Middle East

May 12, 2022

The Government of Japan held the Fifth Dialogue on Countering Violent Extremism in the Middle East online from March 15 to 17, 2022. The participants consist of 7 scholars and experts from Japan as listed below, and 12 scholars and experts from 6 Middle Eastern countries.

  1. The participants, based on their professional experiences and studies, had panel discussions followed by primary discussions about violent extremism in the Middle East, specifically focusing on Counter Narrative on March 15th, Treatment of Returnees on March 16th, and Women and Children on March 17th. The discussion themes were decided upon the interests of the participants from last year, in order to achieve deep understanding of the topics.
  2. In the Counter Narrative session, the participants exchanged views about the importance of education as means to disseminate counter narrative to violent extremism, and characteristics of those who tend to believe such extreme thoughts. They agreed that when considering the background causes of violent extremism it is necessary to focus not only the religious reasons, but also to the psychological situation and personal environment.
  3. In the Treatment of Returnees session, the actual programs taken in the participants’ countries were introduced. The programs of UNAFEI were also explained by the two professors from the institute, and the participants from Middle East expressed strong interests on them.
  4. In the Women and Children session, the significance of focusing on women as mothers and wives was discussed, and the participants shared the view that the women could be recruiters of violent extremism thoughts to their family members, as well as victims.
  5. In the end, the participants confirmed the importance on countering violent extremism in coordination regardless of the countries or expertise. They also concurred on further investigating the roles that Japan is expected to play in the field of countering violent extremism in the Middle East, while fostering the intellectual network among the participants.
List of Japanese Participants
Dr. Akifumi NOMURA, Assistant Professor, Takusyoku University (session1)
Dr. Kenichiro TAKAO from Middle East Institute of Japan (session1)
Dr. Daisaku HIGASHI, Professor, Sophia University (session2)
Ms. Tsubura MIYAGAWA, Professor, United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFEI) (session2)
Ms. Mii TANAKA, Professor, United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFEI) (session2)
Dr. Namie TSUJIGAMI, Professor, Sophia University (session3)
Ms. Tomoko OHJI, Senior Staff Writer and Editor with Mainichi Newspaper (session3)
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