The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent out a warning to its citizens in South East Asian countries, including Malaysia over possible terrorist threats in the region. A spokesman from the Japan embassy confirmed that an email was sent by its Foreign Minister over the weekend, The Vibes reported.
The warning was later issued to Japanese citizens in Malaysia on the embassy website on Monday (13th September), an official confirmed to Bernama. According to media reports, the Japanese Foreign Ministry has advised all its citizens in Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar to avoid religious facilities and other crowded areas.
“There is information that there is an increasing possibility that suicide bomb attacks will occur in places where many people gather, such as places of worship,” the translated notice read. The alert added, “We ask all Japanese residents to remain vigilant against terrorism attacks.”
An official from the Japanese embassy without elaborating further about the statement said that the advisory notice was issued after receiving instructions from Tokyo. The official said there are currently approximately 31,000 Japanese natives residing in Malaysia.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia has taken note of the security advisory issued yesterday. Bukit Aman Special Branch director Commando Datuk Zamri Yahya said so far there was no information on the possible terrorist act in the country. Citing a report by The Star, he informed that the warning issued by the Japanese embassy was a routine travel advisory.
“The warning issued by the Japanese embassy to its citizens in Malaysia on the possibility of a terror attack in Southeast Asia was a travel advisory. These advisory notices are usually issued by an embassy or high commission for its citizens who are in foreign countries. The warnings are issued based on a threat assessment done by the country (who is issuing the warning),” he remarked, citing that the advisory might also be connected to the latest development in Afghanistan after the Taliban’s rise to power.
He assured that Special Branch, through the Counter Terrorism Unit, will continue to monitor any possible development and take appropriate actions. Zamri added that so far only the Japanese embassy in Kuala Lumpur have issued a warning while other embassies and high commissions have not done so, The Star reported. He also mentioned that the travel alert was a routine measure by Japan to remind its citizens in the region to stay vigilant, in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the 11th September attack on the United States in 2001.
Senior Minister of Defence Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Hussein in Parliament session today (Tuesday, 14th September) said that the Japanese government’s warning has no basis. In his statement today, he mentioned, “I am aware of it. Military Intelligence has briefed me, (the threat ascertained) based on a media platform. The inspector-general of police had also said something this morning. There is no real threat.”