Last week, ISIS announced that they were going to execute two Japanese hostages unless Japan pays a ransom of $200 million, the same amount Japan had pledged to help the US-led coalition, by Friday.
While Japan had openly condemned ISIS and its actions, it did not exactly rule out whether the Japanese government will oblige to the threat but had said that they would not yield to terrorism. All speculations, however, were cleared when it became apparent that Japan did not give in to the militant group’s threat when they released a video showing one of the hostages, Kenji Goto, holding a photo of what appears to be the dead body of his fellow captive, Haruna Yukawa.
The voice in the video who is claiming to be Goto had blamed the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, for the death of Haruna Yukawa.
The video and the person in it had also stated a new demand for Goto’s salvation: the release of their imprisoned sister and known terrorist bomber, Sajida al-Rishawi, who is currently facing the death penalty in Jordan. Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman, had played a role in a series of bombings last 2005 which had claimed the lives of dozens of people at Jordanian hotels.
Abe says that the execution video seems highly authentic and that negotiations are also underway for the release of Goto. The Japanese Prime Minister had said that the video had left him completely speechless, only offering his condolences to Haruna Yukawa’s family.
U.S. President, Barack Obama, was revealed to have spoken with Abe through the phone on Sunday, according to the White House.
According to a statement, President Obama had offered his condolences for unjustly execution of Yukawa making it known of the solidarity between Japan and the U.S.
Obama had promised to bring justice for all the victims of ISIS as they continue their efforts to oppose and defeat the militant group.
British Prime Minister, David Cameron, had stated that the threatening of ISIS and its execution of Yukawa are another reminder of the barbarity of the terrorist group. He also said that Japan had done right not to be swayed by the terrorists’ demand for ransom.
Both the U.S. and Britain have been known for their refusal to pay ransoms to terrorists.