Friday, April 23, 2004

Now look what you've done!

Free Image Hosting by ZippyImages.comWhat do you do when some of your fellow citizens get taken hostage by terrorists, threatened with execution, then finally released? Well, in Japan you blame the victims for causing a problem and send them a hefty bill. As the story explains:
"You got what you deserve!" read one hand-written sign at the airport where they landed. "You are Japan's shame," another wrote on the Web site of one of the former hostages. They had "caused trouble" for everybody. The government, not to be outdone, announced it would bill the former hostages $6,000 for air fare.

[. . .] Treated like criminals, the three former hostages have gone into hiding, effectively becoming prisoners inside their own homes. The kidnapped woman, Nahoko Takato, was last seen arriving at her parents' house, looking defeated and dazed from tranquilizers, flanked by relatives who helped her walk and bow deeply before reporters, as a final apology to the nation.

Dr. Satoru Saito, a psychiatrist who examined the three former hostages twice since their return, said the stress they were enduring now was "much heavier" than what they experienced during their captivity in Iraq.

The issue seems to be that they ignored a Japanese government warning advising them not to travel to Iraq. Oops.

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