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  • Hostage nightmare

    Japan struggled to deal with elusive enemy

    TOKYO -- In the roughly two weeks since Islamic State first threatened to kill two Japanese hostages, Japan had scrambled to negotiate with an evasive militant group with which it had no communication channels. Its frantic efforts to secure their re

    February 2, 2015 04:50 am JST
  • Hostage aftermath

    Japan faces new challenges in confronting terrorism threats

    TOKYO -- Islamic State militants claimed to have beheaded a second Japanese hostage in a video released Saturday. While this reprehensible act deserves strong condemnation, it has also underscored the undeniable reality that Japanese too are targets

    February 2, 2015 01:25 am JST
  • Islamic State's reach

    As threat grows, international coordination becomes paramount

    CAIRO -- The targeting of Japanese nationals by the Islamic State demonstrates the limits of addressing such threats unilaterally, underscoring the need for coordination by the international community. Japanese citizens had rarely been targeted

    February 1, 2015 03:38 pm JST
  • Hostage aftermath

    Japan to redouble efforts to protect overseas nationals

    TOKYO -- The government will take all precautions to ensure the safety of citizens abroad, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Sunday following the release of an Islamic State video purporting to show the death of a second Japanese hostage.

    February 1, 2015 01:52 pm JST
  • Hostage crisis

    Islamic State says it killed 2nd Japanese hostage

    CAIRO -- Islamic State militants on Saturday released a video claiming that they had killed Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, bringing to an end Japan's frantic effort to secure his release through a hostage swap. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe immedia

    February 1, 2015 12:32 pm JST
  • Hostage crisis

    Islamic State says kills Japanese journalist Goto

    TOKYO (Reuters) -- Islamic State militants said they had beheaded a second Japanese hostage, journalist Kenji Goto, prompting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to vow to step up humanitarian aid to the group's opponents in the Middle East and help bring his

    February 1, 2015 10:30 am JST
  • Abe outraged by alleged murder of Japanese journalist

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday he was outraged by the Islamic State militant group's alleged murder of captured Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. "I'm outraged by the despicable terrorist act, and I will never forgive terro

    February 1, 2015 08:30 am JST
  • US working to confirm authenticity of Islamic State video

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The United States is working to confirm the authenticity of an Islamic State video purporting to show the execution of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto, the White House said on Saturday, adding Washington "strongly condemns" the m

    February 1, 2015 08:05 am JST
  • New video posted online, shows man believed to be hostage Goto

    CAIRO (Kyodo) -- A new online video image was posted online purportedly showing beheaded Kenji Goto, a Japanese man taken hostage by a group believed to be Islamic State militants. The footage carried words saying it is a message addressed to th

    February 1, 2015 07:15 am JST
  • Saudi oil policy

    New king plays it safe as regional threats metastasize

    TOKYO/AMMAN -- The new king of Saudi Arabia has managed to soothe an oil market that turned jittery following the death of his predecessor, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. News of the king's passing initially sparked concerns that a transfe

    February 1, 2015 07:00 am JST
  • As hostage crisis drags on, Abe urges vigilance

    AMMAN/TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese government remained on high alert Saturday amid a lack of developments surrounding a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian pilot held captive by Islamic State militants, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe telling high-l

    January 31, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Islamic State seizes oil facility in north Iraq

    KIRKUK, Iraq (Reuters) -- Islamic State insurgents seized a small crude oil station near the northern Iraqi city Kirkuk where 15 employees were working, security and oil officials said on Saturday. Two officials from the state-run North Oil Co con

    January 31, 2015 07:00 pm JST
  • Islamic State deadline passes

    No word on Japanese, Jordanian hostages

    AMMAN -- The Jordanian government likely tried to contact the Islamic State over the release of its captured pilot again Friday but there have been no updates on whether the pilot or the Japanese journalist also held hostage are still alive. Isl

    January 31, 2015 07:26 am JST
  • Pressure on Amman

    Jordanian public growing impatient over stalled hostage talks

    AMMAN -- The public here is growing restless as negotiations over a captured pilot stall, with the government refusing to release a death-row prisoner as demanded by Islamic State unless the group provides proof that the Jordanian hostage is still a

    January 31, 2015 06:05 am JST
  • South Korea's extremist concerns

    Islamic State group draws increased interest from youth

    TOKYO -- The Islamic State group in the Middle East is drawing increased attention in South Korea amid the prolonged hostage crisis involving two Japanese nationals. The hostage drama illustrates that no nation is immune from the threat of the e

    January 30, 2015 01:00 pm JST
  • Hostage crisis deepens

    Jordan faces growing public clamor to save pilot

    CAIRO -- Jordan faces an increasingly difficult situation over extremists' demands to free a prisoner from death row amid mounting public pressure to bring a captured military pilot home alive. The pilot, Muath al-Kasaesbeh, was taken hostage De

    January 30, 2015 04:38 am JST
  • UN study

    Geopolitical risks cooling investment globally

    TOKYO -- Cross-border investment sank to a five-year low in 2014 as money fled sanction-hit Russia, the increasingly unstable Middle East and North Africa, a United Nations study shows. Direct overseas investment fell 8% to $1.26 trillion last y

    January 30, 2015 01:46 am JST
  • Japan nervous as Islamic State urges hostage swap by sunset

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The fate of a Japanese journalist, believed to be held by Islamic State militants, appeared to be reaching a crucial stage Thursday after the group warned that a Jordanian pilot it has also held will be killed unless Amman is ready

    January 30, 2015 12:53 am JST
  • Minor expansion

    Thai conglomerate enters South America and Europe

    BANGKOK -- After expanding into Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, Thailand-based conglomerate Minor International has acquired its first hotel properties in South America and Europe. The company bought two hotels in Brazil and four in Po

    January 29, 2015 11:55 pm JST
  • Islamic State said to set new deadline for hostage swap

    AMMAN/TOKYO (Reuters) -- An audio message purportedly from a Japanese journalist being held by Islamic State militants said a Jordanian air force pilot also held by the group would be killed unless an Iraqi female prisoner in Jordan was released by

    January 29, 2015 12:05 pm JST