RealNews

Former Japanese Iraq Hostages Criticize Media, Govt

Two Japanese held hostage in Iraq earlier this month criticized domestic media on Tuesday for echoing a government stance that blamed the captives and their families for putting Japan’s military mission in Iraq at risk. The two were among five Japanese civilians taken captive by Iraqi militants, who threatened to kill the other three unless Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi pulled Japan’s 550 ground troops out of Iraq, where they are engaged in reconstruction. Nobutaka Watanabe, 36, a former member of Japan’s military with ties to a civil rights group, and freelance photographer Jumpei Yasuda, 30, told a news conference that the Japanese media had followed the government’s cue by blaming the hostages and their families for becoming victims of the kidnappers. Full Story

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