The Foreign Ministry on Friday released its study on the abduction of four Japanese in Kyrgyzstan, detailing various steps to ensure the security of Japanese engaged in development assistance work abroad.

On Oct. 25, four Japanese mining engineers captured in August in Kyrgyzstan by Islamic rebels were freed after being held hostage for more than two months.

The report concludes that the captives were released based on “efforts to negotiate with the rebels through various channels” and the Kyrgyz government’s “military pressure on the rebels.”

There is no mention in the 14-page report on a large ransom allegedly paid to the rebels.

The report attributes the reason for the engineers’ abduction to “Japan’s limit on gathering security information in countries that have no Japanese embassies or offices of the Japan International Cooperation Agency.”

The report also admits that “communication did not function properly between the Foreign Ministry, JICA and the development research mission (to which the four captured Japanese belonged).”

To avoid similar cases in the future, the ministry has already established a security task force to review measures to ensure the security of Japanese engaged in development assistance work abroad, the report says.

The report also calls for expanding JICA’s ability to gather security information by increasing the number of staff who work in aid recipient countries.

In addition, JICA will place about five “security advisers” at JICA’s Tokyo headquarters — specialists on the security conditions in key aid recipient regions, the report says.

JICA will also dispatch research teams to confirm security in countries without any Japanese embassies or JICA representatives. Three missions have already been sent to nine African and East European countries and another mission will be sent to Central Asia this month, the report says.

According to the ministry, 75 countries have no Japanese embassy.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.