The government Friday condemned Thursday’s terrorist attacks in the southern French city of Nice which killed at least 80 people and wounded hundreds of others.
“If it is a terrorist attack, it is utterly intolerable,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the Asia-Europe Meeting held in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator.
“It was a cruel attack and I offer my sincere condolences to the victims,” Abe said. “Japan expresses its strong solidarity with France at this difficult time.”
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared that the incident, in which a large truck was driven into crowds watching a Bastille Day fireworks display in Nice, was a terrorist attack.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida also denounced the attack in their respective press conferences in Tokyo. Kishida said he has not confirmed that there were any Japanese victims in the incident.
Suga said he felt “strong shock and anger,” saying such violence is “never tolerable.”
“If it’s a terrorist attack . . . we would resolutely denounce it,” Suga said. “Japan would like to show a sense of strong solidarity with the French.”
The Japanese government set up liaison offices at the Consulate General of Japan in Marseille as well as at the prime minister’s office and at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo to gather information about the attacks and to confirm the safety of Japanese nationals.
Nice, a popular destination for European and American tourists, is also a vacation spot for many Japanese vacationers during the summer months.
Major Japanese travel agency JTB Corp. said it has confirmed the safety of all of its customers staying in Nice.
An official of Nippon Travel Agency Co. also said there is no one staying in the city on its package tours, adding it will decide its response after assessing local information through the Foreign Ministry and other sources.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5