Video claims Japanese hostage was killed

Michelle Aros, Staff Writer

ISIS has captured two Japanese citizens as hostages. They were asking for a $200 million ransom in 72 hours, in exchange for the lives of Japanese citizens Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa. Recently, an online post has claimed Yukawa had been killed.

The hostages were captured on Jan. 20 by ISIS while they were in Syria doing different activities. Goto was an experienced freelance journalist and Yukawa worked as a security contractor.

The Japanese government claims that they have tried to communicate with ISIS and their spokesperson without response. ISIS seems to be more in contact with the media rather than the government by sending emails to Japanese TV networks.

A recent video and audio was released, showing a still image of Goto, alone in handcuffs, holding a picture of beheaded Yukawa. There was also audio in the background, blaming Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for not responding to the demands of ISIS of the $200 million ransom. In addition, Goto said instead of the money ransom, they want a prisoner exchange. Specifically, Sajida Rishawu, a convicted terrorist of the 2005 Jordan bombing. They would supposedly free Goto and take Rishawu instead.

The concern with the video is how it doesn’t have the high quality video with the ISIS emblem that it usually does. It’s just a still image with audio so its authenticity is concerning. Japanese government officials are currently analyzing the credibility of the video.