(Sankei: November 18, 2015 – p. 2)
The spate of terrorist attacks in Paris should not be perceived as a tragedy that happened in a distant land. There is no reason to believe that terrorist attacks will never happen in Japan.
Next May the leaders of the G-7 countries will gather in the Ise-Shima region in Mie Prefecture for summit talks. In 2019, Japan will be the venue of the Rugby World Cup. And in 2020, Tokyo will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
International conferences and sports events attract international attention, but that also makes them targets for terrorist attacks. Japan must step up its vigilance against terrorism through public-private collaboration.
Japan must stand with the international community to combat terrorism. It should not turn away from terror.
Intelligence is the most important tool for preventing terrorism. Collaboration with foreign authorities is essential to grasp the movements of terrorists. Japan must create its own intelligence service agency, which is responsible for liaising with overseas partners.
In response to the Paris attacks, Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Sadakazu Tanigaki stressed the need to establish a new system to penalize acts of conspiracy so those involved in plotting serious crimes face charges. Revisions to the Act on Punishment of Organized Crimes have been submitted to the Diet three times in the past to criminalize acts of conspiracy, but they were all scrapped.
The fourth submission of a bill to revise that law did not materialize in the previous Diet session. Criminal justice reform bills, which called for introducing plea-bargaining and broadening the range of permissible wiretapping, were not enacted either. Terrorists take advantage of political procrastination.
Extremist groups and radical thinking are also enemies to those who belong to the mainstream Muslim community. Discrimination against Muslims should not be permitted. The government should partner with them to fight against international terrorism and seek their assistance in gathering intelligence.
Baggage inspections should be enhanced at airports and stadiums. This may cause inconvenience to passengers and visitors, but they must realize this is necessary to protect their own lives. To counter terrorism, it is not sufficient to rely on the government. Each of us needs to be prepared. (Abridged)