A Japanese freelance journalist twice taken captive in the Middle East is now effectively barred from traveling overseas after the Foreign Ministry denied his request for a new passport.

Jumpei Yasuda, 45, was held hostage by militants in Syria for three years and four months and released in Turkey last October. He then returned to Japan.

Previously, he was briefly held in Iraq.

Yasuda said he will consider invoking the administrative appeal law that can be used when a dispute arises or file an administrative lawsuit to force the ministry to reconsider.

He noted that freedom of travel is guaranteed by the Constitution.

Yasuda said his passport was stolen when he was taken captive.

He applied for a new passport in January as he intended to travel to Europe, India and the United States with his family.

On July 12, he finally received notification that his request had been rejected.

It normally takes about a week for a new passport to be issued.

Yasuda said the reason indicated for denying his request is that he was banned from entering Turkey for five years after he returned home via Turkey.

Article 13 of the passport law states that a passport can be denied in cases where the individual is not permitted to enter a country under that nation's law.

Yasuda said he has no plans to visit Turkey, adding that he regards the ministry's decision as an exceptionally broad interpretation of the law.

The Foreign Ministry, as a matter of policy, declines to comment on individual cases.

However, an official said that when it comes to issuing passports, "We make a judgment carefully based on related laws.”

The official said there had been three other cases since 2016 when passport applications were rejected because of an entry ban in the overseas destination.

Yasuda returned to Japan on Oct. 25, 2018.

In a news conference held last year, he said his primary objective in entering Syria was to assess the situation regarding anti-government forces in the northern Idlib region.