`No message` from Islamists since hostage deadline passed: Japan

Japan has heard nothing from Islamist extremists holding two of its nationals since a 72-hour deadline to pay a $200 million ransom expired, the government said Friday.

Tokyo: Japan has heard nothing from Islamist extremists holding two of its nationals since a 72-hour deadline to pay a $200 million ransom expired, the government said Friday.

"There has been no message" from the Islamic State group, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters. "The situation remains very severe."

The deadline was thought to be 2:50 pm local time (0550 GMT).