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Abe cuts short Middle East trip to deal with hostage crisis

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Abe made a mistake. He should not go to the middle east and announce an financial aid in a manner which had a possibility of Islamic State misunderstanding it as an anti terrorist step of Japan against them. I felt it so when I saw Abe on TV meeting with Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu very friendly. A bigger mistake was made by American president Obama who withdrew U.S. Troops from Iraq and his week attitude on Syria issue. Islamic State is acting freely in Iraq and Syria now.

-11 ( +8 / -18 )

PM Abe should not get involved in Middle Eastern Affairs.

The complexity of the Middle East goes far beyond what the Japanese are capable of dealing with unless Japan plans to send Military Hardware and Advisors to Iraq along side the U.S.

And I hope the Washingron did not pressure PM Abe to get involved in Mid-East affairs.

Besides, Japan has enough to deal with China, South Korea, and Russia trying to steal their property away from them at every corner possible.

Serious lessons learned and unfortunately at the cost of human life - it just ain't worth it - not even for the U.S. to be this heavily engaged.

I just imagine what kind of world we would be living today without the need for oil.

-6 ( +7 / -12 )

It is very sad that some how two Japanese have been caught up in this hostage situation with ISIS. However the timing of this event makes it very controversial as Abe was on a tour to Middle East i.e. Mostly the neighbourhood of troubled region. Like the 2004 event of a Japanese caught up in Iraq it could be an attempt to draw Japan into the war there. Japanese government should act wisely based on credible intelligence information gathered on its own. It is also very strange that these ISIS guys keep there faces covered all the time.

-5 ( +1 / -5 )

Islamic State is not mistaken, they know that Abe is doing what is is saying and that is to help those worst affected by the fight in the area including areas under IS. They do not care for general populations and are least concerned about the people that suffer due to their filthy fight for power and wealth. One proof of their disinterest in the Islam itself is their complete ignoring of the Charlie Hebdo thing. While muslims all over the world are involved in protesting for and against both extremes IS didn't have anything to say. Instead this anti Muslims and anti Humans are only concerned to get money and spill innocent blood. I see no way out for the two Japanese hostages and any others that they capture. It is about time to get them carpet bombed by at least hundred jets at the same time, day after day night after night until they get buried in sand and ruines.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

CNN discussion guesses Japan will not send JSDF troops there because Japan only can use Defense of country. I am not sure of this but Abe etc will figure out how to rescue these two people. Now Japanese people who want to help ISIS will not travel there. Ransom within 72 hours? Japan does not have time to discuss economic plans for ISIS.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Abe made a mistake. He should not go to the middle east and announce an financial aid in a manner which had a possibility of Islamic State misunderstanding it as an anti terrorist step of Japan against them. I felt it so when I saw Abe on TV meeting with Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu very friendly.

That's a hard call. I think more that ISIS is just desperate about money more than anything else and when Abe pledged $200 million in aid a light bulb went on in their heads and decided to take advantage of that. These guys are not stupid by a long shot and they know full well that Japan values life and are not going to do anything militarily so from their POV it was the perfect and sadly sinister route to take. ISIS is having a lot of problems in their country. They are lacking in basic needs, they can't govern, Sanitation is poor, it's worse than 3rd world conditions, these guys need all the money they can get to fund their activities and are getting desperate, so expect to see more kidnappings and videos of extortion, sadly it's going to get worse before it gets better.

A bigger mistake was made by American president Obama who withdrew U.S. Troops from Iraq and his week attitude on Syria issue. Islamic State is acting freely in Iraq and Syria now.

I totally agree. Obama has been horrible in dealing with this issue.

The complexity of the Middle East goes far beyond what the Japanese are capable of dealing with unless Japan plans to send Military Hardware and Advisors to Iraq along side the U.S.

Can't argue with that point.

And I hope the Washingron did not pressure PM Abe to get involved in Mid-East affairs.

I doubt it, I really think that Abe was trying to in some part if not militarily at least financially to do his part in fighting radical Islam. Had it been another country, these guys would have tried to find locals from that country and use them to extort more money.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

These guys were being held for several months, captured long before Abe's recent $200 million pledge. Which just goes to show you these punks have no true vision or religious/philosophical belief. They probably have numerous captives, of nationalities not remotely connected to those that have waged war on IS, and are simply waiting for a convenient time to use them for personal gain.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

I don't think this will end well, unfortunately.

