Japanese reporter missing in Syria in video appeal for help
March 17, Tokyo: The Japanese government is believes a video posted on Facebook is of Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda who is missing in Syria since last year.
Nothing has been heard from Yasuda, 42, since he disappeared after entering northern Syria.
In the video, which was posted on Facebook and Twitter, identifies himself by name and sends a message to his family.
In the one-minute video, he says in English: "Hello, I am Jumpei Yasuda and today is my birthday, 16 March." He said, "I love you, my wife, father, mother, brother. I always think about you. I want to hug you. I want to talk with you. But I can't any more."
In the video he appears to say Japan's government has ignored his plight.
Japanese media said that a Syrian man in Turkey told them he posted the video and that Yasuda was being held by the jihadist group al-Nusra Front.
The group, al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, has killed foreign hostages before, but also released some in return for a ransom or as part of a prisoner exchange, reports said.
Al-Nusra is violently opposed to so-called Islamic State (IS), which killed two Japanese hostages last year, contractor Haruna Yukawa and freelance journalist Kenji Goto.
The Oslo Times