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Will IS militants target Japan next?

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The Japanese public is still in shock over the murders of seven of their compatriots -- five men and two women -- at the hands of jihadists. The killings took place on the evening of July 1, at a restaurant in an area of Dhaka, Bangladesh believed to be secure.

Also included in the 22 victims were nine Italians and several other nationalities, making it clear that the militants, young Bangladeshi males, had intentionally singled out non-Muslim foreigners.

The key word describing this type of attack, which Japan's vernacular media has raised repeatedly in its reportage of the tragedy, is "sofuto taagetto" (soft target).

Does the Islamic State and its followers have something similarly nasty planned for Japan, a country with no shortage of soft targets? In its headline, Yukan Fuji (July 7) admonishes those who may brush aside such concerns, asserting "Taigan no kaji de wa nai" (it's not a fire on the opposite bank, i.e., not somebody else's problem).

Should determined militants succeed in making their way into Japan (or possibly belong to sleeper cells that have already been set up here), what sort of soft targets would they aim for?

"Typically militants have aimed at soft targets from some time ago, like the disco they bombed in Bali, Indonesia in 2002," says Buntaro Kuroi, author of the Kodansha book "Islamic Terrorists." "More recently alerts have been raised over terrorism throughout the world, and attacks against soft targets have increased owing to of their vulnerability."

Other examples of this, the newspaper reports, would be the killings last month of 49 people at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida, although that incident is now believed to have been a "lone wolf" attack with only tenuous ties to a jihadist group -- making it unlike the coordinated attacks by jihadists on a theater, restaurant and football stadium last November in Paris that resulted in some 130 deaths.

No place, therefore, can be completely ruled out as a target, and that includes Japan.

"Unlike the U.S. or Europe, it's extremely difficult to obtain handguns or semiautomatic rifles in Japan," points out Mitsuhiro Sera, a writer specializing in military affairs. "What we need to be on guard against are acts of terror utilizing explosive devices that can easily be synthesized by a person with a solid knowledge of chemistry.

"I suppose the places militants would be likely to target are concert halls, music facilities or fireworks displays -- that is, highly crowded events where movement is confined."

And needless to say, during July and August, outdoor festivals and other activities throughout the country will attract crowds numbering in the tens of thousands.

Sera also sees the need to boost the security for the shinkansen and other transport. In June 2015, an elderly pensioner committed suicide by setting himself ablaze on a bullet train, also resulting in the death of a female passenger from smoke inhalation. This incident should have awakened the operators of the railway to the trains' vulnerabilities. Ideally, baggage inspections should be conducted before boarding; but security proposals were rejected as being too costly and troublesome.

Unfortunately, terrorists are learning as they go, constantly refining their tactics to achieve the greatest possible damage.

"Recently attacks have been conspicuous in which first a bomb is detonated to cause people to panic and then a second one set to detonate along the route where they would be likely to evacuate," Sera points out. "As we're presently in a period in which terrorism is burgeoning, we can no longer disregard the notion that they won't happen in Japan.

"People need to remind themselves that potential dangers could be lurking anyplace," Sera warns.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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The only majority-Muslim countries to show 0% support for IS were Lebanon and (ironically) Iran

Some education. There are several flavors of Islam the two largest being Shia and sunni. The aforementioned belong to the Shia category. The filth that is isis belongs to the sunni. Learn!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Muslims from tunisia are in japan. one group i know of bases out of yokosuka, a us navy town. they finance themselves owning bars and restaurants in yokosuka and tokyo. they even owned a bar named ISIS. i have talked to them and deem them radical muslims. if you take a drive around yokosuka city, you will see in many places, graffiti in arabic. i have photographed the graffiti and it has been translated by arabic institute of famous tokyo university. the graffiti means Group Of Seven. meaning they are a gang. in the case of radical muslims a gang may very well mean terrorists.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Unlike the US and Europe Japan does not have guns as quoted in the article. What makes the writer think that most terrorist use guns? He believes Japan is exempt? Think again most terrorist use bombs and that's more frightening and what's even more frightening he thinks Japan is exempt better think again !

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The most diabolical terrorist atack carried out in Japan in the modern era was by homegrown Aum Shinrikyo.

On the raiding of their HQ, stocks of explosives were found, but chemical weapons were the main offensive weapons, including Sarin which was earlier released in the Tokyo subway killing 10 or 20 people and injuring 1,000s. The chance for this to have been much much deadlier was extremely high.

