Family Of Man Missing On Mount Fuji Hopeful

PORTAGE (WWJ/AP) – Family members of a missing Michigan man who disappeared one week ago while visiting snow- and ice-covered Mount Fuji in Japan remain hopeful he’ll be found alive, his father said Friday.

Jerry Johnson told the Kalamazoo Gazette that family members are praying for Matthew P. Johnson, for the rescue workers looking for him and for the weather on the mountain to improve.

“Hopefully he’s alive, and we’re praying,” he said. “It’s gonna take God to be involved in this.”

Jerry Johnson said the family has been in regular contact with officials in Japan, but as of Friday morning had not heard anything new about his son.

District police Deputy Chief Iwao Sato said that heavy snow Friday in Japan prevented crews from looking for Johnson. The 33-year-old is from the western Michigan community of Portage.

Sato has said one other person is missing and a third has died this winter on the 12,388-foot peak.

The Consulate General of Japan in Detroit said Johnson was last seen Jan. 13, and his car was later found parked at Mount Fuji.

A statement from Eaton Corp. said Johnson worked in their vehicle business division, based near Kalamazoo. Johnson was ”an engineer and has been employed since 2003. He departed on a business trip to Japan on January 8, 2012,” said the statement. He is described as an avid hiker and outdoorsman.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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