The Latest: Freed Japan reporter ‘blank’ about future

Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda, center, is driven out of the immigration center in Antakya, Turkey, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. Yasuda was freed after more than three years of captivity in Syria Wednesday. (Yosuke Mizuno/Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on the return home of a Japanese journalist freed from more than three years of captivity in Syria (all times local):

9:45 p.m.

The wife of a Japanese journalist freed from captivity in Syria says her husband is “blank” about his future plans, including the possibly of reporting again from conflict zones.

Jumpei Yasuda returned to Japan on Thursday after being released from more than three years of captivity under severe conditions in Syria, where he was kidnapped by an al-Qaida group in 2015.

His wife Myu, who briefly met him at the airport, asked him if he wants to resume war zone reporting, and said he replied that he is “blank” and not thinking about anything.

Yasuda earlier told Japan’s NHK television that he wants to stay in Japan for a while and work on something related to his country.

8 p.m.

The wife of a Japanese journalist freed from captivity in Syria says her husband’s first meal after arriving in Japan will be his mother’s hand-made rice balls.

Jumpei Yasuda, kidnapped in 2015 by al-Quaida’s branch in Syria, returned to Tokyo on Thursday after being freed and taken to Turkey earlier this week.

His wife Myu said she hugged him after he arrived at the airport, in their first reunion in more than three years.

Myu had only 15 minutes to talk with Yasuda and hand him the rice balls before Japanese officials escorted him out of the airport without talking to reporters.

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6:35 p.m.

A Japanese journalist who was kidnapped in Syria has returned to Japan after more than three years of captivity.

Jumpei Yasuda, who was kidnapped in 2015 by al-Qaida’s branch in Syria, was freed and taken to Turkey on Tuesday. He arrived in Tokyo on Thursday night.

Yasuda, in interviews with Japanese media on board the plane, described his 40 months in captivity as “hell” both physically and mentally.

Yasuda is a respected journalist known for his coverage of conflict zones.

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2 p.m.

A Japanese journalist freed from captivity in Syria has said he is happy to go home after living in “hell” for more than three years.

Kidnapped in 2015 by al-Qaida’s branch in Syria, Jumpei Yasuda was expected to return home Thursday after he was released and taken to Turkey.

Yasuda described his 40 months in captivity as “hell” both physically and mentally. He was kept in a tiny cell and tortured.

Yasuda told Japan’s NHK television on a flight from Antakya in southern Turkey to Istanbul that he is happy to be going home, but feels as if he’d fallen behind the rest of the world and was uncertain how to catch up.

Yasuda is a respected journalist known for his coverage of conflict zones.

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