By Ira Rose-Kim
While Seattleites have been mourning the Seahawks’ loss, just across the Pacific, Japan mourns the loss of two of their citizens who were executed by ISIS. The Islamic State had been holding two Japanese men, Kenji Goto and Haruna Yakuwa, and initially demanded a ransom of $200 Million. However, after the execution of Yakuwa, they then demanded the release of Sajida al-Rishawi in return for Gotos Return. al-Rishawi was facing the death penalty in Jordan for participating in a violent bombing of the Jordanian capital, Amman. Japan refused to capitulate to the terrorists’ demands and Goto was shown decapitated in a video ISIS released a week after they executed the first hostage. This act of terror was prompted by Japan’s humanitarian support to ISIS’s enemy countries and in response to the hostages’ murders, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said they would be ramping up their support. “Japan will work with the international community to bring those responsible for this crime to justice. Japan will never give in to terrorism,” declared Abe. Obama has also announced that the U. S. strongly condemned what he called a “heinous murder” and would continue work with international allies to defeat ISIS. Abe claimed Japan would make the “terrorists pay the price” in a departure from Japan’s normally pacifist stance on international affairs. He especially noted his outrage over the recent murder of a Jordanian pilot, Mouath al-Kasaesbeh, by ISIS and his sympathies for Jordan.