On Jan. 20, 2015, the Islamic State released a video demanding $200 million from the Japanese government in exchange for the release of two of the nation’s citizens, Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa.
Japan did not comply. Three days before, the country’s leadership had pledged $200 million to countries battling ISIS. In regard to the hostages, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided to uphold traditional policy measures.
“We will continue to take all possible measures from a standpoint of respecting human life,” he said. “Whatever the case is, the international community adamantly must not give in to terror. We need to cooperate and tackle it.”
ISIS’s apparent response? Beheading.
The needs of the many
So why would a government, an entity constructed with the ostensible purpose of serving its citizenry, deny paying a ransom for the lives of two of its citizens?
Abe may have been acting pragmatically.
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