As we reported earlier in the week, Islamic State militants are currently holding two Japanese nationals hostage. The militants have said that the men will be executed within 72 hours unless the Japanese government pays a ransom of US$200 million, something that seems highly unlikely to happen.

With this being a rather sensitive subject, many people were extremely shocked and angry when Japanese morning television show Mezamashi Television went on air with a “ticker” onscreen counting how much time had passed since the demands were made.

The ticker, outlined in red in the above screenshot, is visible underneath the 6:33 time clock. Its inclusion has been criticised as stirring up emotions unnecessarily and for being potentially emotionally damaging to the relatives of the hostages, who are no doubt already at their wits’ end.

The show was aired on the morning of January 21, and the ticker was visible at intervals throughout its two hour 35 minute broadcast. The decision to display the ticker has been labelled as insensitive and crass by many angered viewers, and Fuji Television, the company behind Mezamashi Television has since removed the ticker from its broadcasts as of January 23.

A spokesperson for Fuji Television has stated: “This is not a countdown, it’s simply information showing how much time has passed since the situation began.”

Source: Yahoo! Japan News, Geitopi 
Image: Yahoo! Japan News