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Wife of Japanese hostage sent ransom demands last year

22 January 2015, 08:22

Tokyo - The wife of one of two Japanese men held by the Islamic State militant group received emails demanding a ransom as early as November, a local media report said Thursday.

The email messages said Goto, a freelance journalist, was in captivity and demanded a ransom of about $17 million, major daily Asahi reported, citing unnamed government sources.

The emails were from a person claiming to be a member of the group.

The wife started receiving the emails after she lost contact with Goto following his arrival in Syria in late October, Asahi said.

The militant group threatened in a video posted on the internet Tuesday to kill Goto and second hostage Haruna Yukawa unless a 200-million-dollar ransom payment was made within 72 hours.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who cut short his visit to the Middle East and returned to Tokyo on Wednesday, said the government is making all-out efforts to achieve the release of the two.

Japan believes the ransom deadline is 05:50 on Friday.



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