Statement by H.E.Mr. Shinsuke Sugiyama
Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan

At the Open Debate of the United Nations Security Council on

 “Threats to International Peace and Security

Caused by Terrorist Acts”

11 May 2016



Mr. President,


I would first like to express my sincere appreciation to you for taking up this timely and important topic.

My appreciation also goes to Mr. Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General and other speakers for their insightful briefings.  This is the most important and imminent international common agenda to take up.


Mr. President,


We support the Presidential Statement which we have just adopted.


This year alone, we have witnessed numerous terrorist attacks all over the world. Facing this sobering reality of an increase and spread of terrorist attacks in recent years, Japan has reconfirmed its determination to fight against terrorism in cooperation with the international community. The importance of utilizing all tools at our disposal in the fight against terrorism cannot be overstated. We would particularly like to emphasize that the international community should put more efforts and resources into the prevention of terrorism, as well as countering factors conducive to terrorism, most critical of all, violent extremism. We firmly believe that violent extremism has nothing to do with any religion, nationality or civilization. Terrorist organizations, however, use narratives and ideologies based on their distorted interpretation of these factors, not only to justify their ideas, but also to mobilize resources and garner support.

There is thus an urgent need to prevent violent extremism throughout the world.


In this regard, we strongly welcome “the UN Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism” and call for its rapid implementation under UN leadership. In particular, the Security Council has made enormous efforts to eradicate these imminent threats against international peace and security, namely terrorism and violent extremism. I would like to emphasize that it must take further efforts for this purpose.


Mr. President,


Japan has been supporting UN entities’ efforts in countering violent extremism. I would like to briefly touch upon one, though it may look small but substantively quite important, example. A workshop held for Iraqi officials in February 2015 under the sponsorship of the Government of Japan brought in victims of terrorism and family members of late ISIL (Da’esh) fighters and offered them the opportunity to dialogue about their personal experiences and thoughts. The participants came to a common understanding about the fighters’ irrational decisions to join ISIL (Da’esh). It was then shared with the local community as part of the effort to counter ISIL (Da’esh)’s narratives.


Japan also supports the “Whole-of-Society” approach in preventing violent extremism. Japan has recently provided 1.5 million USD to the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) in order to support local community-based initiatives against violent extremism.

Furthermore, Japan has conducted a number of projects related to countering violent extremism in cooperation with ASEAN countries. Last February, Japan hosted a panel discussion on the role of the civil society in preventing violent extremism with the participation of representatives from governments and civil society from Southeast Asian countries. There emerged a general consensus among the participants that we should be more vocal in promoting moderate ideas against violent extremism.


Mr. President,


It is now time for the international community to unite against the threat of violent extremism even further, and take advantage of our strengths and cooperate to create synergies among our efforts. We would also reiterate the importance of empowering moderate voices in society by promoting pluralism and tolerance. Prime Minister Abe mentioned in Cairo last year, at the time when he made a keynote speech there, the importance of “moderation,” a notion shared by different civilizations, by different cultures and by different religious beliefs, by invoking the Arabic phrase “Khair-l-Umuri Ausatoha”.


At the same time, we believe that these efforts must be conducted in full accordance with all the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, including the peaceful solution of disputes, the rule of law and respect for human rights.


Mr. President,


Japan will host the G7 Summit meeting at the end of this month. We are taking the leadership, as the chair for this year, in preparing the G7 Action Plan on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, hopefully to be adopted by the G7 leaders then at Ise-shima, Japan. Our aim is to show further an action-oriented plan which would be a valuable addition by the G7 leaders to existing global efforts to tackle terrorism and violent extremism. At this particular juncture, we are wholeheartedly working with our G7 colleagues on what we can show to the international community in this regard.


Mr. President,


To conclude, I would like to emphasize once again the conviction that we shall spend no inactive time to counter terrorism and violent extremism. Let us unite to address this common threat. On behalf of the Government of Japan, I can assure you that we Japanese will continue to stand firmly in this important endeavor together with the whole international community.


Thank you very much for your attention.




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