THE Japan Embassy in Manila has confirmed that its government received an intelligence report on possible terror attacks in several Southeast Asian nations, including the Philippines.
In a statement issued Tuesday, September 14, the Embassy said that a warning was issued to alert its citizens in Southeast Asia of the threat, but declined to disclose the source of information.
“We confirm that the Japanese government has received information about a possible terror attack, but we cannot give you any detailed background at the moment,” the Embassy told the Philippine News Agency.
“In relation to this, we issued a warning to alert Japanese people residing in some Southeast Asian countries, but we cannot disclose the source,” it added.
Previously, Japan warned its citizens in six Southeast Asian countries to stay away from religious facilities and crowds after obtaining information that “there are increased risks such as suicide bombing.”
The warning applies to Japanese citizens who are currently in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar.
“We ask all Japanese residents to remain vigilant against terrorist attacks,” Japan’s Foreign Ministry said Monday, Sept. 13.
However, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines said they have not received any official report related to Japan’s latest advisory.
“The DFA has not been officially informed about this matter. Travel alerts for a country’s citizens are usually not officially notified to other countries, however, this type of information may have been shared among intelligence agencies,” said DFA Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez.
For its part, the AFP assured that reports of possible terrorism-related activities are taken seriously by the Philippine government.
“We constantly validate all reports on security matters and it is a continuous process. As per last review our threat level is moderate,” AFP spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala said.
“We ensure that all citizens, Filipinos or not, as long as they are within our territory, are protected and kept safe from terrorists’ threats. This is also to underscore the importance of the active participation of the populace in defeating terrorism since security is, after all, everyone’s concern,” he added.