Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / GPO
Then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with then-Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, at the Japanese Prime Minister's office in Tokyo on January 4, 2014.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters at a briefing Wednesday that his nation will do everything possible to free two Japanese captives held by ISIS terrorists.

Islamic State in Iraq and Syria released an online video Tuesday allegedly showing two Japanese nationals it said it was holding hostage. The terror organization said it would kill the captives unless Japan paid $200 million in ransom for the hostages.

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Japan’s prime minister told reporters, “I have instructed [our government] that we will exhaust all possible measures to have the two freed using all diplomatic channels – all the diplomatic routes we have built so far,” he said.

But, he added, “Our country will never give in to terrorism.”

Japan and Israel have strengthened ties in recent months. Last week Japan’s prime minister visited the Jewish State with a large delegation; earlier, Israel’s prime minister visited Tokyo as well.

Other nations now appear to be slowly tightening up on ISIS as well. Pakistani security forces in the eastern city of Lahore arrested Yousaf al-Salafi, whom they believe to be the commander of the ISIS branch in that country.

“Al-Salafi is a Pakistani Syrian who reached Pakistan through Turkey five months ago,” a source told Reuters on condition of anonymity. “He crossed into Turkey from Syria and was caught there. Someone how managed to escape and reached Pakistan to establish ISIS.”

They also arrested two accomplices, all three involved in recruiting and then sending the new fighters to Syria for advanced terror training, according to intelligence sources.

 

 

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.