Japan foreign minister: Making utmost efforts for release of Japanese held by IS

Japan foreign minister: Making utmost efforts for release of Japanese held by IS
Above: Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida

TOKYO - Japan will ask Jordan to beef up protection of its diplomats in that country and Tokyo is making utmost efforts to secure the release of a Japanese journalist held by Islamic State militants, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters on Friday.

Jordan said on Thursday it was still holding an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber as a deadline passed for her release set by Islamic State militants who threatened to kill a Jordanian pilot unless she was handed over by sunset. Kishida said on Friday he had no major developments to report.

An audio message purportedly from Japanese journalist Kenji Goto also captured by the insurgents said the pilot would be killed unless Jordan freed Sajida al-Rishawi, who is on death row for her role in a 2005 suicide bomb attack that killed 60 people in Amman.

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