The news that two Japanese hostages were the targets of a threat from the Islamic State has sent shockwaves around Japan. The men, journalist Goto Kenji and private military contractor Yukawa Haruna, are subject to a $200 million dollar ransom if their lives are to be saved.
Netizens have responded in a number of ways, with many criticizing PM Abe for his recent remarks in the Middle East, while others call for his resignation. Others argue that seeing as the two men went to a dangerous region of their own free will, Japan should not pay the ransom since it will only cause more trouble.
From Yahoo! Japan:
Strong Opposition To PM Abe’s Speech: Japan Treated As Part Of Crusade — Islamic State
The video statement made public on January 20 by an organization thought to be the extremist organization “Islamic State”, in which the murders of two Japanese citizens were threatened, showed extreme opposition to PM Abe Shinzo’s pledge that “to be moderate is the best policy” to contain extremism. Abe made the comments during a speech relating to Japan’s policy in the Middle East, delivered in Cairo on January 17. The threat has been stated to be in retribution for Abe’s speech.
In the video statement, it was pointed out that Japan was “trying to join the crusade”. “Crusade” is an expression used when Islamic extremists criticize the generally Christian believers of Western countries, and it seems that Japan is being regarded as a key enemy of the Islamic State in the same way as the West.
Comments from Yahoo! Japan:
Well, those two went to a dangerous area of their own free will, and if Japan hands over 200 million dollars it’s like handing over a deadly weapon, and we know that might lead to the deaths of tens or hundreds of innocent people.
It’s a real pity, but maybe there’s not much we can do.
They may even attempt terror attacks in Japan, so I think they need to put strategies in place so that the Self Defense Forces are surrounding our nuclear facilities.
I’m no Malala, but education is needed.
We definitely shouldn’t pay this. If we pay the money this time, there will be a next time.
If we pay, then it’s just the same as donating to a terrorist organization, and then all it’ll do is increase the number of victims of terror the next time.
I want the two of them to be saved, but didn’t they go there anticipating that something like this would happen?
It might seem cold, but I think there is no way we should pay.
To some extent, if they were continuing these activities I think that they couldn’t deny the possibility of something like this happening.
I’m sorry to say it, but we cannot give in to terrorism.
Why did they go to such a dangerous place…?
It’s not like we can pay 200 million dollars, so if we can’t, then probably those two lives will be in vain.
The real danger is domestic terrorism. That’s not a guess, or a possibility, there will be a terrorist attack in Tokyo some time this year. Now, with all the attention focused on Japan, things are getting dangerous.
Comments from Twitter:
moca ＃庶民新党 ＃自民を監視する会:
Abe needs to shut his trap! @souun_udoku
I guess this means that now Japan might be in a dangerous situation, huh? Unless we strengthen immigration control as the number of foreign travelers increases we’ll be made a target for terrorism.
Abe, just resign already. Japan is gradually becoming an unhappy nation. I mean, you must have realized that the Japanese people don’t support you, right? Whenever you’re on the news, 90% of people criticize you. (The only reason you won the election was because of the LDP, not because of you).
200 million dollars for those two who went there of their own free will? If they’ll only use it to make weapons to take more lives, there’s no reason we should pay it.
I guess that now there’s nothing we can do about having a terrorist attack in Japan.
Abe and Japan are finished.
And what is the UN doing about it?
I just knew that dear little Abe would stick his nose in where it wasn’t needed (sigh)
Flashing his cash around the Middle East, what’s he gonna do when there’s a terrorist attack in Tokyo?
Abe, can you just quit being Prime Minister already? You, who are just leading Japan toward unhappiness, are completely unsuited to being a Prime Minister.