And this cruel barbaric weapon - Sarin - was synthesised by a clued-up member (of which there were many - mostly ivy school graduates). There was no need to be involved in gun / weapons running attracting undue police security attention. A kitchen and chemistry set produced a weapon of mass destruction.

Anyone with enough want, can be a terrorist anytime he or she chooses - which is extremely disturbing in the least and no amount of govt military spending will rout them. Sadly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The fanatical Moslem terrorists don't discriminate---they will have ago at anyone regardless of race or religion. Sunni versus Shia is a good example.

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The Abe government has OKed blanket surveilance of Muslims and their organizations here in Japan. But I think that as some here have suggested, home grown terrorism (like Aum Shinrikyo) is more likely here in Japan.

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This use of both hyperbole is certainly a crowd pleaser, but the US is most definitely not a police state. East Germany. Nazi-occupied Poland...

Definition of police state from Websters dictionary: "a political unit characterized by repressive governmental control of political, economic, and social life usually by an arbitrary exercise of power by police and especially secret police in place of regular operation of administrative and judicial organs of the government"

One can make a case that the US is not a police state. Unfortunately, one can also make a good case that it is.

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No.

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As soon as Abe changes the constitution to remilitarize Japan and then gets Japanese troups involved in US started wars in the Middle East, of course Japan will become a target.

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Despite the title, it shows that 4% of Indonesians support IS, despite the fact that they are clearly monsters. Out of 300 million Indonesians that translates into 12 million supporting IS. That's frightening stuff. It was 11% in Malaysia, which doesn't exactly encourage me to vacation there. The only majority-Muslim countries to show 0% support for IS were Lebanon and (ironically) Iran.

I would still feel safer vacationing in Malaysia than Iran, to be honest.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I need some sand to stick my head in....I never really heard of Islam or Muslims in my first 35 years of life....I just wish it would all go away..

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mr_jgbJUL. 13, 2016 - 09:49PM JST Terrorists of any religion, and its sponsors should be made to face the full force of laws.

Are you suggesting you think there are terrorists who are let off the hook for their violence because they cite religious justification?

WilliBJUL. 13, 2016 - 10:11PM JST Well sure, but it is only Islam that has concepts like JIhad and Sharia at its core,

Have you by chance ever read the Old Testament?

Nobody needs to be worried about Catholic jihadis moving down entire night clubs to shouts of Jesus is great,

No, not any more. That's because Catholics and other Christian communities had their hundreds years of Imperialism where much of the world was already forced to operate according to the rules Christian communities feel comfortable with. Go talk to a Native American or an Australian Aborigine about how little harm Christians have done.

CliffyJUL. 13, 2016 - 10:16PM JST Those who thinks that we can deal with them with hugs and kisses have serious under-estimate what a narrow minded fanatic would behave.

Do you honestly think there is a single person participating in this discussion who thinks Daesh should be treated with hugs and kisses?

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They will target anything. I hate to see them demolish all those nice shrines, etc. They should had been treated like a cancerous cells - eradicate at all costs without any repercussions. Those who thinks that we can deal with them with hugs and kisses have serious under-estimate what a narrow minded fanatic would behave. I would not even get close to any one of those IS dudes without a full body armor protection and NBC suites + some medieval armor + 40 ft. pole + behind 10 inches think concrete.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

mr_jgb:

" Terrorists of any religion, and its sponsors should be made to face the full force of laws "

Well sure, but it is only Islam that has concepts like JIhad and Sharia at its core, and is producing violent "misunderstanders" all over the world. Nobody needs to be worried about Catholic jihadis moving down entire night clubs to shouts of Jesus is great, so we really should call a spade a spade and stop these silly attempts of relativizing.

And no, Japan does not need to worry about jihadi attacks, but that is simply because of demographics. Thankfully!

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Terrorists of any religion, and its sponsors should be made to face the full force of laws. Nations should pass laws to make capital punishment mandatory for terrorism crimes. Financial sponsors should be given long jail sentences without parole, and given at least 10 strokes of caning. With so much terrorism, strong deterrent laws must be passed. But we must avoid waging wars between countries, that cause great hardship and displacement to ordinary citizens and people. Instead the focus must be strictly on terrorists and terrorism. Individual nation needs to wage war against terrorists and terrorism by having much stronger and punitive laws.

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There are many more Muslims arriving in Japan to live. Hopefully, this won't be a problem but I am wary of ever increasing numbers....

