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Families plead for lives of IS hostages as swap hopes fade

43 Comments
By KARIN LAUB and MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH

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One can not blame the Jordanian government for wanting proof of life before handing over the pilot, given the history of IS and their brutality it was the prudent thing to do.

Sadly Goto is a pawn in this, there is little if anything that the Japanese government can do or say to win his release and Abe's inability to handle the situation just proves to many in the world what it has feared for a long time, that Japan's leaders are inept and clueless, want proof just look at how many post war PM's there have been.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Abe's inability to handle the situation

How is the way that Abe has handled the situation any different than the leaders of the countries of any of the other people individually captured by ISIS?

ISIS had killed known aid workers such as US aid worker Peter Kassig and British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning. What makes you think ISIS had any intention of releasing Yukawa and Goto before Abe went to the Middle East? Did ISIS make any demands on Japan before that?

ISIS is very goog at making pawns of everyone who is not ISIS.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

It's impossible to justify blaming "Abe's inability to handle the situation," especially considering there is nothing wrong with how he is handling it. If the J government were to make a deal with IS, it would simply lead to more incidents like this. I am sorry that this happened to Goto, and I give condolences to his family; however it is too late to change the situation without causing more harm elsewhere. As the articles on JT have mentioned recently, if IS receives their demands this time, it will only fuel their barbaric regime.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I'm by no means a fan of Abe, but I don't see that he has done anything wrong in this. While his providing of support to countries fighting ISIS may have been a trigger, that doesn't equate to fault. And no matter how he handled the aftermath there would be criticism, as it's a lose-lose situation.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

How is the way that Abe has handled the situation any different than the leaders of the countries of any of the other people individually captured by ISIS?

Directly or indirectly it's Abe's actions that started the ball rolling in the first place. Both of these men had been held captive for months and the IS being who and what they are waited for an opportunity to maximize the press they could receive by holding them until Abe stupidly made the comments and took the actions that he did on his trip to the ME.

Abe, if he truly cared about those captives would have and should have held off making any gestures or statements to antagonize or inflame the IS with regards to those they held captive.

There was no need for Abe to publicly announce the aid package in the manner that he did, he could have chosen a better time and place, for starters. Next he certainly should not have been antagonizing the people (IS) who hold the captives with the emotional laced remarks that he did. Abe has little if any bargaining chips in this game and his reactions were obvious that he can not control himself well when people refuse to listen or do as he wants.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

"Jordan’s participation in U.S.-led airstrikes against the Islamic State militants in neighboring Iraq and Syria is unpopular in the kingdom"

The Jordanian people need to get with the program.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Directly or indirectly it's Abe's actions that started the ball rolling in the first place.

Again, no. ISIS capturing two Japanese citizens was the direct action that started the ball rolling.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Yubaru:

" There was no need for Abe to publicly announce the aid package in the manner that he did, he could have chosen a better time and place, for starters. Next he certainly should not have been antagonizing the people (IS) who hold the captives with the emotional laced remarks that he did. "

Both claims are flat out wrong. There was not "better time or place" to announce the aid package... ISIS would have found out about it any way. And there is nothing he could have said that would not "antagonize" ISIS (short of submitting the entire Japanese nation under the Abu Bakr Al Bagdadi and the Caliphate.... I grant you that would not antagonize them). People should stop looking for scapegoats and face reality,

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Eventually ISIS will fall. Globalism has negative aspects. It brings up all the problems of the world to the front. In the past, people of the world used to live in each district with different histories, different traditions, different economy and different beliefs. We did not have to worry about the things which happened in the different world. But today, the world is one and is not admitting the differences resulting in conflicts and economic confusions. By the way, what is the United Nations doing? It is the same without.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And there is nothing he could have said that would not "antagonize" ISIS

He could have kept his mouth shut! That IS an option, but Abe has a history of ticking off foreign countries with his mouth, if anything that is one thing he IS good at.

Not claims, facts. Abe's comments at the holocaust memorial prove his ignorance and insensitivity towards foreign policy issues as well, he's got a long track record and not a good one either.

I am not looking for a scapegoat, the IS are roaches, a plague on the earth, and granted there is little if anything ANYONE could do, but it bugs the heck out of me when people say or infer that Abe is doing the right thing and is not responsible for exacerbating the situation, on that he is guilty.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

He could have kept his mouth shut!

