Japan pledges $7.5m to fight on terror

2015-01-20 17:43
(Emmanuel Dunand, AFP)

(Emmanuel Dunand, AFP)

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Brussels - Japan will contribute $7.5m to the international fight against terrorism, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday during a visit to Brussels, in the wake of attacks in Paris and a foiled terrorist plot in Belgium.

His remarks came hours after Tokyo announced that the Islamic State militant group was threatening to kill two Japanese hostages if a ransom demand is not met.

"Fighting against terrorism continues to be a great challenge for which the international community should make all-out efforts," Kishida said at a think-tank event in the Belgian capital.

The previous day, EU foreign ministers agreed to boost ties with the Arab world and crack down on the financing of terrorist networks. The incidents in France and Belgium both involved suspects believed to have links to the Middle East and North Africa.

"Fighting against terrorism is of course not at all fighting against Islam," Kishida said, adding that the challenge must be tackled "in tandem with Islamic countries".

The $7.5m will help international organisations "build counterterrorism capacity in Africa and the Middle East, where ISIS and other terrorists are active", the minister said, using a common acronym for the Islamic State.

He said Japan plans to increase domestic measures, "such as combating terrorist financing and immigration control", and will also make counterterrorism a priority during its presidency of the Group of Seven in 2016.

"In today's world, radicalism and xenophobia are jeopardising our basic values, such as freedom of speech, and are threatening our daily lives," he said.

The minister "resolutely" condemned the attacks in Paris, which he said "cannot be tolerated for any reason".

Kishida was in France ahead of his visit to Brussels, during a four-nation tour that began in India and will also include a stopover in Britain.

He was also meeting with top EU officials in Brussels, to discuss ongoing negotiations on a political and free trade agreement with the bloc.

Read more on:    isis  |  japan

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