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kikai, can you be a bit more specific? Who are these "two less Very Bad People killing other people" ?

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Why can't we all just get along? Time for an " Independence Day " type of visit (friendly hopefully) to sort out our religious indifferences.

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Like what...

This one's easy. Like the likes of and , who have the same narrow bigoted mentality as those who have joined or will join IS. Only that they weren't 'born' muslim, so fortunately for the world, two less Very Bad People killing other people.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yes, Like what??

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

" There are much, much bigger threats in this world than violent Islam. "

Like what?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It is certain the entire planet is the target for violent Isla..

That's what the fearmongers would have you believe. The more you fear, the more you consume - news, security systems, guns etc. The more you fear, the more you vote for those who will fight violence with violence. The more you fear, the more those who get rich off fear get rich. Fear = money.

There are much, much bigger threats in this world than violent Islam.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

It is certain the entire planet is the target for violent Isla.. The violent groups and governments of Islam have been invading , enslaving, genociding, conquering, pillaging and raping for over 1000 years with the stated goal of world domination. Japan and every nation ultimately is a target and the world will remain under threat until the non violent not bent on domination Islamic groups band government eradicate the violent ones with assistance from the world. Japan should be diligent but Japan has some advantages. It is a country far away with no historical ties to Islam. Almost no one can immigrate to Japan, reducing the number of sleepers or others in country to do harm and making it easier to identify suspects. Japan also has intelligently rejected the western countries mistake by not importing 1000s of fake refugees many of which are terrorists in disguise trying to infiltrate. So it is unlikely Japan will be attacked like the rest of the world but it isn't impossible. One major influenced is the smart ISIS leaders also realize economic effect is as damaging as physical attack. One well placed small attack or even the threat of one could disrupt the Japanese economy and thi,, would affect the world economy . Japanese export is everywhere and is probably the easiest soft target .

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commanteerJUL. 11, 2016 - 05:51PM JST The problem with trying to separate IS from religion is shown in this link:

When we talk about complex subjects we need to speak complexly. Over-simplifying the issue causes well-meaning people to talk past each other and gives openings to bigots to create strawmen to distract the conversation.

No one is trying to separate IS from religion. Religion, specifically Islam, is a necessary component of IS. You can't have IS without Islam. It's in the name. Just how many Raelians does anyone think have joined IS?

But just because Islam is necessary for IS, that doesn't mean it's sufficient for IS, and that is where the disconnect lies. If you don't have the right mix of additional factors, no one in an Islamic community will ever turn to IS. It is crucial that we identify with rational observation what those additional factors are, if we want to have a rational defense against extremism and also live in any society that allows for the most basic individual freedoms.

Despite the title, it shows that 4% of Indonesians support IS, despite the fact that they are clearly monsters.

It would probably be more accurate for you to change "Despite the title" to "Despite the entire thesis of the article". This is not a case of a misrepresentative title, this is a case of an entire article built around showing how little much of the Muslim world, particularly the Muslim world in Indonesia, supports IS, and you pulling out the 4% statistic and saying "that's way too high!"

It would also probably be more accurate for you to change "support" to the words actually used by the article:

A chart created for The Independent by Statista showed only 4 per cent of Indonesians declared a "favourable view" of the jihadist group –

Because you see "support" is a slippery concept. It can span everything from "I agree with some of their ideas" to "I give them money, goods, or my time to achieve their goals. From the context of the article, it's clear their intended meaning is more towards the former than the latter. And that difference is extremely important.

You're welcome to think it's bad that 4% of Indonesia's Muslims think some aspect of IS is laudable. What you're not allowed to do is claim that means Indonesians are a threat, because that claim has no supporting evidence. It takes a lot more than agreement with some aspect of ideology to get a person to become a killer.

ben4shortJUL. 11, 2016 - 06:53PM JST Thank you, commanteer, for the great article. It certainly blows katsu78's naive and parochial worldview totally out of the water

Don't troll, dear. Everyone who read the article knows it has nothing to do with supporting your claims or refuting any of mine. If you don't have something of value to add to the conversation, it's better to just let the people who do have a civilized talk.

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WilliB, following such logic that means if someone creat a Christian state which do bad things we must consider all Christians bad, sorry for the word but this is stupid. If all Muslims are buying that? Coming man you're talking about 2 billions person including and I am not buying that, sorry again but it still stupid. Anyway, I live in Japan and I love japan and japanese and they are very nice people and respectable people and they never talk about things they don't know or understand instead of some people in this forum.

