Japan condemns terrorist attack in Tunisia

Updated: 2015-03-19 11:26


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Japan condemns terrorist attack in Tunisia

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to the media at his official residence in Tokyo in this photo taken by Kyodo March 19, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

TOKYO - The Japanese government condemned strongly on Thursday the terrorist attack in the Tunisian capital of Tunis which caused the deaths of at least three Japanese nationals.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said in a statement the Japanese government is "greatly shocked and outraged by the terrorist attack, and "firmly condemns these despicable acts of terrorism."

Japan will "continue to engage in combating terrorism in cooperation with Tunisia and the international community," the statement said.

Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid said Wednesday 17 foreign tourists, including five Japanese, and two Tunisians were killed after gunmen stormed a museum in Tunis, local reports cited Tunisian state media as reporting, but Tokyo just confirmed that three Japanese were killed.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said early Thursday that he has so far been informed that three Japanese were killed and another three injured in the attack, adding the government will continue to gather information, according to local report.

"We will never tolerate terrorism and firmly denounce it," Abe told reporters at his office, adding that his country "will make all-out efforts in the battle against terrorism in cooperation with the international community."

The deaths of three Japanese had been confirmed and that the report of five Japanese killed was incorrect, Japan's Kyodo News quoted a government official as saying.

The government here has set up a taskforce to collect information and confirm Japanese casualties.

Two Japanese nationals were killed early this year by militants from the Islamic State due to Japan's planned assistance to the Mideast to fight against terrorism and the country is mulling to enlarge the role of its Self-Defense Forces in overseas operations.