Japan says online image of hostage’s body likely authentic

By on January 25, 2015


Hostage Kenji Goto holds a photo fellow hostage Haruna Yakawa who was allegedly decapitated by Islamic State militants.
Hostage Kenji Goto holds a photo fellow hostage Haruna Yakawa who was allegedly decapitated by Islamic State militants.

TOKYO — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday it is highly likely that an image purporting to show that one of the two Japanese hostages being held by a group believed to be Islamic State has been killed is authentic.

“We cannot help but say it is highly credible,” Abe said on public broadcaster NHK. He demanded the immediate release of 47-year-old freelance journalist Kenji Goto, the other hostage who is believed to be still alive.

An image of Goto holding a picture purportedly showing 42-year-old Haruna Yukawa had been executed was posted online Saturday with an audio massage.