REX/Xinhua News Agency

Efforts to free IS held Japanese Christian 'deadlocked'

Sat 31 Jan 2015
By Antony Bushfield

Japan has said its negotiations to free a Christian journalist being held captive by Islamic State are "deadlocked" and that the situation is highly unpredictable.

Militants have threated to kill Japanese journalist Kenji Goto unless an attempted suicide bomber being held in Jordan was handed over by Thursday.

There's been no news from the extremist group since then.

Japan's deputy foreign minister, Yasuhide Nakayama, pictured, has travelled to Jordan to discuss the situation with the Middle Eastern country which is also trying to free one of its citizens.

Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh was kidnapped when his plane crashed over an area controlled by IS.

"The situation is deadlocked," said Mr Nakayama.


Meanwhile Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said: "Anything could happen,"

"We can't predict it at all. While preparing for every situation, I want to make every effort for Mr. Goto's release."

IS wants Sajida al-Rishawi freed. She's on death role for her part in the 2005 suicide bomb attack that killed 60 people in Amman.

The journalist has spoken about his Christian faith in the past and said he believed God protected him whilst he worked on dangerous stories.

It's thought he went to Syria to try and secure the release of a friend in October.

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