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17 December 2004

Mr. President,

First allow me to thank Ambassador Muñoz for today's presentation. Acts of terrorism by Al-Qaida and Taliban-associated terrorists continue unabated, and in late October, the Japanese people were shocked and saddened by the killing of a young Japanese man by a group considered as associated with Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi in Iraq. As a result, Japan is all the more resolved to maintain its determined posture, in concert with the international community, in the fight against the terrorist groups which do not hesitate in taking the lives of innocent citizens for their political purposes.

Mr. President,

Having heard the Chairman's briefing, and in consideration of Japan's current counter-terrorism policy, I would like to make the following three points in relation to the Committee's activities for the coming year.

First, Japan places importance on improving the quality of the consolidated list of the Committee as a valuable information source to enable individual Member States to take effective sanction measures against terrorists, and we strongly hope that more information will be added, so that Member States will have at their disposal a more substantive list. Recently my government, along with other Member States, has submitted additional information for inclusion in the list. On the other hand, as indicated by the Report of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change submitted to the Secretary General, it has also become essential to review the information in the list in light of changes in circumstances after individuals and entities have been listed. We understand that it is not easy to amend or delete information on suspected individuals or entities once they are included on the list, but this exercise, in our view, is indispensable to ensure that the list is a reliable database. In this context, my government thinks highly of the recent approval by the Committee of a substantial number of corrections to the information contained in the list on the basis of its inquiries to Member States.

Second, it is highly important to further strengthen cooperation with related organs within the United Nations. In order to be successful in the fight against terrorism, it is extremely important to have effective cooperation with the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540, the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and other bodies having expertise in this issue. I am sure that the Chairman's visits to Member States are very useful, and it is critical that the results of those visits be shared with the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC). To the greatest extent possible, information has to be shared with other counter-terrorism-related organs as to whether individual Member States regard the sanction measures to be effective and what problems they have encountered in implementing them. Above all, such information must be shared with the CTC, because it is indispensable for the CTC to understand the assistance needs of individual Member States in order to ensure implementation of counter-terrorism measures.

Thirdly, among the activities of the Committee for next year, improving and strengthening the sanction measures, in our view, is the most difficult and most critical issue. My government naturally attaches great importance to this matter. When we learn from the reports submitted by Member States, for example, that none of the individuals on the Committee's consolidated lists is reported to have been stopped at any border, or that there are no instances in which the arms embargo has been enforced, we cannot help asking ourselves if the measures have been really effective. The Committee should undertake a study to ascertain the problems confronting us in this area based on the forthcoming analysis of the measures by the Monitoring Team and to determine how to ensure the effectiveness of the measures. In addition, as I pointed out at the public meeting on the activities of this committee in September, my government hopes that effective methods will be devised to deal with cases in which terrorists open financial accounts abroad by illegally assuming the identities of individuals in actual existence. We are looking forward to concrete recommendations from the Monitoring Team on the improvement and strengthening of the sanction measures.

Mr. President,

During the past year and a half, Ambassador Muñoz has worked with remarkable vigor, endeavoring to enhance the importance of the Committee and its operational effectiveness. I understand that Member States will have another opportunity on 22nd December to hear Ambassador Muñoz when he delivers his summary statement on the work completed under his chairmanship of the Committee. However, my government would like to take this opportunity to express its deep respect and profound appreciation to him for his efforts and contribution during his tenure. Our appreciation also goes to his outstanding staff. My country will join this committee as a non-permanent member of the Security Council from next month. We plan to do our best during our Council membership to work towards the goal of eradicating terrorism related to Al-Qaida and the Taliban. I would like to ask Ambassador Muñoz for his continued advice and cooperation on this issue.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Related Information (Counter Terrorism)
Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations Official Web Site other site

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