Japan ordered its foreign diplomatic offices to increase security after the Islamic State group directed its supporters to attack Japanese missions in Indonesia, Malaysia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Friday. Japanese expats abroad were also urged to be conscious about their safety, Suga said.
The new threat to Japan from ISIS was published in the latest edition of Dabiq, the militant group's English-language magazine circulated over the Internet. “We are aware that such an article has been carried (in the magazine). We are cooperating with host countries to guard the overseas government offices,” Suga said.
Japan has been locked in a violent battle with the Islamic State for months after ISIS militants killed two Japanese hostages earlier this year. In its latest threat, ISIS published photos of the victims, 42-year-old Haruna Yukawa and 47-year-old Kenji Goto, alongside its call to attack Japanese diplomatic offices.
The magazine said the group executed the two to “humiliate the arrogance of this Japanese government." ISIS has accused Japan of supporting the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged $200 million in aid for refugees fleeing territories controlled by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
"What, for example, prevents (a jihadi) from targeting... communities in Dearborn, Michigan, Los Angeles, and New York City? Or targeting Panamanian diplomatic missions in Jakarta, Doha, and Dubai? Or targeting Japanese diplomatic missions in Bosnia, Malaysia, and Indonesia? Or targeting Saudi diplomats in Tirana, Albania, Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Pristina, Kosovo?" the ISIS article read.
Erika Nakano, a spokeswoman for the Japanese embassy in Jakarta, said the government structure already had "very tight security" and would continue to operate as usual. "We are okay and we have a good relationship with the Jakarta police -- that's all I can tell you," she said in response to questions from AFP.