6 ( +6 / -1 )

Given modern communications technology, Abe needn't have come back to Japan from the Middle East (where the hostages and ISIS are) to 'take charge of efforts'. He could have had his lengthy hostage meetings with his cronies via Skype (or something more secure) and even, if he had the stomach for it, arrange to actually meet the ISIS leaders (not that that is likely to ever happen). Proximity, in other words, to the situation rather than run halfway around the world. But I get the publicity angle, too.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Does anyone else see the irony in him having to cut short a trip to the Middle East, to deal with a Middle East-related issue. My point being that the Middle East is such a quagmire, with so many religious, historical, ethnic, and other issues, that no single government is going to really push things in the direction of peace, and, anything a government like Japan does is going to piss someone off, and create issues for them. Better off taking the Switerland route.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Japan is now being introduced to what Islam is truly about. As with the deaths of all other hostages, what we did not see is a unified response by the 'Islamic World' in condemning and stopping ISIS and all other forms of 'radical Islam'. Here, nor anywhere in Africa, Europe,Middle East where 'radical Islam' is killing unabated.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

These fanatical, radical, Islamists do not care who they murder. They are interested in making money thru acts of terrorism. It's unfortunate that these two hostages have fallen into the hands of bloodthirsty murderers but paying ransom will allow these kidnappers to kidnap even more hostages in the future.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Abe shouldn;t tell how much to Egypt, jow much to Syria, etc. As bass4funk explained well that I fullt agree that I just write good luck to these two Japanese.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Things would be very different if Abe had instead given the aid money to the Palestines President Abbas.I would have jumped up for joy and supported Abe for the time being. Instead he got us into this mess that he hasn't clue on. Anyone out there who wants to get into a quarrel between a man and a wife or meddle into other people's affairs abroad? There's always 2 sides to a coin and Abe by his recent actions by donating money to one side has brought trouble home to Japan.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

There are always those people who want to blame Obama or the U.S for their pitfalls.

Lets get right to the point though. Japan needs to pay or these guys are gone! There are no if's and's or but's about it.

For the most part, this looks like it's going to end badly.

Now for Japan, you had your chance to join against the war on terrorism. Your government decided that you wouldn't even provide at sea refueling. Japan took a big step back. Japan is culpable for this situation. Apathy has put you here.

Now to defend Obama and some fellow Americans. You use the word "troops" but we are NOT yet cloned and preset to simply define them as troops. They are human lives, people, with families who have the right to return to their mainland. In the war against terrorism it is NOT the U.S alone responsibility to rotate out only our trained military while your nation basks in the shade of our umbrella.

Obama is a humanitarian above all things. Getting Americans working at home and getting them healthcare are top priorities. Change happened in America. I understand how some of you may not like it. However you cannot continue to be the Eloi and Americans the Murlocks.

France got a good taste of terrorism and guess what.....Japan is about to get a taste.

Its time for your nation to get out of that onsen and train your sons and daughters.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Abe plays on fear to make himself seems like a strong leader and to help his defense industry friends, so the "hostage crisis" will be seen in a positive light within his inner circle. Also, he had already spent time in Israel, doing business for the top executives travelling with him, the main purpose of his trip, so it was time to return home anyway after the perfunctory visit with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I frankly think the religious angle is consistently overplayed as an additional scare tactic. Are there some true believers and wingnuts, sure. But these animals, like all corrupt leaders and aspiring tyrants, want to get paid and they want power. Boko Haram or ISIS, how often do we have to read about all the women they’re despoiling? Bush and Blair spoke of their Christianity when justifying their invasion of Iraq but we all know there were far more important factors behind that decision. Religion is just a useful tool for animals to cover up their greed and powerlust.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Abe's rushing home for damage control. He knows he's messed up with the bombast and eagerness to enter foreign wars, and now these two men will pay the price, sadly.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Abe asked for this trouble, now Deal with it!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

These guys were being held for several months, captured long before Abe's recent $200 million pledge. Which just goes to show you these punks have no true vision or religious/philosophical belief. They probably have numerous captives, of nationalities not remotely connected to those that have waged war on IS, and are simply waiting for a convenient time to use them for personal gain.

They probably do, which goes back to what we both were time, they are just milking this opportunity.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Whatever the ransom is, Abe should pay it! The BOJ has generated trillions of yen for use in Japan's JGB scheme Abe can use the money to save the lives of Japanese citizens!

