Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Japanese hostages 'to be freed' - BBCi

Iraqi group to free Japanese hostages - Aljazeera

The Japanese hostages in Iraq are supposed to be freed in a few hours. I'm watching the TV news for more information now.

UPDATE: Japan awaits news about hostages - BBC


After having followed the development of this situation I wonder about its authenticity, specifically I wonder if the three Japanese taken hostage were complicit in their abduction. Perhaps this was a ploy made by Japanese citizens opposed to the deployment of the Japan SDF in Iraq attempting to force the government to withdraw its troops.

There is no solid evidence to support this, but a lot of things that happened surrounding this situation really make me wonder. In one of the two videos of the captives commonly aired in Japan, shows the captives sitting and calmly talking with the Iraqi group with their blindfolds off. In the other video they are shown blindfolded and yet thay are still very calm and seem quite unafraid. Perhaps they knew they had nothing to fear.

There is another video on the internet which shows the youngest captive saying "no Koizumi." Is this something someone who feared that they were going to be burned alive would say? It seems to political to me.

Lastly the fax sent to Al-Jeera claiming that the hostages would be released is opposed to what was sent in the first fax notifing Japan of the abduction and threat. It also seems highly political against PM Koizumi, which seems slightly odd.

Maybe they were really captured and the Iraqis really did decide to release them because the Japanese captives were in Iraq to help the Iraqi people, but it seems pretty far fetched to me.

Sorry for the long post. I just wanted to see if anyone else thought that this situation was a little strange, and if anyone had considered the possibility that I outlined above.

Interesting. I haven't seen any of the actual media on this myself so I can't really comment on your theory. What I can say though is this:
Does it matter?
Does it? Really? Should Japan be there? Should Koizumi really go against the wishes of his own people, and further, listen to the very people who created, and are perpetuating, this situation?

What the world thinks is right or wrong is irrelevant. The people of Iraq want us out. Sure we "liberated them" of Saddam. Now they want us out. You ever been in a situation and when someone tried to come in and help you swatted away their fingers: "hey, get away!". Imagine a nation of starving people just wanting to get back on their feet doing that...

Joi, you might want to look at Raed Jarrar's Open Letter to the Japanese People at Raed in the Middle Raed is the famous Iraqi blogger who has been keeping people abreast of what's happening there, along with Riverbend at Bagdad Burning.

Since Japan GSDF are in Iraq for reconstruction and humanitarian aid, their presence there is only symbolic regarding military presence.

Japan is still limited by their constitution.