Defining International Terrorism

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Defining international terrorism continues to be a problem fraught with difficulties. Though, several attempts have been made and continue to be made by various scholars, governments and international organizations such as the United Nations, a universally accepted definition is still a long way off, if ever it can be achieved.

Such an impasse is due to various reasons. First, vested interests exist of nations using international terrorism as an extension of state policy but covertly. Second, terrorism is the best alternative to an openly declared war as it costs less both in terms of money and lives. Third, the distinction between a freedom struggle and terrorism is hard to make. Fourth, terrorist organizations and their well knitted network spread over the world, often act as a counter to the will of national governments and may even influence government policies in many countries. Last but not least, the changing trends of international terrorism – from being a part of superpower rivalry during the Cold War to the religious terrorism of the present day. The whole world faces the menace of international terrorism today. No single country can boast of being immune from international terrorism. Even a country like Japan, where the crime rate is very low cannot claim itself free from the threat of terrorism. With the advancement of the technology and science, life has become very easy, comfortable and luxurious. It has been so also for terrorists who have more sophisticated technology at their hands to spread destruction and fear. Yet their basic method remains much the same. By killing innocents, and striking at public places – soft targets – terrorists try to convey their message whether ideological or not.

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... Japan has certain compulsions to follow and endorses the US action in many matters it has always been careful to keep its own interests at the front.

By responding to the international crisis caused by terrorist attacks of September 11, Japan made its intentions conspicuous that it could resort to its traditional check book diplomacy, and follow America in what is often termed Karaoke diplomacy, but also respond in a more active manner if need be. The whole background for Japan to go on military lines once again is ready. If, at any point of time in the future it wishes to shed the restraints imposed by its pacific constitution, the Japanese response to the events of September 11, 2001 have provided a useful precedent. Already in possession of one of the most sophisticated defense forces, Japan can emerge as one of the greatest military powers in the world.

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