World

Japanese diplomat says efforts to free Islamic State group hostage in 'state of deadlock'

  • Safi al-Kaseasbeh, father of Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, who is held by the Islamic State group militants, poses for a picture after attending Muslim's Friday prayers, in Amman, Jordan, Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. The fates of a Japanese journalist and Jordanian military pilot were unknown Friday, a day after the latest purported deadline for a possible prisoner swap passed with no further word from the Islamic State group holding them captive. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

    Safi al-Kaseasbeh, father of Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, who is held by the Islamic State group militants, poses for a picture after attending Muslim's Friday prayers, in Amman, Jordan, Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. The fates of a Japanese journalist and Jordanian military pilot were unknown Friday, a day after the latest purported deadline for a possible prisoner swap passed with no further word from the Islamic State group holding them captive. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)  (The Associated Press)

  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to reporters at his official residence in Tokyo Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015 following the release of an online video purportedly from the Islamic State group that shows a militant beheading Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to reporters at his official residence in Tokyo Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015 following the release of an online video purportedly from the Islamic State group that shows a militant beheading Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. (AP Photo/Kyodo News) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, third right, bows as he attends a ministerial meeting at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015 after the release of an online video that purported to show an Islamic State group militant beheading Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. Japan condemned with outrage and horror on Sunday the video posted on militant websites late Saturday Middle East time. Defense Minister Gen Nakatani, second right, and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, fourth right, also attend the meeting. (AP Photo/Kimimasa Mayama, Pool)

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, third right, bows as he attends a ministerial meeting at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015 after the release of an online video that purported to show an Islamic State group militant beheading Japanese journalist Kenji Goto. Japan condemned with outrage and horror on Sunday the video posted on militant websites late Saturday Middle East time. Defense Minister Gen Nakatani, second right, and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, fourth right, also attend the meeting. (AP Photo/Kimimasa Mayama, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

A top Japanese diplomat says efforts to free a captive journalist from the militant Islamic State group have reached a "state of deadlock."

The fate of veteran war reporter Kenji Goto has been linked to that of another hostage, Jordanian fighter pilot Lt. Muath Kaseasbeh, whom the extremist also have threatened to kill.

Jordan and Japan are reportedly conducting indirect negotiations with the militants who control a third of both Iraq and Syria.

A purported threat by the militants to kill the pilot at sunset Thursday unless an al-Qaida prisoner was released by Jordan has passed without word on the fate of the two hostages.

Japan's deputy foreign minister, Yasuhide Nakayama, told journalists in Amman late Friday that "the situation is in a state of deadlock."