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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 January 21 - 27  > Japanese progressive journalists demand release of hostages
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2015 January 21 - 27 [WORLD]

Japanese progressive journalists demand release of hostages

January 24, 2015
Two organizations of Japanese journalists who aspire to a society guaranteeing the right to freedom of speech and often cast critical eyes on the commercial media issued a statement, respectively, demanding that Islamic State immediately set two Japanese hostages free.

On January 23, the Japan Congress of Journalists whose credo is to “never use a pen, a camera, or a microphone again for war” demanded the immediate release of the hostages. Its statement acknowledges that U.S. airstrikes triggered the crisis, and states that the U.S. administration should halt its bombing campaign without delay. As for the Japanese government, the statement demands that the government opt to use diplomatic means based on the principle of non-belligerence embodied in Article 9 of the Constitution by placing maximum priority on human lives.

The Japan Visual Journalists Association (JVJA), a voluntary group of freelancers, on January 20 explained that Goto Kenji, one of the hostages, is a journalist who has reported to the Japanese public on the suffering of civilians in war-tone Iraq and Syria. Its statement appeals to the Islamic State to attach importance on human lives. It also demands that the Japanese government refrain from becoming complicit in any type of military intervention in the Middle East and oppose the bombing and “choose diplomatic means to find solutions”.
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