Myanmar: Freed filmmaker Toru Kubota returns to Japan

Toru Kubota landed in Japan Friday morning after he was freed from prison and deported by Myanmar’s junta on Thursday.  

The 26-year-old filmmaker and video journalist arrived in Tokyo on a scheduled flight from Yangon via Bangkok.

Kubota said upon landing that he wanted to express his gratitude for his release after spending three and a half months in prison. “I was released so quickly thanks to supporters in Japan, the press and government officials who made efforts to resolve the situation,” he told reporters at Haneda airport.

Kubota was released at the “urgent request” of the Japanese government, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said.

Kubota is one of four foreign prisoners who were released by Myanmar authorities on Thursday as part of a broad prisoner amnesty that also freed many local citizens held for protesting the army takeover. It was announced to mark the country’s National Victory Day.  

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Martin Fritz Tokyo