Japan is trying to convince ISIL that its hostage death threats are misinformed

January 22, 2015 1:43 PM

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Japan’s government is running out of time. A Friday deadline looms for demands made by the Islamic State, which says it will kill two Japanese hostages if it doesn’t receive a $200 million ransom payment. That’s the same amount of aid that prime minister Shinzo Abe pledged to countries that are battling ISIL during a Middle East tour last week.

Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters today that Japan was trying to tell ISIL that its ransom demands were due to a “misunderstanding,” since the aid was designated for refugees and humanitarian programs, not to kill Muslims, as the group has claimed. “We are sending the message that, ...

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