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Japan to step up security at points of entry

  • 2015-02-02 15:00:00
  • , Nikkei
  • Translation

(Nikkei: February 2, 2015 – p. 2)

 

 Since the “Islamic State” has now singled out Japan as a target, the government plans to enhance counterterrorism measures at home and abroad. In order to prevent terrorists from entering Japan, “containment measures at points of entry” such as airports will be enhanced. In addition, security measures will be strengthened for public transportation systems and important facilities, and steps will be taken to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals abroad. The government will also enhance cooperation with the international community to strengthen the coalition against the Islamic State.

 

 Chief Cabinet Secretary (CCS) Yoshihide Suga emphasized at a press conference held on Feb. 1: “The government will take measures to keep terrorists out of the country through cooperation with related agencies, and enhance security measures for public transportation systems and important facilities.”

 

 The government will collect and analyze terrorist information in cooperation with foreign intelligence agencies and make utmost efforts to strengthen security measures to protect public transportation systems and U.S. military and Self-Defense Forces facilities, as well as to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals at Japanese schools and other facilities overseas.

 

 PM Abe said on Feb. 1, “I will work with the international community to hold [the Islamic State] responsible,” and expressed his intention to provide countries vulnerable to terrorism with support to improve their police capabilities.

 

 Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida cited the following specific measures when he addressed the press on the night of Feb. 1: 1) financial assistance for the improvement of police capabilities in Middle East countries; 2) prevention of money laundering to cut terrorist funding; and 3) travel restrictions to deal with the issue of foreign fighters.

 

 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued an evacuation advisory in April 2011 for the entire nation of Syria, where Kenji Goto was apparently taken hostage. There are uncompromising voices within the ruling parties saying that “the government should consider taking mandatory measures to restrict foreign travel,” but the administration takes the position that “Japan cannot take such restrictive measures” (CCS Suga) from the perspective of freedom of movement. Ensuring that the evacuation advisory is implemented effectively will be an issue from now on.

 

 

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