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Japan to give $15.5 million for anti-terrorism efforts

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Japan said Tuesday it will provide $15.5 million in development aid to support anti-terrorism efforts in the Middle East and Africa.

The move comes after the recent beheadings of two Japanese hostages by rebels from the Islamic State group.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said the contribution, about half of which Japan had already pledged, is intended to bolster counter-terrorism capacity in the regions affected by the group and other radicals.

Earlier this year, just before the hostage crisis, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced $200 million in non-military support for nations fighting against the Islamic State militants that control large parts of Iraq and Syria.

Vice-Foreign Minister Yasuhide Nakayama will announce the aid, to be paid through international organizations, at a conference Thursday in Washington, the ministry said.

Japan, which had not directly threatened by the radicals until the recent killings of the two hostages, is still in shock and is reviewing its anti-terrorism measures, eyeing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. SAPA

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