Japan Singled Out By ISIS, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Must Choose Between Two Hostages And $200 Million [PHOTO]

This past Tuesday, a video was posted online showing a masked ISIS militant threatening to kill Japanese hostages Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa. A price of $200 million was demanded for their lives, and the deal is being held for 72 hours.

Goto is a freelance journalist, and was taken captive while reporting about the northern Syrian battleground city of Kobani. Yukawa provided armed security services, and was captured in Syria in August while traveling with rebel fighters.

According to CNN, $200 million is the the same amount of money that Abe recently pledged for those "contending" with ISIS. He pledged the amount in order to help shore up the government of Iraq and to assist refugees in Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon who have fled the Islamic State's rise.

 Japan has not participated in airstrikes aimed at the Islamist extremist group, but its leaders have supported those who have, as well as the Iraqi government.

During the video, the masked militant stated, "To the Japanese public, just as how your government has made the foolish decision to pay $200 million to fight the Islamic State, you now have 72 hours to pressure your government in making a wise decision by paying the 200 million to save the lives of your citizens. Otherwise this knife will become your nightmare."

He continued, "Although you are more than 8,500 kilometers away from the Islamic State, you willingly volunteered to take part in this crusade."

The New York Times reports that Japan is highly unlikely to pay the ransom, as officials and analysts said it was set unrealistically high to make a political point. Government spokesman Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga stated, "Our country will not be intimidated by terrorism, and there is no change to our policy of contributing to the international community's fight against terrorism."

However, it is believed Abe will do his utmost to save the hostages. This past Tuesday, he stated, "Terrorists should not be forgiven, for any reason. I criticize (the taking of hostages) emphatically." He continued, "Using human lives as a shield to make threats is an unforgivable terrorist act, and I am extremely indignant... I strongly demand that they be released unharmed immediately."

Shinzo Abe


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