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TOKYO — The mother of Kenji Goto, a Japanese journalist facing a possible Friday deadline for execution by ISIS, pleaded with the militant group to release her son and apologized for "the trouble Kenji has caused."

In a statement distributed to reporters in Tokyo, Junko Ishido said the three days since ISIS released a video demanding $200 million for Goto and another Japanese hostage, Haruna Yukawa, have been "unbearably sad."

"Kenji is not the enemy of the Islamic State. Please release him," Ishido said. "Japan has vowed never to engage in wars under Article 9 of our Constitution. We have not participated in a war for the past 70 years. Not only is Japan not an enemy of Muslim people, but we have always upheld our mutual friendship."

She also said she "would like to apologize from the bottom of my to the Japanese public and to the government of Japan the trouble Kenji has caused."

Based on the release time associated with the video, the 72-hour deadline for Goto to be killed would expire at 2:50 p.m. Tokyo time (12:50 a.m. ET).



— Arata Yamamoto in Tokyo and M. Alex Johnson