The world was stunned again by the recent release of a video confirming the death of one of the two Japanese hostages held by the ISIS militants.
Islamic State released the video last Saturday with one of the other captives holding a photo of the dead body of Haruna Yukawa.
That video was used to issue new demands for the other hostage’s release. News of the video was distributed to some Islamic State-linked twitter accounts
Last week, a video was released online, in which an ISIS fighter wearing black, standing up and holding a knife stood between the two Japanese captives, Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa. The figure in black threatened to kill the two men if Japan did not pay a $200 million ransom within 72 hours.
Life of Haruna Yukawa prior to captivity
Although he is known to the world as Haruna Yukawa, he was born Masayuki Yukawa, but he changed his name a year ago, to Haruna, a more feminine-sounding name, on the advice of a fortune teller.
He was apparently bullied as a child; and as an adult, after having many problems in his life, he had attempted suicide.
Yukawa lost his business, a military surplus store, back in 2005, and after his wife saved his life in 2008, when his life was out of control, and he decided to kill himself or to live as a woman if he failed, he lost her to cancer.
At some point, bankruptcy took away his home, and Reuters reported that he lived in a public park for about a month.
Later, Haruna Yukawa became involved with right-wing politics. Then he decided to go to Syria, and later to Somalia, where there would be much greater danger.
At 42 years of age, Mr Yukawa had created the shell of a company he called PMC, “Private Military Company,” with a website and a CEO blog. There appeared to be no evidence to back up his claims and his security company did not exist at all, other than on paper and on the internet.
He found the danger he was looking for, and was arrested by the Syrian FSA, who soon realized he was not a danger to them.
Mr. Yukawa created numerous video blogs, presenting himself as a soldier of fortune, but he had no military training and was really a confused gentle person.
In the video below, he demonstrates a weapon, but his minders appear to be very nervous about what he is doing.
Then he was caught by ISIS, and now he is dead.
US Condemns The Murder
In a press statement in Washington DC, the US expressed strong condemnation of the murder of Haruna Yukawa, a Japanese citizen.
The State Department spokesperson said the US stands with Japan not just in sadness, but in solidarity and strength.
“We grieve with Haruna Yukawa’s family and loved ones, and with all the people of Japan,” Ms. Psaki said.
In addition, Ms. Psaki said the US had joined Japan in calling on Kenji Goto’s captors to immediately release him, as we continue to call for the release of all other hostages.
The US government pledged that it will continue to support and coordinate closely with Japan as both allies stand together in confronting terrorism and extremism.