The Japanese were shocked Sunday to find a video showing one of the two Japanese hostages of the extremist Islamic State group had been killed, the Tampa Tribune reports.
The attention now turns to focusing efforts to save the other hostage, but some have criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s drive for a more assertive Japan as responsible for the hostage crisis.
The video is expected to be authentic, but the government is reportedly still reviewing the footage. Abe offered condolences to the family and friends of Haruna Yukawa, a 42-year-old adventurer taken hostage in Syria last year.
Abe declined to comment on the message in the video, though, which demanded a prisoner exchange for Goto. All the government is saying now is that they are working on the situation.
“I am left speechless,” he said. “We strongly and totally criticize such acts.”