The deadline of sunset Thursday for a possible prisoner swap set by the Islamic State group holding a Japanese journalist and a Jordanian military pilot has passed with no sign of whether the two men were still alive or not. Associated Press reports:
Japanese officials had no new progress to report Friday after a late night that ended with the Jordanian government saying it would only release an al-Qaida prisoner from death row if it got proof the airman was alive.
“There is nothing I can tell you,” government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters. He reiterated Japan’s “strong trust” in the Jordanians to help save the Japanese hostage, freelance journalist Kenji Goto.
Suga said the government had been in close contact with Goto’s wife, Rinko Jogo, who released a statement overnight pleading for her husband’s life.
“I fear that this is the last chance for my husband, and we now have only a few hours left,” Jogo said in a statement released through the Rory Peck Trust, a London-based organization for freelance journalists.