Tokyo: Suggesting that the new video purportedly showing the beheaded picture of one of the Japanese hostages may be highly credible, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has condemned the video calling it “outrageous” and reiterated his demand to release another hostage unharmed.
Speaking to reporters, PM Abe issued a strong condemnation of the IS video, calling it “outrageous and impermissible”.
He also sympathised with the family of the victim saying, "Considering the unbearable pain and sorrow that his family must be feeling, I am speechless".
Meanwhile, Barack Obama who arrived in India today for a three-day visdit, called Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and paid condolence for Haruna Yukawa's murder by ISIS.
President Obama called #Japan PM Abe to offer condolences for murder by ISIL of Haruna Yukawa & convey solidarity w/Japanese people
— @NSCPress (@NSCPress) January 25, 2015
For Yukawa's distraught father, it is hard to believe that the news of his son's death is true.
Reacting after the video of his son's death was released, the slain hostage's father Shoichi Yukawa told Japanese reporters how his mind went completely "blank" after hearing the news.
Yukawa's father who wanted his face not to be shown on the TV, was speaking to media with his back facing thecameras.
"My mind went totally blank...I cannot find words,” he was quoted as saying by Japan Times. “My heart aches that it has turned out to be like this. I hope it is not my son, but I just feel awful".
Hoping against hope, the aggrieved father of the slain hostage wished that his son was still alive and that he would hug him if he ever saw him.
"If I am ever reunited with him, I just want to give him a big hug," he added elegiacally.
Amid talks of uncertainty over the video's authenticity, PM Abe hinted that the video may be authentic, calling it “of high credibility”.
Earlier, the US and Japanese officials were trying to establish the authenticity of the video that has been shot in a different style than previous beheading videos.
In the latest video that lasts for nearly three minutes, one of the hostages, Kenji Goto Jogo, a Japanese journalist, poses with what he says is the beheaded picture of another hostage Haruno Yukawa.
The Islamic State in the new video has used Goto to convey their new demand, according to which the extremists would agree to swap the surviving hostage with an Iraqi militant imprisoned in Jordan named "Sajida al-Rishawi".The beheading video comes after the IS' earlier ultimatum of 72 hours expired on Saturday.
Giving an ultimatum of 3 days to pay a ransom of $200 million, the ISIS had on Tuesday said that the ransom demanded was to compensate for Japan's 'stupid' support for the US-led coalition bombing the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
It can be noted that Japanese PM Shinzo Abe who is on a Middle East tour, had in Cairo pledged $200 mn in non-military aid to help the countries affected by the blood-smeared offensive by the ISIS in Syria and Iraq, in turn triggering mass exodus of refugees
— SITE Intel Group (@siteintelgroup) January 24, 2015
However, the video shows a still image of Jogo and also lacks the usual attribution to al-Furqan Media Foundation, a primary media arm of the group, says the SITE Intel group.
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) January 24, 2015
The Islamic State has earlier beheaded two US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and aid worker Peter Kassig and also British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning.
The ISIS has also held British photojournalist John Cantlie as a captive, using him as a sort of spokesperson, as he has appeared in a series of ISIS propaganda videos.