A Japanese journalist who
was abducted by militants in Afghanistan five months ago has been freed
by his captors and left the country, Japan's Foreign Ministry said.
Tsuneoka, a freelance journalist and veteran of war zones, was
kidnapped on April 1. He was released Saturday night to a Japanese
embassy and appeared tired but otherwise unharmed, the ministry said in a
"Thank you to all those that worried about me and
worked for my release," Tsuneoka wrote on his blog Monday morning from
Dubai. "I am scheduled to return to Haneda tonight," he said, referring
to an airport in Tokyo.
Tsuneoka's mother told Kyodo News agency
that her 41-year-old son had called home from the embassy after being
released in the Dasht-e-Archi district of Kunduz province.
series of messages to his Twitter account, Tsuneoka said he had thought
he would be executed, and that he was not being held by the Taliban, as
reported in the Japanese media. His abductors were local militants
posing as Taliban to decieve the Japanese government, he wrote.
captors apparently decided to release him because he is a fellow
Muslim, Kyodo said.