Statement by H.E. Ambassador Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Security Council on Foreign Terrorist Fighters

          I would like to begin by thanking Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov, Executive Director of CTED Michèle Coninsx, and the Chair of the ISIL and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee Kairat Umarov for their informative briefings.

          While ISIL is experiencing significant military setbacks and losing its stronghold in Iraq and Syria, the threat is spreading globally. Foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) are returning to their countries of origin or relocating to other Member States. For example, the threat level has intensified in Southeast Asia due to returnees and re-locators to this region. There is even a video in which ISIL fighters urge viewers who cannot travel to the Middle East to go instead “to the Philippines.”

          Advance Passenger Information (API), Passenger Name Record (PNR) systems and connection of access to INTERPOL databases with airports and border checkpoints are important to detect FTFs, especially when they use “broken travel.” Japan encourages Member States which have not yet done so to introduce API and PNR as well as connection of access to INTERPOL databases with frontline officers as soon as possible in accordance with resolution 2368 and 2322.

          The use of biometric tools is becoming more and more effective in stemming the flow of FTFs. Terrorists try to disguise themselves and use forged travel documents when they cross borders. They even undergo surgery and change their fingerprints. To detect these terrorists, Japan has introduced fingerprint readers able to identify altered-fingerprints. We have also introduced IC passports with facial images in the IC chips. Last month Japan started using facial recognition gate machines at the Tokyo International Airport to automatically match passengers’ faces with the facial images in the IC passports. This system has been proven to be effective even when facial features are altered by surgery.

          We are concerned by terrorists’ evolving tactics. We must respond to or proactively take measures against them. For instance, in the G7 Ise-Shima Summit in May 2016, the Japanese Police set up drone detectors, drone interceptors and net-launchers around the conference sites to prepare a possible threat from drones.

          Some Japanese companies have started producing or using state-of-the-art techniques to develop security systems. For instance, one famous Japanese manufacture produces high-tech facial recognition cameras to automatically detect black-listed faces from a crowd in a moment. One security company employs artificial intelligence to analyze and extract suspicious patterns from big data through security cameras, robots or drones.

          In closing, I would like to stress the importance of continuing to develop our counter-terrorism measures as terrorists change or evolve their tactics. Japan is ready to work closely with other countries to enhance their capacities in this area. We must unite against terrorists, including FTFs, by implementing Security Council resolutions.
I thank you, Mr. President.