The four mining engineers who returned to Japan on Tuesday night after being held hostage for more than two months by Islamic rebels in Central Asia do not suffer from any serious health problems, doctors said Wednesday after the four underwent medical checkups at Tokyo hospitals.
The doctors, however, also said the engineers will be hospitalized for several days for further checkups.
The four were sent to hospitals immediately after they arrived at Narita airport and saw their families there for the first time since they were dispatched to Kyrgyzstan four months ago.
Nobuhisa Nakajima, 49, who worked for the Overseas Mineral Resources Development Co., was sent to Toranomon Hospital in Tokyo’s Minato Ward. He went to sleep at around 11 p.m. after visiting with his family.
After waking up at around 6 a.m. Wednesday, Nakajima had his temperature taken and blood tested before breakfast. Hospital officials said that although Nakajima appears to be in good health, they will still have him undergo extensive checks due to the possible physical trauma caused by his two months in captivity.
The three others — Hirotaro Fujii, 47, Haruo Harada, 38, and Toshiaki Ariie, 58 — who originally belonged to Mitsui Mineral Development Engineering Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui Mining & Smelting Co., were sent to Mitsui Memorial Hospital in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward Tuesday night.
After spending the night with their families, the three also underwent medical checks Wednesday morning. Although no serious abnormalities were detected, doctors at the Mitsui hospital said they would closely monitor possible psychological damage from their two-month confinement.
A colleague who visited Harada at around 10 a.m. Wednesday quoted him as saying that he enjoyed his first Japanese meal in months. After a breakfast of rice gruel and miso soup, Harada said that he was in good shape, the colleague said.
Another Mitsui employee said that when he visited Fujii at the hospital, Fujii’s wife, Emiko, was peeling an apple for her husband and they both seemed relaxed.
A colleague of Ariie’s said Ariie was sorry to have caused so much anxiety but appeared happy to be home.
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