Japan’s prime minister ends Israel visit as ISIS threatens to kill hostages

ISIS is threatening to kill two Japanese citizens in retaliation for Japan’s financial support for the war on ISIS.

The Islamic State (IS or ISIS) threatened to execute two Japanese citizens if the Japanese government does not pay a ransom of $200 million within 72 hours.

The two hostages were identified as Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa. Yukawa is reportedly a private military company operator in his early 40’s who was kidnapped by ISIS in August. Goto is a freelance journalist who went to report on Syria’s civil war last year.

ISIS made its new demand on Monday in a clip it published, in which the notorious “John the Jihadist” who is responsible for several executions of foreign nationals, is seen making the demand as he holds a knife over the two prisoners.

The video directly addresses Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is on a visit to Israel with more than 100 government officials and presidents of Japanese companies.

“To the prime minister of Japan: Although you are more than 8,500 kilometers (5,280 miles) from the Islamic State, you willingly have volunteered to take part in this crusade. You have proudly donated $100 million to kill our women and children, to destroy the homes of the Muslims.”

Japan has recently pledged $200 million to the fight against ISIS, and this is an apparent retaliatory response.

Abe has reportedly cut short his Israel trip and is returning to Japan to deal with the hostage crisis.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry’s anti-terrorism section has seen the video and analysts are assessing it, a ministry official told the AP.

Fox News reports that Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga declined to say whether Japan would pay the ransom. “If true, the act of threat in exchange of people’s lives is unforgivable and we feel strong indignation. We will make our utmost effort to win their release as soon as possible,” he statedHorrors

ISIS’s Televised Horrors

Steven Sotloff

Steven Sotloff in ISIS captivity. (Photo: screenshot)

ISIS is infamous for its recorded and publicized beheadings.

Its first victim was James Foley, an American journalist who was decapitated in mid-August. He was followed by American-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff, who was murdered in September.

British aid worker David Haines’ beheading followed at the end of September, and Alan Henning, a British national, was next on October 3. Finally, Peter Kassig became the fifth Western victim to be decapitated on camera in mid-November.

ISIS has reportedly offered to sell the remains of James Foley for the extravagant sum of $1m.

The terror organization also holds British photojournalist John Cantlie, who has appeared in other extremist propaganda videos, and a 26-year-old American woman captured last year in Syria while working for aid groups. US officials have asked that the woman not be identified out of fears for her safety.

By: Atara Beck, World Israel News