A video posted online that purportedly shows that one of two Japanese hostages held by Islamic terrorists has been executed appears to be authentic, Japan’s prime minister said on Sunday.
Shinzo Abe called the killing “outrageous” and offered condolences to the family of Haruna Yukawa, taken hostage last year. “I am left speechless,” he said. “We strongly and totally criticize such acts.”
On a visit to India, President Obama said the United States will stand “shoulder to shoulder” with Japan and called for the immediate release of the remaining hostage, journalist Kenji Goto.
But the Associated Press said it “could not verify the contents of the video message, which was removed from websites soon after it appeared and varied greatly from previous videos released by the Islamic State group, which now holds a third of both Syria and Iraq.”
Abe said Japan will not give in to terror. “Such an act of terrorism is outrageous and impermissible, which causes me nothing but strong indignation,” Abe said. “Again, I strongly demand that Mr. Kenji Goto not be harmed and be immediately released.”
In the latest recording, Goto says Yukawa was “slaughtered in the land of the Islamic Caliphate.”