RealNews

Japanese Man Sues Over Iraq Kidnapping

A Japanese activist who was briefly held captive in Iraq has sued his own government, saying its decision to send troops to the region angered his kidnappers and was to blame for his ordeal. Nobutaka Watanabe, 35, is seeking the equivalent of $46,000 for mental and physical hardship he suffered during his four days as a hostage, his lawyer Masatoshi Uchida told The Associated Press Wednesday. “Mr. Watanabe believes his kidnapping was the result of Japan’s military presence,” said Uchida. “His captors told him that he had been taken because he was from a country that had sent troops to Iraq.” Watanabe, who filed the suit Tuesday, had earlier written dispatches for his activist group from the southern city of Samawah, protesting Japan’s deployment of some 550 troops there on a humanitarian mission to rebuild infrastructure. He was taken hostage along with freelance journalist Jumpei Yasuda while traveling near the besieged city of Fallujah on April 14. Full Story

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