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Japan PM Condemns 'Despicable' IS Threat to Kill Hostages Within 24 Hours

© AP PhotoKenji Goto
Kenji Goto - Sputnik International
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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government would work on securing the release of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto.

A Japanese journalist looks at a video of the hostages prior to Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe press conference in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015 - Sputnik International
Japan Strives to Contact IS Via E-Mail as Time Runs Out for Hostages
MOSCOW, January 28 (Sputnik) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday leveled fierce criticism at Islamic State (IS) for its most recent video post threatening to kill captive Japanese journalist Kenji Goto and a Jordanian pilot within 24 hours.

"It's a despicable act, I feel strong anger. I have ordered that we work together as one on securing the release of Kenji Goto as soon as possible," Abe was quoted as saying at a cabinet meeting.

In a video released Tuesday, a voice claiming to be Kenji Goto warned that he and Jordanian Air Force pilot Muath Kasaesbeh will be killed by the militant group unless he is exchanged for a failed suicide bomber facing a death sentence in Jordan.

"I only have 24 hours left to live, and the pilot has even less," Goto is heard as saying.

Japan's Kyodo news agency reported on Tuesday that Jordanian authorities were considering releasing Sajida Rishawi, a female suicide bomber, in exchange for Goto and Kasaesbeh.

Goto reportedly went to Syria in October 2014 in order to negotiate the release of Haruna Yukawa, a Japanese security company executive. The IS extremists last week demanded a $200-million ransom for the two Japanese captives.

On Sunday, IS released a video showing Goto holding an image of what appeared be Yukawa's beheaded body.

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