Japan Pledges Extra $15m to Fight IS

Japan Pledges Extra $15m to Fight ISJapan Pledges Extra $15m to Fight IS

Japan, reeling from the murder of two nationals by the Islamic State, will offer an extra $15 million in aid to fight terrorism in the Middle East and Africa, a report said on Sunday.

The funding will be announced at a global conference starting on Wednesday in Washington, the Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun said, Al-Jazeera reported.

The report said the money would be distributed through international organizations to affected regions, including countries bordering Syria and Iraq. Large parts of those countries are controlled by IS fighters.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been criticized over the timing of an earlier $200 million Japanese pledge to help refugees fleeing IS-controlled areas.

Abe announced the $200 million aid in Egypt on January 17, saying Japan would “help curb the threat” of IS and give the money “for those countries contending with” the group’s fighters. The announcement was followed by the hostage drama, with IS demanding the same sum in exchange for a captured Japanese contractor and a journalist.

The group’s fighters later changed their demand to the release of a death row inmate from a Jordanian prison. Tokyo pressed Jordan for its help, but IS eventually announced the killing of the pair as well as the Jordanian pilot.