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Japan says hostage negotiations 'deadlocked'

world Updated: Feb 01, 2015 02:15 IST
Islamic State

Japan's deputy foreign minister has said negotiations with the Islamic State group threatening to execute a Jordanian pilot and a Japanese journalist have become "deadlocked", local media reported on Saturday.

Yasuhide Nakayama, who is leading Tokyo's emergency response team in Amman, told reporters in the Jordanian capital late on Friday that there had been no progress in trying to secure the release of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto and airman Maaz al-Kassasbeh.

"It has become deadlocked," he said, according to Japan's public broadcaster NHK. "Staying vigilant, we will continue analysing and examining information as the government is making concerted efforts together."

In Tokyo, deputy chief cabinet secretary Hiroshige Seko, a key aide to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, said on Saturday morning that the government was still waiting for new information on the hostage crisis.

Later in the day, Abe met with foreign minister Fumio Kishida and chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga at the prime minister's residence.

He renewed orders for officials to maintain close cooperation with Jordan in a bid to secure the immediate release of the Japanese national.

"Our prime minister told us to handle it with a sense of tension by closely coordinating with Jordan and other countries concerned, as the situation remains extremely severe," Suga told reporters after the meeting.