Asia

Japan increases foreign anti-terror aid

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, right, listens to questions from journalists on Japanese journalist Kenji Goto taken hostage by the Islamic State group, at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Friday, 30 January 2015 Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr Kishida had earlier pledged to give $7.5m in aid but has more than doubled the amount

Japan is to contribute $15.5m (£10m) to efforts to curb terrorism in the Middle East and Africa, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has announced.

The move follows the killing of two Japanese hostages by the militant group Islamic State.

The money, more than double an earlier pledge, will be used in part to help improve regional border controls.

PM Shinzo Abe has also previously committed $200m in non-military aid to the fight against Islamic State (IS).

National broadcaster NHK said the $15.5m was part of a new set of counter-terrorism measures due to be announced at a global security conference later this week in Washington DC.

Mr Kishida said the new funding, to be distributed through international organisations, would go towards stepped-up border controls to prevent foreign fighters from joining extremist groups.

NHK said the measures also included ways of helping Jordan and Turkey reduce high youth unemployment and shrink the gap between rich and poor.

Help for refugees

In January, Mr Abe said Japan was donating $200m to provide infrastructure and humanitarian assistance to the fight against IS, including support for countries hosting refugees from Iraq and Syria.

He argued that the world would suffer "immeasurable" damage if terrorism spread in the Middle East, which Japan relies on for much of its crude oil imports.

Shortly after, IS released a video threatening to kill the two Japanese hostages, Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto, if Japan did not pay a $200m ransom.

Mr Abe vowed that Japan would not "give in to terrorism".

The militant group later released videos and photos purportedly showing the deaths of the hostages as well as a Jordanian pilot, Moaz al-Kasasbeh.