TOKYO (TR) – Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary on Monday said the government considers the person shown in a newly obtained photo to be missing Japanese journalist Junpei Yasuda, reports Nippon News Network (May 30).
“We are viewing the person as Yasuda himself,” Yoshihide Suga told reporters at 6:00 a.m.
In the photo, Yasuda is seen in an orange shirt and holding a sheet of paper with black and red writing that says: “Please help. This is the last chance.”
Yasuda went missing in July of 2015, shortly after secretly crossing into Syria from Turkey. He went into the country to report on issues such as the execution of freelance journalist Kenji Goto, who was killed after being captured by Islamic State militants that same year.
Al-Nusra Front, a Sunni Islamist militia aligned with al-Qaida, is believed to have captured Yasuda. The image in question was obtained from a person who is negotiating to obtain Yasuda’s release, according to Nippon News Network (May 30).