Terror group Islamic State (IS) has released a new video threatening to kill two hostages.
The footage issued today shows a masked militant, believed to be the Briton known as Jihadi John, warning that the Japanese captives will die unless the country’s government pays a 200 million dollar (£132 million) ransom in the next 72 hours.
The pair are under threat as a result of Japan's support of Western military actions against IS, the speaker claims.
Brandishing a knife and dressed all in black, the militant says: "To the prime minister of Japan: Although you are more than 8,000 and 500 kilometers (5,280 miles) from the Islamic State, you willingly have volunteered to take part in this crusade.
The latest video is thought to be the first time the group has made a specific demand for cash for hostages.
Speaking in Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga declined to say whether Japan would pay the ransom.
Simon Newton reports.