Chapter II.
Sectoral Analysis of the International Situation and Japan's Foreign Policy

Section 3.
Efforts toward the realization of a better global society

C. Terrorism

a) Escalation of terrorism and strengthening international cooperation

The year 1998 witnessed virtually simultaneous terrorist bombing incidents in Kenya and Tanzania targeting the U.S. embassies (August), resulting in numerous casualties (including one Japanese citizen wounded in the Kenya incident). A terrorist bombing in Omagh in the middle of Northern Ireland also caused many casualties, shocking the world. A string of other bombing incidents occurred around the world, including Sri Lanka, Uganda, Israel and South Africa. Amid the continued outbreak of such grave terrorist incidents, the international community is driving toward international cooperation in combating terrorism. The G8 countries are working to implement the 25 practical measures to combat terrorism which were adopted at the Ministerial Conference on Terrorism in Paris in July 1996, as well as the additional measures adopted at the Denver Summit of the Eight in June 1997, urging the entire international community to implement these measures. The Final Conclusions produced by the G8 Foreign Ministers' Meeting which preceded the G8 Birmingham Summit in May 1998, listed priority areas in combating terrorism, including the prevention of terrorist fund-raising. The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings in December 1997, and work went forward in 1998 on creation of a convention on the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism. Security Council Resolution 1189 was also adopted unanimously in August, criticizing the terrorist bombings of U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and seeking cooperation from all countries in investigations and in the prevention of international terrorism. Moreover, the General Assembly adopted a resolution (53/108) on measures to eliminate international terrorism in December.

b) Japan's efforts

Motivated by the seizure of the Japanese Ambassador's Residence in Peru which began in December 1996, Japan has reviewed its responses to international terrorism and worked to strengthen its crisis management, information-gathering and security systems. In particular, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sought to strengthen its system for gathering and analyzing terrorism-related information, as well as to strengthen the provision of information to Japanese citizens on world danger spots through, for example, the issuing of a publication entitled "Travel Advice and Warning."

The basic principles confirmed repeatedly at the annual G8 Summits and other occasions are to firmly condemn and combat all forms of terrorism, to make no concessions to terrorists and to apply the rule of law so that terrorists will be brought to justice, and Japan has been actively advancing cooperation with other countries in line with these principles.

Japan has worked with its fellow summit countries to call for all governments to ratify the 11 counterterrorism conventions. Japan has completed the ratification of all 10 conventions already in force with its ratification of three such conventions in 1998. (In April, Japan also signed the Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, which has yet to enter into force.) Further, as part of its promotion of regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific in this area, in October 1998, Japan expanded the scope of the Japan-ASEAN Counterterrorism Conference of the previous year to the Asia Latin America Counterterrorism Conference inviting experts from six Asian and Latin American countries. At this conference, participants expressed a unanimous awareness of the importance of exchanges of terrorism-related information and know-how to counter terrorist incidents, of information-gathering, and of stronger mechanisms for contact and cooperation when an incident has actually occurred, etc.

Five members of the Red Army for whom international procedures had been taken were taken into custody in Lebanon in February 1997, and Lebanon's Cour de Cassation (Supreme Court) in June sentenced all five to three years' imprisonment, after which they will be deported. Japan is requesting that the Lebanese authorities transfer these five persons as soon as possible after the legal procedures in Lebanon are completed. This leaves still at large seven Red Army members for whom international procedures have been taken, as well as five suspected of having been involved in the hijacking of Flight Yodo.

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