The Ugandan weightlifter who disappeared in Japan after failing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics last week has now been found.
20-year-old Julius Ssekitoleko left a note behind in which he stated that life in Uganda was too hard and he wanted to stay in Japan. He went missing last Friday and reportedly bought a bullet train ticket to Nagoya, hundreds of miles away from his Izumisano hotel.
Katsunobu Kato, the chief cabinet secretary to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said police launched an “all-out effort” to find him and did so as he was located in Yokkaichi City, in the Mie prefecture.
“He is not a criminal,” Naoki Fukuyama, an official at the Osaka prefectural police department, noted. “Even though he has violated the Olympic rules, he has no problem doing anything as his visa is valid.”
Okello Oryem, a junior minister in Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, referred to Ssekitoleko as a “traitor” while addressing reporters with the Japanese ambassador in the Ugandan capital city of Kampala. “This behavior and act is treacherous,” Oryem said.