MANILA – A 32-year-old Japanese national who was abducted in Manila last month was safely located by Philippine police last week, officials announced Tuesday.
National police chief Ronald dela Rosa said Tokyo resident Yuji Nakajima was rescued on Thursday in Bulacan province north of Manila.
Nakajima arrived in the Philippines on March 22, supposedly to work to pay off a debt.
Two days later, two Filipino men and a Japanese man identified as Takashi Miyashita, 61, picked him up from his hotel in Manila.
After being taken to different safe houses where he was handcuffed and threatened with a gun, on March 25 he was dropped off at the house of a relative of one of the Filipino suspects in Bulacan province.
Sensing that Nakajima was not a guest, as claimed by the suspects, and that something was wrong, the relative decided to help Nakajima get in touch with his family in Japan and the Japanese Embassy in Manila.
The embassy reported Nakajima’s situation to the police, including his whereabouts, leading to his rescue on Thursday at a shopping center in Bulacan province.
Follow-up operations by authorities led to the capture later that day of the two Filipino suspects in the Manila suburb of Pasig, with a handgun being recovered from them.
Miyashita, who turned out to be a fugitive from Japan, was nabbed the following day in another suburban area of the capital.
The suspects are facing complaints of kidnapping with serious illegal detention as well as firearms charges.
Two other suspects, including the alleged Japanese mastermind of the abduction, are being sought.