The wife of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, held hostage by a group believed to be the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), made her first public statement in English on Thursday.
According to the statement issued by Rory Peck Trust, a Britain-based organisation that aids freelance journalists, the militant group demanded that Goto's wife publicize and reveal to the world the group's message that "If Sajida [al-Rishawi] is not on the Turkish border ready for the exchange for Kenji by Thursday 29th Jan[.] at sunset, the Jordanian pilot will be executed immediately," and threatening that "Otherwise Kenji will be next!"
Goto's wife learned that her husband had been taken hostage on Dec. 2 when she received an e-mail from the group, the statement said. Since an online video that demanded $200 million in ransom was released on Jan. 20, several e-mails have been exchanged between the group and the wife, she said in the statement.
"I fear that this is the last chance for my husband," she said.
She also pleaded, "I beg the Jordanian and Japanese Government[s] to understand that the fates of both men are in their hands."
Concerning the statement, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference Friday morning, "I believe Goto's wife has expressed her feelings over the release of her husband."
"We have been maintaining close contact with his wife, but we cannot disclose the content of the whole exchange while the situation is still unfolding," he added.