Japan at a Crossroads

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After the death last week of Kenji Goto, the second Japanese citizen to be executed by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the conversation in Japan has turned from obsessive analysis of the hostage crisis to a drone of regret and dread. The government had repeatedly claimed that it would “do whatever we can” to free Goto, a forty-seven-year-old journalist who had appeared in three videos posted online by ISIS issuing his captors’ demands and claiming that his time was running out. Japan has no diplomatic presence in Syria and, since the end of the Second World War, no standing military. As many Japanese became painfully aware, there was very little their government could do.

The first video showed two hostages, Goto and his forty-two-year-old friend, Haruna Yukawa. Both men were kneeling, in orange jumpsuits, beside the black-clad, knife-wielding man who has been filmed beheading other hostages. The demand at the time was a ransom of two hundred million dollars, one hundred million per hostage, to be paid within seventy-two hours. The total dollar figure was the exact amount that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had pledged, only a few days earlier, during a visit to Egypt, to support “those countries contending with ISIL.” The following day, Abe traveled to Jerusalem, where he was photographed with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Abe’s trip was cut short by a day when the hostage crisis emerged and he flew back to Tokyo.

Read more: Japan at a Crossroads - The New Yorker
 

jeremy2

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I think it's time Japan did something concrete to avenge the deaths of its two citizens.Not having its own army does not prevent Japan from using other means to tackle head on this terrorist outfit.It could finance with immediate effect,countries like Jordan which are in the forefront in battling ISIS,whose own pilot was summarily executed barely weeks after/before Groto's killing.
 

RingoBerry

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Looking back at what happened to Yukawa and Goto, despite knowing the dangers of what they are doing and where they are going, how they died was just really sad. During the last set of negotiations Goto was pretty much shoved to a corner with the certainty of being killed since the whole thing became all about the Jordanian pilot.
 
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