A black-clad figure with a knife, standing in a barren landscape along with two kneeling men wearing orange clothing, said the Japanese public had 72 hours to pressure their government to stop its "foolish" support for the U.S.-led coalition waging a military campaign against Islamic State.
"To the Prime Minister of Japan: Although you are more than 8,500 km away from the Islamic State, you willingly have volunteered to take part in this crusade," said the militant, who spoke in English.
He demanded "200 million" without specifying a currency, but an Arabic subtitle identified it as U.S. dollars.
The footage named the men as Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto.
The video was not dated, but on a visit to Cairo on January 17, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged around $200 million in non-military assistance for countries battling Islamic State.
Abe, speaking in Jerusalem on Tuesday towards the end of a six-day tour of the Middle East, said Islamic State's threat against the two purported captives was "unacceptable".
"We strongly demand the immediate release of the Japanese citizens unharmed," Abe said.

"The international community needs to respond firmly and cooperate without caving into terrorism," he said.

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