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Japan increases anti-terrorism efforts

Japan is now firmly involved in the fight against global terrorism.

By
Ed Adamczyk
Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. FILE. UPI/Keizo Mori
Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. FILE. UPI/Keizo Mori | License Photo

TOKYO, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Japan is preparing its own anti-terrorism strategy in the wake of the deaths of two of its citizens at the hands of the Islamic State.

Security has been reinforced at major Japanese airports, an anti-terrorism task force has been created and the government is considering Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida's presence at an international anti-terrorism meeting in Washington, later in February. The preparations come after the apparent killings of Japanese nationals Haruna Yukawa and Kenjo Goto in Syria by IS militants. In a video of Goto's beheading, an IS member warned, "(We) will also carry on and cause carnage wherever your people are found, so let the nightmare for Japan begin."

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told an Upper House committee meeting Tuesday, "To ensure the safety of Japanese citizens overseas, we will strengthen functions of Japan's diplomatic missions abroad and defense officers there, as well as increase information-gathering capacity of the whole government. We should carry out an ongoing review of anti-terrorism measures."

"We should share the awareness that terrorist threats have become more realistic for our country after the hostage crisis. It is important to prevent future terrorist attacks and ensure the safety of Japanese nationals abroad," added Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga at the meeting.

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Sunday, Suga said the government did not negotiate over an IS demand for $200 million to free the two victims.

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