(Tokyo Shimbun: November 17, 2015 – p. 5)
The brutal attacks in Paris were prepared meticulously. While it may be difficult to prevent terrorism by force alone, terrorism must be eradicated. The international community should work together to bring an end to the civil war in Syria, which serves as a hotbed of extremism.
Immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa and their descendants are beset by a sense of alienation as a result of discrimination in employment and other areas. This forms the background to their resorting to extremism.
With the deluge of refugees from Syria in Europe, social diversity is bound to increase. We must avoid falling into the vicious cycle of hatred of terrorism aggravating discrimination against Muslims, thus breeding more terrorism.
U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the terrorist attacks as an “attack on all humanity.” Russian President Vladimir Putin said: “The international community must join forces to fight this evil.” Chinese President Xi Jinping also “strongly condemned this barbaric act.” Counterterrorism became the main topic at the G20 Summit.
Although the U.S. is often in conflict with China and Russia, the international community should be able to cooperate to fight terrorism.
The meeting of the foreign ministers of the Western countries, Russia, and the Middle East countries working for a solution to the Syrian civil war has agreed to begin ceasefire negotiations between the Assad government and the anti-government forces, aiming at establishing a provisional government within six months. The terrorist attacks in Paris have enhanced their sense of crisis and accelerated the talks.
Although the negotiations are expected to be tough due to serious differences between the Western countries, which are demanding that President Bashar al-Assad step down, and Russia, which has embarked on its own airstrikes in Syria in support of the Assad government, it is of great significance that a roadmap for peace has been drawn up. We hope that this will lead to an end to the civil war, the eradication of the hotbed of terrorism, and the repatriation of the refugees. (Abridged)