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Japan made aware of U.S. position against ransom payments: U.S. official

Kyodo

The United States has informally made known to Japan its position against paying ransom to terrorists, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said Thursday in reference to the two Japanese citizens taken hostage apparently by the Islamic State extremist group.

The U.S. view is that “it puts citizens at risk and it certainly is not a policy that we here in the United States implement or we support,” Jen Psaki told a press conference, adding, “I think Japan knows our longstanding position on that issue.”

Asked if the United States had contact with the Japanese to tell them of its position, she said, “We have conveyed privately our position and they’re familiar certainly publicly of course with our position.”

Psaki refrained from assessing what action Japan would take in this regard, noting that a ransom payment would put “all citizens” at risk and helps sustain the terrorist organization.

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