The Japanese news has been suppressing the more vivid videos of the hostage situation in Iraq and continue the "we are not pulling out" line. One piece of news that even the West seems to be suppressing is that the Japanese hostages are being threatened with cannibalism.

"We tell you that three of your children have fallen prisoner in our hands and we give you two options -- withdraw your forces from our country and go home or we will burn them alive and feed them to the fighters," the group said.
Most reports are saying "killed" or "burned alive".

via The Command Post

38 Comments

TBS is just showing the parts of the video where one of the hostages is forced to say "No Koizumi". They also had a long part where the relatives of the hostages could speak.

http://www.iht.com/articles/513972.html

fooey, they were christian missionaries, so this is probably reason behind their capture. I dont think governments will show their true colors unless an official soldier is captured. You cannot keep lasting peace by showing desire even if you want to call it desire to love this idea of god.

I'm willing to bet that what was said by the kidnappers was lost in the translation to infer cannibalism.

It's never the big statistics that hit home, somehow, hostages always make you realize that there are real people out there, not just numbers.

What frightens me is that the hostages are being marginalized in the big American media. They have no names and the footage is so obscure - it might be so that their deaths aren't as shocking but one can only imagine the uproar, background stories and relatives that would be on television had they been American.

http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/SITE/data/html_dir/2004/04/10/200404100018.asp

first its interesting to actually see some business details about iraq. LG has 10 showrooms in bagdad, whoa. i wonder how many they have in NYC then... hehehe.

Anyway, the korea herald had nothing about hostages , but the more state "influenced" paper, chosun ilbo has front page coverage: http://english.chosun.com/

this is terrible; but we are witnessing the world's growing pains and the internationalization of the crisis in the middle east which is tied to the worlds consumption of oil. we will have a protracted conflict as long as we need oil and are inside iraq to maintain its flow. The contries in need of such energy, will need to participate in international efforts to maintain the overall abundance of oil.

there is alot of infrastructure needed to get the oil out. also developing economies are putting a strain on oil needs such as india as well as china like never before. such pressures will be felt as social earthquakes as those who wish to maintain the level of productivity at this pace to bring about a level of prosperity for the most possible persons are aiming at a post cold war capitalist utopia.

the magnitude of war and terror projected in the media is only going to create a security pressure as the need to create a new superpower to balance the current pax americana. the question is, what will be the new super power now that the soviet union is gone? the pan islamic state with nuclear power did not happen after the southern flank of the former soviet union collapsed. Those at a disadvantage to the military might of the US, will use cheap, and clever methods to blackmail the world into a new submission, the reaction being exactly the end goal of the attackers, that is, to make things less free, to increase surveillence, with exploitation of each weakness with each generation, resulting in a very different human condition in a step/phase manner system. the hostages in Iran, created political pressure in the us in the 80's. The Oklahama bombing, created a pressure towards more security, and now, the Japanese Hostages in the context of video tapes found in spain, are all aimes at creating a certain reaction and polital landscape change. As the attacks intesify, the world will be more unstable dispite the intensification of surveillence. The very attack on the soviet system in the 70's is what is being experienced by the western and industrialized world. In my opinion, there is more instability in the polital world then ever before.

The only way to decrease the intesity of this biofeedback and feedback screaching is to decrease dependence on oil with wind, ocean, and solar energy systems. If persons feel empowered over institutions with balanced information systems, or sousavaillence, there will be less of a need to react in a way that we are seeing in Iraq. The public execution is meant to inflame, but one should be cautious that the inflamation is purposeful and to the end goals of an organization that is systematically trying to place the world into chaos...bringing us all back towards the middle age conflicts of yesteryear.

having seen the twin towers collapse, and experiencing the eiree waiting for causualties in near by new jersey that never came to the emergence rooms cause the causualties never got out of the buildings, my words of wisdom is to not let the playback audio visual of this very evil thing create anger and hatred within. The intent of these evil persons is to invade our solitude and privacy, to create the subconsious animalistic reaction towards changing our very world, to make us less free, less democratic, to undermine the things that makes all individuals.

hatred can create a strong negative imbalance in the soul, and create a collective state of mind which can create harm to the civic good.

I heard, "burned alive" on MSNBC.

Some people say there greatest fear is Cancer. My greatest fear is to be taken hostage. I'm horrified when I see that news clip and I shoot up a prayer for those people and their families.

Gah.
Just found out one of the hostages is a "friend of a friend", both fellow Montrealers. Small world.

http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/04/09/canada/fadel040409

This kind of connection bumps it up a notch in terms of "touching the reailty of it".