I am grateful to japan which welcomed me.

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WilliB - the reasons you gave are exactly why Nasser is correct. And I choose to call them Very Bad People. You can call yourself Muslim if you want, too. Just don't expect the average Muslim (or non Muslim for that matter) to believe you.

Anyway. We've been through this before. You think you know Muslims and Islam better than Muslims themselves. Fine. Now back to the original topic.

Might they strike Japan? Possibly. But for now, I'm still more afraid of people like, as mentioned earlier, ben4short, and to add to that, williB and outrider and all. So much so I keep my beliefs hidden, lest I one day meet such... people.

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WilliB - correct. The thousands of muslims flocking to the middle east to fight and die for IS arent buying the line that IS is not muslim. And the reason they arent buying it is because IS is in fact all too muslim.

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Nasser Dime:

" Firstly stop calling it IS because they are not islamic at all "

They call THEMSELVES IS. It is not the rest of us who have chosen the name.

And since they have established a Caliphate, are enforcing literal Sharia law, force everybody to do the 5 islamic prayers every day, and kill or enslave non-muslims in their area, and are joined by muslim radicals from all over the world.... well, um.... how DO you want to call them if not muslim??

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Firstly stop calling it IS because they are not islamic at all and your helping them by spreading their message. Secondly how stupid you can be to ignore the fact that they are attacking muslims countries so they are not muslims and ignoring the huge number of people killed in Turkey, Bangladesh, iraq, Tunisia,.... . The rest of the world is hypocrite don't be like them please.

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Short answer - no.

But why not get the people fearful, if it will persuade them to bend over and take Abe's plans for the constitution without resistance?

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Will IS militants target Japan next?

For one thing, Japan doesn't allow islamic refugees into their country the way the the stupid EU does. Obama and Kerry are pretty stupid too when it comes to this issue. The Japanese are a lot smarter.

IS might try target to Japan. But Japan is safe, unless the radicals get their hands on sarin gas. The US bases should be on alert though.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The next target will be the Japanese Self-Offense Force when it's meddling in the Middle East, after revising the constitution.

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As a Muslim in Japan, people like ben4short scare me more than anything, even the Japanese police.

You claim to know there are thousands of young Muslim men here setting up cover. Presumably for you to know this you have evidence. So why haven't you brought that evidence to the Japanese authorities? Surely if you know a worker is illegally in Japan planning a terror attack, it would be a trivial matter for the immigration to deport them. So which is it: you are the kind of person who knows of an imminent terrorist threat but is unwilling to do anything about it except for an anonymous claim on a message board no authorities will read, willing to let tens, maybe hundreds of innocent bystanders be killed? Or that you don't know what you claim to know?

Yeah, I'm still waiting for this too.

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The best defence against the terrorism is not meddling with the ME affairs

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" Will IS militants target Japan next? "

No they won´t. There is no jihadist infrastructure in Japan, and the Japanese government has no plans for Merkel-style mass immigration of young Middle Eastern men, so this speculation is nonsensical.

Japanese citizens and property abroad of course are subject to the same risk as all Western countries.

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the overbearing yet incompetent police state that the US has become.

This use of both hyperbole is certainly a crowd pleaser, but the US is most definitely not a police state.

East Germany. Nazi-occupied Poland, Taisho Era Japan, Augusto Pinochet's Chile from 1973 to 1990 -- Now those are what a real police state would look like.

A little perspective is in order here.

Also, police forces across the US may very well be wrestling with racism and trigger-happiness among their ranks, but "incompetence?" That's probably the last word anyone reasonable would use to describe major police departments that have budgets that surpass that of some small countries. Very well armed, very well trained, and now in post-911 American, probably the most well funded they've ever been. Of the thousands of police departments across the US, most deliver what they are trained to.

Interestingly, we often see folks here on JT tossing around the diminutive, "Keystone Cops" to describe efforts of the Japanese National Police Agency, entirely missing the irony that the very same police in their home countries they hold up as paragons to which the NPA should aspire are also the same police they regularly demonize.

The Japanese police force, a national one, is the product of what Japanese society requires it to be. And that has not, up until this point, required the kind of militarization American police forces have undergone in response to very legitimate concerns and threats since the late 90s.

