The 6th ASEAN-Japan Counter-Terrorism Dialogue and Japan's International Counter-Terrorism Cooperation:
The Elimination of Terrorism within ASEAN ties directly to the Security of Japan
The 6th ASEAN-Japan Counter-Terrorism Dialogue was held from February 9 to 11, 2011 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and was co-chaired by H.E. Sieng Lapresse, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Interior of Cambodia, and H.E. Takaaki Kojima, Ambassador in Charge of International Counter-Terrorism Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, with foreign affairs, internal affairs, and police-related officials from Japan and each of the ASEAN Member States in attendance.
Japan has provided all manners of support in order to improve counter-terrorism capabilities in such areas as immigration control, airport and seaport security, customs cooperation, and law enforcement cooperation, primarily for Asian countries with strong ties to Japan, utilizing ODA and other means as its policy on international counter-terrorism cooperation. For ASEAN Member States in particular, Japan has held the ASEAN-Japan Counter-Terrorism Dialogue annually since 2006, using the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) established in March 2006, in order to advance implementation of concrete projects pertaining to the recent terrorism situation, such as counter-radicalization and airport security enhancement measures.
Through the most recent dialogue and individual deliberations with counter-terrorism-related officials in the Cambodian government (H.E. Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister; H.E. Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister; H.E. Om Yentieng, Senior Minister; H.E. Pol. Gen. Neth Savoeun, Commissioner-General of the Cambodian National Police; and others), Japan once again recognized that the harm of terrorism is not just a problem for the country in which terror incidents occur, but a challenge that should be jointly tackled with cooperation between Japan and ASEAN as a whole. In particular, Japan values this Dialogue taking into account the following views expressed therein:
- (1) Terrorism is one of the major impediments which could undermine ASEAN efforts to enhance the connectivity toward ASEAN integration, and thus counter-terrorism remains an important issue;
- (2) Despite recent progress in countering terrorism efforts taken by ASEAN Member States, as recent trends indicate, there still remain threats of terrorism within the region that include increasingly serious radicalization phenomena through the Internet, overseas travel and student exchange, as well as devious methods such as using small IEDs which sneak through screening devices;
- (3) Although the fact that there has been no large-scale terrorism incidents recently within the region, except for the Jakarta terrorist bombings in 2009, can be attributed to the efforts of each ASEAN Member State in taking solid measures to thwart potential threats, Japan must absolutely not lower its guard and must continue supporting the ASEAN region because of its great importance to the security of Japanese citizens and its own interests.
- (4) All ASEAN Member States maintain high expectations for Japan's advice and support, especially in this field, owing to Japan's tangible contributions to preventive measures demonstrated so far.
In this 6th round of the Dialogues, the main issue raised was the future direction of the Dialogue itself. Particularly, since Japan is the only country which carries out ongoing one-on-one dialogues in this field with ASEAN, Indonesia presented a project proposal on the continuation of the Dialogue for the next five sessions, entitled "Second Phase of the ASEAN-Japan Counter Terrorism Dialogue."
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