Japan is trying to verify the authenticity of an online video released Tuesday showing members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) threatening to kill two Japanese hostages within 72 hours, public broadcaster NHK reported.
The video, posted on several websites affiliated with the Islamic State group, showed a masked militant, dressed in black, with two hostages, identified as Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto Jogo.
The militant said the two hostages will be killed unless the Japanese government pays a USD 200 million ransom in the next 72 hours.
According to NHK, the government is trying to collect information through diplomatic channels and analyze the video clip.
Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is currently on a Middle East tour, pledged in Cairo to provide around USD 200 million on stepping up efforts against the Islamic State militants, including extending support to refugees from Iraq and Syria.
Last August, the Islamic State militant group abducted a Japanese citizen believed to be Yukawa.