Latest hostage crisis involving Japanese evokes chilling memories


Staff Writer

The Islamic State group’s threat Tuesday to execute two Japanese hostages is a chilling echo of a series of hostage crises involving Japanese citizens in 2004, including one that resulted in the victim being decapitated.

In an online video, a knife-wielding militant with a British accent said the group will execute the two, whom the video subtitles identified as Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa, unless Tokyo paid a $200 million ransom within 72 hours.

In a gruesome October 2004 case involving Islamist militants in Iraq, 24-year-old tourist Shosei Koda was killed. The group holding him had posted a video demanding the withdrawal of the Self-Defense Forces from the country within 48 hours.

The administration of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi rejected the demand, and Koda was decapitated.

In April 2004, three Japanese were released after eight days in captivity in Iraq.

The three, Tokyo photojournalist Soichiro Koriyama, 32, volunteer aid worker Nahoko Takato, 34, of Chitose, Hokkaido, and recent high school graduate Noriaki Imai, 18, of Sapporo, had been kidnapped by a terrorist-related group that demanded that SDF troops be withdrawn within three days.

In August 2012, Mika Yamamoto, an award-winning veteran journalist, was killed during a clash in Aleppo in northern Syria, where rebels and forces loyal to the Syrian government were fighting.

Other deaths in Iraq included the killings of two Japanese diplomats in an ambush in November 2003, and the deaths of two journalists at the hands of unidentified assailants in May 2004.

  • aljanet

    I am just waiting to see when will one of these countries rise up, grow some, and drop a nuclear bomb on ISIS.

    • tfortea

      India should do it.. middle east must come out of 15th century..

      • HD162826

        India, Israel, US should plan it together. The mullas won’t have a clue who did it. One sub KT nuke launched from a submarine towards Makkah should do it.

    • Dominus69

      A slightly ironic suggestion to be made on the Japan Times.

    • Andrew Schulsinger

      If we go that route, we will surely kill many innocent minorities in the region. Eliminating the cancer by killing the patient creates an even bigger mess. We need to keep on with our sustained targeted air assaults, and we need more allies to help us do it.

      • indrasis

        right on

      • aljanet

        I hope you realize that the current policy is NOT working and they are killing innocent people EVERY DAY. We will not solve this by dropping few bombs every other day.

      • Paul Johnny Lynn

        Indeed. A serious study of the effectiveness of aerial bombardment would lead to disappointment for advocates of it. The London Blitz was almost totally ineffective in subduing the morale of the population. Later bombing of Germany failed to achieve the total destruction of her war capacity. Ah, but, maybe they just need more, better, bigger, faster…..

  • aawaz


  • aawaz

    THE ISIS have face of pigs ass of swines and their mother are bitches….

  • NumberOne1AZfan

    Mr Abe should use the 220 million as bounty on the heads of the relatives of any ISIS fighters.

    • Kurtis Engle

      A bounty would stop them doing it again. But the suggestion of going after the families should be considered very carefully. It is not the way things are supposed to be, except in North Korea.

  • John Ax

    Yo, When is Shinzo Abe gonna send in the SDF to save them? He doesn’t have much time left.

  • OldCarMan

    The daesh are cowards that pervert Islam & are a stain on humanity. This cancer on civilization needs to get radiation treatments!

  • HD162826

    Japan was one of the few countries left in the planet that didn’t loathe these evil bastards.

  • rc0213

    I would be send the money that can be tracked, and then send it some special force and take them all out.

  • Kurtis Engle

    It may be time to seriously consider altering the Constitution.

  • indrasis

    send the money with stains of ebola virus on the currency notes

  • Big D

    Good Job daesh! Piss off the Japanese, I’m sure that will work in your favor.

    It’s time to take the gloves off when dealing with the daesh!!!!

  • Yvonmoua

    Our friends Japanese why you guys went to over there? It’s Hell at all over there. Tell your friend do go anymore ok!

  • George Kafantaris

    Despite all our sophisticated weapons, we will stand helpless against these barbarians as long as we refuse to send soldiers in to ferret them out.
    And they know it.

  • Get Involve

    ISIS vs Yakuza

  • Thisrace Isajoke

    Isis is messing with the bull, and when you mess with the bull you just might get the horn.

  • James

    I blame Abe for this. 40+ years of a peaceful era destroyed by Abe poking his nose where it shouldn’t be.

    • Gordon Graham

      I blame the people who kidnap and murder innocent people

      • James

        Sigh. Yes, you’re right. But I still think Abe is beginning to follow the American way of intervention.

      • Gordon Graham

        There’s an election here every other week so Abe will be insignificant soon enough