Japan terror alert taken out of context, says Australian envoy
MANILA, Philippines—Australian ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson AO on Wednesday (Oct 6) said the Japanese warning against possible terror attacks in some Southeast Asian nations could have been taken out of context.
“Each embassy has a document that is basically a document about a particular country as it stands at a particular time. And what I understand is that the Japanese updated theirs,” he told journalists at his Makati City residence.
“There was a reference in it that I think was taken out of context that suggested that there was a threat,” he added.
Last month, media reported that Japan Foreign Ministry issued a warning against possible terror attacks, like suicide bombings, in six Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines.
Most of the countries mentioned said they had no knowledge of the threat. The Armed Forces of the Philippines had said the threat level in the Philippines remained “moderate” but it continued to monitor local terror groups.
Japan embassy in Manila had confirmed issuing the warning but did not provide additional details.
But Robinson said he believed it was all a misunderstanding.
“We did not perceive that there was a threat and I don’t think the Japanese necessarily did either. So I think that was just a misunderstanding,” he said.
Robinson said Australia continues to work closely with the Philippines on counterterrorism, especially on defense education and training.
The two countries recently concluded bilateral counterterrorism consultations, he said.