Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe demanded that the Islamic State release two Japanese hostages.
“We strongly demand the release of the Japanese citizens unharmed,” Abe told reporters in Yerushalayim today during his six-day tour of the Middle East, Reuters reported. “The international community needs to respond firmly and cooperate without caving into terrorism.”
In the video, a masked Islamic State terrorist wielding a knife in front of two Japanese men wearing orange jumpsuits demands that Japan pay a $200 million ransom.
“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,” the Islamic State fighter said. “You have proudly donated $100 million to kill our women and children, to destroy the homes of the Muslims,” he said, referring to Japan’s contribution to the U.S.-led efforts to combat Islamic State.
The two hostages were identified as Kenji Goto Jogo, a freelance journalist, and Haruna Yukawa, a private military contractor.
Speaking in Japan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said his country would not give in to terrorism.
“Our country’s stance-contributing to the fight against terrorism without giving in-remains unchanged,” Suga said.