ISIS Video Claims to Show Beheading of Japanese Hostage Kenji Goto

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Obama Condemn Purported Execution of Journalist.

A video showing the apparent beheading of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto by an Islamic State militant marks a tragic turn in a nearly two-week hostage drama, and casts into question the role of pacifist Japan in the U.S.-led fight against terrorism.

The video was released early Sunday Tokyo time, following days of efforts to secure the hostage’s release in exchange for an Islamist prisoner held in a Jordanian prison. In a previous video, Islamic State had threatened to kill Mr. Goto unless the prisoner was released by sundown Thursday. That deadline passed without any signs of progress.

In the video, a militant said the execution of Mr. Goto, a freelance journalist known for traveling to conflict zones, was in retaliation for Japan’s participation in the U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State, according to Site Intelligence Group, an organization that tracks extremists. A week earlier, a video claimed to show that another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa, had been killed.

In Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called an emergency meeting of cabinet members early Sunday.

“I feel strong anger at this act of terrorism, which is outrageous and the height of barbarism,” Mr. Abe said. “We will not forgive terrorists, and we will work alongside the international community to make them pay for their sins.”

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