Japanese officials are working closely with those in Jordan as efforts to win the release of two ISIL held hostages intensify.
After an emergency cabinet meeting Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his anger at a video apparently showing hostage Kenji Goto saying he could be killed in 24 hours.
“It is a despicable act. I feel strong anger. I have ordered that we (Jordan) work together as one on securing the release of Kenji Goto as soon as possible.”
ISIL claim already to have killed a fellow captive of Goto, Japanese security specialist Haruna Yukawa,.
Jordanian pilot Mu’ath al Kaseasbeh, who was captured by ISIL militants after his fighter jet crashed near the group’s capital of Raqqa in December is also being threatened.
The 26-year-old Jordanian is the first foreign military piolt to fall into the extremists’ hands since the US-led coalition that includes Jordan began its aerial campaign against ISIL in August.
On Tuesday night about 200 of the pilot’s relatives demonstrated in Amman urging the government to meet the captors’ demands.
ISIL want Jordan to free an Iraqi woman Sajida al-Rishawi who has been sentenced to death for her role in a 2005 suicide bombing that killed 60 people in Amman.