Japan's defence minister Gen Nakatani has said a purported Islamic State video that seems to show the murder of hostage Kenji Goto "appears genuine".
Celtic and Rangers will face each other for the first time in almost three years today, with police warning supporters they will crackdown on any signs of trouble.
The League Cup semi-final match at Hampden Park in Glasgow is a sell-out and will have an international TV audience with 54 countries screening the game.
Tensions are set to be high in what is the first game between the clubs since Rangers' liquidation in 2012 and both clubs have been visited by Police Scotland to remind players and management of their responsibilities in a bid to minimise any possibility of trouble.
Officers have said they will be monitoring social media as well as having an increased presence on streets in and around Glasgow.
Police will be deployed at the stadium, in Glasgow city centre and at major transport hubs before, during and after the match.
Chief Superintendent Andy Bates, the match commander, said: "I am sure that most supporters will enjoy the sporting occasion, however a minority may choose to cause disorder and my message to them is clear: anyone involved in disorder will be arrested."
Kenji Goto's mother Junko Ishido has spoken of her grief after Islamic State released a video apparently showing the murder of her son.
Speaking to reporters after the video was released Ms Ishido broke down several times.
Mr Goto's brother, Junichi, also paid tribute to the journalist. He said: "I had hoped to give thanks for his return alive. But, as his brother, this outcome is very regrettable."
Details on new reforms to help rehabilitate offenders including support at the prison gate when they finish their sentence have been outlined by the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling.
Mr Grayling said for the first time all offenders will be given "a proper chance at rehabilitation, instead of just leaving them to wander the streets and get on with it."
"For too long we have released prisoners back onto the streets with £46 in their pockets and little else than the hope that they would sort themselves out. It's little wonder things haven't improved - but now all this will change", Mr Grayling added.
The reforms include extra support for short-term prisoners under previously announced plans to boost rehabilitation, with a focus on helping them to beat drug and alcohol addictions and finding them jobs and homes.
Figures released by the MoJ show around 86,000 further crimes were committed by offenders released from sentences of less than a year in 2012, including more than 600 violent offences, just one month after release.
All schoolchildren in England will be forced to learn their times tables off by heart as well as carry out long division and complex multiplication by the age of 11, the Education Secretary has announced.
Pupils will be expected to pass tough tests before leaving primary school as part of a "war on illiteracy and innumeracy", Nicky Morgan said.
Headteachers who fail to ensure the standards are met face being sacked if the Conservatives are returned to power, she indicated.
As well as demonstrating mathematical skills, pupils will have to pass a writing test by showing they can use "accurate punctuation, spelling and grammar".
In an article for The Sunday Times (£), Ms Morgan outlined plans to make England top of the class in European league tables for English and maths by 2020, as well as in the top five internationally - a significant leap from the current ranking of 23rd.
She said: "We will expect every pupil by the age of 11 to know their times tables off by heart, to perform long division and complex multiplication and to be able to read a novel.
"They should be able to write a short story with accurate punctuation, spelling and grammar. The new tests for 11 year olds we are introducing next year will be strengthened to ensure that every young person is meeting the mark."
Falmouth Coastguard said it is currently coordinating the search for a 51-year-old man who was washed out to sea at Port William on the north Cornish Coast while scattering ashes.
Two other members of the group that he was with went into the sea in an attempt to rescue him but were unsuccessful.
Falmouth Coastguard scrambled a search and rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor, two coastguard rescue teams from Boscastle and Port Isaac began a shoreline search and the Padstow RNLI Lifeboat was launched.
Falmouth Coastguard Watch Manager, Neil Oliver, said: "We have now been searching for four hours and sadly the man has not been found yet.
The helicopter and lifeboats have now completed their searches but the two coastguard rescue teams continue their search.
Conditions this evening have been unfavourable with gale force winds and rough seas."
The African Union (AU) has authorised a force of 7,500 troops from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin to fight Boko Haram militants, Ghanian President John Mahama told journalists on Saturday.
He added that the nations will meet in the Cameroon capital next week to decide on the joint operation's command structure.
Mr Mahama said: "When they meet in Yaounde the rules of engagement will be agreed by the nations constituting the force. It will allow them to move across borders because Boko Haram does not recognise borders."