A freelance journalist recently freed after being held hostage in Iraq said that while he regrets not properly realizing the dangers of traveling near a war zone, he stands by his decision to go and report on the situation there.

Jumpei Yasuda, 30, who returned to Japan on Tuesday, told The Japan Times in an interview later in the day that, as a journalist, he feels it is his mission to return to Iraq.

He added, however, that he may have to put this idea on hold due to the escalating violence there and the intense criticism leveled by the public and media in Japan against him and four other Japanese civilians who were held hostage in Iraq, as well as against his parents.