Japan Adds PKK To List Of Major Terrorist Organizations

The embassy emphasized that Japan has acknowledged the PKK as a terrorist group since 2002, freezing its assets at that time.

Japan’s embassy in Ankara has confirmed that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is designated as a terrorist organization in Japan, according to the country’s Public Security Intelligence Agency’s (PSIA) list. The embassy emphasized that Japan has acknowledged the PKK as a terrorist group since 2002, freezing its assets at that time. The embassy clarified that its position on this issue remains unchanged, and the recent update to the PSIA’s list of terrorist organizations included the PKK.

The PKK, historically based in Iraq, primarily targeted Turkish interests in southeast Turkey. A ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish Government lasted from 2013 to 2015. Subsequently, Turkish security forces shifted PKK activities to Iraq and Syria in southeastern Turkey.

The US designated the PKK as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997, followed by the European Union in 2004. Ongoing efforts to remove the PKK from these lists emphasize claims that the designation is both inaccurate and detrimental to the group’s relations with Turkey and the peaceful resolution of the Kurdish question. Various European courts have subsequently declared the inclusion of the PKK in these lists as unlawful.

The PKK was not previously included in the updated list of the PSIA’s Major International Terrorist Organizations, which featured both local and global terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, ISIS/Daesh, the Japanese Red Army, and Aum Shinrikyo.
The statement also expressed the Japanese government’s condemnation of terrorist acts carried out by the PKK. Over its 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK, recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU, has been accountable for more than 40,000 casualties, including women, children, and infants.

The PSIA’s updated list of Major International Terrorist Organizations did not previously include the PKK, which shares space with other local and global groups such as Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab, ISIS/Daesh, the Japanese Red Army, and Aum Shinrikyo.

The official statement from the Japanese government also explicitly condemned the terrorist activities carried out by the PKK. Throughout its 35-year campaign against Turkey, the PKK, designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU, has been responsible for over 40,000 casualties, including women, children, and infants.