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Abe Orders Focused Response to Hostage Crisis

Abe Orders Focused Response to Hostage Crisis

   Tokyo, Jan. 31 (Jiji Press)--With no word on the fate of Japanese freelance journalist Kenji Goto, who has been held captive by Islamic State militants, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed his government Saturday to remain focused in its efforts to win his release.
   Noting that the situation is extremely difficult, Abe also called for close cooperation with Jordan and other related countries.
   Abe gave the instruction at a meeting with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, who visited Abe's official residence to report on the present state of affairs regarding the hostage crisis.
   No new message has been released by the militant group since what appears to be Goto's voice message was posted online on Thursday.
   In the message, the militants demanded that Jordan release a failed suicide bomber on death row in the country in exchange for freeing Goto. They warned that a Jordanian air force pilot also in Islamic State captivity would be killed immediately if the demand is not met. The deadline for the swap passed late Thursday Japan time.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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