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

These guys were kidnapped last year and have been held until these isis creeps found a suitable excuse or time to pull them in front of the camera, others will also be being held and pulled out when it suits the scum isis.

I cannot understand why some still want to pin it on abe, seriously ?

But I would also be very aware of the possibility of an attack happening on Japanese soil, no one is immune from these scumbags and we know there is quite a community of middle eastern types here, hell al auida members were even found here 10 years ago in saitama,

Simple lesson here, go to this area of the world, expect to wind up being used on tv by these scumbags to further their cause, why doesn't facebook, youtube, twitter etc close the accounts of the uploaders and delete their propaganda ?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

"The militant said the ransom is to compensate for non-military aid the Japanese premier pledged at the start of his Middle East tour to support countries affected by IS violence."

In other words, Abe made the rather foolish decision to commit aid to countries like Iraq--where the government is dominated by Shi'ite Muslims. The IS militants, not surprisingly, interpreted Japan's pledge of money as going against the interests of Sunni Muslims. Japan is now viewed by IS militants as taking sides in the general Shi'ite-Sunni conflict--on the side of Shi'ite led countries such as Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan will pay, they always pay, Japan is know to pay, Abe don't do it. Feel sorry for these guys but one is a nutter / faker anyway that cut of his own male hood (story on JT).

DO NOT PAY ABE!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Getting involved in Middle East politics is a bridge too far for Abe. He can't even deal with things in East Asia!! i often wonder why trips are cut short and so on so people like Abe (and i see Poroshenkop has also cut short his Davos visit) can "deal with" some crisis. what exactly is he going to do? My guess - pay up.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It absolutely beggars belief that commenters here, presented with the choice between blaming Abe and blaming a terrorist organization that has brutally murdered thousands, will still find a way to lay blame at Abe's feet.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Abe was in over his head and was in the mid east for just another photo op. That's all it was for him. He can't even take care of issues in his own backyard let alone something that has been going on for centuries in the mid east. In his press conference in Jerusalem, an Israeli reporter asked him what new initiative he had for the mid east and he had none. Right, next question.

Talking about aid to countries fighting ISIS even if non-military aid was naive and ignorant. Now let's see how he plays this card because the U.S. stance is no negotiations with terrorists. He has always wanted to portray himself as the strong leader, well now is his chance. He should have taken up office space in the Japanese embassy in Jordan to be on site, instead of half way around the world back to Japan, what a waste of time.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@MASSWIPE

on the side of Shi'ite led countries such as Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

Syria is a Shiite country? No she isn't. Seriously, make sure of your facts before you come on here... You're wasting our time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

bpsitrep Jan. 21, 2015 - 08:32AM JST

Japan is now being introduced to what Islam is truly about. As with the deaths of all other hostages, what we did not see is a unified response by the 'Islamic World' in condemning and stopping ISIS and all other forms of 'radical Islam'. Here, nor anywhere in Africa, Europe,Middle East where 'radical Islam' is killing unabated.

Aren't those of the Christian faith being a little hypocritical condemning Muslim leaders for not speaking out? Where are the various christian leaders when genocide was being carried out by extremists who kill in the name of Christ? When hate crimes committed by Christians against Jews, gays, people of color, Muslims (attacks on mosques in France following the killings this past month) and so on, where are the Christian leaders speaking out condemning those Christian murderers?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

if Japan pays, this will finance more terrorist attack, Japan should not pay but something tells me if Abe pays, this will be sealed in another secrecy law registered document.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

This is an interesting dilemma for Japan: should they get involved with the war on radical Islam or should they ignore it while it spreads across the world? Though somewhat different, it reminds me of the U.S. decision to get involved militarily in WW2 before the Pearl Harbor attacks.

There are pros and cons to both sides of the debate, but the long-term consequences should be considered most carefully.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I dont like the idea of my money being spent on hostages THAT SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE!. They knew the risks. $200million to two people is a joke. It also opens up pandoras box. This whole thing stinks.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

"Syria is a Shiite country? No she isn't. Seriously, make sure of your facts before you come on here... You're wasting our time."

Read more carefully what I wrote. I wrote that Syria is a "Shi'ite-led" country. Assad--whom the IS militants are fighting to overthrow--belongs to the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'a Islam. This explains Iran's determination to support Assad's regime in Damascus.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Cut short a trip about which he can do nothing? Shame on him.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@MASSWIPE

You're quite right. Humblest apologies.... : )

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I still can't believe the turn a blind eye attitude on here.

