Islamic State Murders Hostage, Sparking Soul-Searching in Japan

January 26, 2015 2:41 PM

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On January 20, Islamic State released an online video in which it threatened to kill two Japanese citizens, Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto, unless the group received $200 million in ransom within 72 hours. On Saturday, a new video posted online claimed that one of the hostages, Yukawa, had been decapitated. The video appeared to show Goto holding a photo of the body of Yukawa. Yukawa is part of a growing list of foreigners beheaded by IS, including U.S. reporters James Foley and Steven Sotloff, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, and U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig.

In the video, a voice purportedly belonging to Goto conveyed a new demand from his IS captors. Instead of money, the group is now demanding the release of a female prisoner in Jordan, Sajida al-Rishawi, who has been sentenced to death for a series of 2005 terrorist attacks. Japan’s government said o...

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