Video of reported Japanese hostage surfaces with message to family

Tokyo – A video surfaced on Thursday appearing to show a missing Japanese journalist, reportedly held by an al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, reading a message to his family and country. “Hello, I am Jumpei Yasuda. Today is my birthday, 16 March,” the bearded man, who appears to be the Japanese freelance journalist of that name, says on the video, posted on Facebook. Japanese media said Yasuda was captured by Nusra Front after entering Syria from Turkey in June. Public broadcaster NHK said it had spoken by phone with the man who posted the video, who said he had received it from someone seeking Yasuda’s release.



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