This incident in Algeria is of a quite despicable nature, and is absolutely impermissible. I believe this should be strongly condemned.

Since the occurrence of this incident, the government has been making every effort in an approach that puts top priority on saving people’s lives.

Although I was visiting Southeast Asian countries, I was constantly receiving reports and giving necessary instructions in succession. The government has been making every effort to confirm the safety of and rescue the Japanese nationals, and I had a telephone talk with the Prime Minister of Algeria and strongly requested to make utmost efforts in ensuring the safety of hostages and making repeated requests via various channels.

While the circumstances of the crime and the damage are gradually becoming clear, it cannot be said that the whole picture of the incident has been revealed.

According to the media coverage, there have been losses of many human lives. There are still various different kinds of conflicting information, including the information on the continued military action. The situation remains precarious.

Based on such situation, I shortened the schedule of my visit to foreign countries and returned to Japan shortly before, in order to lead the government’s response. Upon my return, I was given a report from Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Minoru Kiuchi on the situation of requests to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria.

I would like you to continuously gather and consolidate accurate information and to put your utmost effort into confirming the safety of and rescuing Japanese nationals through every possible measure, by maintaining close cooperation with the governments of related countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, in addition to the necessary efforts made toward the government of Algeria.

In addition, I would also like to ask for every possible effort to be made in taking careful responses, such as providing sufficient support to the people who suffered damages and their family members.