Reporters Without Borders calls on the Japanese government to do everything it can to obtain the release of Kenji Goto, a Japanese freelance journalist under threat of imminent execution by the Jihadi militant group Islamic State.
In a video posted online on 20 January, IS demanded 200 million dollars in ransom for the release of Goto and Haruna Yukawa, another Japanese citizen, threatening to kill them if the ransom was not paid in 72 hours.
Less than 24 hours is left before the deadline expires.
Goto left Japan on 22 October with the aim of filming IS fighters in Syria and was captured in November while trying to locate Yukawa. According to the Japanese media, he originally met Yukawa a few months before Yukawa was taken hostage in October.
“We take note of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge to do everything possible to obtain the release of the two hostages,” Reporters Without Borders programme director Lucie Morillon said.
“It is vital that the Japanese government should seek the help of all the ‘strategic’ states in the region and their diplomatic networks. Efforts must be pooled to end Islamic State’s barbaric hostage industry. Following last year’s execution of journalists, we must accept that all options should be envisaged in order to save lives.”
Goto is one of the few freelance journalists to have provided Japanese TV viewers with video footage of the various bloody conflicts under way in the Middle East.
Syria is nowadays the world’s most dangerous country for journalists. In August 2012, Mika Yamamoto, a Japanese reporter for the Japan Press agency, was killed in Aleppo while covering fighting between government forces and rebels in the eastern district of Suleiman Al-Halabi.
Daniel Radcliffe is set to star in TOKYO VICE. Veteran music video and commercial director Anthony Mandler will direct, based on a script by acclaimed playwright JT Rogers. Le Grisbi Productions’ John Lesher and Adam Kassan are producing. The film is eyeing a start date of first quarter 2014.
Radcliffe will play American reporter Jake Adelstein who, while working at the Yomiuri Shinbun newspaper in Tokyo, covered a beat that included murder, vice, and the yakuza. The film will be based on Adelstein’s memoir of the same name and focus on his encounters with yakuza boss Tadamasa Goto, also known as the “John Gotti of Japan”. Adelstein investigated the notorious gangster at great personal cost and sacrifice, braving death threats, before finally exposing Goto.
Adelstein, who will be working with Rogers on the script, is still an investigative reporter. He currently writes for The Daily Beast, The Japan Times, and The Atlantic Wire. His second book, THE LAST YAKUZA(editor Tim O’Connell), will be published in 2014.
Radcliffe has had a busy schedule since starring in last year’s thriller THE WOMAN IN BLACK. He starred as Allen Ginsberg in this year’s Sundance hit KILL YOUR DARLINGS, which was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics. He also recently wrapped the horror film HORNS and the romantic comedy THE F WORD and he has just signed on to star in FRANKENSTEIN for 20th Century Fox and Davis Entertainment. This June, Radcliffe will return to the West End stage, starring in Martin McDonagh’s acclaimed comedy THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN.
Mandler has helmed videos for such artists as Rihanna, Jay-Z, The Killers, and Muse.
Rogers’ plays include BLOOD AND GIFTS (National Theatre, London; Lincoln Center Theater, New York City) and THE OVERWHELMING (National Theatre, London; Roundabout Theatre, New York City). He was nominated for the 2009 Olivier Award as one of the writers of GREAT GAME: AFGHANISTAN. He is also a winner of the prestigious Pinter Prize.
Lesher produced last year’s END OF WATCH, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. He also produced BLOOD TIES, Guillaume Canet’s English language debut, starring Clive Owen, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, Mila Kunis, and James Caan, which will premiere at Cannes. Lesher is currently in production on Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s BIRDMAN, starring Michael Keaton, Ed Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, and Naomi Watts. He is in pre-production on BLACK MASS, to be directed by Barry Levinson and star Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger, as well as David Ayer’s war film FURY, which will shoot in the fall and star Brad Pitt.
Radcliffe is represented by UTA, UK agent Sue Latimer at ARG, and attorney Fred Toczek. Mandler is represented by UTA, Management 360, and attorney Michael Schenkman. Rogers is represented by WME and attorneys Marc Glick and Stephen Breimer. Jake Adelstein is repped by UTA and William Clark Associates.
Jake’s next book, THE LAST YAKUZA: A Life in the Japanese Underground, a singular, in-depth, occasionally humorous, often dark, but inspiring tale about the life of former gang boss T. Mochizuki, aka “The Tsunami,” his unlikely friendship with the author, and the history of Japan’s ubiquitous mafia is being edited by the incomparable Tim O’Connell at Pantheon as this is being written, and will be released in Fall 2014. Other English language publishers are James Gurbutt at Constable & Robinson in the UK, and Henry Rosenbloom at Scribe in Australia/New Zealand.
A guide to the Japanese underworld, Japanese pop-culture, yakuza and everything dark under the sun.