| Statement on the September
11 Terrorist Attacks in the United States by Takumi Ueda, Chairman
| The September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington
have sent shockwaves throughout the world. The terrorists turned the hijacked
civilian jetliners into weapons and smashed them into the World Trade
Center. The entire world was stunned at such unprecedented acts of terrorism.
More than six thousand people from 62 countries and regions have been
reported dead or missing. I would like to offer my sincere condolences
to the airline passengers and crewmembers, civilians, firefighters, and
police officers who were victimized in these strikes. I also wish to praise
Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, Mayor of New York, and all those who have been tirelessly
leading the rescue opetations.
The attacks against the United States go far beyond the existing concept of terrorism. Nothing else but a war can inflict on American people and people around the world a devastating shock and damage of the same magnitude. The 20th century is called gthe century of wars.h As the name suggests, the century was tarnished by indiscriminate attacks and mass murders. We failed to stand by a moral law that draws a clear line between non-combatants and soldiers in action. However, the international community learned a lesson from past mistakes and came to realize that any civilization or society must nurture the gspirith that respects freedom, democracy, and fundamental human rights including the right to live in peace and dignity, and embrace it as a rule transcending any national borders. It is this spirit that denounces the Holocaust and praises the humanitarianism embodied by Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who saved thousands of Jews during World War II. The terrorist strikes on September 11 are nothing but a challenge against humanity and civilization.
The world has been watching with apprehension the United States drifting toward an isolationist and self-righteous course, which is evident in their insistence on the missile defense plan and rejection of the Kyoto Protocol, to name but a few. While some praise that the U.S.-led economic globalization and IT revolution contributed to world prosperity, others criticize that so-called global standard is merely an American standard in disguise. The post-Cold War world is chronically plagued by conflicts rooted in ethnic and religious causes. Dissatisfaction of those who are denied the benefits of world prosperity and gdividends of peaceh is intensifying. World indifference to their religious and ethnic values adds to their frustration.
But recognizing their despair does in no way justify indiscriminate terrorism employed by evil forces who exploit and manipulate it for their own political ends. The point of issue is not the Islamic World against Christendom, Muslims against the rest of the world, or Arabs against the industrialized nations. Allowing this view to prevail is to play into their hands. We must not forget that what we need to face up to is not a crash between civilizations but a fight between terrorists and the rest of the world.
U.S. preparations for military actions against terrorism are underway. The use of force alone, however, will never eradicate terrorism because it has its root in economic inequality and poverty, serving as a breeding ground of Islamic extremism. There are many tasks Japan can undertake in order to fight terrorism, such as providing countries in the Middle East with refugee support as well as assistance in educational, medical, and welfare areas. Japan must reposition itself as a nation with its foreign policy goals set on building a compassionate and tolerant world, and get more involved in Middle East peace efforts by taking advantage of its close ties with the nations in that region. This is the role Japan with its constitution renouncing the use of force is expected to play.