the second time."

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

So why not be a hero in Japan? instead of going to "abroard". PLenty of work to do here Mr Yasuda.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

J-dake, cowards are those who are aware of entering a company without security personnel heavily armoured. He didn't care and went for his pride and recognition. We have constantly been paying cowards crying wolf.

1 ( +1 / -0 )


-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Simply put, he wants his 15 minutes of fame. 

Do you really think the bloke's only after fame and ¥? He's been covering the ME for the last 2 decades, been kidnapped twice; either he's the craziest/biggest attention-seeking sob around or he genuinely loves the ME/what he's doing (perhaps a bit too much though).

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Ok we have radically different definitions of “coward”. I can’t much argue with that. Webster’s might.

Again, what tax money are you referring to here?

So, if the “tax money” angle is removed, and as far as I’m concerned it is, what’s left peehaps is that people are angry that he didn’t listen to his gov’t’s warnings, didn’t fall in line like a good subject. Well I have news for you. Democracy not only allows for such individuals it damn near depends on them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Fritz, i dont know you’d have to ask him. Perhaps it’s not his speciality. Perhaps he is global minded? Perhaps he wants to inspire future or present Japanese joirnalists tontake risks domestically and actually take the government, right-wing cults, imperial system and wartime revisionists to task despite the clear danger they present?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

So he was releases on the basis of what exactly? Thugs just give in to kindness or free sushi? You also have to see the angle in a different way

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

How do you know if Abe and his goons didn't hand money via a third party for his release.. Think realistically and logically.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

I am sure that he had no desire to involve the government in the first place. It was the terrorists who wanted him.to contact the govt. so could try and have a nice payday. He probably wanted to be as low key as possible to try and avoid his passport being voided like the government has been doing of late.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

What reason would they have to pay his ransom and then deny it? I’m trying to follow your idea of realism and logic here.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Of course they used our tax money, don't forget the elections here are near, Abe wants to save his credibility..

Stating the obvious on Japanese news, will make it look worse, but we already know the reality.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

If it’s not 100% accurate then maybe the is room for Mr. Yasuda after all. I knew you’d see the light ol pal. You are the one who said Japanese people get their news from thise sources not i.

if all Japanese people see him as a coward like you implied then how does paying the ransom help his election hopes?

That I doubt and am skeptical of news, which I absolutely am, is precisely why I would thank and not attach Yasuda.

either j-gov’t paid his ransom and then lied to you about it or they disn’t pay it. Either way it would seem that your anger is misdirected

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Hes a politician, what are politicians around the world good for, bs and attention seeking.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Im not angry at all, just can see through the nonsense on media and live in reality.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Abe wants his agenda and small scapegoats like this, is good to divert the masses attention a little.

Moderator: Please stop going around in circles.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

That still doesn’t explain why he would pay a ransom and not take credit for it if it was in his favor as you variously say would and wouldn’t be the case.

sorry, I assumed calling him a coward and implying you would not disagree with him recieving capital punishment for it had it been in samurai times (sorry if i misunderstood) was anger manifesting.

Look, you seem like a reasonable guy and you seem to Be anti-Abe so i suspect we are on the same side in many respects. It’s entirely possible we are both being duped. I’m simply going on the evidence we have been afforded rather than projecting my assumptions and presenting them as facts.

I’d say your criticism is misdirected.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It is reasonably understandable he said sorry. J government warned times Japanese citizens must not go in Syria whatever.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Domo J-dake

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Anyone in the world via Twitter knows exactly what's going on in Syria today.

There are specialized pages like Reddit, Syria liveaumap, or Syrian civil war that give an exact information of this conflict. Also from there you can know in real time the safe areas of the Arab country.

You, Mr. Yosuda, do not have to apologize for anything. Just thank all the agencies that have been working for his release. Do not be ashamed of anything. You were just doing your job.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Lol, the victim gets to apologize? Would it have been better if he was murdered? Sick!!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

How do you know if Abe and his goons didn't hand money via a third party for his release.. Think realistically and logically

Thats exactly what they did. Qatar being the go-between. Kudos for questioning the narrative and not drinking the koolaid

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

doughead, yeah, and a terrorist group just got enough funding for the next 50 years. No apologies necessary!

