Japanese journalist heads home after 40 months held hostage by militants

Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda sits between Turkish gendarmes on a Istanbul-bound flight due for departure at Hatay airport, Turkey October 24, 2018. REUTERS/Mert Ozkan

ANTAKYA, Turkey (Reuters) – A Japanese journalist held hostage by Islamist militants for 40 months left for Japan from Turkey on Wednesday after being freed and said he was happy to be going home.

Jumpei Yasuda, a 44-year-old freelance journalist who was reported to have been captured by an al Qaeda affiliate after entering Syria from Turkey in 2015, was released a day earlier after three years in captivity.