? His mouth was shut when and before Yukawa and Goto were captured and tortured. It did not matter one iota to ISIS.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Assure this, if Goto & The Pilot dies - Rishawi hangs.

One innocent Man is already dead and his family in dispair.

How far does ISIS want to go with this ordeal?

They'd better think this through very carefully if they intend to see to the end of their Caliphate.

ISIS nor any hostile entity who wage terror and genocide should never underestimate the vaste financial and intelligence gathering resources of The United States and their Allies have throughout The Middle East.

Because there will be a day of reckoning for those who do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Assure this, if Goto & The Pilot dies - Rishawi hangs.One innocent Man is already dead and his family in dispair. How far does ISIS want to go with this ordeal?They'd better think this through very carefully if they intend to see to the end of their Caliphate.

The two are not a pair. If the pilot dies and Goto goes free, she will swing, if Goto dies and the pilot goes free she will probably be free as well.

Japan is not going to bring an end to their Caliphate, that is for sure. The day of reckoning will come from the EU, ME, and US who are actively fighting them in the region.

Japan is a side show, and the IS has other captives to parade around when this show is finished.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There was a time Japan would not put up with thugs like ISIS. Those days are gone. Now Japan pleads and begs like a slave.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

She should have stood next to her husband when he detonated his "vest" (or did she?).

As for the pilot, did he eject? Better to crash and die, rather than be captured, and probably tortured, by ISIS?

They'd better think this through very carefully if they intend to see to the end of their Caliphate.

It's already doomed. Only problem is another one will probably pop up somewhere else.

People are still blaming Abe for any of this? Why not the cold weather too?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There was a time Japan would not put up with thugs like ISIS. Those days are gone. Now Japan pleads and begs like a slave.

And when was the time you refer to here?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There was a time Japan would not put up with thugs like ISIS. Those days are gone. Now Japan pleads and begs like a slave.

Abe went to the ME to try to prove Japan's resurgence as a major player. That lasted two days before a ragtag group sent him back to Japan without a clue about what to do next. He knew going to the ME and bragging about how Japan supports the fight against ISIS would put the Japanese hostages at risk. He did it anyway and now one Japanese citizen is dead. He is directly responsible for what is happening now. Abe is totally inept when it comes to foreign policy as he believes his own propaganda about returning Japan to the glories of the 1930s. And again, that did not end well for Japan.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

He is directly responsible for what is happening now

Ridiculous. He didn't kidnap these guys, he didn't send them to Syrnia, and they were already kidnapped before he went to the middle east.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I want to say Japan and Jordan should hang up the phone on ISIS and stop this farce but the longer they extend this the more chance that they'll be able to locate and rescue the hostages somehow, the chance is very remote but it's worth keeping the tension going a bit longer to keep the possibility alive

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Those terrorists are milking this media attention. Don't be surprised if there is a new deadline today and another after that.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

i think we can all safely say that most of us on JT despise abe, but you're on a tangent for trying to blame him for the current hostage situation. sorry, but chaos theory does not fit here.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

i think we can all safely say that most of us on JT despise abe, but you're on a tangent for trying to blame him for the current hostage situation. sorry, but chaos theory does not fit here.

So, it's Obama?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

most of us on JT despise abe

Most of JT posters were not born in 1960s and 70s. During 1970s, Arab nations used oil embargo against US allies for supporting Israel. Japan was smart enough for not following with US. They assumed that Japan was not their enemy because It did not involve and standing as non alliance for Arab Israel war. The reward was oil embargo was lifted against Japan. Japan has no enemy in Middle East. Even Communist China and South Korea were sweet as honey to Japan under Prime Mister Tanaka.

but you're on a tangent for trying to blame him for the current hostage situation.

Of course! Abe poked the Bee Nest. Abe went to visit the middle east and provoke IS for providing fund for nations waging wars with IS. He promised peace keeping force. However it is hard to believe they will be in middle east for natural disaster relief. Abe has licked the boots of Obama for risking own citizens lives.

sorry, but chaos theory does not fit here.

Japan is not middle east which has Chaos and Blood Shed. Abe's promotion of active member for Middle East affair is the root cause of Japanese citizens becoming the target of terrorists. In Philippines, many Japanese business men have been murdered before. It were not caused by Japanese government They risked their lives for having financial and romantic interest there. No Japanese blame Abe for businessmen deaths in oversea. Middle East is none of Japan business or Geo political interest. Abe has blood in his hands for promoting Japanese citizens becoming silence of the lambs.

