Horror in Japan as video purports to show IS hostage beheaded
Shock and grief struck the people in Japan on Sunday as the media reported the execution of Japanese freelance journalist Kenji Goto by the Sunni radical group Islamic State (IS), which released a video purportedly showing his beheading.
“Kenji has died, and my heart is broken,” said Junko Ishido, the mother of slain journalist. “I’m just speechless. It is my only hope that we can carry on with Kenji’s mission to save the children from war and poverty,” The Guardian quoted her as saying. Newspapers in Japan issued special editions bringing news of Goto’s death.
“Goto was a hugely respected journalist for his extensive experience, a man who covered children caught up in conflict, and told the stories of ordinary people and human rights problems. For all who knew him, it’s a huge loss,” the Japan Times quoted Tina Carr, director of the Rory Peck Trust, as saying.
The London-based trust provides support to freelance journalists and their families. Goto, 47, a veteran war correspondent, was captured in October after he travelled to Syria to try to win the release of Haruna Yukawa, a self-styled security consultant whom Goto had met in Syria last April. Yukawa was reportedly beheaded last week.
“He was kind and he was brave,” Shoichi Yukawa, the father of Haruna said of Goto. “He tried to save my son. It’s utterly heartbreaking. People killing other people, it’s so deplorable. How can this be happening?”
A pony-tailed man, who sought an end of human suffering through his work, would not hesitate to go a step further in his endeavours.
Goto was captured at least once before by militants in the Middle East, but had convinced them to let him go by showing that he was a reporter.
“It’s very dangerous. So, even if anything should happen to me, I won’t blame the people of Syria. Whatever happens, I am responsible. But of course, I’m going to come back alive,” he said in a video message last October before heading to Raqqa, the headquarters of IS group.
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