Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Japanese authorities to issue new passports without delay to war correspondents and ex-hostages Jumpei Yasuda and Kosuke Tsuneoka. The former is waiting for his passport since his return in late October from Syria, where he was held hostage for more than three years. The latter, who was held hostage for five months in Afghanistan in 2010, had his passport confiscated in February under questionable regulations.
"In a democratic state, it is not acceptable that the administration assumes the right to limit the movements of journalists,” insists Cédric Alviani, head of RSF’s East Asia office. “The Japanese authorities would be better off showing gratitude to reporters who risk their lives to inform the public, rather than preventing them from working.”
In recent years, a segment of the Japanese opinion has accused war correspondents of being irresponsible by reporting within areas where they risk being kidnapped, which they see as a source of embarrassment for the country.
Japan ranks 67th out of 180 in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index.