So, when you watched the news, before when it was Americans or Brits being executed, you thought that it serves them right, they should lose their heads for trying to stop IS, a terrorist group from sweeping through the Middle East killing men, women, and children? You thought, let the IS group cleanse the region and I'm sure once they're done killing their thousand year old enemies, they'll tire themselves out and or just focus on Europe, and us in Japan can just live ignorantly happy lives.

What? As a strong nation, as a proud nation, you have a duty to work with your fellow democratic nations to protect those who can't protect themselves. Should Abe just give wishy-washy non-committal comments like China and watch from the sidelines? If you do nothing to stop the problem, turn your back to it, then don't dare complain later or demand to be heard later.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

mitokomonalex

Things would be very different if Abe had instead given the aid money to the Palestines President Abbas.

Say what?! Right, because the Palestinians are so very keen on combating IS. I get it. Geez you're such a joker...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It seems that Abe should not have declared the 200 million for such non-military aid in public. ISIS thinks Japan is a rich country, so they would try to get as much ransom as possible from Japan because the non-military aid is same amount as the ransom. Abe provoked ISIS. He should have considered the amount of money carefully before declaring it in public as lately ISIS can not sell much oil for higher price any more. Oil is no longer expensive for ISIS's big business.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

All of you who say don't pay are not offering any alternatives are you? Japan cannot send a military force to free the hostages and even if it could is it worth it to see the restart of a Japanese militarization ?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Well although I have a lot of complaints about Japan, at least they give a shytte about their citizens abroad. For US citizens it is a joke. They could care less if we are beheaded, raped, pilloried, etc.,,,

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

why doesn't facebook, youtube, twitter etc close the accounts of the uploaders and delete th/eir propaganda ?

Very good question, why is also Facebook keep open account of hacker and software piracy people opening hundreds if not thousands of users to spread ? Because of the digital millennium copyright which does remove all responsibility from the website company. Should be FaceBook responsible of what they are providing then they will clean and take care of the problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

kurisupisu

I wish there are alternatives, but there are non... this can be avoided, but too late.

this reminds me of breaking Bad's Hank Schrader's last quote to Walter White, this can be addressed to Abe too it goes like this:

“You’re the smartest person I ever met and you’re too stupid to see that ISIS made up their minds few days ago.”

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Saketown

I just imagine what kind of world we would be living today without the need for oil.

It's not about oil. It's about a jihadist army doing everything in their power to create a caliphate & everything that comes with it - including a belief system that has no place in a modern society. How about imaging a world without religion.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

IS group is demanding the ransom 200 milion from Japan, but it would not pay 200 million. No country could help Japan about hostage situation. IS seems to try to get as much money as possible from Japan, so it will negotiate and pay some money for ransom but not 200 million. That is only solution for Japan but no guarantee for their lives.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What a horrible mess that whole region is. The irony of demanding $200 million for two lives in a place where the value of life means nothing. Can we go back a few billion years and start again please?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

sighclops

How about imaging a world without religion.

Human beings will always find a way to kill each other With or Without Religion. These terrorists are Claiming that they are doing these crimes because of their faith, well do their religion really supporting Their actions? We only see these news about Crazy men killing people in the name of their religion, but do We see the news about men who restrained themselves from Killing or hurting others because of religion? so don't blame this on religion.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

One would think being in the Middle East he'd be ideally placed to deal with it

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@kurisupisu

You don't pay. Give a bully your lunch money today and expect to give it every time they ask you for it for the rest of your life.

Alternatives? Japan can't send a military force, because, I don't think they've trained in this environment or are very familiar with IS or have the experience. Realistically, this is where good international relations comes into play: Ask your friends who do have experience and have had success in freeing or rescuing hostages and see if it's possible in this case. Honestly, it's incredibly disappointing to say this, but I think the hostages will be killed. I mean, this group has recruited children carrying out executions. They have no moral compass.

