The 1st Meeting of the JFIR Policy Council on "Japan's Response to Global Terrorism" was held

The 1st Meeting of the JFIR Policy Council on "Japan’s Response to Global Terrorism" was held on April 6 under the chairmanship of President ITO Kenichi of JFIR and 27 members of the Policy Council attended.
Prof. YAMAUCHI Masayuki, who was appointed Drafter of the Policy Recommendations, introduced the Concept Paper which he drafted and stated as follows;

"With regard to the issue of counter-terrorism, while giving due credit to the US centered international efforts in addressing terrorism, we need, at the same time, to pay attention to what have been overlooked in those efforts. It is doubtful whether thorough discussions have been carried out on appropriate ex-post facto measures to be taken in the wake of such highly unpredictable events as September 11th terrorist attacks. Since current international terrorist networks as represented by al-Qaeda are highly clustered, it is difficult to eradicate them simply by implementing conventional hard measures based on military forces. One of the difficulties in dealing with terrorism lies in the existence of a gray zone between what is so-called 'terrorism' and nationalist and/or ethnic resistance movements. For example, the Resistance of the French citizens against Reichswehr, Gestapo and SS (Schutzstaffel) under German occupation in 1940's was conceived as 'terrorism' from the Germany standpoint, whereas it is quite justifiable from the French standpoint. By contrast, France regarded as terrorism the ethnic resistance movement against France that took place in Algeria in the
1950-60's, although those movements were inspired by French Resistance. Terrorism is an issue pertaining to partisanships, the reason of the nation and egoism. Thus, definition of terrorism is closely linked to partisanship or reason of state, and it is difficult to provide the unambiguous definition of it. In the meantime, in the course of devising policy recommendations on this topic, I would like to lay emphasis on the point that there is no preventing acts of terrorism. The conventional measure of containing the threat by force would be helpless when it comes to dealing with the high unpredictability of terrorism. Instead, we should rather consider devising soft measures, which, taking into account the existence of risks at all times, would allow for more flexible approach to such risks and could minimize damages of unpredictable events."

In response to the above presentation, members of the Council present joined in an active exchange of views on the topic.


The Japan Forum on International Relations (JFIR)