Within days of the militant outfit ISIS beheading Haruna Yukawa, they have released a video showing the freelance journalist Kenji Goto captured in Syria last year being beheaded in the most brutal manner. The masked man who appears to have beheaded Goto seems to be the same person, Jihadi John, who has featured in the last six videos of gory beheadings by the same outfit.
In the just released video, Jihadi John addressed the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to say he had made a “reckless decision to take part in an unwinnable war”.
The news has shocked and dismayed the whole country which was praying and hoping for Goto to be released safely by the militant group after the release of failed female suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi who has been on a death row in Jordan since 2005 for a blast that killed 60 people. Goto and the captured Jordanian fighter pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh were supposed to be released simultaneously by the militant group, in its first ever exchange of hostages demanded by the Islamic state militants.
Mr Abe’s response was defiant. “Japan will never give in to terrorism,” he said. “We will further expand our humanitarian assistance in the Middle East in areas such as food and medical care.”
The country was transfixed by an emotional press conference in which Junko Ishido, Mr Goto’s elderly mother, said she could not find words. “All I have now is tears of sadness,” she said.
She said Mr Goto had wanted a society free of war and to help children suffering from it. “I earnestly hope we can follow Kenji’s dying wish,” she said.
Mr Abe condemned the killings, saying: “For the pain of his family, I have no words. We did everything we could as a government, but tragically, the worst has happened.”
In a statement, President Barrack Obama condemned the “heinous murder” and said the US would “continue taking decisive action to degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS.
Amman which had earlier expressed willingness to relent had later added that they would go on to released Shirawi, who is also related to one of Al Qaeda’s founding members in Iraq, only after they got an evidence about their pilot being safe and alive from the militant outfit.