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

The government has denied paying a ransom to secure his release.

Clearly they did, and Abe has been caught in so many lies it is not funny.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@ Kenji Fujimori

We have argued about this before, so I won't waste my time and argue with you the same points. But one thing is clear from your posts: you have no idea what a conflict journalist is doing, especially how they tick and why they do it. I recommend to you to watch the documentary "War Photographer" about one of the most outstanding conflict photo journalists of our time, James Nachtwey. He was BTW also one of the first photographers supplying us with real images about what was going on in Tohoku after 3.11. To understand better about what makes people like Jumpei Yasuda tick, you may start here:


7 ( +8 / -1 )

I am keen to find out if Jumpei Yasuda would be not affected by the Stockholm syndrome.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

No need to be patronizing.. Muda

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@ Kenji Fujimori

Well, if you refuse to accept any other view point out of principle I cede my case.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Nothing to apologize for, Yasuda-san. Your bravery, mental and physical toughness, in the face of torture for so many years by terrorists, is inspiring. Your stories have provided the world with unique insights into these terrorists. If only all other journalists were brave too.

Welcome home! Enjoy more onigiri!!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Kenji and other detractors

It is because of guys like this, you snd I can actually see what is going on in the real world without government filters. You call him a coward,but me thinks the description is more befitting of others. Welcome home Yasudasan, know that some do have respect for your work.

Ganbare... at last we finally agree on something, well said.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Here we go again. A man who arms himself with only a camera and travels to a war zone to report the truth to the free world is somehow a coward. Yet the people saying that don't have the fortitude to do the same, what does that say about you? Look in the mirror before you question someone's bravery.

Mr. Yasuda, you have nothing to apologize for. The world could use a lot more people like you.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Although his desire to report on what is happening in Syria is laudable, the story now is all about him. I'm tired of journalists who rather than report the news become the news.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

I can't believe the comments on here siding with Yasuda. He was a free journalist, he wasn't working for anyone. He wasn't on an assignment. For all we know, he just went in on his own trying to make a name for himself, doing what others won't do. That's probably why he feels guilty.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Remember the addage, "don't be a hero?"

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

thanks for your hard work and sorry for your sufferings Yasuda san.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Was he a self proclaimed "journalist"? Did he really have press credentials?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I can't believe the comments on here siding with Yasuda. He was a free journalist, he wasn't working for anyone. He wasn't on an assignment. For all we know, he just went in on his own trying to make a name for himself, doing what others won't do. That's probably why he feels guilty.

Was he a self proclaimed "journalist"? Did he really have press credentials?


I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you do not have any understanding of what freelance journalism is.

Yasuda, and freelance journalists like him, do not go to these places 'on assignment' or working for a news outlet. They go to these places, take photographs and right stories with the hope of selling them to news outlets. If they are working for someone, they aren't there as 'freelance'. Yasuda was doing nothing wrong.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Oh dammit. 'write' not 'right'.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And, they have to do it at their own risk. He said so himself, no?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Why are you guys making him out to be a hero?

He knows he just caused more trouble hence the apology.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )


Why are you making him out to be a hero.

Not saying he is a hero, yet have a lot of respect for guys like him that go to these places where they run the risk of dying so you and I have access to real news, instead of being spoon-fed by the likes of Fox and other mainstream news outlets or your government.

Is it no different to when people bang on about servicemen being heros for going to conflict zones, yet they are armed to the teeth. Guys like Yasuda are armed to the teeth with only some pretty desirable lens choices.

He may well have caused some trouble, but not as much as the mighty American military machine has in these zones.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And, they have to do it at their own risk. He said so himself, no?

Why are you guys making him out to be a hero?

He knows he just caused more trouble hence the apology.

Because he is brave enough to travel to a war zone with only a camera in order to provide you and the rest of the outside world with news of what is happening there. The majority of news from conflict zones that you read every day is provided by freelance journalists and sold to major news outlets. It's much cheaper than sending their own people who they would have to be responsible for.

