Good evening ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you for your kind words of welcome. It is a privilege to be invited to address you all this evening. This annual symposium has rightly achieved a renowned reputation for the quality of its organisation, and the excellence of its deliberations.
Once again, this symposium is being held in the resplendent setting of Jesus College. My research has found that the full name for the college is, 'The College of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint John the Evangelist and the glorious Virgin Saint Radegund, near Cambridge'. I can understand why Professor Rider and his colleagues have chosen the shorter and easier title, 'Jesus College', in their publicity.
Tonight I wish to outline Japan's contribution to the battle against terrorism and organised crime, and in particular measures taken in the financial field.
New York, Washington, Bali, Madrid, London. Which one of us will be next? Global terrorism has no respect for international borders, and no respect for the sanctity of human life. It is an evil that threatens people across the world, and the world must be united in defeating it.
The July bombings in London illustrated the indiscriminate horror of the terrorism we now face. 52 innocent people lost their lives, guilty of nothing more than being on the tube at 8.50 on a Thursday morning.
On behalf of Japan, I would like to express my deep sorrow and condolences to all those killed, injured or affected by this tragedy. They remain in our thoughts and prayers.
I would also like to pay tribute to the response of the British Government and British people following these attacks. The Government provided calm and effective leadership; while ordinary people continued their daily lives with a quiet but resolute determination. As a nation you have held firm and have refused to be swayed by the threats to your security.
In America the terrorists were outsiders. In London the terrorists came from within. This is a worrying development for us all.
Japan has strongly condemned all acts of terrorism, and is an unyielding ally in the fight against global terrorism. Japan has also been named as a target for violent attack by Al-Quaida.
We must all remain vigilant. Our police and security services do an excellent job in preventing attacks and in keeping us safe. But experience has shown that the terrorists will get through. For Japan, like the UK, we consider it as a matter of "when�ߡ�not" "if" a terrorist attack occurs. It is a burden we share with our allies.
Unfortunately there is no panacea to the threats of terrorism and organised crime. But we must work together and take all the preventative measures that we can to nullify the threat.
International co-operation is vital to maximise the effectiveness of our counter-measures. Nations should exchange intelligence and information, and work together to develop and enforce new treaties.
All this week, this symposium has been discussing the financial sphere of terrorism and organised crime. Your work is an essential element of any preventative strategy. By disrupting their financial networks, we can starve criminal and terrorist bodies of basic resources.
Japan has been pro-active in taking action against money laundering on the domestic and international level. Money laundering has been a key element of your discussions this week, and is a common tool used by terrorists and organised crime.
Japan is a member of the Financial Action Task Force, or FATF. As you know, FATF is an inter-governmental body dedicated to the development and promotion of policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
Japan is a former FATF' President, and we strongly support the aims of the organisation. Furthermore, Japan has taken a leading role in promoting standards of financial transparency within Asia. My country is a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on money laundering, which works to encourage the adoption of FATF standards across the region. Progress is being made. It was encouraging to note that in February 2005, both Indonesia and the Philippines were removed from FATF's list of Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories.
In recent years, Japan has strengthened its domestic efforts in combating money laundering. In February 2000, our Anti-Organized Crime Law took effect. This law extended the list of predicate offences for money laundering to a broad range of criminal activities. This was a step forward, as previous legislation had primarily focused on drug based money laundering.
The Anti-Organised Crime Law also enhanced our suspicious transactions reporting system. This requires financial institutions to report suspicious transactions to our financial supervisory authority. Reports are analysed by the Japan Financial Intelligence Office, which channels information to our law enforcement agencies.
Since the Anti-Organised Crime Law came into effect, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of suspicious transactions being reported. Our Financial Intelligence Office received over 95,000 suspicious transaction reports in 2004, compared to 44,000 the previous year. Furthermore, 65,000 suspicious reports were disseminated to law enforcement agencies in 2004 to assist them in investigations.
Preventing a terrorist attack ever happening is always the first priority. Disrupting the terrorist's financial network is a key method of prevention. However realistically we must also plan for the impact of a terrorist attack and its aftermath.
Immediately following a terrorist attack, efficient systems are required to rescue and assist the injured. In London, on July 7, the emergency services performed heroically. They brought order to a situation of chaos and confusion, and much needed aid to the suffering. In times of extreme danger, the natural human reaction is to run for safety. Our emergency services run towards the danger to help those in need. We can be very proud of their work.
On the morning of March 20 1995, an extremist group called Aum Shinrikyo released the poison gas sarin onto the Tokyo subway system. 12 people were killed, and 6,000 injured in this horrific attack. These numbers would have been far higher had it not been for the efficient rescue systems we had in place. The emergency services were quickly on the scene, and the victims transported to hospital. The hospitals were well stocked with emergency medicines.
Following a terrorist attack, the hunt for the perpetrators must begin. Investigations should start quickly, with strict punishments for those found guilty.
The terrorists have shown their willingness to strike anywhere. No country can assume they have any form of immunity. It is a shared threat and a shared danger, and all nations must show solidarity and co-operation to defeat it.
We must address this terrorism at its root. We must tackle the issues that might draw individuals towards extremism. The problems of poverty, inequality, oppression, social conflict - these are not issues that any one country can solve alone. Again, they are problems that required shared solutions and greater dialogue between nations. In this vein we commend the work of the British Government in encouraging steps towards peace in the Middle East.
Your symposium this week has exemplified the unified spirit which is required to defeat terrorism and organised crime. Experts from around the world have gathered here in Cambridge to combine their knowledge and to search for common solutions.
Nations must work together, but they must also look inside themselves. The London bombers were born here in the UK. This raises questions for all countries over how to stop the virus of terrorism from growing and infecting us from within. How, for example, can we balance human rights with measures to prevent terrorist attacks? Furthermore, each country will have its own political, social and cultural system and hence every nation must find their own distinctive solution to this problem.
Dealing with the scourge of terrorism is a challenge that faces us all. But it is a challenge we must meet. Countries, governments, security services, experts, individual citizens, we all share a common duty to defeat this threat and to provide security for this and future generations. We must give our children a future where they can be free and live out their dreams without fear. That is our hope and dream for the future.
Thank you again for inviting me to this symposium. I congratulate you on the work you are doing.