I have not been following this very closely and it is obviouly a very tragic event for the hostages and their families.

I am very interested why these individual were over there in the first place - Koko posted above they were missionaries. If so, they, and the organizations they represent displayed very poor judgement.

I think it's even sadder that even if the hostages did have a chance to come back to Japan they'd literally be social outcasts and comepletely unable to return back to Japanese society. They have already been touted as the country's weakness and thats just not acceptable to Japan's current government.

So pork but but human flesh ok, very odd.

So no pork but but human flesh ok, very odd.

info suppressed in the news are not only on incoming ones to Japan. provided English translations are possible subject of manipulation by the media. it's subtle and only found when if you carefully compare both Japanese and English.

(oops, accidentaly sent multiple trackbacks. sorry. I didn't find it was still sitting on the queue. )

Shane: There is a lot of coverage in the Japanese media giving details about the hostages. They are not missionaries. Two went there for volunteer work, one is a free photo journalist.

One of the volunteers is only 18 years old. He has only recently graduated from high school and is an activist on the question of depleted uranium munition.

The other activist, a 34 year old woman, has been helping street children in Iraq.

Dana, I didn't understand something you said earlier:

"I think it's even sadder that even if the hostages did have a chance to come back to Japan they'd literally be social outcasts and comepletely unable to return back to Japanese society."

Why is this? May I ask where you saw/heard this discussed. Why would they be shamed?

I am a Republican, Conservative...but I have had it. DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET THESE PEOPLE HOME. I should have known better, I lived through WW2 and then some. We never progress forward with violence. Especially when the response is violence in response to attack. I understand violence. I had a gun to my head, a 357Magnum, so I know the smell of fear. Othr stuff, as well, I tell you now, please get these people out. Don't get care about response or retaliation. LOOK TO HISTORY>

I am a Republican, Conservative...but I have had it. DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET THESE PEOPLE HOME. I should have known better, I lived through WW2 and then some. We never progress forward with violence. Especially when the response is violence in response to attack. I understand violence. I had a gun to my head, a 357Magnum, so I know the smell of fear. Othr stuff, as well, I tell you now, please get these people out. Don't get care about response or retaliation. LOOK TO HISTORY>

I do not understand the comment about the hostages being oustracized in Japan if they are rescued. They have family, friends, employers, colleagues, teachers, classmates...Why is such a comment being made?

Dick Cheney apparently went to Japan to continue applying the "don't give in" pressure to the Japanese and other Asian nations.

I say, shut up you fool!

Who is this guy to pretty much dictate to Japan and the other nations not to give in to the demands of the hostage takers? Let those nations decide for themselves what they want to do! No doubt Koizumi's decision not to give in to the demands was partly influenced by pressure from the US.

The three poor hostages are just three nameless, history-less bodies to him, and apparently, to a lot of other people. What if you were you one of the three? What if you were taken hostage and had knives put to your throat and you were threatened to be burned alive? Would you want your country to pull out their measely 500+ troops out of Iraq to save your life? I would!

What would that bastard Bush and Cheney do if the tables were turned? What if they were the ones held hostage and were threatened to be burned alive? I suppose they wouldn't be so against bowing down to the terrorists then, would they?

It's easy enough to stand back and sacrifice the lives of those three strangers... until you are put in that situation; or someone you know is; or someone important (i.e. Cheney or Bush or some other venerable public figure) is. I doubt people would be so willing to do nothing for fear of empowering the terrorists then.

Again, if I was one of the hostages, I wouldn't care about the politics surrounding the negotiations. I'd just want to be freed -- whatever the cost!

One who is fighting for his home and to avenge his dead, always fights hardest and without any concern for his own life, for he has been promised heaven. Compared to the Hell his life has been made, it seems like the only thing to do. You cannot fight desperate men. Men who live "as though their body is already dead". They will gain freedom in their own Way, through their Jihad. Back off, bacause they sure as hell aren't planning on stopping any time soon... and I don't think you have more young men to spare. For the record, I am from Greece. We should know about war and about fighting lost causes...

The comment of social outcast is not true.

Most Japanese people are peace loving. The hostages are also peace lovers, and at least two of them are peace activists.

The freelance journalist Koriyama is formerly of the SDF but has repudiated in favor of hard work as construction worker and photo-journalism.

The young man, Imai, is an anti-war, anti-nuclear activist. Recently he visited Vietnam and became an ardent anti-war activist.

Takata is non-aligned humanitarian who was caring for street children in Baghdad. She also helped rebuild a woman's school prior to the Coalition occupation.

