A journalists’ association has called on Japan to engage in dialogue with the extremists holding Kenji Goto, a day after an image emerged appearing to show the dead body of fellow hostage Haruna Yukawa.
In a statement issued Sunday in Arabic, English and Japanese, the Japan Visual Journalist Association appealed for “sincere negotiations” between the government and the Islamic State group to bring about Goto’s release.
“According to the released image and recorded voice message, the Islamic State is seeking to enter negotiations with the Government of Japan; and the Government of Japan has also expressed that human life is the top priority,” the statement said. “Non-violent dialogue between the two parties is fully possible.”
The message was titled “Emergency Statement Calling for the Release of Kenji Goto.”
It said journalists had been shocked by the image of Goto, 47, holding a picture of what appeared to be the decapitated body of the 42-year-old self-styled private security contractor. The image sparked deep “regret and sorrow,” the group said.
“We had been appealing through our statement that violence cannot resolve anything, however regrettably this wish was trampled upon,” it said, apparently referring to previous communiques the group issued.
The statement concluded with the wish that “all Arab people living in the midst of conflict be released from their suffering.”
In a previous release, the group described Goto as “one of the few journalists who has reported on television and through the Internet on the suffering of civilians in war-torn Iraq and Syria.”
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