A top Japanese diplomat says efforts to free a captive journalist from the militant Islamic State group have reached a “state of deadlock”.
The fate of veteran war reporter Kenji Goto has been linked to that of another hostage, Jordanian fighter pilot Lt. Muath Kaseasbeh, whom the extremists also have threatened to kill.
Jordan and Japan are reportedly conducting indirect negotiations with the militants who control a third of both Iraq and Syria.
A purported threat by the militants to kill the pilot at sunset on Thursday unless an al-Qaeda prisoner Sajida al-Rishawi was released by Jordan has passed without word on the fate of the two hostages.
Japan’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Yasuhide Nakayama, told journalists in Amman late Friday that “the situation is in a state of deadlock”.