A proactive approach for Japan is certainly prudent, but I think on a deep level, many Japanese ask themselves the question, "Is adopting strict security protocols that will disrupt the relative peace and efficiency our society really worth it?" Many would say no -- case in point, rejection of better security measures to prevent a recurrence of the Shinkansen fire last year.

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"Buddhist terrorism". - uh, right. Get real.

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@Meiyouwenti https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aum_Shinrikyo

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Will IS target Japan? Not for the present...but Olympics...and a military foray into the Middlle Eastern arena just 'because everybody else is doing it' could make a nice round red target of the Hino Maru, if and when Abe's dreams of constitutional revisionism start to bear fruit. Chicken hawk politicians love painting targets on the backs of their own people.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

One of the inner core of the LDP mentioned counterterrorism to me. When I asked them to substantiate the threat, I got a blank stare. The same in-depth, digital analysis as Abenomics: moisten digit and raise in the air.

Anyone in the government who would talk to you or anyone else about what the government knows about terrorist threats to Japan should be considered grossly incompetent and a major security risk. One of the most fundamental points of counter terrorism operations is you don't go around broadcasting what you have discovered.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Will IS militants target Japan next?

What a stupid question!

One of the inner core of the LDP mentioned counterterrorism to me. When I asked them to substantiate the threat, I got a blank stare.

The same in-depth, digital analysis as Abenomics: moisten digit and raise in the air.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It's as if the Powers That Be are so desperate to bring about their desired police state that they'll connect the most ridiculous things in order to justify what they have always wanted to do.

Where are "the powers that be" mentioned in this article? This item is based on the comments of a mass market book author and an article appearing in a right-wing tabloid.

If there is anything ridiculous it is leaping to a conclusion from an item like this. Others have already explained what the name of this column means but I'all explain it again for your benefit. The literal meaning is "word of mouth." In practice it means gossip, rumor, scuttlebutt, etc.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

This article starts with a horrifying incident of Islamic terrorism, then jumps to a shoehorned-in desire for baggage checks on the Shinkansen as if they could somehow have prevented the suicide by an elderly man with zero connection to Islam or terrorism.

It's as if the Powers That Be are so desperate to bring about their desired police state that they'll connect the most ridiculous things in order to justify what they have always wanted to do.

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Very interesting article. Wow! Thanks.

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The problem with trying to separate IS from religion is shown in this link:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/jakarta-attacks-chart-shows-isis-hated-in-indonesia-and-muslim-majority-countries-around-the-world-a6813651.html

Despite the title, it shows that 4% of Indonesians support IS, despite the fact that they are clearly monsters. Out of 300 million Indonesians that translates into 12 million supporting IS. That's frightening stuff. It was 11% in Malaysia, which doesn't exactly encourage me to vacation there.

The only majority-Muslim countries to show 0% support for IS were Lebanon and (ironically) Iran.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

ben4shortJUL. 11, 2016 - 02:56PM JST Putting aside the population question temporarily (I quoted the Muslim fella who mans the phone at the organization I called . . . you quoted a Wikipedia article from 9 years ago),

What would you think of someone who claims to be putting aside an argument while simultaneously continuing that argument? Does it suggest to you they have a sincere interest in rational discussion?

As for your comparison of sources, the Wikipedia article is not 9 years old. The article has been continuously updated even into this year. The government source which is the source of the population claim is 9 years old. Which you compare against an unnamed man in an unnamed organization which you assert knows the full truth of the matter simply because you claim him to be Muslim. I'll continue to keep my trust confirmable statistics, thanks.

The fact remains that there are thousands of young Muslim men working illegally in factories outside of Tokyo who have come here to set up their cover.

You claim to know there are thousands of young Muslim men here setting up cover. Presumably for you to know this you have evidence. So why haven't you brought that evidence to the Japanese authorities? Surely if you know a worker is illegally in Japan planning a terror attack, it would be a trivial matter for the immigration to deport them. So which is it: you are the kind of person who knows of an imminent terrorist threat but is unwilling to do anything about it except for an anonymous claim on a message board no authorities will read, willing to let tens, maybe hundreds of innocent bystanders be killed? Or that you don't know what you claim to know?

As for your interpretation of IS fighter motivation, an Islam 101 summary of the Sunni/Shia schism is not an effective distraction from the fact that you've provided no explanation for why Indonesians make up such a smaller portion of fighters compared to other Muslim countries, nor why any Muslim currently living in Japan should want to commit acts of terror against the country.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Perfect timing for this article to scare the people into thinking they need to rewrite the constitution and allow the military to run free again.