All three hostages are in Iraq of their free will and know the risks they were taking to return.

There is no way that the Japanese hostages would be outcasts if they went back to Japan. Most of Japan are against the war in Iraq and are desperate for the safety of these people. There have been protests and petitions signed inorder for the troops to be sent back and the hostages freed.

There is no way that the Japanese hostages would be outcasts if they went back to Japan. Most of Japan are against the war in Iraq and are desperate for the safety of these people. There have been protests and petitions signed inorder for the troops to be sent back and the hostages freed.

There is no way that the Japanese hostages would be outcasts if they went back to Japan. Most of Japan are against the war in Iraq and are desperate for the safety of these people. There have been protests and petitions signed inorder for the troops to be sent back and the hostages freed.

It is April 11th, 2004. Easter Sunday. I was so happy at the thought of the 3 Japanese hostages being freed. I have watched CNN this morning and not one mention about them. If this was 3 Americans, we would be getting bombarded with reports from all areas, interviews with the family, background history etc. I am sick and tired of the world and some of the people who think they are governing it. It is time now!!! for the world to join together and make every effort for this planet to get back to normal and stop wasting time with stupid wars. Bush created this problem and if he is a Man at all, would take the reposibility and get this mess straightened out. Young men are giving up their lives and for what? They are told they are there to fight for America's freedom. America was not attacked by Saddam Hussien(even though the world is better off without him), but by the Al Queda. Americans know what Freedom is. Do the right thing and let these 3 Japanese hostages return to their familes safe and sound. You will gain nothing by killing innocent people who were trying to make a difference in Iraq by helping in a humanitarian way. September 11, 2001 the world mourned for people in the towers. It was a dreadful sight which I and the rest of the world never want to see again. Do not come down on the head of the Japanese. I would not want to be in his shoes making the decisions. It is world known that you cannot give in to terrorism. If we do then this world will not be worth living in at all. Bush is the one that has to stand up and make the final decision here.The trouble is, left to him, we know what that would mean.

To the families of the 3 hostages I want you to know that your family members are in my thoughts and prayers daily. Don't give up hope. Tough times never last but tough people do!

Some Japanese reacted negatively
to Peruvians resident in Japan
during previous hostage crisis,even though the Peruvian government headed by a Japanese
origin president was the target of the now dead Marxists hostage takers.
Will the many Iranian Shi'as
in Japan be targeted for the actions
of the Iraqi Shi'a militia?
BTW before the invasion many
Western peace activists volunteered to be hostages in
the mistaked belief that their presence would prevent US bombing of vital civilian infrastructure. I doubt that
they would be as eager to be
involuntary hostages of increasingly xenophobic resistance fighters.

I stumbled onto your site because I was "looking" for news of the Japanese hostages. I ,too, was more than concerned with the silence over their situation .

The silence could be for more than one reason though : it's seriousness would insist that silence and outrage be kept at the minimum , it's an old airline rule for hostage events. Better we give the terrorist "no more reason to do harm than he has decided already".
Upon contemplating this trio - the possibilities for exacerbating the danger for all in Iraq could be enormous. I will choose optimism that your Prime Minister and the US government acts with your countries best interestas well as ours.
The other choice is unfortunately the narrow view of the American interest .
I prefer to think - the reticence is the result of the first two reasons.
Let their reasons for being there speak well for them when they come back.
I believe in the effectiveness of prayer ( it doesnt mean I am a Bush fan ) and that is what we are doing for them.
Think "paper crane".

Your bio is terrific - and the part about the LInux in the bathroom is hysterical.
Just an old lady as concerned as
others are. It is a country led only by its emotions now and the intellect of reason is lacking. Their view of any future has long been shortened by their own past leader. This type of task is the real job for everyone now and the voices are minimal . it is why I pray a whole lot now.

Peace
Elizabeth

I live in Japan and I am sick and tired of our so called government. Our sissy government choose to listen to US rather than listen to Japanese citizens.
But most of all I am really disappointed at Iraqi for kidnapping those two unarmed peace loving people who were only trying to help out (photo journalist were there to sell the photograph and his story for cash).
I think JDF should locate those hostages and rescue them and get the hell out of Iraq for good. And let US and British deal with this mess.

