Nine Japanese join IS; Govt launch probe

Tokyo: Nine Japanese nationals have reportedly joined Islamic State, Japan’s former Air Force Chief Toshio Tamogami, quoted a senior Israeli government official.

In a recent blog post about a trip he made to Israel, Tamogami said Nissim Ben Shitrit – Director-General of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and former Israeli ambassador to Japan – told him that “nine Japanese have joined the Islamic State extremist group, along with British and other nationals.”

However, the Japanese government has no information to support the claim about Japanese nationals joining the IS group in Iraq and Syria, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Friday.

A senior Foreign Ministry official said Tokyo is “checking with the Israeli side.”

US President Barack Obama said during a UN meeting in New York on Wednesday that an estimated 15,000 foreigners, from more than 80 countries, have traveled to Syria in recent years to fight.

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