Japanese rescue teams searching for a Michigan businessman missing on Mount Fuji have been hampered by deep snow and frigid temperatures.
Matt Johnson, 33, was in Japan on business, and reportedly left for an overnight backpacking trip to hike the country’s tallest mountain on Saturday. Family members became concerned when he failed to show up for work in Japan on Monday. His car was found at the base of Mount Fuji.
According to media reports in Johnson’s hometown Kalamazoo, Japanese crews have conducted helicopter and ground searches so far, without any luck. The Johnson family has said he initial search was hampered by heavy wind, a heavy snow fall, and severe cold.
Back home, family and friends gathered at a church to pray for Johnson’s safe return. They also set up a Facebook page, “Please Pray for Matt Johnson.”
At 12,000 feet, Mount Fuji is Japan’s tallest mountain, but Johnson’s family says Matt is an experienced hiker, and prepared for the worst.
Eaton, where Johnson has worked as an engineer for nine years, released a statement, saying, in part:
“Our thoughts are with Matthew Johnson’s family during this difficult time. He departed on a business trip to Japan on January 8, 2012. We were notified of his current status by Eaton officials in Japan over the weekend and have been working with local search and police authorities since that time.”