28 Jan 2015

New hostage threats from Islamic State

1:11 pm on 28 January 2015

A Japanese journalist held hostage by the Islamic State (IS) extremist group has appeared in a new video saying he will be killed within 24 hours unless Jordan frees a jailed female militant.

An image obtained from a video uploaded on YouTube on January 27, 2015, of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto  holding a photograph allegedly showing fellow hostage Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh.

An image obtained from a video uploaded on YouTube shows Kenji Goto holding a photograph allegedly showing fellow hostage Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh. Photo: AFP

In the audio recording, Kenji Goto's voice is heard appealing for the governments of Japan and Jordan to secure his release.

His captors are demanding the release of Sajida al-Rishawi, who is on death row for her role in a bombing in Jordan a decade ago.

In exchange, veteran correspondent and Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh, who is being held by IS, could be set free, but Mr Goto said both faced death if the demand was not met.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Japan's parliament the government would do its utmost to save Mr Goto but would not "give in to terrorism".

"The situation is extremely severe but we'll do the utmost to have Kenji Goto released as soon as possible," he said.

Japan's state minister for foreign affairs, Yasuhide Nakayama, vowed to work with Jordan to secure the release of the pair.

"Both our nations have to work together to ensure that both the pilot and the Japanese hostage return to their respective homes with smiles on their faces," said Mr Nakayama, who was sent to Jordan last week to deal with the crisis.

Last week, IS released a video purporting to confirm the murder of another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa.

-ABC

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs