Statement on IS (Islamic State) Japanese Hostage Incident By Japan Visual Journalist Association

Update:Japan captive’s mother pleads for his release as Islamic State deadline nears


The deadline for the 200 million dollar payment that would buy their release ends Friday

Statement on IS (Islamic State) Japanese Hostage Incident Link

Japan Visual Journalist Association (JVJA) is an organization of photojournalists and video journalists.

We have documented how the attacks by the American and British-led coalition forces brought destruction and suffering to the Iraqi people during the Iraq War and the occupation that followed. We reported what we documented through media including television and newspapers. We have also interviewed civilians who came under Israel’s indiscriminate attacks on Palestine and Gaza, also reporting on television and in newspapers.

Our coverage has never supported the attacks by the United States and Israel. This is because as journalists, we cover events as they happen where they happen, and we thus understand the realities of people living in war conditions. Through our reporting, we have been criticizing all forms of violence. We continued to criticize the Japanese government’s war policies. We have also strongly criticized Israel’s attacks on Gaza. We are also using our reporting to criticize the Abe administration’s current policies that affirm war.

While covering the situation on-site, we met Kenji Goto, one of the hostages taken by IS (Islamic State). Kenji Goto is also one of the few journalists who has reported on television and through the internet on the suffering of civilians in war-torn Iraq and Syria. We have not had any direct interactions with Haruna Yukawa, but according to reports, it seems he entered IS (Islamic State) from of his own personal interest.

We stand by the principles of journalism that violence does not resolve problems. This is because we have continued to see for ourselves the ravages of areas where the use of arms and force has not solved anything. We believe that communication, including negotiation, is the way to resolve problems.

We appeal to everyone of IS (Islamic State). We appeal to you not to kill the two Japanese, Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa. Human life is priceless and cannot be traded for anything else.

We also appeal to the government of Japan. We demand that the Japanese government refrains from becoming complicit in military intervention in the Middle East by opposing it and choosing diplomatic means to find solutions.

January 20, 2015
Japan Visual Journalist Association

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It is an unlikely friendship that ties the fates of war correspondent Kenji Goto and troubled loner Haruna Yukawa, the two Japanese hostages for whom Islamic State militants demanded a $200 million ransom this week.

Yukawa was captured in August outside the Syrian city of Aleppo. Goto, who had returned to Syria in late October to try to help his friend, has been missing since then.