The chaos that caused by theory does fit here.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Most of JT posters were not born in 1960s and 70s.

And it shows. Trust me on this.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

And it shows. Trust me on this.

I can't see how you tell. Guess I'm young at heart :D

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Who cares if there was no proof the pilot was alive or not it will save kenji! I am kenji!

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

There are faults with all of us including those in high government position like Prime Minister Abe. And if you were in his shoes, what would you have done? It is so easy to criticize and we all do too much of that. The whole situation is sad!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

turbo,

I can't see how you tell.

Not infallible but the style of how people write and stuff they have mentioned in the past. Over time, trends show.

Guess I'm young at heart :D

Power to you. Me too when I'm not being cranky ;)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It is no coincidence that ISIS demanded 200 million dollars for the hostage's lives after Abe very publlicly donated it. Where did the hostage takers come up with that figure? If two of your citizens are being held hostages you don't go and purposely annoy them. If Abe wants to donate money (that Japan with highest debt to GDP will have to borrow anyway) then fine-but what he has done is tantamount to waving the money in the hostage takers faces.

Its called diplomacy for a reason. It means you use discretion in politxally sensitive situations. There can be doubt no doubt whatsoever that Abe's words in the Middle East provoked the hostage takers.

And before people start saying 'ISIS would'Ve killed them regardless' there is absolutely no way of knowing what could happen. In a hostage situation the most valuable asset to have is time to develop a strategy. That means being smart and thinking logically-and not waving money in people's faces.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

To call it a tough situation would be putting it extremely mildly, but Yubaru is right: Japan, and specifically Goto, is a pawn in this, and no matter what there can be no good outcome. I want Goto, dumb as he was for putting himself in this situation, to be released without further harm, but to do so at the expense of letting a mass murderer free? And what back room deals would Japan have to make to Jordan, and how badly would it conflict to their commitment with Israel? The costs of Yukawa and Goto's little 'adventure' is far too high, and a perfect example of why people shouldn't go into such areas, regardless of the reasons or the feeling that thy alone bear sole responsibility for their actions.

Slum dog: "ow is the way that Abe has handled the situation any different than the leaders of the countries of any of the other people individually captured by ISIS?"

You know why. You just won't admit it. Now that the news is out Japan hid the kidnappings since last year you guys suddenly use that to back up the idea that Abe's indirect threats had no bearing on IS' actions. It doesn't change the fact that his words DID give IS an excuse, and everyone but the denialists know it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

it's not abe"s fault at all ... now there more than 60 countries fighting isis like UK australia canada US franc singapore many middle east countries like jordan saudi arabia united arab emarates and from africa .. then europe it's almost half of the world trying to end this isis so abe did a good job for humanity and i'm sure if japan was able to use army they could also join to attack that terrorists ..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No, its not Abe's fault at all. The hostage takers who have held the prisoners since August and October respectvely all of sudden decide to the threaten the lives of the hostages for an initial demand of 200 million dollars immediately after Abe pledges the same amount. There is absolutely no casual relationship to the two completely unrelated evemts.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

" She urged the Japanese and Jordanian governments to finalize a swap that would free both hostages. “I beg the Jordanian and Japanese governments to understand that the fates of both men are in their hands,” she said. "

While I understand her feelings, the statement is absurd. Their fate is entirely in the hands of ISIS. It is the hostage-taker who decides to take the hostage and to release or to murder him! To blame the victim is tacky.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I hate to be cynical, but how does this hostage situation play for Abe-san? Does it help shift public perceptions away from its long-ingrained pacifism and towards more weapons and military spending? Will it scare Japanese away from taking vacations abroad so they spend their hard-earned yen on trips here in Japan? Will it make it easier for him to justify spending more on "defense" when all he did was donate money to middle eastern countries "for non-military purposes" and the "bullies" of the world use Japan's "weakness" to hold its citizens hostage as they see fit? And will this incident instill in Japanese a subconscious mindset such as: "Wow. If they can do this to us with impunity in the Middle East, what do our adversaries in Asian countries stand to gain from using aggression against our helpless people here?"

I'm afraid Abe knew about the hostages and decided support for the region (and its allies) was more important strategically. If ISIS didn't link the two, so much the better, but if the response ended up shocking Japanese sentiment out of its shell and towards "preparing for the worst in this troubled world," wouldn't this also suit his domestic ends as well?