I don't think anyone is saying he is a hero, but he damn sure has a lot of courage to do what he does. He's apologizing because of people like you who think he shouldn't be doing his job, that 'somebody else' should do it. If everyone treated him like they should be, as a courageous journalist, risking his life to report the news, I doubt he would be worrying about apologizing.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Why are you guys making him out to be a hero?

He’s not a hero, just not some hack sitting comfortably in an office rewriting and editing news stories from 3rd party sources (like freelance journalists) and official press releases. He tried to do his job, feet on the ground, like a real journalist should do and now is a victim of the bullies hammering on the nail that sticks out, after suffering unspeakable conditions and torture.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Anyone who thinks this guy isn’t a hero has lot the plot. Journalists who go into places like this to report, do it at risk to their own lives and liberty so that we can get the real story about what is going on in these places, so that we have a perspective other than propaganda by one side or the other.

How is it our parents were able to recognize these guys’ heroism, yet our kids have become so stupid they have no clue as to the necessity we have for these reporters, nor the ability to recognize their heroism?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

his decision to travel to a war-ravaged country despite the Japanese government warning against it.

Speaking in front of hundreds of reporters, Yasuda said he was captured in Syria shortly after he crossed the border with Turkey on foot in June 2015. He said he headed to Syria because he "wanted to know more about the Islamic State" militant group.

Lucky man, but I don’t think he really understood the complexities of the Islamic world and I don’t know what he thought what would happen if you thought the westerner would in someway prevent him from being kidnapped? Hard to say, but he did find out the hard way and lucky he still has his heads between his shoulders. Brave man or stupid man, you be the judge. Been a few times to the Mideast, know what it’s like and I wouldn’t have taken that chance for sure now. When I was there in the 90’s they weren’t cutting off people’s heads and even if you got kidnapped you didn’t have to worry about your head being chopped off or being paraded in front of the video camera, the old changed with Daniel Pearl.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I don’t think he really understood the complexities of the Islamic world

Considering he hasn't made any statements in that direction whatsoever, and considering you've never talked to the guy, I must say that that thing you made up out of your mind, based on no reality whatsoever, must be true!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@ Strangerland

I generally agree with you but would resist call him a hero. Americans especially have a crave for heroes. Clint Eastwood made a carrier out of that desire. The problem is, that you yourself get the news, a celebrity, which obfuscates what you are trying to do - your job you believe in. Having worked in the media myself and been to dangerous places, I'd bristle being termed a hero and I am sure Yasuda-san would feel the same. The standard line of 'heroes' is: "Just did my job". No need and no desire for being elevated to celebrity status because then, as the case of Yasuda shows, you attract the ire of the bullies.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Anyway, Yasuda had been working in that area for many years, and was a friend of Kenji Goto. I think he was well aware and knowledgeable

Really? I tend to disagree.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I generally agree with you but would resist call him a hero.

Hero: a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character

Someone who puts their own lives on the line for the benefits of other members of humanity is a hero. Going into war-areas to report for the rest of us is courageous, and shows nobility of character.

War reporters are perfect definitions of what a hero is.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The fact that he bowed, is proving he is disgraced and the people here are angry. Japanese culture bowing or dogeza, is showing an apology to either a corporate scandal or other related. It's what disgraced individuals do here. Why else is je bowing, for a standing ovation and the pulitizer prize?

Every Japanese corporate scandal, government money theft, etc etc they all do the fake apology bow or in worse case scenario dogeza..

It's Japanese traditional

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I don't know how much information you guys are getting, but reading through the Japanese sites, nobody believes his stories. That's after them watching his press conference.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )


if he actually feels ‘disgraced’, it’s because of people like you and your buddy lb315 who are trying to shame him for doing a job that the average person would never have the courage to even attempt.


I don’t care if random Japanese forum user #301555 believes his story. I’ll take the word of legitimate news sites.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

reading through the Japanese sites, nobody believes his stories.

