Japanese reporter freed in Syria apologizes for trouble

Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who was released in Syria last week after more than three years of captivity, bows at the beginning of his press conference in Tokyo Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who was released in Syria last week after more than three years of captivity, speaks at the beginning of his press conference in Tokyo Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who was released in Syria last week after more than three years of captivity, speaks at the beginning of his press conference in Tokyo Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who was released in Syria last week after more than three years of captivity, bows at the beginning of his press conference in Tokyo Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda, left, who was released in Syria last week after more than three years of captivity, speaks during his press conference in Tokyo Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who was released in Syria last week after more than three years of captivity, speaks during his press conference in Tokyo Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who was released in Syria last week after more than three years of captivity, speaks during his press conference in Tokyo Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who was released in Syria last week after more than three years of captivity, speaks during his press conference in Tokyo Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who was released in Syria last week after more than three years of captivity, speaks at the beginning of his press conference in Tokyo Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who was released in Syria last week after more than three years of captivity, speaks during his press conference in Tokyo Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who was released in Syria last week after more than three years of captivity, bows at the end of his press conference in Tokyo Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO — A Japanese journalist who returned from more than three years of captivity in Syria says he was kidnapped as soon as he crossed the border and apologized for causing trouble to his government.

Jumpei Yasuda faced reporters in Tokyo on Friday for the first time since gaining freedom. He says he went to Syria in June 2015 to see for himself what was really happening and how the conflict affected ordinary people.

Yasuda, a respected journalist known for his coverage of conflict zones, says he made a mistake at the border when he continued into Syria even when his local escort suddenly changed plans and he had to follow a pair of unknown guides. He was held by al-Qaida's branch.

He says he is fully accountable for causing trouble.

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