Islamic State terrorists claim to have beheaded Japanese hostage journalist Kenji Goto, prompting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to declare “Japan will never give in to terrorism.”
“I feel intense indignation at this utterly cruel and despicable act of terrorism,” Abe said at an emergency Cabinet meeting early on Sunday. “I will never forgive these terrorists. Japan will work with the international community to bring those responsible for this crime to justice.”
In the one-minute, seven-second clip, Goto, 47, is shown kneeling while a masked murderer delivers a scripted message to the camera. As he lowers his knife, the video goes black. When the picture returns, a head placed on the back of a body is shown. Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said the video appeared to be genuine.
Goto is the second Japanese hostage murdered by Islamic militants. Haruna Yukawa, 42, was killed last week.
ISIS demanded $200 million for the release of both of the men, the same amount the Japanese government pledged to help fight the organization.
The militant in the video said: “Because of your reckless decision to take part in an unwinnable war, this knife will not only slaughter Kenji, but will also carry on and cause carnage wherever your people are found. So let the nightmare for Japan begin.”
Still, Abe on Sunday pledged to increase Japan’s food, medicine and other humanitarian aid for the Middle East.