Japan PM defends handling of Isis hostage crisis

Mr Abe said he did not see an increased terrorist risk following threats in a purported Isis group video that vowed to target Japanese

The Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, defended his policy towards terrorism yesterday on a day of mourning for the two hostages murdered by Isis.

Mr Abe parried questions about his handling of the hostage crisis, which came to an end with news on Saturday that journalist Kenji Goto had been beheaded by the extremists, one week on from the apparent beheading of his compatriot Haruna Yukawa.

Mr Abe said that his announcement of $200m (£133m) in non-military aid for the fight against Isis, made during a visit to the Middle East just days before the militants demanded a $200m ransom for the two hostages, was meant to convey Japan’s strong commitment to battling terrorism and fostering peace and stability in the region. He confirmed that he was aware of the hostage situation when he made the announcement.

Mr Abe said he did not see an increased terrorist risk following threats in a purported Isis group video that vowed to target Japanese. Still, Japan has ordered heightened security precautions for airports and other public transport and at Japanese facilities overseas, such as embassies and schools.

AP

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