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Obama condemns "heinous murder" of Japanese hostage by IS

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Washington (Feb. 01, 2015): US President Barack Obama has condemned the "heinous murder" of a second Japanese hostage by the Islamic State terror group and said his administration with its allies will continue taking decisive action to degrade and destroy the dreaded outfit.

"The United States condemns the heinous murder of Japanese citizen and journalist Kenji Goto by the terrorist group IS," Obama said in a statement yesterday.

An online video released last night showed an Islamic State militant behead the Japanese journalist which ended days of negotiations by diplomats to save the man.

"Through his reporting, Goto courageously sought to convey the plight of the Syrian people to the outside world. Our thoughts are with Mr Goto's family and loved ones and we stand today in solidarity with Prime Minister Abe and the Japanese people in denouncing this barbaric act," he said.

"We applaud Japan's steadfast commitment to advancing peace and prosperity in the Middle East and globally including its generous assistance for innocent people affected by the conflicts in the region," he added.

"Standing together with a broad coalition of allies and partners, the United States will continue taking decisive action to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL," Obama said.

Goto was the second Japanese hostage beheaded by IS, after the group claimed responsibility last week for the killing of self-described contractor Haruna Yukawa, after the expiration of a 72-hour deadline during which the militants had demanded a USD-200-million ransom from Japan.

In a separate statement, the US Secretary of State John Kerry condemned ISIL's vicious murder of the Japanese hostage.

"We extend our sincere and heartfelt condolences to his wife, his family, and his loved ones, as well as to the people of Japan," he said.

"The barbaric killing of Kenji Goto and of Haruna Yukawa before him, shows again ISIL's brutality and extremist agenda. The United States knows this pain on a personal level born of our own experience," he added.

"We share the sorrow and continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our ally Japan in confronting terrorism. We commend Japan's support for those in the region who have been displaced by ISIL, the Syrian regime, and other militant groups," Kerry said.

"Japan's generous assistance to vulnerable communities fully reflects its commitment to international peace and development," he added.