Abe vows to protect Japanese overseas

Abe vows to protect Japanese overseas
A poster at Haneda Airport’s immigration control informs travelers about the Foreign Ministry’s advisory to evacuate Syria and other nations.

The day after a video purportedly showing the body of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto after he was murdered by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was released Sunday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe once again condemned the terrorist act and said the government would strive to ensure the safety of Japanese abroad and prevent terrorists attacks in Japan.

"Let us sincerely express our condolences and pray for the souls of the deceased," Abe said at the onset of a hastily called session on Monday morning of the liaison conference of the government and the ruling parties.

Abe was referring to Goto, 47, and Haruna Yukawa, 42, another Japanese hostage allegedly killed by ISIL earlier on.

"We will absolutely never forgive the brutal terrorists," Abe said. "We will never give in to terrorism."

The prime minister also said the government will strengthen its capabilities to gather information related to terrorists and protect Japanese nationals staying abroad.

Tightening immigration control to prevent terrorists from entering Japan and enhancing security at such key facilities as nuclear power plants were among the policies that Abe said the government would pursue.

"We'll do whatever we can to secure the safety of Japanese," Abe said.

He also reiterated his resolve to improve and expand medical and food aid to the Middle East. "Japan will undauntedly fulfil its responsibility in the international community that is fighting terrorism," he said.

After the meeting, Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi told reporters, "As there have been few chances to explain [the government's response to the crisis], it is necessary for the government to give thorough explanations to the people."

At a press conference in the morning, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government will "disclose whatever it can disclose."

During deliberations at the House of Councillors Budget Committee later in the day, Abe said Japan will make ISIL atone for the crimes.

"The terrorists who killed the two are atrocious criminals, and we will bring them to justice with cooperation from the international community no matter how long it takes," he said.

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