Freed Journalist Yasuda Unable To Get Passport

Freed journalist Yasuda unable to get passport

NHK has learned that Japan's Foreign Ministry has refused to issue a passport to journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who was freed last year after being held hostage in Syria.

The journalist said he received a notice from the ministry earlier this month that it will not issue a passport to him.

Yasuda was held captive by militants in Syria for more than three years from 2015. He returned to Japan last October after his release.

His passport had been taken from him while he was held hostage, so he applied for a new one in January.

The notice from the ministry reportedly said Yasuda was banned from entering Turkey, and this subjects him to passport issuance restrictions under the Passport Law.

Yasuda told NHK that he has no plan of traveling to Turkey. He said preventing him from traveling to other countries based on Turkey's prohibition of entry violates his basic human rights guaranteed under Japan's Constitution.

Yasuda expressed his intention to seek an investigation by authorities of the ministry's decision.

The Foreign Ministry told NHK that it refrains from commenting on specific cases. It added, however, that it looks carefully at every passport application while considering the Passport Law.