U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Terrorism 2006 - Japan
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism|
|Publication Date||30 April 2007|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Terrorism 2006 - Japan, 30 April 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4681085323.html [accessed 20 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Domestically, Japan continued to bolster its defenses against terrorism. In March, the Cabinet approved emergency contingency plans for 47 prefectures to better protect the public from terrorist attacks. In May, Japan revised the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act to enable immigration officials to collect and electronically store fingerprint and facial imagery from foreigners. The Ministry of Justice Immigration Bureau continued testing began in 2004 on a biometric fingerprint and facial recognition system at Narita and Kansai airports with the aim of identifying people trying to enter Japan on fake passports. In June, the government developed legislation designed to combat money laundering and terrorist financing and plans to submit the bill to the Diet. In a bid to clamp down on money laundering, the Ministry of Finance announced in August that Japanese financial institutions would be required to confirm the identity of customers sending 100,000 yen or more overseas. The Financial Services Agency announced a similar change for domestic remittances. On December 1, the Diet passed the Infectious Disease Law to prohibit possession and production of 12 pathogens, including Anthrax and the Ebola Virus to help prevent bioterrorism.
Japan used Official Development Assistance (ODA) grants to expand counterterrorism capacity in Southeast Asia. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Economic Cooperation Bureau initiated the grant for Cooperation on Counterterrorism and Security Enhancement. This nearly US$ 60.86 million annual program included projects aimed at bolstering piracy prevention, increasing maritime and port security, and preventing weapons proliferation.
Japan made valuable contributions to building counterterrorism capacity among Asian countries. In January, Japan hosted a two-day ministerial conference on international transport security to promote cooperation on ground transportation security; representatives from 14 countries attended. In June, Foreign Minister Aso signed a counterterrorism capacity building plan with Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan offering equipment and support for border control. In June, Japan hosted the ASEAN-Japan Counterterrorism Dialogue.
In July, the Japanese government held a seminar on the prevention and crisis management of bioterrorism to strengthen mechanisms to combat CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) terrorism in the Asia Pacific. In attendance were officials from 14 countries and representatives from the World Health Organization, the Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies, and the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counterterrorism (SEARCCT). Japan was an active partner in the Proliferation Security Initiative, participating in exercises, attending all meetings for intelligence experts and operational experts, and leading regional outreach efforts. In October, Japan became an initial partner nation in the U.S. Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, and attended its first Global Initiative meeting in Rabat, Morocco. Also in October, Japan hosted a counterterrorism trilateral meeting with the United States and Australia; the following month, these three countries participated in a trilateral strategic dialogue to better synchronize regional activities. Participants from 19 countries discussed measures to tighten nuclear and radiological security at the November International Atomic Energy Agence (IAEA)-Government of Japan Seminar on Strengthening Nuclear Security in Asia.
Japan continued to reach beyond the region in its fight against terrorism. In December, the Abe Cabinet approved the extension of Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JSDF) airlift operations until July 2007, enabling Japan to continue its support for Iraq. In October, the Diet extended for one year the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law that allows for JSDF support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) provided approximately 124 million gallons of fuel to U.S. and allied naval vessels engaged in OEF.
Bilaterally, Japan was a responsive partner in the fight against terrorism. In February, Japanese air marshals trained at the United States Federal Air Marshal Training Facility. Japan remained an advocate and active participant in the International Port Security Program (IPSP). Widely considered a regional leader in maritime security collaboration, the Government of Japan hosted a number of bilateral and multilateral maritime security events. Japan continued its participation in the Port State Control Officer exchange program with the U.S. Coast Guard, which worked to exchange best practices in implementing international ship security requirements.
The National Police Agency (NPA) and the Public Security Intelligence Agency (PSIA) continued to monitor the activities of Aum Shinrikyo, renamed Aleph. In January, the Public Security Examination Commission extended PSIA's legal authority to monitor Aleph for an additional three years. The Tokyo District Court, in August, upheld the death sentence for Aum Shinrikyo member Masami Tsuchiya, who was charged with making the sarin nerve gas used in the deadly 1995 attack on the Tokyo subway system. In September, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for Aum Shinrikyo founder Chizuo Matsumoto; he is not eligible to file future appeals. In February, the Tokyo High Court upheld the death sentence for Tomomitsu Niimi, convicted in 2002 for murdering 26 individuals in seven Aum Shinrikyo-related cases, including the 1995 sarin attack.
The Tokyo District Court sentenced Fusako Shigenobu, a former Japanese Red Army (JRA) member, to 20 years in prison in February. Members of the JRA were responsible for seizing the French Embassy in The Hague in 1974 and the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur in 1975. Prosecutors argued for a life sentence for Shigenobu, claiming she was the alleged mastermind of the "Hague Incident," but the court ruled that even though she conspired to take over the French Embassy, she was not physically present during the Embassy seizure. As of mid-December, former JRA member Jun Nishikawa remained on trial for his suspected role in a 1977 Japan Airlines hijacking.