Tokyo has said that the video reportedly showing one of the Japanese hostages held by Islamic State appears to be “highly” credible. The hostage claims on camera his partner was executed and says the jihadists want him swapped for a female suicide bomber.
In his message, Goto reportedly blames Japan’s prime minister for Yukawa’s death and says that the Islamic State now wants the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, an alleged attempted suicide bomber, who is believed to be connected to the attack on a hotel in Jordan in 2005.
Sajida al-Rishawi is currently in prison in Jordan. During the 2005 attack in Amman her suicide belt didn’t detonate and she survived. Later she was captured and confessed, but later retracted her confession. She was sentenced to death in 2006, but appealed to the court and the case is still in process of appeal.
The Japanese government could not fully confirm the authenticity of the video. However, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the ongoing investigation has showed that it appears to be credible.
“We have been looking into its authenticity, but unfortunately at the moment we cannot help saying its credibility is high,” he said on Japanese public network NHK.
After an emergency meeting on the situation, Abe said that Japan “will not give in to terrorism.”He also called for the immediate release of the Japanese journalist on Sunday.“We are using every diplomatic channel and means to work towards a release,”he told reporters. “This act of terrorism is an outrageous and unacceptable act of violence,” Abe said.
“I feel a strong sense of anger and firmly condemn this. I again strongly demand the immediate release of Mr. Kenji Goto, unharmed,” Abe said.