Japan faces scrutiny over failed hostage negotiations

February 3, 2015 1:31 AM

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Japan faces scrutiny over failed hostage negotiations

TOKYO: Japan’s failure to rescue two hostages beheaded by Islamic State militants has raised doubts about its ability to handle an international crisis, as the country reels from news of journalist Kenji Goto’s killing.

Analysts say the murders mark a “wake-up call” for Japan — an officially pacifist country that has long avoided involvement in Middle East conflicts — and that its response to the crisis, at times flat-footed, reveals the weakness of its diplomatic resources in the region.

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