TOKYO - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the apparent execution by the Islamic State group of a Jordanian pilot as "unforgivable" on Wednesday, days after the murders of two Japanese hostages.
"It was an unforgivable, outrageous act. I strongly condemn it," Abe said in parliament hours after the jihadists released a video purportedly showing the 26-year-old pilot being burned alive in a cage.
The highly choreographed 22-minute video released online showed images of a man purported to be First Lieutenant Maaz al-Kassasbeh, captured in December, engulfed in flames.
"When I think about the feelings of his family, I am rendered simply speechless. Representing the Japanese government and people, I express here our sincere condolences," Abe said.
"Japan is with Jordan at this difficult time," he stated, offering "sincere solidarity".
"I am infuriated by these inhumane and despicable acts of terrorism," he said.
Jordanian state television said Kassasbeh had already been killed on January 3, before IS offered to spare his life and free Japanese journalist Kenji Goto in return for the release of a would-be suicide bomber on death row, Sajida al-Rishawi.
The beheading of journalist Kenji Goto was announced in a video posted late Saturday by IS militants and came a week after his friend and fellow captive Haruna Yukawa was murdered.