Terror Crisis in Japan: Background Information and Evaluation of Policy to Combat Terrorism

Terror Crisis in Japan: Background Information and Evaluation of Policy to Combat Terrorism

Q. “The recent terror crisis in Japan indicates the need for a sound policy to combat terrorism.” Discuss and analyse.

A. Terror Crisis: Introduction and Background Information

• The beheading of the Japanese journalists by the Islamic State is a blot on human civilisation and peace
• Japan is one of the most important military targets
• PM Shinzo Abe's government tasked with combating terrorism
• Critical shift in foreign policy and public opinion
• Japan's insulation from international terrorism and radical Islam removed following this incident

About IS

• Islamist State is a terrorist organisation which is known for its violent ethos
• This group is an Islamist rebel organisation which controls Iraq and Syrian territories
• It also operates in eastern Libya, Sinai Peninsula of Egypt and several other parts of the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia
• This group named itself the Islamic State of Iran and Syria/ Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham/ISIS
• UN has held ISIL responsible for human rights abuses and war crimes while Amnesty International has reported ethnic cleansing on a historic scale
• Group has been designated as a terror organisation by the UN, the EU, the UK, the US and several other nations
• Over 60 nations are involved in direct/indirect war against ISIL
• Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa targets of convenience and victims can grab international attention through these types of terrorist actions

B. Evaluation of Terror Policy

• An army with war potential is not maintained by Japan: de facto Japan Self Defence Forces are only intended to maintain peace and order

• Pacifism has not worked for Japan; it has been targeted by ISIL Government plans to aid and assist Japan overseas

• Defence budget has been enhanced and ban on arms exports was lifted

• Capabilities of the JSDF were increased

• Reinterpretation of Japanese Constitution's Article 9 enables Japan to use the force to defend those under attack including its own territories

• Japan's relations with Middle East are definitely central; focus on importing crude oil from the region; Political stability in the Middle East is controversial

• USD 200 million was proposed in non-military assistance for nations like Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Palestine, fending off the IS

• Humanitarian and infrastructure assistance for fighting terrorism as well as displacement of refugees from Syria and Iraq following ISIL activity

• Policy needs to be geared to meet changes to terrorism emerging from social media.

• Collective self defense and aiding allies in regional conflicts have threatened the security of Japan so legislation and policy must undergo modifications for
changes to counter the threat that has risen on account of this

• Trade liberalisation is another area where political capital is needed; high risk world exists outside borders and there are numerous complications in issues of security aspects and defense

• Stabilising people's livelihoods through humanitarian and other support will alienate the ISIL

• Abe focusing on a robust regime to ensure the safety of Japan and forge strong cooperation ties with the global community

• Government plans to aid and assist Japan overseas

• Foreign Ministry has placed an advisory for evacuating Syria controlled by ISIL and urged persons not to travel there

• Effective steps in place for global travellers needed; Crisis and ISIL's intentions need to be placed under scrutiny

• Law for protecting specially designated state secrets for receiving classified information from other nations essential

• NSC was established in Japan for one year now; beginning steps for creating world class intelligence gathering and analysis system needed

• Syria and neighbouring Iraq are part of a self declared caliphate; Tokyo only offers non military support so far; this needs to change

• Japan also lacks strong diplomatic presence in the area and has a small corp of Arab experts; military is confined by the constitution drafted by US forces; this too has to be changed

• Greater vigilance at airports and other facilities including embassies and schools; troops send abroad for international rescues; but greater linkages needed
with other international troops

• One sided propaganda is not liable to work; Japan needs to align with powerful allies such as the US


Japan has to focus on allies such as the US which can support this Asian nation in the fight against terror. Terrorism is an evil that needs to be combated at all levels and this includes effective formulation and implementation of defence policies as well.
Japanese forces need to train well and collaborate with others to ensure that its citizens remain safe from terror threats. The time has come for this Asian nation to play a more active and less passive role in the war against terror.
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