Film on ex-Japanese hostages in Iraq explores ‘personal responsibility’

Film on ex-Japanese hostages in Iraq explores ‘personal responsibility’

A documentary film being shown across the country revisits Japanese civilians who were taken hostage by a militant group in Iraq in 2004, and received a hostile reception after being freed and returning home.

In making the film, director Megumi Ito interviewed two of the three former Japanese hostages, Nahoko Takato and Noriaki Imai.

Titled “Fallujah–War in Iraq, Japanese hostages and …,” the film also poses a question about the meaning of “personal responsibility,” which the hostages were criticized for lacking by politicians and the public. Based in Jordan, Takato is an aid worker in Iraq. To film her work, Ito accompanied her on a visit to Fallujah, where Takato, who was then helping Baghdad street children, was held hostage.

In the city, Ito filmed Takato studying newborn babies with congenital abnormalities, believed to be a result of exposure to depleted uranium.