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This is such great news. I feel wonderful for the people of Japan, and especially for the hostages. I'm also grateful to the kidnappers. Perhaps they will focus their attacks on THE GUYS WITH GUNS instead of on the meek. And maybe their compatriots will follow their example.

Big sigh of relief, indeed.
I see that some inept, parasitic and no-good Japanese politicians and bureaucrats have been criticizing these hostages for having caused "meiwaku" -- trouble -- and unnecessary expenditures for the "rescue operation" led by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
These contemptible politicians probably don't realize that Takatoh, Imai and Kouriyama have actually played a big role raising Japan's profile and sympathy capital in the middle-east.
Given Japan's dependency on middle-east oil, the trio's activities will probably make a much more significant contribution to Japan's national interests than any of these self-important, expendable and insular politicians will achieve in their "careers"...

As predicted by somebody in a previous thread about the hostagest, this article reports on the chilly reception received by the returning hostages (free day-pass to site if you watch an advertisement):

http://salon.com/news/wire/2004/04/23/hostages/index.html

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