Japan's Contribution to UN Peacekeeping Operations (PKO)
Outline of Japan's International Peace Cooperation
May 14, 2015
In order to play a more proactive role in fostering international peace, Japan enacted the Act on Cooperation with United Nations Peacekeeping Operations and Other Operations (the International Peace Cooperation Act) in June 1992. Since then, Japan has made substantial personnel and in-kind contributions for efforts toward international peace mainly led by the United Nations.
The Act establishes the three pillars of Japan’s international peace cooperation: United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, International Humanitarian Relief Operations, and International Election Observation Operations. It also provides a system for Japan to contribute to these operations through dispatching personnel and Self-Defense Forces (SDF) contingent and in-kind contribution to provide necessary supplies.
2.Purpose of the Act
To establish the domestic framework for extending appropriate and prompt cooperation with UN Peacekeeping Operations, International Humanitarian Relief Operations and International Election Observation Operations, and thereby enable active contribution by Japan to international peace efforts centering upon the United Nations (Article 1).
3.The Five Principles of Participation in Peacekeeping Troops
The following principles have been arranged to ensure that participation in Peacekeeping Operations is in accordance with Article 9 of the Constitution.
- (1) Agreement on a cease-fire shall have been reached among the parties to armed conflicts.
- (2) Consent for the undertaking of UN Peacekeeping Operations as well as Japan’s participation in such operations shall have been obtained from the host countries as well as the parties to armed conflicts.
- (3) The operations shall strictly maintain impartiality, not favoring any of the parties to armed conflicts.
- (4) Should any of the requirements in the above-mentioned principles cease to be satisfied, the Government of Japan may withdraw Self-Defense Force (SDF) contingent.
- (5) The use of weapons shall be limited to the minimum necessary to protect the lives of personnel, etc.
4.International Peace Cooperation Assignments
The "International Peace Cooperation Assignments" that Japan conducts refer to the following tasks implemented for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, tasks provided below in (10) to (17) for International Humanitarian Relief Operations, and in (7) and (17) for International Election Observation Operations (Article 3, item 3).
- (1) Monitoring the observance of cessation of armed conflicts or the implementation of relocation, withdrawal or demobilization of armed forces agreed upon among the Parties to armed conflicts;
- (2) Stationing in and patrol of buffer zones and other areas demarcated to prevent the occurrence of armed conflicts;
- (3) Inspection or identification of weapons and their parts carried in or out by vehicle or other means of transportation or on foot;
- (4) Collection, storage or disposal of abandoned weapons and their parts;
- (5) Assistance with the designation of cease-fire lines or other similar boundaries by the Parties to armed conflicts;
- (6) Assistance with the exchange of prisoners-of-war among the Parties to armed conflicts;
- (7) Observation or management of the fair execution of elections for a representative assembly, referendums or any other similar elections or voting;
- (8) Provision of advice or guidance and supervision related to police administrative matters;
- (9) Provision of advice or guidance related to administrative matters in addition to (8) above;
- (10) Medical care including sanitation measures;
- (11) Search or rescue of afflicted persons or assistance in their repatriation;
- (12) Distribution of food, clothing, medical supplies and other daily necessities to afflicted persons;
- (13) Installation of facilities or equipment to accommodate afflicted persons;
- (14) Measures for the repair or maintenance of facilities or equipment damaged by conflicts, which are necessary for the daily life of afflicted persons;
- (15) Measures for the restoration of the natural environment subjected to pollution and other damage due to conflicts;
- (16) Transportation, storage or reservation, communication, construction, installation, inspection or repair of machines and other apparatuses in addition to what is listed in (1) to (15) above.
- (17) Other tasks similar to those listed in (1) to (16) above as specified by Cabinet Order.