As for the Jordanians, I know many will disagree with me here, but I'd hang that woman terrorist and be done with it. Draw a line in the sand: soldiers are one thing, but those who even plan to murderer scores of our innocent civilians (in our capital city, no less!) will forever receive the harshest possible punishment, every time. Goto should be irrelevant in Jordan's deciding upon a sensible security strategy for its own (and much closer to the fighting) populace. Letting the terrorist go won't do Japan much real damage (other than open Japanese up to more hostage taking, that is, and even then this trade still might not save Kenji), but it will come back to haunt Jordanians ten-fold.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Here's an idea, how about Japan says no on the deal and Jordan kills their prisoner. An eye for an eye, perhaps next time they will think twice on hostage negotiation trades.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You sheep need to listen to goto san's mother , on you tube , abe and goverments around the world , this is the last straw unless goto comes home, watch your back goverments

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Aussieboy:

" Here's an idea, how about Japan says no on the deal and Jordan kills their prisoner. An eye for an eye, perhaps next time they will think twice on hostage negotiation trades. "

That is not "an eye for an eye". The jihadi murderess is on death row for attempted mass murder. She has been tried and convicted by a court. "An eye for an eye" would be kidnapping a random citizen of the Islamic State and demanding ransom for him.

You are trying to comparing apples and oranges.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I hate to be cynical, but how does this hostage situation play for Abe-san?

Believe me he isn't gaining any points with the public that is for sure. BUT since he only has to worry about a tiny corner of Japan to keep getting reelected it isn't going to matter as long as he holds the reigns to the LDP.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

WilliB - I am not comparing the reason why they are prisoners, actually I am not comparing anything.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Salvor Hardin ... thanks for your comments. Well said indeed!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ISIS is the evil player here and al-Rishawi is a murderous terrorist. Goto is a brave but maybe ultimately reckless person, and Yukawa was troubled and trouble. Al-Kaseasbeh is a legitimate soldier.

Abe should bear some responsibility. I do not think ISIS pulled the $200 million figure out of thin air. This is a resourceful terrorist organization, well versed in making propaganda statements based on real actions, and it has skillfully played this drama out to embarrass Jordan and Japan and to drive wedges. Teddy Roosevelt knew how to speak softly and carry a big stick, and Miyamoto Musashi knew how to wield a bokken with a minimum of chit chat. Abe is the opposite. He is the chicken hawk talker of a big game, not the strategic thinker and shrewd statesman that Japan deserves. When Kuwait read out the list of countries which helped it during the Gulf War Japan's was not there. Abe may want a Japan which "is back" to be on the list of countries to oppose ISIS, but it must do the risk and reward calculations. To say ISIS is despicable is the cry of frustration and impotence, not the cold resolve to do something. To be sure there will be no Japan special forces coming to rescue Goto, but perhaps Japan can put in even more assistance to blunt the influence of ISIS.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You know why. You just won't admit it.

Nope, I have no idea what you are talking about. I do remember you clearly stating "Yukawa deserves whatever he gets" though. That I do know about.

Now that the news is out Japan hid the kidnappings since last year

What are you on about? Yukawa's kidnapping and beating was all over the internet and TV right after it happened. It was on the morning shows here in Japan and his name was talked about specifically. You commented about it in a JT discussion at the time.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/a-broken-man-living-on-dreams-pulls-japan-into-syria-hostage-drama

smithinjapanAug. 31, 2014 - 02:44PM JST

Sorry, but the guy deserves what he gets -- you don't just march into a war-zone with suicidal tendencies and think you are being 'selfless' and 'helping others' or what have you, then expect to garner sympathy.

Now, you have been attempting to hum a different tune. It does not wash. You already revealed what you thought in August of last year.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Islamist have picked a ripe target in that the population of Japan is very susceptible to the type of pressure that terrorist tactics produce. This is chiefly due to nativity; specifically the idea that their is a desire to obtain something more than the response that they are getting from the Japanese people and Government. The terrorist hope that there is some debate about doing thing to placate them within the population. They hope that there are people who will blame the elected leadership of Japan over the barbarous thugs that are holding kidnapped and executing the very people that everyone is so concerned about. The only proper way to act when in this situation is to not deal but rather seek to find a way to kill those who use terrorist tactics to advance their "cause". Do not negotiate with them other than the demand of unilateral surrender. Do not let them play mind games in your media. This is the only way to defeat them in the long run.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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