Working with global community only way to fight terrorism: Japan PM

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 01, 2015 7:06 PM

TOKYO (Reuters) - The only way to fight terrorism is by working with the international community and boosting mechanisms to ensure the safety of Japanese people, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday.

Abe made the comments a day after Islamic State militants said they had beheaded a second Japanese hostage, journalist Kenji Goto, after the failure of international efforts to secure his release through a prisoner swap.

Abe reiterated his denunciation of the militants and said Japan was firmly committed to fulfilling its responsibility as a member of the global community in fighting terrorism.

"If we don't move together because we're scared of terrorists it will be just as the despicable terrorists want," Abe told reporters before a meeting of ruling coalition officials.

In a show of defiance on Sunday, he vowed to boost Japan's food, medicine and humanitarian aid for the Middle East.

The hardline Islamist group, which controls large parts of Syria and Iraq, on Sunday released a video purporting to show the beheading of Goto, 47, a veteran war correspondent who was captured by the militants in late October.

The video was released a week after footage was issued appearing to show the beheaded body of another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa.

The killings are fanning calls to allow Japan's long-constrained military to conduct overseas rescue missions as part of Abe's push for a more muscular security posture. [ID:nL4N0VB08R]

Abe's government had put high priority on seeking the release of Goto, who was captured when he went to Syria to try to seek Yukawa's release. Yukawa was seized by militants in August after going to Syria to launch a security company.

Goto's wife, Rinko, who had appealed for his safe release, said she and the family were devastated.

"I remain extremely proud of my husband, who reported the plight of people in conflict areas like Iraq, Somalia and Syria," she said in a statement posted on the Rory Peck Trust, a London-based organisation supporting freelance journalists.

"It was his passion to highlight the effects on ordinary people, especially through the eyes of children, and to inform the rest of us of the tragedies of war."

(Reporting by Antoni Slodkowski; Editing by Robert Birsel)