I am Chinese and even though I have many Japanese friends, and have visited Japan and been amazed by its efficiency, cleanliness, organization and modernity, when I hear people speaking Japanese, I have a self-reflex of being sent to an internment camp to be killed for war experiments, thanks to the Japanese Imperial Army. Even though I fell in love with a Japanese girl whom I know has no complete part in these historical bullshit, it fills me with lots of complexes and tensions inside of me; I feel anguished. However, this incident has shown me how beautiful, peace-loving and self-sacrificial normal Japanese are, and the stories of these 3 heroic Japanese youths touched me in a Christ-like way more than Mel Gibson's Passion. I think citizens of the world should unite over the Internet. To HELL WITH ALL THE MILITARY AND ALL THE GOVERNMENT who sell us war and sent our children to kill each other in the name of whatever propaganda they are promulgating. I think we should get KOIZUMU and BUSH to step down. The terrorists terrorized in the first place not because of any GOOD and EVIL or ISLAMIC state. It was cos their babies and children were bombed to death by U.S. airplanes. We have to stop governments worldwide in massacring their citizens, be in German Nazis, French Vichy, Chinese Communist, Japanese Imperial, ex-USSR Communist Govts. And now the BUSH NAZI AMERICAN ADMINSTRATION. I say we should force BUSH TO STEP DOWN. If he starts ordering the army to shoot us down in front of the White House, the world would know that America is now controlled by a Maoist BUSH who has committed TREASON against the country for betraying the FREEDOM, HUMAN RIGHTS and DEMOCRACY that AMERICA stands for. So I say, we should bring BUSH into a war trial and all his campaign monies $200 million of it should go to healthcare for kids who are dying of starvation.

its a shame - they're going to die and theres nothing anyone can do about it, we just need to hope that nothing like this happens to any of our loved ones - my sympathy to thier family and friends

their*

How could Japanese people even condsider giving in to the demands of the kidnappers?

You think it's a good idea to cave in in such a way to depraved, brutal thugs, who would burn alive and "feed to the muhjadeen" three well-meaning people like the hostages?

Iraq becomes a sovereign nation again in less than six months time. Why are they opposing "occupation" that really consists of restoring freedom and self-government to Iraquis?

It's because the bad actors here, including the kidnappers) oppose freedom, oppose a stable and democratic Iraq.

The three hostages disregarded the Japanese government's instructions to stay out of Iraq.
Why is it the fault of the Japanese government that the three put themselves in grave danger? IT was a foolish choice, as well-meaning as it might have been.

I've heard rumors the three might even be complicit in their own abductions (as a kind of ani-war stunt) I don't believe that.

But they did help put themselves in danger.

The chief blame is not with them, or the Japanese government, or the US government.

The blame is with the depraved, animalistic thugs who would burn alive three well-meaning peaceful people to make a political point. It doesn't get any worse than that, and we need to wipe people like that off the face of the earth.

ahh bahh...most people dont even know what their talking about specaily Sarah.
"You think it's a good idea to cave in in such a way to depraved, brutal thugs, who would burn alive and "feed to the muhjadeen" three well-meaning people like the hostages?"
i never heard any of these words on the news; most westerners simply never understand because they present their views thinking that they are on the so called "freedom" side. The point is that the kidnappers are human too!!! dont forget that.

Imai Noriaki
Koriyama Soichiro
Tokato Nahoko
Have strength and courage, and please come home alive.
...Stuart

Take heart, Japan! Our thoughts, prayers, hopes are with your countrymen! I've been hanging on for news of the hostages, and I would not blame the Japanese if they withdrew the forces. The fact that the "kidnappers are human too" makes a mute point. So what? So we should give in to their demands simply because these thugs are more brutal in their methods than we ourselves are? The mess has been made; now, unfortunately, we must take what's coming in the process of cleaning it up, and kill any deadly bug that gets in the way.

whats the difference between the three japanese and all the innocent Iraqies that have died?...your message sounds like the words of GEorge Bush; g.Zink, pure American.:)

according to the Guardian (UK), they were freed an hour or so ago, handed over to the Association of Muslim Scholars, who helped negotiate their release. there is no difference between the hundreds of innocent Iraqis killed and these 3, sure, but it makes for 3 lives saved. and also shows humanity on the part of the kidnappers. perhaps Bush and Blair could take note. oh and Sarah W, sure, the Japanese knew they were putting themselves in a risky position but this does not make them foolish - they were there to help and probably wouldnt expect special treatment nor consider their own lives more important than those of Iraqis. anyway, it was horrible news we woke up to this morning that an Italian hostage has been executed and now two more Japanese journalists kidnapped. there are many foreign hostages. and many Iraqis effectively hostage in Fallujah. to stop the violence NOW would not be giving in to terrorists. it would be to give in to peace.

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