Section 8. International Terrorism



(1)  There was a frequent occurrence of international terrorism, such as aircraft hijackings, bomb explosions, assassinations and abductions, all over the world in fiscal 1986. Particularly disconcerting to the international community was government support for such international terrorism. Under these circumstances, Japan, which strongly condemns international terrorism, actively participated in international efforts to prevent international terrorism.

(2)  On January 7, 1986, the United States announced economic sanctions against Libya for its alleged involvement in the explosion affairs at Vienna and Rome airports. The United States then launched bombing attack on Libya on April 15, which it said was an act of self-defense against terrorist activities by Libya, including the explosion affairs at a discotheque in West Berlin that occurred April 5. The European Community countries held the meeting of their foreign ministers three times in April for consultations on the Libya involvement in international terrorism, and agreed on a number of measures against Libya, including the reduction of the staff size of Libyan embassies in EC countries.

The Tokyo Summit in May took up international terrorism as a major political issue, with emphasis on the Libyan problem and other state-sponsored terrorism, and the Heads of State or Government of Japan and six other major industrial countries issued a "Statement on International Terrorism" on May 5. The seven countries in their statement strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms, including state-sponsored terrorism, agreed to promote cooperation in relevant international organizations and intensify the exchange of information for the prevention of international terrorism, and announced six measures against Libya and other countries that sponsor or support international terrorism.

(3)  International terrorism intensified in September, including a succession of explosion affairs in Paris. Following a court ruling on the case of an attempted explosion of EL AL jetliner in London on October 24, the United Kingdom severed diplomatic relations with Syria for its involvement in the terrorist affair. While the United States and Canada recalled their ambassadors to Syria, the European Community, at a meeting of foreign ministers on November 10, decided on a series of measures against Syria, including a ban on arms exports to that country and a suspension of visits by high government officials. Japan for its part issued the statement by the Director-General for Public Information and Cultural Affairs of the Foreign Ministry on November 11, which expressed an understanding with sympathy of steps taken by the United Kingdom and other EC countries against Syria and also urged Syria to translate its position against international terrorism into concrete actions.

(4)  Countermeasures against international terrorism have become a matter for serious considerations also at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). These organizations are working on international instruments on the prevention of terrorist attacks at airports or on the sea, and Japan has been actively participating in these work.



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