Tokyo: Junko Ishido, mother of a Japanese hostage held by the Islamic State (IS) militants, called Friday morning for the release of her son, Kenji Goto, hours before the 72-hour deadline given by the IS.
Ishido said at a press conference that Goto is not an enemy of the IS and Japan is also not a foe of Islamic countries but a country which maintains friendship with those countries, Xinhua reported.
She said Goto became a father of a baby a couple of weeks earlier and is not aware of it.
She also said that his motive to be in Middle East was to help rescue his acquaintance Haruna Yukawa, another Japanese hostage held by the IS militants.
Ishido asked the Japanese government to make efforts to save her son, saying Goto's reports from the conflict areas were all based on a neutral perspective.
The IS militants uploaded a video clip Tuesday and demanded that Japan pay a ransom of $200 million for the lives of the two hostages, the same amount pledged by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Saturday to help the region counter the threats posted by the IS.
The Japanese government is working with the international community to try to save the two Japanese nationals.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Friday that Goto and Yukawa's safety has not yet confirmed and stressed that Japan will never give in to terrorism.