Police anti-terror unit Densus 88. (Antara Photo/Muhammad Iqbal)

Indonesia and Japan Discuss Counter-Terrorism and Deradicalization


JANUARY 10, 2020

Jakarta. Indonesia and Japan have agreed to pave a way for cooperation in counter-terrorism and deradicalization, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud M.D. said on Friday. 

The minister welcomed the director-general of Japan's counter-terrorism unit Shigenobu Fukumoto to Jakarta on Friday to discuss possible collaborations between the two countries in counter-terrorism.

"We discussed only the basic and fundamental ideas [of the plan], but hopefully they could be finalized within a year," Mahfud said after the meeting.

One idea was to create a forum where representatives from both countries can regularly meet to have a dialogue on counter-terrorism and regional security.

Mahfud said one of Japan's main concerns was how contemporary extremist ideas are spread online and how terrorists increasingly use technology to organize and carry out their attacks.

"Terrorism is getting more advanced. For example, money transfer now can be done through smartphones. That's why Japan is concerned with terrorism issues," Mahfud said.

Terrorist groups can use digital services to transfer small amounts of money to any country to avoid suspicion, Mahfud said. They then pool the money to finance terror activities. 

Another concern shared by Indonesia and Japan was how terrorist networks infiltrate and establish themselves in different countries, making international cooperation imperative to counter them. Many Indonesians have been found to be part of these terrorist networks.

"We currently have more than 6,000 citizens abroad who have been identified as terrorists by the countries they are in. We continue to work on their return, whether or not they pose potential dangers once they are back," Mahfud said.

Deradicalization is another key issue in which Indonesia and Japan plan to work together. 

"Deradicalization efforts will take different forms. What they are exactly will be discussed in the next meetings," Mahfud said.