I think each country has the right to their own military and to be able to defend themselves. But, again, ignorantly and ideally, I firmly believe an international force should have been established years ago that is funded by the G12 nations, made up of soldiers from varying nations, trained formerly together, and over time hopefully a level of trust can be established, a bond formed, and these forces are stationed with adequate resources in the countries that need protection. Thus, when groups like Boko Haram or IS arise, a well-trained and well-prepared international force can rise and protect the people without it seeming like their American colonialists, but more in the image of international cooperation, peace-keeping.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

IS must have dozens of hostages just held in captivity for the right moment to present them. It's no surprise that their ransom demand is the same amount as Abe's pledge.. No deal whatsoever for these animals. In fact, because of this incident Japan should pledge weapons to the Iraqi army.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan can't send SDF troops for rescue operation. So Japan will surely negotiate and pay some money but not 200 million and no guarantee for japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Quoting from the movie Ransom:

This is your ransom. Two hundred million dollars in unmarked bills, just like you wanted. But this is as close as you'll ever get to it. You'll never see one dollar of this money, because no ransom will ever be paid for my son. Not one dime, not one penny. Instead, I'm offering this money as a reward on your head. Dead or alive, it doesn't matter. So congratulations, you've just become a Two hundred million dollar lottery ticket... except the odds are much, much better. Do you know anyone that wouldn't turn you in for Two hundred million dollars? I don't think you do. I doubt it. So wherever you go and whatever you do, this money will be tracking you down for all time. And to ensure that it does, to keep interest alive, I'm running a full-page ad in every major newspaper every Sunday... for as long as it takes. But... and this is your last chance... you return them, alive, uninjured, I'll withdraw the bounty. With any luck you can simply disappear. Understand... you will never see this money. Not one dollar. So you still have a chance to do the right thing. If you don't, well, then, Allah be with you, because nobody else on this Earth will be.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Will never happen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

kurisupisu Jan. 21, 2015 - 10:53AM JST

All of you who say don't pay are not offering any alternatives are you? Japan cannot send a military force to free the hostages and even if it could is it worth it to see the restart of a Japanese militarization?

You are correct, there are NO military rescue options available to Japan or anyone else for that matter. Where are the hostages being held? NHK interviewed one of the lucky hostages that was released by IS and he said they were kept the whole time in an underground bunker of sorts. Do you think they have a reception room where the JSDF can storm to gain access to the hostages. The place is most-likely rigged with explosives to destroy the whole compound should a rescue attempt be made killing everyone! Has Japan the A-Team of sorts prepared for an infiltration and extraction mission in the middle of nowhere already in deployment and ready to execute within the remaining time limit? Unfortunately, I'm guessing not.

Here are the alternatives to not paying the ransom, there are NONE. If Abe chooses not to pay the ransom they will be executed!

But something tells me Abe will not pay and will later turn this into leverage on why Japan needs to start the constitutional reform process. When he unveils his plans to forge a new Japanese constitution this will be the one event he will tirelessly beat people with in an attempt to sway the masses to pass a constitutional referendum!

Abe's future speech:

Had the Japanese government had the legal powers granted by the constitution to exercise military options outside it's borders to protect the lives of Japanese as well as it's allies, the lives of these two outstanding journalists, true Japanese patriots, might be alive here today! Vote YES and never again allow the terrorist's actions to go unanswered!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Abe cuts short Middle East trip to deal with hostage crisis

He's kinder than me.

And "crisis" should be replaced with "minor annoyance".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Abe is going to try, and fail, to show the world how mighty Japan is on the world stage....

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Roughneck.... for the win. That is the only way I'd ever spend 200 million in this case. Sorry, but these two are done for.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yet another unfortunate outcome of the bush illegal invasion of Iraq and total failure to secure that country after the invasion. No party can screw up foreign affairs more that the republicans. Unfortunately, despite massive public opinion agains the invasion in Japan, the Koizumi government did send troops to Iraq putting Japan on the terrorist list.

ISIS is a direct outcome to the bush invasion. At least Saddam was not killing US citizens when he was in power as ISIS is doing now, or potentially Japanese citizens unfortunately.

Bottom line is that Japan should stay out of middle-east politics. It is a no win proposition. Ask the Russians or now the Americans.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Some years ago, I watch with anguish as a young Japanese man was beheaded in Iraq (it was not ISIS then). I still recall his last words in English...."I do not want to die."

Too late. He went into war-torn Iraq on his free-will and lost his head literally.

All Westerners and Asians better not get into war-torn Middle-East areas. Do that and know full well your lives may be taken by rebels. Worse you will feel the terror as the knife slices across your throat and you strangle in your very own blood.

Yes, I write in horrific terms. Only Fools and Idiots want to go to so many dangerous places. Some are in Asia...the diving resorts of Sabah, the Southern Philippines, parts of Indonesia, Myanmar, etc. And NHK and news media that buys the videos from such people have blood on their hands. Just ignore and boycott such areas. They the Arabs slaughter themselves.

