TOKYO – Police are investigating whether a Japanese student tried to travel to Syria to join ISIS, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tuesday. Detectives confiscated the college student's passport, according to local media reports which said the 26-year-old may have responded to a "help wanted" ad posted in a book store.
"As a member of the international community, our country has a policy of actively taking steps to prevent terrorism,” Suga told a news conference, without elaborating on the case. The U.N. Security Council last month demanded that all states make it a serious criminal offense for their citizens to travel abroad to fight with militant groups. Reproduced in the Japan Times, the ad highlighted unspecified work in Syria and in China’s Xinjiang province — where ethnic Uighurs have been involved in violent clashes with authorities — and said applicants must be able to “withstand violence.” It was not clear if the note had any genuine link to ISIS.
- Arata Yamamoto and Alastair Jamieson
Reuters contributed to this report.