The government said Wednesday that a man in a video released by apparent militants a day earlier is likely Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who is believed to have been kidnapped by a jihadi group in Syria in 2015.

In the 20-second video clip released Tuesday, the man said to be Yasuda — who disappeared in strife-hit Syria just over three years ago while reporting on the country's civil war — claims to be South Korean, but delivers a short statement in Japanese, asking for immediate help.

"I'm in a terrible situation. Please help me now," the man says as his voice cracks.