Fears grow for Japanese journalist missing in Syria
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Fears grow for Japanese journalist missing in Syria

Worries are growing about the whereabouts of a freelance Japanese journalist, last heard from one month ago in Syria.

The lack of contact from Jumpei Yasuda, who last posted to Twitter on June 20, brings back painful memories of fellow Japanese journalist Kenji Goto’s execution by ISIS in January.

In his last post to Twitter Yasuda, 41, said it would be difficult for him to post regularly to social media in real-time and that the challenges of his job were “no joke”.

It is not known why Yasuda, who has been reporting on the Middle East since 2002, has not been in contact or if he has been taken captive in the war-torn nation.

According to his website, Yasuda has been a journalist since 1997, starting out in newspapers before going freelance in 2003 after a trip to Afghanistan.

Yasuda was taken hostage in Iraq in 2004, with three other Japanese, but was freed after Islamic clerics negotiated his release.

Kosuke Tsuneoka, another freelance reporter, said he received a message from Yasuda in Syria on June 23, but has not heard from him since. He is worried as it is unusual for Yasuda to be out of touch for so long.

The Foreign Ministry says it was aware of the reports but has no confirmed information.

Additional reporting from Associated Press