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2016年4月 6日 (水)

サミットとテロ 官民一体で脅威を封じ込めよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Joint public-private efforts essential to deter terrorists attacking G-7 summit
サミットとテロ 官民一体で脅威を封じ込めよ

Given the increasing threat posed by international terrorism, all possible measures must be taken to deter acts of violence.

Less than two months are left before the Ise-Shima Summit of the Group of Seven major powers, which will be held on May 26-27 in Mie Prefecture. A series of G-7 ministerial meetings is scheduled to be held in various parts of the country, starting with a foreign ministerial conference that opens in Hiroshima on Sunday.

Antiterrorism measures will likely be the major topic of discussions at the upcoming summit. It would be no surprise if terrorists regard the summit itself as a suitable target. This is the sixth time for Japan to host the summit, and it will be held under circumstances in which the danger of terrorism is felt more realistically than ever.

First of all, it is vital to keep terrorists from entering this country.

In December, the government inaugurated the Counterterrorism Unit-Japan at the initiative of the Prime Minister’s Office. To determine the moves of overseas extremist groups and block the entry of suspicious individuals at the nation’s borders, it is indispensable to ramp up cooperation with foreign organizations.

Preparing against cyber-attacks is also important. Strict management of systems are needed especially for such key infrastructures as power supply and transportation networks.

It is necessary to keep a constant lookout for home-grown terrorism. Even in Japan, there are more than a few young people who have expressed support on the Internet for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant extremist group. The contents of their posts must be examined to nip potential crimes in the bud.

Enhance security

Needless to say, it is essential to raise the proficiency of security at the venue on the assumption that terrorists will furtively reach the site.

The land routes to Kashikojima island, the venue for the G-7 summit, are limited to two bridges, which may be advantageous in terms of ensuring security.

On the other hand, it is a cause of concern that there are many places for terrorists to conceal themselves, including rafts used for pearl-culturing and bushes on the island.

During the Gleneagles Summit in 2005, London, which was 600 kilometers away, became the target of multiple attacks. Strong concern has been expressed about the possibility of terrorist attacks committed in Tokyo and elsewhere this time.

Attacks have occurred one after another across the globe, aiming at such soft targets as theaters and stadiums where many people from all walks of life gather. It would be impossible to protect such facilities in Japan using police forces alone.

If visitors to a venue notice something out of the ordinary, they must quickly inform the authorities concerned. The operator of the facilities should cooperate to ensure security by carrying out thorough inspections of hand baggage and taking other measures.

Various international events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, are scheduled to be hosted by Japan after the summit. Countermeasures must be beefed up from the medium- and long-term perspective.

It would be worthwhile studying the introduction of a system of issuing alert levels against terrorism like those issued in the case of volcanic eruptions.

In-depth discussions also should be held on the advisability of easing the requirements to allow wiretapping and making conspiracy a crime.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 5, 2016)


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