Japan PM to halt Asia tour amid hostage crisisBy AP News Jan 18, 2013 4:41PM UTC
TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to cut short his first foreign visit since taking office to focus on the Algerian hostage crisis.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says Abe, currently in Indonesia, will return home immediately after holding talks and news conference with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Friday.
(READ MORE: Algeria: Army rescues hostages, toll unclear)
Abe canceled his key policy speech and other events in Jakarta to return to Tokyo early Saturday because at least a dozen Japanese remains unaccounted for in the Algeria crisis.
Algerian special forces stormed a gas plant in eastern Algeria on Thursday to wipe out Islamist militants and free hostages from at least 10 countries. The fate of the fighters and many of the captives remains uncertain.