08/02/2018, 10.08
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Japanese journalist kidnapped in Syria: 'Save me now'

Jumpei Yasuda appears in a video and asks to be saved. Disappeared in 2015, he had entered north-western Syria from Turkey. He is thought to be hostage to Al Nusra. Another video of the Italian Alessandro Sandrini was released in October 2016. Even his condition seems critical.


Istanbul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Tokyo government is moving to try to free the journalist, recognized as Jumpei Yasuda (photo 1), who disappeared in Syria in 2015. The man appears in a video released in July by some agencies that monitor the activities of the jihadists.

In the video, the man identifies himself as a South Korean named Umar. However, the authorities believe this is the missing Japanese journalist. The video lasts about 20 seconds and is titled "Appeal of a Japanese hostage in Syria".

The man in the video says in Japanese: "My name is Umar. I am South Korean. Today is July 25, 2018. I am kept in a terrible environment. Please save me now. "

Yesterday, in a press conference, the secretary of the head of cabinet Yoshihide Suga said: "We are making every effort to address this situation, using various networks".

Yasuda disappeared after entering northwest Syria in June 2015. He is believed to have been taken hostage by the Al-Nusra Front.

The videos and photos were published online and passed to the media by a Syrian man, who claims to have obtained the material from a person who negotiates on behalf of the extremist group.

Also in July, another video was published of an Italian kidnapped in Turkey in October 2016 and, according to the authorities, detained in Syria. Alessandro Sandrini (photo 2), from Brescia, in the video states that it is 19 July. Even his condition seems critical: "I've been in prison for two years and I can not take it anymore, I'm tired inside. I ask Italy to close this situation quickly because they have clearly said that they are fed up, that they will kill me ".

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