Japan's International Counter-Terrorism Cooperation

August 2010
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan

1. Basic Recognition

(1) The threat of terrorism remains high

(a) While the capability and the leadership of Al-Qaeda and other related organizations have waned and the number of militants has decreased as a result of the international community's efforts in the global fight against terrorism, the strength of such international terrorist organizations cannot be underestimated. Furthermore, the surge of radical movements undertaken by related organizations ideologically influenced by Al-Qaeda, and local organizations independent from Al-Qaeda but adhere to its doctrine have been noted in recent years.

(b) The simultaneous terrorist bombings of foreign-owned hotels in Jakarta in July 2009 indicated the ongoing threat of terrorism. Meanwhile, the failed terrorist attempts on a US airliner en route to Detroit in December 2009 and in Times Square in May 2010, signified the growing threat of "home-grown terrorism".

(c) Japan is cited as one of the terrorist targets in several statements issued by Usama Bin Laden and others. There has also been a case of an Al-Qaeda member having repeatedly entered Japan in the past. It is important to note that attacks by international terrorist organizations continue to take place all over the world, including regions close to Japan.

(2) Strengthening domestic counter-terrorism measures is important

While the international community continues its fight against terrorism, Japan is determined not to become a loophole of global counter-terrorism efforts. Japan abides by relevant treaties and other international agreements and continually enhances its domestic counter-terrorism measures in coordination with other countries.

(3) International cooperation is essential in the fight against terrorism

International terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda take full advantage of the characteristics of modern society, including international transportation networks and advanced information and communications technology, thus carrying out operations across national borders. Therefore, it is important that all countries interactively cooperate with each other in a wide range of fields to overcome their vulnerability against terrorist attacks, and deny the terrorists safe havens and means for their activities. It is essential to strengthen international cooperation, since no single state can tackle terrorism alone.

(4) Counter-terrorism capacity building assistance to countries in need

Some countries may have the political will to fight against terrorism but not necessarily have sufficient counter-terrorism capacity. Japan extends counter-terrorism capacity building assistance to those countries in need of such assistance.

2. Japan's Efforts after the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

(1) Strengthening domestic counter-terrorism measures

The Japanese authorities have been intensively undertaking measures for the prevention of terrorism in areas such as immigration control, gathering and analyzing terrorism related intelligence, hijack prevention, countering CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear) terrorism, reinforcing security measures for critical infrastructures and facilities, and combating terrorist financing.

Since domestic counter-terrorism measures must be congruent with relevant international standards, and progressed under international coordination, the Government of Japan has made every effort to ensure its ratification of counter-terrorism conventions and protocols, establish the domestic legal framework to implement them, and freeze terrorist assets, in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

Furthermore, in December 2004, the Japanese government adopted the "Action Plan for Prevention of Terrorism" which includes 16 "Urgently Needed Terrorism Prevention Measures". Measures including international sharing of lost and stolen passport information, tightened immigration control, introduction of the sky marshal programme, thorough identification of foreign guests by hotels and inns, strict control of material potentially usable for terrorist attacks, reinforcement of terrorism-related intelligence capacity have been implemented.

(2) Seeking broad international cooperation

The Japanese Government has actively participated in counter-terrorism efforts by the international community at multilateral, regional and bilateral levels.

(a) Strengthening political will to recognize the urgency and importance of the fight against terrorism

  • Japan has been working on strengthening political will in the international community to prevent and eradicate terrorism through the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions, adopting declarations at various international and regional frameworks including G8, APEC and bilateral talks.

(b) Formulating international standards

  • Japan has actively committed to negotiations on relevant treaties in the UN and other international bodies. It has ratified and implemented all of the 13 international counter-terrorism conventions and protocols, most recently, the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism in August 3, 2007. Japan has also been participating in the ongoing negotiations of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
  • Japan has actively joined in the efforts of the G8 and other frameworks to establish international standards for practical issues, including immigration control and transport security. The G8 adopted "SAFTI (Secure and Facilitated International Travel Initiative)" in June 2004 at the Sea Island Summit. G8 members are continuing efforts to enhance practical counter-terrorism measures including port security; an initiative that was proposed by Japan at the 2004 Summit.
  • Japan took the initiative within the G8, along with the US, to establish the CTAG (Counter-Terrorism Action Group).

(c) Operational cooperation under the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law

  • In order to contribute to the efforts by the international community to remove Al-Qaeda bases and prevent the spread of terrorists, Japan sent its Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels to refuel vessels of countries participating in Operation Enduring Freedom-Maritime Interdiction Operation from December 2001 to January 2010 in accordance with its Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law.

(d) Exchanging information through Counter-terrorism talks/consultations with various countries

  • Japan has held numerous bilateral talks on counter-terrorism with countries including Australia, EU, India, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Russia, Turkey and the U.S. Regional counter-terrorism conferences have also been held with South Asia and Central Asian countries.

(3) Extending Counter-terrorism capacity building assistance to other countries

Japan has implemented the following assistances to Southeast Asia and other regions.

  • Encourage accession to international counter-terrorism conventions and protocols, and implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
  • Extended technical assistance and relevant equipment, held seminars and accepted trainees in the following areas: (1) Immigration control, (2) Aviation security, (3) Port and maritime security, (4) Customs cooperation, (5) Export control, (6) Law enforcement cooperation, (7) Combating terrorist financing, (8) Counter-CBRN terrorism, and (9) Counter-terrorism conventions and protocols.
  • Introduced a new assistance scheme, the Grant Aid for Cooperation on Counter-Terrorism and Security Enhancement from 2006. To the ASEAN countries, it has been applying the Japan ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) (USD 68million) established in March 2006 following the declaration of the ASEAN-Japan Summit Meeting in December 2005.
  • Hosted the ASEAN-Japan Counter-Terrorism Dialogue in June 2006 in Tokyo, and has held a meeting every year to exchange views between Japan and ASEAN to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation in the ASEAN region by utilizing JAIF and the Grant Aid for Cooperation on Counter-Terrorism and Security Enhancement effectively.
  • Decided to extend a grant aid to Vietnam, a total amount of approximately 861 million yen for "The project for the Reinforcement of Custom Functions at the Haiphong Port "through the Grant Aid for Cooperation on Counter-Terrorism and Security Enhancement in September 2009.
  • Decided to extend a grant aid to Uzbekistan, a total amount of approximately 467 million yen for "the project for the Installation of X-ray Scanning Equipment at the Check Points of Uzbekistan Borders with the Neighboring Countries"" through the Grant Aid for Cooperation on Counter-Terrorism and Security Enhancement in March 2010.
  • Decided to extend a grant aid to Indonesia, a total amount of approximately 2.5 billion yen for "The project for Airport Security System Improvement" and "The Project for Enhancement of Vessel Traffic System in Malacca and Singapore Straits (Phase 2)" through the Grant Aid for Cooperation on Counter-Terrorism and Security Enhancement in June 2010.

(4) Efforts to address the root causes of terrorism

Recognizing the need to address the root causes and conditions conducive to terrorism, Japan has been making the following efforts.

  • Assist economic and educational reform in developing countries
  • Seek Peaceful settlement of conflicts and consolidation of peace
  • Aim for Sustainable development and poverty reduction
  • Extend assistance to moderation and promotion of dialogue between civilizations
  • Contribute to the Middle East peace process


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