Willl anyone that is not insane venture to Nigeria to talk to the Boko Hararm? Or go into Somalia and try to be-friend those Islamic radicals. Or venture into Yemen?

3 ( +4 / -2 )

Sadly, I fear these two men are going to die. Japan will not pay and unless by some miracle these men can be rescued from these terriost before the deadline, then I fear there is little hope for them. My deepest sympathy to their families and friends.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

One guy is a legitimate journalist, and the other is a wannabe suicide?

Abe should not pay. Abe trying to help refugees has nothing to do with these demands.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I also think they will die.

Not enough time to find out where they are and attempt a rescue operation, those take time and planning.

The other reason why I say so looking at the ISIS recruiting videos and their content ...

May they and their families find comfort and peace.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes, IS is a result of the US war in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the Middle East.

Saddam Hussein was killing thousands of men, women, and children. He shouldn't have been in power. I had no issue with removing him, but where America went wrong was not having any coherent plan whatsoever to do afterwards, and taking every misstep you could make. They showed up all shock & awe but with no substance.

But stop talking about the past. It happened. Don't sound like these old politicians saying, well, they did this to us first, who cares. Now we have to move forward and think about how to handle the current problem we have now and not how we should have done it in the past.

Don't negotiate with terrorists, have open communication with the allies that have a common goal, work together and get a sound plan made, then remove IS.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

How about people and countries stop sticking their faces into a proverbial Bees Nest?

Amazing how the planet is steadfast in molding everyone to their own individual ideals. And such shock and awe when things turn out like this story.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

“I strongly demand that they not be harmed and that they be immediately released,” he told a news conference in Jerusalem earlier Tuesday.

Or what?

I bet ISIS are shaking in their boots.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Abe will make noises about not paying, then he will pay and the hostages will be butchered anyway.

Then the payment will be classified a State Secret and the whole scenario will be used as justification to change the constitution and remilitarise.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The hostages have been held for months.... Abe is in the region for a couple of days, donating money that Japan has to borrow, leading to threats of the imminent exectuion of the hostages...and then he leaves. Enough said.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Abe said the aid he had promised in Cairo Saturday was to help the displaced and those made homeless by the conflict in Iraq and Syria.

What about sorting out the people who are still living in temporary housing who were displaced by 3/11? I'd say that is a better place to be spending the money.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I fear Mr. Abe is out of his depth. He initially said the aid was to counter ISIS and then changed the focus to humanitarian purposes as soon as the threats against the Japanese hostages were issued. Normally Japan would pay some ransom but he's just jumped into the deep end and can't extricate himself. He has no intelligence or military assets there and even if he did, the Americans, with infinitely more advanced capacity, weren't able to save their hostages. I hope these blokes will make it out somehow, but that is sadly unlikely. Mr. Abe is likely to use this as a pretence to send the ill-prepared, inexperienced SDF out on American adventures and intensifying existing police surveillance on Muslims in Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@warnerbro

Exactly.

Abe also said he was going to 'talk tough' on peace to Israeli and Palestinian officials. It is ironic that in his new self-appointed role as peace broker, he fails to recognize his own governmentnt is experiencing its worst post-war relationships with its own regional counterparts.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@jason campbell

You can't be serious? There's a new news story out now about IS targeting educated women as their next targets for execution. And this is on top them already using children to execute adults and other children.

You have the nerve to say "Amazing how the planet is steadfast in molding everyone to their own individual ideals. And such shock and awe when things turn out like this story."

Molding everyone to their own individual ideals? Seriously? Not mass murdering children or targeting women for rape and torture is not some individual ideal, it should be what humanity in all corners of the world are upheld to. It's sad you feel respecting human life is just a cultural trait like shaking hands with your right or left hand.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Abe pledged to pay 200 mill USD, but never within 72 hours. Probably over a period of several years, I should imagine.

Does IS think that this sum can be paid with a snap of the fingers? Even a country bulging with liquid cash such as China would have problems with that.

The tall London-accented pretend Muslim with the knife in his left hand looks as if he must have had experience working with sheep in a Halal slaughterhouse in the UK. May Allah have mercy on his soul, ...but I somehow doubt He will.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Abe was very keen to get involved, and now he is involved. Let's see how he handles the situation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If he spends 200 million on freeing two people who were most certainly in a place that they SHOULDNT have been in, then this would be quite an injustice to the thousands of people still living in temporary housing in Fukushima; that would easily buy almost all of them a decent house to live in!

