Urgent Press Conference on ISIS Hostage Situation
President of Center for Contemporary Islamic Studies in Japan
Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 15:00 - 16:00
The hostage situation apparently has entered a new phase after a visual image of what appears to be the decapitated body of Haruna Yukawa, one of two Japanese hostages held by Islamic State, was posted on YouTube late Saturday. The recorded voice message of Kenji Goto, the other hostage, spelled out a new demand from the Islamic militants, and they now want a hostage exchange instead of $ a 200 million ransom.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe remains resolved that Japan will not give in to terrorists' demands, but government officials have acknowledged that it is communicating with the government of Jordan, the country holding the prisoner the Islamic State wants to be released in exchange for the life of Goto.
Osamu Miyata, prominent Islamic and Middle Eastern affairs expert and formerly an associate professor at Shizuoka University, now heads his own think tank, the Center for Contemporary Islamic Studies in Japan. He will tell us his account of the current hostage situation and possible options for the Japanese government.