Tokyo: Should Japan be negotiating with Islamic State for the release of Kenji Goto?


After the apparent killing of Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa, Mark Buckton asked people in Tokyo whether the government should be talking to the terrorist group holding journalist Kenji Goto.

Jesper A
IT consultant, 41 (Swedish)
It’s probably a bad idea to negotiate. In other places, hostage-taking has changed from being a political statement into a purely economical business, and we don’t want to give in to these groups, neither politically nor economically.

Karin O
38 (Japanese)
Negotiation is one thing but there has been talk of attacking (Islamic State) and we shouldn’t do that because it will become endless. Also, we should not pay a ransom as Islamic State will benefit from that and just get bigger and bigger.

Logan M
Bartender, 25 (American)
Based on what I know and the fact that they put themselves in the position they are in now, I don’t think the government is obligated to negotiate or pay a ransom. If they were there on government business it would be a different matter.

Jun Yasumoto
Pub staff, 31 (Japanese)
It’s a difficult question, especially as Japan isn’t used to people being killed for religious reasons. I don’t think the government should negotiate, but Abe should put Japanese people first. He has been trying to promote himself when his job is to put Japan first.

Natsumi Niitsuma
Office staff, 23 (Japanese)
I think Japan should in no way, shape or form do anything to benefit Islamic State, especially by sending money, because any funds they receive will only be spent on weapons that could be used to cause more suffering.

Hideyuki Baba
Engineer, 38 (Japanese)
In my opinion, I think we should negotiate, but that’s all. We should not pay the ransom demanded by Islamic State, because if we do pay, then all Japanese become a target for similar terrorist groups.

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