A 44-year-old Japanese journalist, well-known for his coverage of conflict zones and kidnapped by Al-Nusra Front in Syria in June 2015, has been rescued by the Turkish security forces. Jumpei Yasuda returned home after three years of mental and physical torture.
According to the Japanese government, he was released after mediation by Qatar and Turkey.
Yasuda arrived by a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to Narita Airport in Tokyo. He described his 40-month captivity by Islamic militants as "hell" both physically and psychologically.
Yasuda told Japan's NHK that the thought of not being freed day after day led him to lose control of himself and living in a cell had become normal for him. He is happy to be going home, but feels as if he had fallen behind the rest of the world and was uncertain how to catch up.
Earlier this week Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga had said that the Qatari government had notified Japan about Yasuda's release. Despite all the ransom claims by some organisations, he denied that any money was paid for the secured release of Yasuda.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has thanked the leaders of Turkey and Qatar for helping to secure Yasuda's safe release.