I would imagine that most Japanese would think as I do. Rewrite the Constitution and suck up to the US is a good way of making Japan a prime terrorist target. While this article is based on something appearing in a notably right-wing publication that is part of the Sankei Shinbun group of which Japan Today is also a part, playing the Islam card is, in my view, more likely to encourage isolationist thinking in Japan rather than Abe-style interventionist thinking.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@katsu78

Your understanding of the social, political and religious reasons why Muslims turn into IS monsters is surprisingly naive and narrow.

Putting aside the population question temporarily (I quoted the Muslim fella who mans the phone at the organization I called . . . you quoted a Wikipedia article from 9 years ago), the actual number is really irrelevant. The fact remains that there are thousands of young Muslim men working illegally in factories outside of Tokyo who have come here to set up their cover. Not all of them, mind you, but as we've seen too many times before, it only takes a handful to do the unthinkable.

More importantly, your belief that "People don't join IS because their Muslim-ness compels them" is so totally off the wall it discredits all your posts on the subject. As you should know, IS are strictly Sunnis, and in their warped minds Shias are apostastes to be killed. In fact, more fellow Muslims (Shias) have been killed by IS than all the non-Muslims in foreign countries combined. People join IS not because their city or neighborhood might be Muslim-unfriendly. IS is not that parochial. They look at the world at large and take stock of the way their religion has been mocked, lampooned, disrespected by the West, and this is what plants the seed of hatred and ultimately violence. Yet the fundamental cause is the Sunni-Shia hatred that dates back hundreds of years.

As for your NRA analogy, it is spurious at best, laughable at worst.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

ben4shortJUL. 11, 2016 - 10:28AM JST There are approximately 80 mosques throughout Japan and 600,000 non-Japanese Muslims, of which approximately half are undocumented day laborers (factories, construction, etc).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesians_in_Japan

Indonesians in Japan ... form Japan's largest immigrant group from a Muslim-majority country. As of 2007, Japanese government figures recorded 30,620 legal residents of Indonesian nationality and estimated further 4,947 more were residing in the country illegally.[2][3]

If Indonesians are Japan's largest source of immigrants from a Muslim-majority country, that makes your 600,000 figure implausible. If the government estimates less than 5000 more to be illegally in the country, that makes your claim that half (e.g. 300,000) are undocumented also implausible. Now, since these figures are 9 years old that means the actual populations may be higher, but it's implausible they would be an order of magnitude higher.

ben4shortJUL. 11, 2016 - 10:28AM JST OF COURSE IS will strike here, and of course sleeper cells already exist.

You provided no evidence to support this claim, because of course you didn't. No evidence could possibly exist. It relies entirely on the baseless and biased belief that wherever Muslims exist, IS must exist. And yet this is simply not true. Remember, the most populous Muslim country in the world isn't in the Middle East, it's Indonesia. The most populous Muslim group in Japan are Indonesians, likely owing to geographic proximity more than anything else. And Indonesia, despite having such a large Muslim population, is disproportionately low in the ranking of origins of people who choose to become fighters for IS.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/01/isis-indonesia-foreign-fighters/422403/

“Indonesia is a country that doesn’t have a repressive government, is not under occupation, it’s politically stable, so there’s no social unrest or conflict, and the Muslims aren’t a persecuted minority. So when you put all of those factors together, it’s not all that surprising that it’s actually only a tiny minority of even the activist population that’s leaving for Syria.”

People don't join IS because their Muslim-ness compels them. They join because they're really, really angry or desperate and joining IS is a vehicle for expressing their anger in the context of being a Muslim, much in the same way that being a white American doesn't make you want to own a gun, but the NRA is a forum through which angry Americans can express their anger in the context of their whiteness.

When you have actual, credible evidence that there is a terror cell in Japan, it's responsible to spread the word. But if your only evidence is that there are Muslims and in your mind Muslim = IS, then you're creating oppression towards the Muslim minority. And that oppression is exactly what groups like IS look for to do their recruiting. Fearmongering empowers the thing being feared.

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would be a soft target. compared to many other coutries security here is pretty poor. makes for a much more liveable country though.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@commanteer

Yes, I thought the 600k figure was also a bit high when I was given it on the phone, but that's exactly what was said by the Japan Muslim Association (or maybe it was the Japan Halal Association, since I called both six months ago). When I questioned the figure, the answer was "nobody really knows for sure" because so many Muslims (Indonesians included) are working underground." Keep in mind also that like any religion, you can be Muslim but not practice the faith by attending a mosque or keeping other traditions/laws/rituals, so your 7500 figure may be off.

