An online video purportedly released by the Islamic State group shows a terrorist threatening to kill two Japanese hostages.
It's the first time the militant organization has asked for ransom instead of asking Western governments to stop bombing ISIS targets.
"To the prime minister of Japan, although you are more than 8,500 kilometers (5,280 miles) from the Islamic State, you willingly have volunteered to take part in this crusade," the knife-brandishing militant dressed in black warns in the video.
After urging Japanese citizens to pressure their government into paying the ransom — $100 million for each man – he says, holding his knife up:
“Otherwise this knife will become your nightmare.”
The new propaganda video comes just two days after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged about $200 million in non-military assistance for the coalition battling ISIS.
Although the two captive men have been identified as Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa, the Japanese government is currently verifying the authenticity of the video.
"If true, the act of threat in exchange of people's lives is unforgivable and we feel strong indignation," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. "We will make our utmost effort to win their release as soon as possible."
In addition, the Japanese PM has vowed to save the hostages, saying "their lives are the top priority."
This is the first time ISIS has threatened Japan. Previously, the terrorist group beheaded American hostages James Foley and Steven Sotloff, as well as British captives David Haines and Alan Henning.