Mother Of Japanese Hostage Appeals To Prime Minister

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japan hostage

The mother of a Japanese hostage being held by Islamic State has made a tearful appeal to Japan’s Prime Minister to help save her son, Kenji Goto.

Junko Ishido said she had begged Shinzo Abe to “Please save Kenji” and to work with the Jordanian government to secure his release.

 IS warned in a video that Mr Goto and fellow prisoner, Jordanian pilot Lieutenant Mu’ath al Kaseasbeh, would be killed within 24 hours if its demands were not met.

The video shows Mr Goto in an orange jumpsuit and holdling a picture of Mr al Kaseasbeh, along with an audio message of him pleading for his life.

The group said the hostages’ lives would be spared if Jordan releases Sajida al Rishawi, an Iraqi woman sentenced to death for her involvement in a 2005 terrorist attack that killed 60 people.

It comes after IS apparently murdered another Japanese prisoner, Haruna Yukawa – an act condemned by Japan’s government.

Mr Abe has now expressed outrage at the threat to kill Mr Goto, while secret talks continue in Jordan to try to free the men.

“This was an extremely despicable act and we feel strong indignation. We strongly condemn that,” he said referring to the video.

“While this is a tough situation, we remain unchanged in our stance of seeking help from the Jordanian government in securing the early release of Mr Goto.”

In Jordan, the pilot’s father, Safi al Kaseasbeh, implored the government “to meet the demands” of Islamic State.

“All people must know, from the head of the regime to everybody else, that the safety of Mu’ath means the stability of Jordan, and the death of Mu’ath means chaos in Jordan,” he said.

A member of Jordan’s parliament said the country was in indirect talks with the militants to secure the hostages’ release.

Bassam al Manasseer, chairman of the foreign affairs committee, told Bloomberg News the negotiations were taking place through religious and tribal leaders in Iraq.

He added that Jordan and Japan would not negotiate directly with IS and would not free al Rishawi in exchange for Mr Goto only.

 

Source: Sky News

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