New Delhi: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Sunday said all available diplomatic channels were being used to save the two Japanese nationals who were taken hostage by the Islamic State (IS) militants. “We have been pursuing every possible means, including all available diplomatic channels, first and foremost, to save lives of the two Japanese nationals,” Abe said in a statement issued by Japanese embassy here. “It is under these circumstances that an image in which Haruna Yukawa seems to have been murdered, was uploaded online.”
“Fully aware of unbearable pain and sorrow that his family must be feeling, I am simply left speechless,” Abe said.
He added that, “such act of terrorism is outrageous and impermissible, which causes me nothing but strong indignation.” “Again, I strongly demand that Kenji Goto not be harmed and be immediately released. The government of Japan will, in its entirety, do its utmost in order to have him released.” The government of Japan will never give in to terrorism, and actively contribute to the peace and stability of the world together with the international community in an unwavering manner, the statement said.
A video released by the Islamic State (IS) militants Jan 24 claimed that one of the two Japanese hostages held by it was beheaded. On Jan 20, the IS threatened to kill Haruna Yukawa and fellow Japanese hostage Kenji Goto unless Japan paid $200 million within 72 hours. The government said that it was verifying the video, which claimed that Yukawa was executed by the IS, according to a BBC report. Japanese government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Sunday that the latest video suggesting a Japanese hostage held by the Islamic State (IS) militants was killed is likely authentic.