Yukawa is a wannabe militant out looking for excitement; well congrats you found it.

Goto is making money by feeding the media with footage for news that we dont need "yep, that area is still messed up"

They both signed their death warrants the moment they went into that area.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I seriously doubt that he will spend 200 million yen on them. And they really shouldnt have been there. Having said that, by pledging 200 million yen (that Japan, beset with it own problems doesnt have) HE effectively signed their death warrants. They'd been hostages for months. He shows up and begins his 'Japan is back' posturing and now they are facing execution. Then he abruptly leaves the Middle East (an area in which he has no expertise) to solve a Middle Eastern hostage crisis. So there is plenty of poor judgement all round.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

nandakandamanda Jan. 21, 2015 - 02:27PM JST

Does IS think that this sum can be paid with a snap of the fingers? Even a country bulging with liquid cash such as China would have problems with that.

I think IS has NO intention of letting these men live past the 72 hour deadline, they just want to give the impression that they will negotiate. It is of more use to IS to make them die in a most horrific way possible to send a message to the Japanese public, stay out of our way! More wars and conflicts have ended due to the public getting sick of seeing their own returned in bodybags and nothing beats having a loved one's throat separated live on the internet for all to see.

If Abe had not gone to Israel and talked the talk, IS would not have confronted him. But that being said, this is the course Abe has dragged us all on and I have a bad feeling that things will only escalate as Abe looks to play the role of Commander-in-Chief.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@boweevil: " 200 million yen"?

Try 20,000,000,000 yen. (Twenty thousand million yen)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

`@nandakanwhatever

200 million dollars rather. Easy mistake to make. No biggie.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There's a fair bit of talk that the video is fake. Shadows are not consistent. No sweat or dust despite the desert setting and the hostages look like they have been superimposed?

Opinions?

As for Abe, not paying has the bonus that these 2 will be gone. I'm not saying they should be killed, but they went there despite the obvious danger/warnings and this is what happens. Sad but not worth what the goon in front is asking (assuming the hostages are alive). And bad to set a precedent in any case. It's Japan's turn because it's obvious the US and UK won't play ball. After Japan, who knows.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tewnty thousand million? Isnt that 2 billion?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I've been thinking about this all day.

What if it's fake? They could be calling Abe's bluff. What if it's old? A terrible thought, but they could already be dead. What if Japan decides to pay and they kill them anyway?

Surely there's the technology out there to at least answer 1) or 2)...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

boweevil, if it's no biggie then just drop it please. I have neither insulted you nor given you any minus points.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sorry my mistake, it would be twenty billion yen. No biggie...like I said.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Abe was already so close to the action, he should stay there and lead the team that will rescue the hostages.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Abes Big mistake was to invest monnet to Usa and support Usa with 200.000.000 Yen ,, now İsis has to hostage and abe has to pay another 200,000,000 yen ,,,, america has destroyed everywhere in the World, What i remeber about Usa,,

killed 10000000 people at nagasaki hiroshima

kileed 12.000.000 arabs for oil

mixed all middel east ,,

Near future Usa will not exsis japan never forgets hiroshima 1 day will turn to you,,

And for abe congragulation becouse of usa u have created a new anemy called isis

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Abe declared Japan will not pay $200 million and USA media is not reporting this story like yesterday or SONY hacking stories. They already reported why these two Japanese went there and photo analysis on details so even 72 hours is now less and less, hardly any mentions of this. Well, Obama speech was reported so no time, maybe. But no one was worrying these two Japanese roday. BTW Japan did not give money to USA. Just annual omoiyari fund to let US military stay in Japan. Japan Inc wiped out US industries except war industry now. Pentagon has no record of Japan gave money to USA.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@masako123

We Americans are absolutely ready for Japan to turn on us. I do appreciate your honest masako123. We are expecting you to turn. We are watching your society in it's transition now.

We will never forget the FALSE peace talks while Japan's dagger went into the heart of the USS Arizona. This is exactly why you are our ally. We keep our friends close. We keep our enemies closer.

Now lets get back on track. What's done is done. You need to get that airplane ready and load that money onto crates. You've got hostages to save.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is only one hostage left now, so is the price 100 million USD or still 200?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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