National / Politics

In wake of Christchurch massacre, Australia asks Japan to arrange talks on social media controls at G20

JIJI

Japan has received a written request from Australia to arrange talks on tightening social media controls at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka in June, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tuesday.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Twitter that he has sent the letter of request to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the wake of Friday’s deadly shooting attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The terror attack, which killed 50 people, was streamed live on Facebook by the attacker.

“We utterly condemn this despicable terror attack and are firmly resolved to fight terrorism, together with New Zealand, Australia and the international community,” Suga said at a news conference.

The top government spokesman, however, declined to immediately comment on how Japan will respond to the Australian request.

At a separate news conference, Foreign Minister Taro Kono sounded cautious about G20 talks on social media regulations.

“Social media provides convenience in some aspects of life, but causes trouble in others,” Kono said.

In the letter to Abe, Morrison expressed his concern at the “continuing and unrestricted role played by internet technologies in this and other terrorist attacks.”

He highlighted the need to “ensure that technology firms meet their moral obligation to protect the communities which they serve and from which they profit.”

The G20 leaders “should work to ensure that there are clear consequences not only for those who carry out such horrific acts, but for those who facilitate them,” Morrison said.