Japan should never be intimidated by terrorism

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a meeting at his official residence in Tokyo January 21, 2015. Japan will do its utmost to free two of its countrymen believed to be held captive by the Islamic State militant group, Abe told reporters on Wednesday, adding that Tokyo would never give in to terrorism.

The nation should never by cowed by terrorists who played with the lives of hostages and brutally killed them in the end.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe underscored this stance, saying, "Japan will steadfastly fulfil its responsibility in the international community combating terrorism."

It is essential that Japan pursue further cooperation with other nations fighting terrorism and extend assistance to people affected by acts of terrorism.

Beginning with the outbreak of the crisis on Jan. 20, when two Japanese nationals were found to have been taken hostage by the militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Japan sought the cooperation of the United States and Europe as well as Middle East nations.

The government worked particularly closely with Jordan, one of whose air force pilots had been held by the militant group. Abe held talks over the phone with Jordanian King Abdullah II.

The Jordanian government "generously showed its support" of Tokyo, a high-ranking Japanese government official said.

Such supportive stances of other nations suggest that the assistance Japan has extended, mainly for humanitarian purposes, is highly appreciated in those nations, and that it was the right thing to do.

The militant group initially demanded an extravagant ransom of $200 million, and then shifted its stance to demand the release of a female terrorist on death row in Jordan. Such inconsistent and unreasonable demands prove that ISIL is a fanatic criminal organisation.

Some opposition lawmakers and others argued that the prime minister provided the militant group with a pretext for the hostage crisis by announcing assistance to nations affected by the militant group during his visit to the Middle East in January, despite the fact that the government had been informed that Japanese nationals were taken hostage.

It is incomprehensible if such an argument is aimed at saying that diplomatic activities should be made with the intent of a terrorist group taken into consideration.

The militant group warned that Japanese people would continue to be targeted for terrorism. Many Japanese nationals travel around the world for business and tourism purposes, and many foreigners make trips to and from Japan.

The government's only choice is to strengthen its stance of not tolerating terrorism while beefing up its guard against terrorism both at home and abroad