Japan announced a $15.5 aid package to support counter-terrorism efforts in the Middle East and Africa, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Tuesday. This doubles the $7.5 million in aid that the country pledged last month, The Japan Times reported.
In a statement, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs outlined a "3-Pillar foreign policy" in response to the beheading of two Japanese citizens by ISIS. The money is earmarked for strengthening security and legal institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as “bolstering safety measures for Japanese nationals overseas.”
Beyond the counter-terrorist and security building efforts, the policy also detailed a plan to diplomatically promote stability in the Middle East, through “connections with multifarious communities (including business sectors).”
In addition, it proposed a way to help create societies “resilient to radicalization” through youth employment, education, and exchange policies, as well as a focus on international coordination.
Vice Foreign Minister Yasuhide Nakayama will give a detailed report on the package next week in the U.S., Agence France-Presse reported.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had last month pledged $200 million to refugees fleeing ISIS-controlled areas, saying “the loss imparted upon the international community would be immeasurable” if extremism took over the area, Reuters reported.
However, he came under criticism when the terror group released a video a few days after his statement, showing two Japanese hostages and demanding the same amount as ransom. In response, Abe stressed that the country would not “give in to terrorism,” The Associated Press reported.
Japan reached out to various nations, including the U.S. and the U.K., as well as Jordan, but the rescue efforts were not successful and the two Japanese were killed by the militants.