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Connectivity Integration, ASEAN needs to anticipate the threat of terrorism

The increasing connectivity that occurs in conjunction with ASEAN’s integration unfortunately also cultivates the growth of transnational crime. Chief among these is the threat of terrorism. ASEAN countries need to anticipate the growth of this menace by utilizing the development of information technology and physical infrastructure in South East Asia.

The above statement was delivered by Takaaki Kojima, the Japanese Ambassador at Large for International Counter-terrorism during the opening of “the 6th ASEAN and Japan Dialogue on Counter-terrorism” that took place in Phnom Penh from 10-11 February 2011.

Ambassador Takaaki stated that care must be taken that the scheduled freedom of movement of goods, services, capital and people between ASEAN countries in 2015 would not mean a free movement by factors in support of terrorist acts.

The Ambassador further stated that the ASEAN – Japan dialogue must be used to develop a cooperation to anticipate the threat of transnational crime.

The host of this dialogue, the Deputy Prime Minister/ Minister of Internal Affairs of the Kingdom of Cambodia, H.E Sar Kheng stated that the threat of terrorism and transnational crime could be the obstacles that hinder development and economic growth in the region. Therefore, he said that Cambodia is fully committed to set up a legal system and operating mechanism to curb the movement and prevent the growth of terrorism.

H.E Sar Kheng also expressed his fervent hope that the current dialogue would support the efforts being marshaled by Cambodia. He believed that this could be achieved by raising the ante of ASEAN and Japan cooperation to such a level that it would be able to crush international terrorism down to its roots.

On the same occasion, Soehardjono Sastromihardjo, the Indonesian Ambassador for Cambodia, who heads the Indonesian delegation, stressed the importance of the dialogue as a forum to share information and best practices.

Furthermore, Ambassador Soehardjono urged all countries to seek a comprehensive solution to face this real threat in the region.

During the two-day meeting, delegations from the ten ASEAN countries and Japan delivered presentations on the policy and mechanism to anticipate the threat of terrorism in their own countries. They also discussed common projects to promote capacity building in the effort to counter the threat of terrorism

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