Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano told journalists he
was aware of Japanese media reports about the kidnapping, according to
Tokyo-based agency Kyodo News and
international news reports, but declined to comment further. “Generally
speaking this kind of abduction involves personal information,” he said,
according to Kyodo News. A relative told the agency that
Tsuneoka had been covering the Taliban in
“We are concerned for the safety of Kosuke Tsuneoka and hope
he will be released soon,” said
Tsuneoka, 40, who has reported from several conflict zones
for magazines and television, also went missing
Several international reporters have been abducted in
A group purportedly linked to the Taliban have held two French journalists from France 3 TV—publicly identified only as Hervé and Stéphane—since they went missing on a trip to meet a source in eastern Kapisa province in December 2009. At least one Afghan colleague, identified as a translator, is also being held. Reuters reported that the group’s driver, who was also abducted, was later freed. Initial reports said three unnamed Afghan colleagues were kidnapped along with the French nationals.
New York Times reporter Sultan Munadi, an Afghan, was shot and killed in September 2009 during an exchange of fire between British military forces and a Taliban group who had abducted him and a British colleague, Stephen Farrell. Farrell was rescued unhurt. CPJ wrote to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown last year, and again in March, asking him to investigate whether Munadi’s rescue was an objective of the mission.