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Originally published Friday, January 18, 2013 at 12:18 AM

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Japan PM to halt Asia tour amid hostage crisis

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to cut short his first foreign visit since taking office to focus on the Algerian hostage crisis.

The Associated Press

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TOKYO —

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided to cut short his first foreign visit since taking office to focus on the Algerian hostage crisis.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says Abe, currently in Indonesia, will return home immediately after holding talks and news conference with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Friday.

Abe canceled his key policy speech and other events in Jakarta to return to Tokyo early Saturday because at least a dozen Japanese remains unaccounted for in the Algeria crisis.

Algerian special forces stormed a gas plant in eastern Algeria on Thursday to wipe out Islamist militants and free hostages from at least 10 countries. The fate of the fighters and many of the captives remains uncertain.

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