TOKYO (AFP) – Japan on Saturday vowed to “never give up” its struggle to save two Japanese hostages held captive by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants after the deadline to pay their ransom passed in agonising silence.
Whether freelance journalist Kenji Goto and Mr Haruna Yukawa, the self-employed contractor he had gone to rescue, were alive remained unknown a day after the deadline to secure their release expired with no word from their captors.
The Islamist militants had threatened to kill the hostages if they did not receive US$200 million (S$266 million) in 72 hours, which Tokyo interpreted as meaning 2.50pm on Friday.
Deputy Foreign Minister Yasuhide Nakayama, who was heading Japan’s efforts to rescue its two nationals out of Jordan’s capital Amman, told reporters: “It is a very difficult path to see their release, despite a variety of routes.
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