Japan and Jordan scramble to find out what has happened to two of their nationals being held by Islamic State, after a deadline passed for the release of a would-be suicide bomber being held on death row in Amman.
On Friday evening Japanese deputy foreign minister Yasuhide Nakayama told reporters in Amman, where he is anchoring Japan's on-the-ground response, that saving journalist Kenji Goto was Japan's "only purpose".
"As everyone knows quite well, the time has become, has become what it has. It is indeed true that we have passed the deadline set by ISIL and some time has passed. We hope to continue to gather whatever information we can. For now we hope to do whatever from start to end so that we can have Mr. Goto come home alive. That's our only purpose, we will do our best," said Nakayama in Japanese.
"We are doing our best effort to bring back Mr. Goto to our nation," he added in English.
Jordan said on Thursday it was still holding the Iraqi woman prisoner as a deadline passed for her release set by Islamic State militants, who threatened to kill a Jordanian pilot unless she was handed over by sunset.
An audio message purportedly from Goto said the pilot would be killed if Jordan did not free Sajida al-Rishawi, in jail for her role in a 2005 suicide bomb attack that killed 60 people in the Jordanian capital Amman.