Counter-Terrorism: The Japanese Solution


January 10, 2016: Japan is establishing a new intelligence operation to gather information on and monitor terrorist organizations worldwide. This will involve sharing information with foreign countries. Japan does not have much crime, or terrorism locally, Japan has so far avoided Islamic terrorist violence partly because Japan has virtually no Moslems. About one in 1,200 people in Japan are Moslem. Like other foreign populations Moslems (most of them foreign born) stand out and are watched carefully by police and Japanese, just like every other group of gaijin (non-Japanese) in residence. As a result there have been no problems with Islamic terrorism, or crime in general. Japan has some of the lowest crime rates in the world, although some of this is due to police reclassifying crimes (murders as suicides) when they can get away with it. Even with that, Japan is very safe compared to other countries.

Japan’s biggest fear is suicidal terrorists who are able to pose as foreign visitors (either tourists or on business). Japan has a rapidly increasing number of foreign visitors. Since 2005 this has gone from five million a year to over 11 million. This provides more opportunities for terrorists go get in and Japan wants to be better informed about who might be coming in with evil intent. At the same time there are a lot of Japanese overseas as tourists and business travelers. Thousands of those abroad on business are operating in dangerous areas. They have to be there to look after Japanese investments. These Japanese are increasingly subject to attack and Japan wants to keep such visitors better informed about the risks they will encounter.

This sort of intense information gathering is a Japanese characteristic that has served well in business as well as domestic crime control.


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