Statement by H.E. Mr. Akio Suda, Ambassador in Charge of International Counter-Terrorism Cooperation of Japan, at the Global Forum for Partnerships between Government and Businesses to Counter Terrorism
November 29, 2006
- On behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to express our deep appreciation for the leadership and works of the Government of the Russian Federation in promoting counterterrorism cooperation in the G8 throughout its G8 Presidency over the year. During the Russian Presidency, we adopted several significant documents, including the "G8 Principles on International Cooperation in Preventing and Suppressing the Incitement, Support and Commission of Terrorist Acts" at the G8 Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting in June, and the "G8 Summit Declaration on Counter-Terrorism" and the "G8 Statement on Strengthening the UN's Counter-Terrorism Program". Besides, the Russian Federation has advocated as a new initiative this year "Partnerships between Government and Businesses to counter terrorism". It is a very timely topic, and we appreciate extensive preparations being made by the Russian Federation for this conference.
- Looking over the recent situation surrounding terrorism around the world, the leading role of Al-Qaeda may be said to have somewhat weakened as a result of the "fight against terrorism" efforts by the international community, and a number of terrorist attempts have been well prevented by enormous endeavors in several countries. However, as we've seen in terrorism attacks like the bombing in Bali last year, the bombings of trains in Mumbai, and the attempted plots of airplane bombings in the United Kingdom, terrorist methods have diversified and the threat of "homegrown terrorism", either influenced by Al-Qaeda or not, also remains or even increasing in some countries.
Thus, the "fight against terrorism" has now become an even more complex task, which requires enduring long-term efforts and closer cooperation of the international community, including cooperation between governments and private sectors.
- The Government of Japan is putting a high priority on the enhancement of measures of counterterrorism, with three pillar policies; (1) to strengthen domestic counterterrorism measures, (2) to promote broad international cooperation, and (3) to assist other countries in the capacity-building against terrorism. In our ongoing effort to strengthen domestic counterterrorism measures, we recently amended the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act and strengthened its border enforcement measures. We are preparing a bill for a more thorough implementation of FATF recommendations, and are taking all possible measures in preventing terrorist financing.
As to our cooperation in capacity building, this year we started a new aid program, "grant aid for counter-terrorism and security enhancement" with an initial annual budget of 65 million US dollars. Japan hosted also the ASEAN-Japan Counter-Terrorism Dialogue successfully in Tokyo in June this year.
- While governments need always to play a leading role in counter terrorism, it is also true that terrorism is a great threat to civil society as a whole, and affect many aspects of civilian life by making them a target of an attack. There is, therefore, the significant role that private sectors can play, and the coordination between the government and private sectors are more needed. These cooperation may include (1) information sharing on crimes and terrorism, (2) operational coordination for emergency situation, (3) shares of the valuable knowledge and useful technology, (4) measures against terrorist propaganda on the Internet, and (5) prevention of the movement of illegal supplies and funds. Of course, there are questions which we need to thoroughly examine and to overcome in promoting such cooperative efforts. For example, how to impose security regulations while ensuring open and efficient business activities, what is an appropriate legal system that facilitates good cooperation, and how to share roles in concrete manner between the government and private sectors. Both governments and private sectors thus need to discuss on every opportunity and to progressively form a common recognition. In this regard, I believe that the Strategy for Partnerships between Governments and Businesses to Counter Terrorism, which is set to be adopted at this forum, can be a very useful guidance which provides the roles that both governments and private sectors can play. We value this document as a significant reference in promoting cooperation between governments and private sectors in years to come.
- In Japan, government and businesses cooperation in counter terrorism is already an agenda, and proactive efforts are underway in such areas as transportation, financing, and critical infrastructures. For instance, the government freezes assets of terrorist individuals and organizations, and conducts criminal investigations into money laundering. But, this is not possible without close cooperation of financial institutions that provide reports of suspicious transactions. With regard to protection of critical infrastructure, such as nuclear and other power plants, electricity, gas, and oil related facilities, while various legislative as well as administrative measures are taken by government agencies, operators of these facilities themselves are carrying out intensive safety and protection measures. On Internet and other information and telecommunication technologies, private sector in Japan is playing an active role in developing cooperative measures to protect this critical infrastructure, and on this subject, I understand there will be a presentation by representatives of Japanese business circle.
- Terrorism is unacceptable without question, regardless of its purposes and manifestations. This is the unified opinion of the international community, and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which was adopted at UN General Assembly, embodies the determination of the international community on its "fight against terrorism". Our determination on counterterrorism was also reaffirmed at the APEC Leaders' Meeting, which was held a few weeks ago in Hanoi. There is no question, however, that the G8 should continue to play a major role in fighting against terrorism, by taking the lead in identifying important challenges and formulating good standards and norm. I sincerely hope that this Global Forum for Partnerships, which is another significant contribution of the G8, will pave a broad way for effective and enduring cooperation between governments and private sectors in our global fight against terrorism.
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