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Cablegate: Japan: 2006 Country Reports On Terrorism

DE RUEHKO #7072/01 3542358
O 202358Z DEC 06





E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 193439

Embassy Point of Contact:
Mary Wilson
Phone: 81-3-3224-5342
Fax: 81-3-3224-5322

General Assessment

1. Japanese leaders have publicly declared their firm
commitment to stand by the United States to combat terrorism
over the long term. Japanese support for domestic, regional
and global counterterrorism efforts remained steady in 2006.
Japan is party to all counterterrorism-related UN conventions
and is in full compliance with all UNSCRs on terrorist
financing. To help stem the flow of terrorist financing to
al-Qaida and the Taliban, Japan designated under its
asset-freezing program all entities and individuals included
on the UN 1267 Sanctions Committee's consolidated list.

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2. Domestically, Japan continues to bolster its defenses
against terrorism to make it harder for terrorists to
operate. In March, the Cabinet approved emergency contingency
plans for 47 prefectures to better protect the public from
terrorist attacks. In May, Japan revised the Immigration
Control and Refugee Recognition Act to enable immigration
officials to collect and electronically store fingerprint and
facial imagery from foreigners. This will be implemented by
November 2007; diplomats, state guests, and special permanent
foreign residents will be exempt from the law. The Ministry
of Justice Immigration Bureau since Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 has
been testing a biometric fingerprint and facial recognition
system at Narita and Kansai airports with the aim of
identifying people trying to enter Japan on fake passports.
This data is checked against a database of known and
suspected terrorists.

3. Japan in June developed a framework for legislation
designed to combat money laundering and terrorist financing
and plans to submit the bill to the Diet in early 2007. The
Ministry of Finance announced in August that Japanese
financial institutions will be required to confirm the
identity of customers sending 100,000 yen or more overseas in
a bid to clamp down on money laundering. This will be
effective starting on January 4, 2007. The Financial
Services Agency announced a similar change for domestic

4. The Diet on December 1 passed the Infectious Disease Law
to prohibit possession and production of 12 pathogens,
including Anthrax and the Ebola Virus to help prevent
bioterrorism. The Public Security Intelligence Agency (PSIA)
in FY 2007 will establish an International Antiterrorism
Office with the aim of expediting information sharing with
the Prime Minister's Office. The National Police Agency
(NPA) is planning to implement a computerized system, similar
to the United States Secret Service system, with the goal of
analyzing data on the locations and routes of world leaders
attending the 2008 Group of Eight summit in Japan.

5. Japan in January 2005 introduced a voluntary Advance
Passenger Information System (APIS), to tighten control on
suspicious travelers to prevent terrorists from entering
Japan. It resulted in 17 arrests in 2005. Japanese
authorities in early 2005 revised the Law for the Regulation
of Nuclear Source Material, Nuclear Fuel Material and
Reactors and are continuing to enhance the physical
protection of nuclear materials in Japan.

6. Japan is using ODA grants to expand counterterrorism
capacity building in Southeast Asia. The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (MOFA) Economic Cooperation Bureau initiated the
Grant for Cooperation on Counterterrorism and Security
Enhancement ODA program in FY 2006. This nearly USD 60.86
million annual program includes projects aimed at bolstering
piracy prevention, increasing maritime and port security, and
preventing weapons proliferation.

7. Japan makes valuable contributions to building
counterterrorism capacity among Asian countries. Tokyo in
January hosted a two-day ministerial conference on

TOKYO 00007072 002 OF 003

international transport security to promote cooperation on
ground transportation security; officials from 14 countries
attended. Foreign Minister Aso in June signed a
counterterrorism capacity building plan with Uzbekistan,
Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan to combat terrorism
and offered equipment and support for border control. This
was the first time Japan signed a cooperative action plan
with a Central Asian nation. In June, Japan also hosted the
ASEAN-Japan Counter-Terrorism Dialogue.

8. Japan in July held a seminar on the prevention and crisis
management of bioterrorism to strengthen mechanisms to combat
CBRN terrorism in the Asia Pacific. Officials from 14
countries and representatives from the World Health
Organization, Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, and
the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism
(SEARCCT) attended. In 2004 and 2005 Japan co-sponsored the
same seminar in Malaysia. Japan is an active partner in the
Proliferation Security Initiative; Japan participated in
exercises, attended all intelligence experts and operational
experts meetings and led outreach efforts to draw in regional

9. In October, Japan hosted a counterterrorism trilateral
meeting with the United States and Australia. It
participated in trilateral strategic dialogue talks in
November with the United States and Australia to better
synchronize regional activities.

10. Japan continues to reach beyond the region in its fight
against terrorism. The Abe Cabinet in December approved an
extension of Japan Air Self-Defense Force airlift operations
until July 2007, enabling Japan to continue its support for
coalition forces' counterterrorism efforts in Iraq. In
October, the Japanese Diet extended for one year the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law that allows for Japan
Self-Defense Force (JSDF) support of Operation Enduring
Freedom (OEF). In 2006 the Maritime Self-Defense Force
(JMSDF) had provided approximately 12,724,000 gallons of fuel
to United States and allied naval vessels engaged in OEF.

11. Japan has been an active participant in the G-8
Bioterrorism Experts Meeting Group. In 2005 the Japanese
sent a large delegation to Atlanta for a G-8 sponsored
workshop on food defense. In February 2005, Japan presented
a paper on the "Origins, Sources, Culture and Ideology of
Terrorism" at the counterterrorism conference in Saudi

12. Bilaterally, Japan is a responsive partner in the fight
against terrorism. The Foreign Ministry in 2005 granted
long-term diplomatic status to the Customs and Border
Protection (CBP) officers working on the Container Security
Initiative (CSI) in Japan. In 2005, the Customs Bureau was
reorganized to facilitate cooperation between Japanese CSI
teams and U.S. CBP officers. Japan formally accepted the
U.S. Air Marshal program in 2005, and started its own Air
Marshal program on flights to and from the United States.
Japanese air marshals trained at the United States Federal
Air Marshal Training Facility in February 2006. After
substantially rewriting its immigration legislation in 2005
to improve enforcement capabilities, Japan agreed in
principal in December 2006 to participate in the Immigration
Advisory Program (IAP). IAP will be implemented at Narita
Airport in January 2006.

13. Japan is an advocate and active participant in the
International Port Security Program (IPSP). Widely
considered a leader in the region in maritime security
collaboration, the Government of Japan hosted a number of
bilateral and multilateral maritime security events. In
2005, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport's
Maritime Bureau established the Port State Control Officer
exchange program with the U.S. Coast Guard to exchange best
practices in implementing international ship security
requirements while boarding foreign flag ships in Japan and
close cooperation continued in 2006. Participants from 19
countries discussed measures to tighten nuclear and
radiological security at the November 2006 IAEA-Government of
Japan Seminar on Strengthening Nuclear Security in Asia.

14. The United States did not request terrorism-related
extradition from Japan in 2006. We expect Japan to continue
its cooperative stance, but the need for "dual-criminality"

TOKYO 00007072 003 OF 003

(i.e., the act upon which the extradition request is based
must also be considered a crime in Japan) could delay
extradition procedures.

Terrorist Sanctuaries

15. There are no areas in Japan where terrorists are free to
operate. Lax enforcement in airport transit lounges,
however, continues to make Japan vulnerable to document
switches and transiting criminals. No Muslim fundamentalists
have been identified in Japan. Approximately 90,000 Muslims
(mainly from Southeast Asia, Pakistan and Iran) reside in
Japan, concentrated in the Kanto region. While no concrete
evidence has been found connecting an individual to al-Qaida,
law enforcement officials continue to monitor suspicious

Information on Terrorist Groups

16. There were no incidents of international terrorism in
Japan during 2006 and terrorist activity remains low. The
National Police Agency (NPA) and the Public Security
Intelligence Agency (PSIA) continue to monitor the activities
of Aum Shinrikyo, renamed Aleph. In January, the Public
Security Examination Commission extended PSIA's legal
authority to monitor Aleph for an additional three years
(through January 2009). According to the PSIA, at the end of
2005 Aleph had about 650 live-in followers and about 1,000
other followers with 26 facilities in 17 prefectures. The
cult also had about 300 followers in Russia. PSIA inspected
at least 29 Aleph facilities in 2005 and at least 25
facilities in 2006.

17. The Tokyo District Court in August upheld the death
sentence for Aum Shinrikyo member Masami Tsuchiya who was
charged with making the sarin nerve gas used in the deadly
1995 attack on the Tokyo subway system. In September, the
Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for Aum Shinrikyo
founder Chizuo Matsumoto; he is not eligible to file future
appeals. In February, the Tokyo High Court upheld the death
sentence for Tomomitsu Niimi who was convicted in 2002 for
murdering 26 individuals in seven Aum Shinrikyo related
cases, including the 1995 sarin attack.

18. The Tokyo District Court sentenced Fusako Shigenobu, a
former Japanese Red Army (JRA) member, to 20 years in prison
in February. Members of the JRA were responsible for seizing
the French Embassy in The Hague in 1974 and the U.S. Embassy
in Kuala Lumpur in 1975. Prosecutors argued for a life
sentence for Shigenobu, claiming she is the alleged
mastermind of the "Hague Incident," but the court ruled that
even though she conspired to take over the French Embassy,
she was not physically present during the embassy seizure.
As of mid-December, former JRA member Jun Nishikawa remained
on trial for his suspected role in a 1977 Japan Airlines
hijacking. A verdict is expected on December 26.

Foreign Government Cooperation

19. There were no arrests of terrorist suspects in Japan in
2006, but Japan continues to show a willingness to cooperate
with the United States on terrorism matters. Police and
intelligence authorities remain responsive to
terrorism-related requests, including conducting
surveillance, developing sources and providing record checks
and documentation within the scope authorized by existing
Japanese laws. Police and intelligence officials by all
appearances take terrorism threats seriously and work well
with U.S. law enforcement officials to bring investigations
to their proper conclusions.

20. In June 2005, the Diet amended the Japanese immigration
law to allow the sharing of information with foreign
immigration officials. The Immigration Bureau of the
Ministry of Justice completed the implementing guidelines and
detailed discussions on the logistics of sharing information
continue. Since August, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has
shared lost and stolen passport data on a weekly basis.

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