The Islamic State (ISIS) declared its willingness to release Japanese hostage Kenji Goto in exchange for the "jihadist" Sajida ar-Rishawi. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has said the government has not ruled out the proposal, claiming that his country would cooperate closely with Jordan to resolve matter.
Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo, Suga said: "we must work for the release of the hostages, as the preservation of human life is our first task. Our country is cooperating with Jordan in this matter".
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his country would not bow to terrorism, a statement declared after Tokyo confirmed the authenticity of a video clip showing the killing of a Japanese hostage held by ISIS. Abe called for "the immediate release" of Goto, stressing that Japan is working with "other countries" to secure his release.
The recent move by ISIS has baffled the Jordanian authorities, considering it was previously expected to release Jordanian pilot Muaz al-Kasasbeh in exchange for Rishawi, who is currently serving a prison sentence for her role in the 2005 Amman hotel bombings.
Media reports revealed that Jordan seeks "local mediation" to release al-Kasasbeh in exchange for the release of some detainees, including Rishawi.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer