1 February 2015: Japan has reacted with anger and defiance to a video purporting to show the beheading of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto by an Islamic State militant.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan “would not give in to terrorism” and that he would expand his support to countries fighting IS.
IS has cited Japanese aid as a reason for the hostage taking.
The video comes less than a week after the apparent beheading of another Japanese man, Haruna Yukawa.
Mr Goto, 47, a respected journalist known for his work covering the suffering of civilians in war zones, went to Syria in October, reportedly to try to secure Mr Yukawa’s release.
The video, which has all the hallmarks of previous IS propaganda videos, has not been authenticated, but Japanese officials believe it is genuine.
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Mr Abe called it a “heinous act”, adding that Japan would work with the international community to bring those responsible for Mr Goto’s apparent murder to justice.
There has been strong condemnation from the US and other allies in the fight against IS.
Mr Goto’s mother Junko Ishido said she was speechless at his death, saying he had gone to Syria out of “kindness and courage”.
“I was hoping Kenji would come back alive,” his brother Junichi told Japanese broadcaster NHK TV.
Source BBC News