TOKYO (AP) – Japan’s Foreign Ministry on Monday urged its citizens to stay away from religious facilities and crowds in six Southeast Asian countries, warning of a possible attack.
The ministry said it had obtained information that “there are higher risks, such as suicide bombings.”
The warning applies to Japanese citizens in Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar.
The advisory was greeted with bewilderment by several of those nations, who said they had no knowledge of such a threat, or details from Japan on the source of their information.
Tanee Sangrat, a spokesperson for the Thai Foreign Ministry, said Japan had not disclosed the origin of the warning and that the Japanese embassy had no further details to say that it was “not specific to Thailand.”
Thai security agencies have no information of their own about a possible threat, said deputy police spokesman Kissana Pathanacharoen.
Similarly, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said it was not aware of any information about a high level of threat, while Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah denied that any warning had been sent to the Japanese citizens there.
Malaysian police have also received no information or detected security threats, said the national police chief, Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani.
In the brief notice, Japan urged its citizens to pay close attention to local news and information and to be cautious “for the time being,” but did not give a specific deadline or other details.
Japan’s Foreign Ministry declined to provide the source of the information or say whether it was shared with other countries.
He said that the notice had been sent to their embassies in the countries concerned to be distributed to Japanese citizens.