Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) On Monday, an informed source in the government revealed that more than 40 members of ISIS are Japanese nationals, noting that the security forces detained a number of Japanese fighters in Diyali and Salahuddin provinces.
The source informed IraqiNews.com “More than 40 ISIS elements hold a Japanese citizenship. They’re distributed in different areas in Nineveh, Salahuddin, Diyali and southwest of Kirkuk.”
“Iraqi forces managed to detain a number of Japanese fighters near al-Hamren Dam in Diyali province and Biji city in Salahuddin province. The fighters revealed later how they entered Iraq from the airports.” said the source.
As early as September 27, 2014 Reuters reported that 9 Japanese citizens have joined ISIS. The news originated from Japan’s former air force chief, Toshio Tamogami, who said he was informed of the development by Israel’s foreign ministry director-general earlier in September. The director-general, Nissim Ben Shitrit, formerly served as Israel’s ambassador to Japan.
The Japanese government had not confirmed this information when it was initially reported in September, and Tamogami himself said he knew nothing beyond the number of alleged Japanese defectors. The meeting between Tamogami and Shitrit reportedly took place on September 12.
On September 28, 2014 ISIS released photos of a purported Japanese fighter Sheikh Hasan Konakata. In a 2010 interview Konakata revealed:
He was born in Okayama, Japan, in July 1960. He converted to Islam in 1979 whilst at University and thereafter adopted the first name of “Hassan”.
In the past thirty years Ko Nakata has had a rich and diverse academic career. He completed his PhD in Islamic Philosophy at Cairo University in 1992-1996. In 2003 he joined the Faculty of Theology at Doshisha University. He was the deputy director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies for Monotheistic Religions at Doshisha University from 2003-2008.
He has published many academic texts, foremost “Wilayat Al-Faqih, Sovereignty and Constitution: Political Theories in Post-Khomeini Iran” (2000); “The Interplay between Islam and Civilization: the Case of East Asia” (2002); “The Concept of Khilafa: Spreading the Rule of Law all over the World” (2010).
Ko Nakata is also a community activist and sits on the board of directors of the Japan Muslim Association.