Can you enlighten us about what kind of alternative reality they are proposing?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I started watching the press conference, and I agree with everyone criticizing him, he is not cut out to be a journalist. He had a guide who was to take him into Syria. They decided that it was better for the guide to go check on the border alone to see how safe it was for Yasuda to go in. It was during the times that people were getting shot crossing the border.

So Yasuda was to stay put where he was. But as he waited, a couple of Syrian guys came over and told him they'll take him across the border. He didn't know who they were and felt strange, but went with them anyway. Once they crossed the border, they grabbed him and put him into a car and his captivity began.

I guess he had been captured like 5 times in like 2 years prior? and he never learns. People are saying, yeah, we need journalists, but not him.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It was his own mistake, that's why he apologized. And if it took taxpayer's money to get him freed, hell yeah, the Japanese are pissed.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japanese Authoritarians who worship Abe Government hate Free Journalists who disobey Government's orders.

They think that always being obedient to Government is right.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@ LB315 Thanks for the info.

I'd still withhold my judgement and definitely would give him the benefit of doubt, especially right now when he's probably suffering from PTSD and not sober minded. It is always futil to argue in hindsight about bad decisions, especially by people who weren't there. Few people in Japan know the conditions in conflict zones and judging him from a safe tatami mat is self-righteous at best. He joined the wrong guys, maybe he didn't want to argue with some hot tempered 18-year olds, heavily armed, which would be a sane decision in that particular moment. We don't know the details and the situation. Various news sources write that he got caught once before, not 5 times, BTW.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't know how much information you guys are getting, but reading through the Japanese sites, nobody believes his stories. That's after them watching his press conference.

I totally agree.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I tried searching for his books. Does he have any published books?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have always thiught his stories are fishy.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Yasuda didn't say whether the guys were armed or not. Probably not, since if they were, I'm sure he would've said it. It's not a detail you would leave out. Anyway, the details are already in, he said it in his own words. He just followed strangers, even though as little kids, we're always told not to follow strangers.

The press conference is 2 1/2 hours long, I can't watch it. But from what I've read all over, he had a pretty good life in captivity. Good meals with dessert, satellite TV 6 hours a day, internet access, phone access, was told they will never kill him, etc. It did eventually get hairy and some torture did start, even though the torture was more like not being able to move, as opposed to getting beaten up. But that was short, for the most part, he had a good life, hence people say he looks great, for being held captive for three years.

Critics say, Syrian people have good internet access and post up what it's like there everyday, they sure didn't need Yasuda to go in, where his government said not to go, to report what life is like there.

People say his demeanor is like, he hasn't learned a lesson and may just take off again.

And also, everywhere I read, he had been captured 5 times and this was his 6th time.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Also, people hate him because he just casually throws out the word "at your own risk." They say, well if you really did go at your own risk, if you really know the meaning,then be a Samurai and don't come back alive, don't ask for a bail out.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

don't ask for a bail out.

Where does it say he asked for that?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Oh yeah, they allowed him to keep a diary. People also criticize him that for being a journalist, after three years, he never found out what group his captors were.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

LB315, Excellent posts. I agree.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So they just let him mumble for 3 hours but didn't ask him any questions?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yasuda is the ultimate showboater. I think hes full of it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yasuda is the ultimate hero. He risked his life to reveal the truth to the rest of us.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yasuda is the ultimate hero. He risked his life to reveal the truth to the rest of us.

@ Strangeland - we are on the same page on this. I agree 150 %.

I hope in the next few years, with the new Emperor, Yasuda-san will be awarded the prize of “Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers.” He is a true Hero of Japan. I am upset with any negative comments about Him.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

educate me was he a bonafide journalist are there samples of his reporting anywhere?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

More demonisation of journalists. Be it by right wingers, Saudi Princes or our online community right here in Japan.

Dangerous times.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don’t think he is to blame. He just did what he has to do and that’s his job. He arose our concerns about what’s happening in conflict areas. It is enough.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

japanese apologies for anything are worth more than confederate dollars

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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