FIRST AIRED: October 24, 2018

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>> Three years held hostage in Syria has finally come to an end for this Japanese freelance journalist. That's confirmed by Jumpei Yasuda himself in a video released on Wednesday.>> My name is Jumpei Yasuda, Japanese journalist, I have been held in Syria for 14 months, now in 13, now I'm in safe conditions.
>> Reports suggest Yasuda was captured by an Al Qaeda affiliate after he crossed over into Syria from Turkey in 2015. Only making contact with the rest of the world through the occasional video released by his captors.>> Hello, I am Jumpei Yasuda and today is my birthday, 15 March, they told me that I can speak what I want freely.
And I can send a message through this. I love you, my wife, father, mother, brother. I always think about you, I want to hug you.>> Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he was relieved about the release. And thanks Qatar and Turkey for their help in freeing him, which involved no ransom being paid.
The Foreign Minister says Yasuda will be brought home as soon as possible. Two other Japanese nationals, one a journalist, Kenji Goto, was captured by the Islamic state in Aleppo in 2014. Both were beheaded. Yasuda's release marks the second time he has survived a hostage situation. He was also held in Baghdad in 2004 and drew criticism for involving the government in the negotiations for his release.