Iran General NewsJapanese hostage healthy and in Iran, envoy told

Japanese hostage healthy and in Iran, envoy told


AFP: A Japanese student taken hostage in Iran is still being held in the country but is in good health, an Iranian official told a visiting special envoy from Tokyo, media reported Thursday. TEHRAN (AFP) — A Japanese student taken hostage in Iran is still being held in the country but is in good health, an Iranian official told a visiting special envoy from Tokyo, media reported Thursday.

Itsunori Onodera, the senior vice foreign minister, is in Iran for talks with Iranian officials to win the release of 23-year-old Satoshi Nakamura who was captured by bandits last week in the country’s restive southeast.

According to the state broadcaster’s website, Onodera held talks with Mohammad Ali Shahidi, the deputy foreign minister in charge of consular affairs, after his arrival in Iran on Wednesday.

“The latest information we received regarding the situation of the Japanese tells us he is healthy and that he has not been taken out of the country,” Shahidi told the envoy.

“We hope that with these efforts he will be freed as soon as possible.”

Onodera also met Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, who expressed hope that Nakamura would be released soon, state media reported.

Nakamura had been travelling alone in southeastern Iran in a region close to the border with Pakistan after teaching Japanese and English in Nepal with a volunteer group.

He was kidnapped on October 8 as he headed from his hotel for the ancient mud-built citadel of Bam, which was one of Iran’s main tourist attractions until it was destroyed in a 2003 earthquake that killed 31,000 people.

A trickle of foreign tourists still visit the area, despite warnings from governments about the risks of travel in the region.

The interior ministry has warned Japan not to interfere in the delicate process of releasing the hostage, saying the hostage takers could take advantage of this.

A bandit named Esmail Shahbakhsh has been blamed for the kidnapping and is asking for the release of his arrested son in exchange for Nakamura, according to Iranian officials.

The bandit is said to be the same man whose gang in August abducted two Belgian tourists who were later freed.

The female Belgian tourist held was freed shortly after her capture but it took a month to win the release of her male partner from the hands of the bandits.

Japan has historically had cordial relations with Iran, both before and after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Latest news

Iran’s Fruit Production: Exports High, Consumption Low, Prices Soar

Iran's diverse climate, topography, and altitude give rise to a wide variety of fruits, ranging from tropical dates to...

Iran’s impoverished population has skyrocketed

Over the course of a decade, 11 million people (about twice the population of Arizona) have been added to...

Iran’s Medicine Shortage Continues as Production of Sports Supplements Increase

One of the dilemmas before ordinary Iranians is the shortage and skyrocketing price of medicines. All the while, the...

Iranian Regime Presidency Servers Taken Over By Dissidents, Exposing Regime Vulnerabilities

In a significant security breach, the official website of the Iranian regime’s presidency was taken over by Iranian dissidents...

Abolfazl Amir Ataei, 16, Dies After 8 Months In A Coma

Abolfazl Amir Ataei, a 16-year-old teenager in the Iranian capital of Tehran, died on Friday, May 26, after being...

Iran’s Regime’s New Hijab Bill Seeks to Silence Women

On May 21, Ebrahim Raisi’s government approved and sent a bill on "Chastity and Hijab" to Iran’s Parliament (Majlis)....

Must read

Iran doing final pre-start tests at nuclear plant

Reuters: Iran is conducting final tests at its first...

Iran school hostage drama over as gunman surrenders

AFP: A gunmen took teachers and young children hostage...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you