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Missing Japanese journalist appears in Al Qaeda video



Missing Japanese journalist appears in Al Qaeda video
A Japanese journalist who went missing in Syria after entering the country from Turkey has appeared in a video which surfaced online.
The Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda who is reportedly being held by al-Nusra Front- an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, is seen in the video reading out a message to his family and country.
In the clip posted on Thursday, the journalist was dressed in a dark sweater with a scarf seeming mostly calm as he spoke in English in the one-minute video.
In his message, Yasuda who was sitting in front of a white wall said he misses his family but could not be with them at least for now.
“Hello, I am Jumpei Yasuda. Today is my birthday, 16 March,” he said.
According to the Japanese media, Yasuda was captured by al-Nusra Front after entering Syria from Turkey in June.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the man in the video appeared to be Yasuda but he would not confirm the authenticity of the footage.
“The safety of Japanese citizens is one of our most important duties and we are gathering information and making all possible efforts to respond,” Suga told a news conference, declining to give details.
He added that the government was not aware that any ransom request had been made by Yasuda’s captors.
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