TOKYO: With the approaching Eid al-Adha announced by most Muslim countries to begin on July 20, the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Consular Affairs Bureau Overseas Japanese Safety Division issued an advisory notice requesting Japanese citizens to beware of possible terror attacks during the holiday.
It asked Japanese overseas to “keep in mind that large-scale Eid al-Adha rituals are vulnerable to terrorism, and to pay close attention to ensuring safety by obtaining the latest information from the Foreign Ministry’s external safety website and news reports.”
The ministry said that on Eid al-Adha (“Tabaske” in Japanese), both in Islamic and non-Muslim countries, it is easy to target crowded religious ritual places through various means such as running over groups using a vehicle, stabbing, using firearms and explosive devices.
The Ministry called on its citizens to be vigilant and to stay away as much as possible from places that could be targets of terrorist operations, such as tourist facilities, event venues, restaurants, hotels, shopping centers, supermarkets, nightclubs, cinemas, public transportation, as well as other facilities that many people congregate in: churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious facilities, and government-related facilities, especially military, police, security-related facilities, etc.
The ministry’s statement included instructions to Japanese citizens on what to do when a terrorist act occurs in or near their locations.
In the event of an emergency, the ministry called on Japanese nationals abroad to follow the instructions of local authorities, if any. It also asked citizens to refer to the instructions on anti-terror and kidnapping measures and to communicate with Japanese diplomatic missions. Further advice given by the ministry in Tokyo included “respecting the customs and traditions of Muslims. It stated: “Please make more efforts than usual to respect local customs and traditions, such as refraining from drinking or smoking in public places.”
The Eid al-Adha festivities will take place between July 20 and July 23.