The Japanese government said Wednesday there has been no progress in negotiations to free a Japanese national who is being held captive by suspected jihadists in Syria.
It has been one month since a video was released showing Haruna Yukawa, 42, being questioned and roughed up by suspected members of the Islamic State somewhere near the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Japanese media reported Wednesday that although members of the rival Islamic Front rebel group with whom Yukawa had been traveling have sent negotiation requests to IS for Yukawa's release, they have yet to receive any response.
According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs, officials from Japan's Syria embassy, which has relocated to Amman in Jordan, are working with various groups affiliated with his captors who may be able to assist in the matter.
Yukawa is listed on the website of Tokyo-based private military firm PMC as its chief executive.
The video which surfaced a month ago showed Yukawa lying on the ground with blood trickling down his face as his apparent captors question him. He offered brief responses to questions posed in English about why he was in Syria and the reason he was carrying a gun.
He replied in stilted English that he was a "photographer" and a "journalist, half doctor", as his interrogators accused him of lying, with one placing a long knife near his chest before the video stops.
Since 2011, Japan has been recommending that its nationals stay away from Syria.© Japan Today/Reuters