Transnational crimes in general, and terrorism in particular, undeniably pose enormous threats to peace, stability, and economic prosperities of nations. Despite the overall fall in the impact of terrorism in most regions1, it remains a significant and serious problem in many countries. As the threat of terrorism continues to evolve, collective responses through regional platforms and cross-border cooperation need to be strengthened.
Source: Institute for Economics & Peace. Global Terrorism Index 2020: Measuring the Impact of Terrorism, Sydney, November 2020 (p.31). Available from: https://visionofhumanity.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/GTI-2020-web-1.pdf (accessed 15 December 2020).
Areas of Support and
ASEAN and Japan’s adoption of the Joint Declarations in 2004 and 2014 provided the impetus for intensifying cooperation in combating transnational crime in the region as well as regularly convening dialogues: ASEAN-Japan Counter-Terrorism (AJCT) Dialogue since 2006 and ASEAN-Japan Cybercrime (AJCC) Dialogue since 2014. These two (2) Dialogues serve as the platforms for ASEAN and Japan to discuss and enhance cooperation related to the efforts to address terrorism and cybercrime in the region.
In streamlining activities under the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (SOMTC)-Japan framework, the SOMTC-Japan Work Plan for Cooperation to Combat Terrorism and Transnational Crime 2015-2017 was first developed and adopted in 2015. Following the conclusion of the Work Plan, SOMTC and Japan also renewed and adopted the SOMTC-Japan Work Plan for Cooperation to Combat Terrorism and Transnational Crime (2018-2022) in 2018, covering a comprehensive ten areas of cooperation on transnational crime in ASEAN, supported through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF). The following are completed and implemented projects as key contributions to the above initiatives to date.
JAIF continues to support next rounds of regional dialogues, including the 4th ASEAN-Japan Cybercrime (AJCC) Dialogue and the 12th ASEAN-Japan Counter-Terrorism (AJCT) Dialogue which will be conducted in 2022. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations Joint Operations Against Cybercrime which aims to support ASEAN to fight cybercrime, is currently ongoing, along with the capacity building initiative ASEAN-Japan Workshop on Technology-based Approach to Tackle Trafficking of Children.
1 According to the Global Terrorism Index 2020, the total number of deaths fell by 15.5 per cent for the fifth consecutive year in 2019.