French engineer kidnapped in Nigeria in 2012 freed

Nov 17, 2013

French engineer kidnapped in Nigeria in 2012 freed

A French engineer taken hostage by Islamist militants in Nigeria, Francis Collomp, has been freed after nearly a year in captivity, President Francois Hollande said on Sunday. In a statement, Hollande expressed thanks to Nigerian authorities for helping to secure the release of 63-year-old ...

Feb 8, 2013

Firms put N. Africa projects on hold

North African countries have been a magnet for Western and Japanese businesses thanks to sizeable gas and oil deposits, proximity to the European market and the potential of their internal markets driven by young, growing populations. Some firms, however, are re-evaluating the benefits versus ...

Naming slain captives raises privacy issues

Jan 25, 2013

Naming slain captives raises privacy issues

by Masami Ito

The victims’ right to privacy was pitted against the public’s right to know as the media pressed for the names of the Algerian hostage crisis victims to be disclosed while the government and JGC Corp. remained tight-lipped, but Tokyo finally caved Friday, revealing the ...

Two Algerians with ties to JGC questioned

Jan 23, 2013

Two Algerians with ties to JGC questioned

Algerian authorities are grilling two Algerian kitchen workers who had been serving food to employees of the Japanese company JGC Corp. at a natural gas complex in the Sahara, suspecting the pair provided inside information to the Islamic militants who took scores of foreign ...

Algerian kidnapper: jihadist or brigand?

Jan 19, 2013

Algerian kidnapper: jihadist or brigand?

Moktar Belmoktar, the one-eyed Islamist whose men seized dozens of hostages in a deadly attack on an Algerian gas field, is a wily desert fox branded as a terrorist by some — but perhaps is just a common brigand. He was born in 1972 ...

Nation's firms lured by Algeria's resources

Jan 18, 2013

Nation's firms lured by Algeria's resources

by Mizuho Aoki

Engineering firm JGC Corp., whose employees are believed to have been taken hostage Wednesday by Islamist militants in Algeria, is just one of many Japanese companies making inroads in the resource-rich country. “In the North African region, Algeria and Libya are the two important ...

Gunmen take hostages at Algeria gas plant, including Japanese

Jan 18, 2013

Gunmen take hostages at Algeria gas plant, including Japanese

Several Japanese employees of Yokohama-based engineering company JGC Corp. were among dozens of foreign workers taken hostage by heavily armed Islamic militants at a natural gas complex in Algeria on Wednesday, the government confirmed. Algerian troops surrounded the Islamists holding the hostages Thursday after ...