(Sankei: November 15, 2015 – p. 2)
More than 120 people were killed in terrorist attacks that targeted a theater, restaurants, and other locations in Paris, France. The accidents also left numerous people injured.
French President Francois Hollande condemned the attacks as an “act of war” waged by the Islamic State.
This was a cowardly crime that indiscriminately took the lives of innocent people in the capital city of a major country. This act of terrorism that contradicts such universal values as freedom and democracy is unacceptable.
President Obama immediately issued a statement saying “the United States stands with France in the fight against terrorism and extremism.” It makes sense that Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s resolve to work closely with the international community in preventing further acts of terrorism.
The leaders of the G20 countries, including Obama and Abe, are meeting in Turkey for summit talks to be held on November 15. It is important to make the occasion a venue to drum up international support for fighting against terrorism.
It has been reported that the suspects were killed in suicide bombings or shot, but there is a possibility that some of them are still on the run. While it is necessary to investigate these incidents, all-out efforts need to be made to prevent another terrorist attack.
The French government has been enhancing its domestic security, such as keeping a close eye on “would-be terrorists,” following the shooting at the publisher of a satirical weekly in January.
The fact that the latest tragedy could not be prevented despite such efforts must be taken into serious consideration. France needs to further step up its collaboration with neighboring countries, in addition to tightening domestic security.
It has been reported that the terrorists shouted “God is great” in Arabic while carrying out the attacks and criticized the French government for intervening in Syria and carrying out airstrikes against the Islamic State.
The prolonged civil war in Syria could be one factor that is causing these terrorist attacks. Though no conclusion has been reached, the possibility is being discussed that the Russian passenger plane that crashed in the Sinai Peninsula was bombed by elements who are unhappy with Russian’s involvement in the Middle Eastern country.
The U.S. and Europe are at odds with Russia over Syria. However, their differences should not hamper the efforts to prevent terrorism. It is necessary for the G20 leaders’ meeting to confirm cooperation in eradicating terrorism.
Next year Japan will host a G7 summit in Ise, Mie Prefecture. A series of key international conferences are also scheduled to take place across the country.
Preparation for these events is one aspect of the fight against terrorism. The government must reinforce domestic steps against terrorism and step up efforts to share intelligence with other countries.