Japan bills freed hostages

Japan's government has billed three former hostages held in Iraq and their relatives at least $21,700 towards the cost of bringing them home safely.

    Hostage relatives may not be so pleased with the price-tag

    A foreign ministry official said on Monday the huge bill was "for air transportation and other costs".
      
    The "other costs" relate to a medical check up in Dubai before flying to Japan with two relatives and a lawyer.
      
    The three - an anti-war activist, an aid worker and a journalist - arrived home traumatised in a blaze of publicity on 18 April after a week-long ordeal at the hands of their Iraqi captors.
      
    Amid an extraordinary backlash criticising them for being "reckless" and for costing the government time and money, they later released a statement apologising for causing trouble to the nation. 
      
    Expensive kidnapping

    A lawyer for the group, Sayo Saruta, said they had already paid a total of $4000 in hotel and medical fees.
      
    They will also pay a total of $18,200 for round trips between Tokyo and Dubai for the relatives and lawyer and one-way air fares for the three, he said.
      
    Two other Japanese hostages - a journalist and peace activist - were also released unharmed in Iraq on 17 April.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.