Japan early on Sunday condemned a recording purporting to announce the execution of a Japanese citizen held by Islamic State militants and demanded the immediate release of another captive depicted as appearing on the image.
“This is an outrageous and unacceptable act of violence,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters as he arrived at his office after midnight. “We strongly demand the immediate release” of the remaining captive, Kenji Goto.He later said the government would spare no effort to secure the release of the remaining captive. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga condemned what he said was “a video showing what appears to be a murdered Japanese, Haruna Yukawa, as well as Kenji Goto.
Yukawa, a private military contractor, was kidnapped in Syria last August.
Relevant government ministers would meet to discuss the situation as the government gathers information, Suga told reporters, declining to take questions.