National

Foreign Ministry, companies try to confirm safety of Japanese in Paris

Kyodo

The government and companies with a business presence in France were scrambling to confirm the safety of Japanese nationals on Saturday following Friday’s deadly series of attacks in Paris.

In Tokyo on Saturday morning, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga denounced the attacks, telling reporters that he felt “strong shock and outrage” at the “cruel and extremely cowardly acts of terrorism.”

The government set up an emergency liaison office in Tokyo as the Foreign Ministry tried to gather information regarding the safety of Japanese in Paris.

Fast Retailing Co., the operator of the casual clothing chain Uniqlo, said it had no reports of damage to its outlet in Paris.

Cosmetics maker Shiseido Co. said it was trying to confirm the safety of its employees at its Paris branch, adding that it had instructed employees there not to go out.

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ said its Japanese employees and their family members were all confirmed safe. However, it wasn’t immediately clear whether any of its French staff members had been hurt in the attacks.

Major travel agency JTB Corp. canceled tours to popular locations in France that had been scheduled to begin Saturday and Sunday. As of Saturday, some 300 Japanese tourists on its tours were staying in Paris, but there was no report of casualties, company officials said, adding it was trying to confirm their safety.

The Japanese government also beefed up security at locations related to French interests in Tokyo and elsewhere. A riot police unit was dispatched to the French Embassy in Tokyo, and police patrols were boosted around the mission.

In Hiroshima, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Japan intends to work with France in an ongoing “international fight” against terrorism. “Japan stands with France,” he said.