Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during a press conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday, said that he resents the Islamic State's threat to kill two Japanese hostages.
"It is unforgivable and I feel strong resentment," Associated Press reported Abe as saying on Tuesday. He also demanded that the Islamic State immediately release the hostages Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa.
According to an ISIS propaganda video posted by the Islamic State-affiliate Twitter account on 20 January, two Japanese hostages were threatened to be executed if Japan failed to pay a ransom of $200 million within 72 hours.
The threat is seen as a retaliation to Japan pledging a similar amount to the Middle East nations to fund their efforts to fight the Islamic State.
Abe had warned on Saturday that the world would suffer an "immeasurable loss" if terrorism spreads in the Middle East.
Immediately following the release of the video, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga had disclosed at a press conference that the Prime Minister had given him two instructions, both of which were tweeted out by The Japan Times: first, to do the best to "confirm the facts around the case", and second, "to prioritise the lives of the hostages."
Suga also said: "Our country's stance — contributing to the fight against terrorism without giving in — remains unchanged."