Japan to provide $15.5 million for anti-terrorism efforts in Middle East, Africa

Japan says it will provide $15.5 million in development aid to support anti-terrorism efforts in the Middle East and Africa.

The move comes after the recent beheadings of two Japanese hostages by militants from the Islamic State group.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday the contribution, about half of which Japan had already pledged, is intended to bolster counter-terrorism capacity in the regions affected by the group and other militants.

Earlier this year, before the hostage crisis, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced $200 million in non-military support for nations fighting against the Islamic State militants that control large parts of Iraq and Syria.

Vice-Foreign Minister Yasuhide Nakayama will announce the aid, to be paid through international organizations, at a conference Thursday in Washington.