Test results confirm body in Kuwait is that of slain freelance journalist

Kyodo

Test results have confirmed that a body airlifted from Iraq to Kuwait is that of Shinsuke Hashida, one of two Japanese freelance journalists attacked near Baghdad last week, officials said Wednesday night.

The confirmation was based on bone analysis, dental records and DNA tests carried out on blood samples provided by his family members, they said.

Hashida’s 50-year-old wife, Yukiko, and their son, 22-year-old Daisuke, viewed the body at a U.S. military facility in Kuwait around 10 p.m., sources said.

A U.S. military plane transported the body to Kuwait, where Hashida’s family members waited to help with identification.

Hashida, 61, and Kotaro Ogawa, 33, also a freelance journalist and Hashida’s nephew, along with their Iraqi driver and their interpreter, were attacked May 27 by gunmen while driving through Mahmoudiya, about 30 km south of Baghdad. Only the driver survived.

Ogawa’s body was transported by U.S. forces Monday to an air base in Kuwait, where family members identified it.

On Wednesday, the belongings of the two journalists, including Hashida’s hat and Ogawa’s notebook, were given to their families.

The hat bears a hole indicating that he was shot from behind, and the victim’s hair and blood are on it.

Ogawa’s notebook also has blood on it, the officials said.

Their families will accompany the bodies when they return to Japan on Sunday, they added.