Japanese Journalist Ordered To Hand Over Passport

Japanese journalist ordered to hand over passport

Japan's Foreign Ministry has ordered freelance journalist Kosuke Tsuneoka to hand over his passport as he attempted to travel to Yemen.

Tsuneoka went through departure inspection at Tokyo's Haneda Airport on Saturday. He had planned to report on food shortages in the civil war-torn country.

Tsuneoka says he tried to travel to Yemen via Oman in mid-January, but was not allowed to enter Oman and was ordered to return to Japan.

This time, Tsuneoka planned to travel to Yemen through another country. But at Haneda, he was shown a written order to give up his passport because he had been banned entry into Oman.

Tsuneoka says he had been issued visas from Yemen and the country where he was taking his connecting flight, so he cannot understand why he was barred from leaving Japan.

He claims it infringes on his freedom of travel and amounts to obstruction of journalism.

Japan's Foreign Ministry has been urging Japanese nationals in Yemen to evacuate, and is advising against traveling to the country.

The ministry has declined to comment on the case.