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Tokyo says situation over Japanese hostage hits deadlock

January 31, 2015, 4:48 UTC+3 TOKYO
The IS released a message earlier this week demanding that hostages could be exchanged by late Thursday for Sajida al-Rishawi, a failed suicide bomber held by Jordan
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© AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

TOKYO, January 31. /TASS/. The situation over Japanese journalist Kenji Goto who is held hostage by the Islamic State group, has come to a deadlock, the state minister for foreign affairs in the Japanese cabinet said.

"The situation has reached a deadlock," said Yasuhide Nakayama, who is also a Japanese envoy for the crisis in Amman. On Friday, Nakayama also said the situation remained unchanged.

The deadline announced in the latest ultimatum of the IS expired more than a day and a half ago.

The IS released a message earlier this week demanding that hostages could be exchanged by late Thursday for Sajida al-Rishawi, a failed suicide bomber held by Jordan.

The message, read by a voice claimed to be Goto, said if al-Rishawi "is not ready for exchange for my life at the Turkish border by Thursday sunset" then Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh "will be killed immediately."

Jordan earlier said it was ready to swap al-Rishawi if the Jordanian pilot held by Islamic State militants "is released unharmed.''

So far, there have been no reports whether the IS conditions have been met. Jordan’s government said al-Rishawi remains in prison as Jordan has received no evidence that the Jordanian pilot is alive.

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