Japan’s prime minister is calling for the immediate release of a Japanese journalist being held hostage by Islamic fighters after a video claimed that a fellow Japanese captive had been executed. CCTV America’s Sean Callebs reported the story from Washington, D.C.
It is horrific and could be the latest chapter in acts of barbarism by Islamic militants, but Japanese authorities are trying to find out if it’s real.
New video claims Japanese hostage executed, sets new demandJapan's prime minister is calling for the immediate release of a Japanese journalist being held hostage by Islamic fighters after a video claimed that a fellow Japanese captive had been executed. CCTV America's Sean Callebs reported the story from Washington, D.C.
In the video, 47-year-old journalist Kenzi Goto holds what appears to be a photo of ISIL captive Haruna Yukawa, after Yukawa was beheaded by the terrorist group. Goto’s mother -is horrified.
” His face looked extremely nervous,” his mother said. “I think he feels gravely about what is to come. I think that is what it is. This is no time to be optimistic.”
The image, along with an audio recording of Goto was put on line, but only for a short time and then deleted. Japanese officials said they are trying to determine if it is authentic.
“I have no words to express the pain families are going through,” said Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe.
A few days ago, ISIL said it would release the two if Japan paid a $200 million ransom within 72 -hours. The deadline passed without payment.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his country remains resolute in the fight against terror.
“These sorts of terrorists acts of violence are outrageous and unforgiveable,” the prime minister said. “I feel deep resentment and resoolutely condemn these acts. I would like to again strongly call for no harm to be done to Kenji Goto and for his immediate release.”
Goto is a well-respected journalist. For his part, Yukawa is being called an “adventurer,” someone who had become fascinated by the ongoing ISIL conflict.
There are reasons to be suspect of this image, according to posts on-line. One militant, associated with ISIL wrote on a website that the photo is fake. Another, points out the image was not issued by al-Furqan, ISIL’s media arm.
“We will not give-in to terrorism,” the prime minister said. “We plan to continue working as an entire government for our citizen’s safety.”
In Goto’s recorded statement that appeared online, he said the militants no longer want the $200 million. Instead, they are calling for the release of attempted suicide bomber Sajisa al-Rishawi who is Amman, Jordan and sentenced to death.