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shallots Buddhist terrorism

Buddhist terrorism?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Perfect timing for this article to scare the people into thinking they need to rewrite the constitution and allow the military to >>run free again.

The perfect oiled propaganda machine running strong....

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Buddhist terrorism has been the problem in the past in Japan. Nationstic groups also approach the kind of incitement that has led to violence on past occasions. However, IS will also likely target Japan at some point, especially as Japan joins American military excursions in the future.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

There are approximately 80 mosques throughout Japan and 600,000 non-Japanese Muslims

Where do you get that figure from? Considering there are only about 2 million foreign residents, most of them being Han Chinese or Korean, that's an extraordinarily high number. And that number would work out to 7500 worshippers per tiny mosque.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

There are approximately 80 mosques throughout Japan and 600,000 non-Japanese Muslims, of which approximately half are undocumented day laborers (factories, construction, etc).

OF COURSE IS will strike here, and of course sleeper cells already exist. Attacks will start in 2018 in an attempt to disrupt (cancel) the Olympics. Sourcing local explosives is too problematic, so IS's biggest challenge right now is figuring out a way to import large amounts of firearms, grenades, etc.

-9 ( +7 / -15 )

What shallow and superficial analysis. But what do you expect going to a tabloid for hard news and analysis?

Is it possible that Japan could be a target? Undeniable. That potential exists.

Is it likely that Japan is a target? That's far more questionable. One aspect of a place being a soft target isn't the thoroughness of the local security, it's the degree of unrest in the local Muslim population. As much as the paranoid want to portray every Muslim as a potential IS supporter, most sensible Muslims seem to hate Daesh. They only really seem to get recruits from the extremely disaffected or the desperate, in the case of countries like Iraq and Libya where US-led military action has undermined the local economy.

The US has some Muslims, but in general US Muslims integrate into society more successfully than in Europe. And I'm sure it's not a coincidence that the only terrorist attacks by Muslims in the US have had dubious links to larger terror groups like IS. France has a huge degree of unrest in its Muslim population, so IS was able to find recruits there. Bangladesh has so much conflict within its Muslim community that it is questioned if the attackers were even truly affiliated with IS, that they may have just been a home-grown terrorist group.

So let's look back to Japan. How much unrest is there in the Japanese Muslim community? I've heard of precisely zero unrest. Though gaijin don't have the best legal rights here, at least all gaijin are treated equally (Sorry, forgot about Chongryon. Most gaijin are treated equally). There are few if any stories of Japanese Muslims getting treated worse than any other foreigners. And so long as that continues, I predict that Japan will not actually be a "soft target". You cannot be a soft target if you are inaccessible to the attackers because no one who wants to join the attackers lives in your country.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

I don't know if they will or will not; but I do know that these types of articles are sinister and typical of the government and media in cahoots to plant the seeds of of fear, suspicion, and paranoia among the populace. The more the people suffer from these states of mind the easier it is for the powers that be to manipulate the people.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

NO!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Badsey3, sorry you were voted down by someone who does not understand irony. Japan is as likely a target for terrorist attack as any other country, if the intelligence services apprehend a credible threat then the population needs to be made aware and be on the look out for threats. Sadly public transport is particularly vulnerable and hard to defend as London and Madrid proved. The best defense in such circumstances is heightened public awareness which can be achieved by articles such as this. Alternatively it could just be a pot boiler "fear" article as they have nothing better to say?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The only way to protect against this is more foreign troops in Okinawa.

-14 ( +12 / -26 )

Should determined militants succeed in making their way into Japan (or possibly belong to sleeper cells that have already been set up here

The article missed the most likely scenario, which is someone who lives here already (including Japanese people) with emotional problems or other issues who is swayed by online IS propaganda to commit mass murder. This is the direction they are already taking.

I think Japan has been lucky that there hasn't been an attack yet. Same goes for Korea. That said, I would hate to see Japan become the overbearing yet incompetent police state that the US has become.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Perfect timing for this article to scare the people into thinking they need to rewrite the constitution and allow the military to run free again. Any country could be a soft target, why is Japan an different from any other. Just more scare tactics!

21 ( +27 / -6 )

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