Sectoral Development Policy

Peacebuilding Assistance

Japan's Action

February 21, 2017

There has been a significant increase in support for conflict prevention, urgent post-conflict humanitarian assistance and post-conflict reconstruction in the developing countries. It is important to incorporate the perspective of "Human Security" in this process, protecting and empowering the individuals in every stage of post-conflict reconstruction and development. Development Cooperation Charter indicates that peacebuilding is one of Japan's priority issues by incorporating the perspective of "Human Security" into its basic policy. This is based on the idea that Japan's contribution to peace building through ODA maintains both security and prosperity of Japan.

As mutual interdependence grows, conflicts far from Japan can affect the security and prosperity of Japan. As stated in the basic policy of Japan's Development Cooperation Charter on the perspective of "Human Security", Japan's peace building is a priority issue. Japan also promotes conflict prevention and urgent humanitarian assistance to support and promote the end of conflicts as well as the consolidation of peace and nation building after conflict.

ODA Policy on Conflict and Development

The Framework Featured in Development Cooperation Charter (Extracts)

Development Cooperation Charter (February, 2015)

I. Philosophy Objectives, Policies, and Priorities

  • (1) Objectives of Development Cooperation
    Bearing in mind the expectations of the international community, Japan, as a responsible major player in the world, will contribute more actively and exert strong leadership in addressing challenges facing the international community - especially development challenges and humanitarian concerns. Doing so is of great significance from the perspective of solidifying the confidence that the international community has in Japan.
    In today’s international community, it is no longer possible for any nation to secure peace and prosperity by itself. Under such circumstances, the path Japan should take to continue developing a prosperous and peaceful society lies in a serious effort to tackle various global challenges in cooperation with the international community, including developing countries, for a peaceful, stable and prosperous international community, and, in this process, to build solid and constructive relationships with various actors in the international community.
    Japan will promote development cooperation in order to contribute more proactively to the peace, stability and prosperity of the international community. Such cooperation will also lead to ensuring Japan’s national interests such as maintaining its peace and security, achieving further prosperity, realizing an international environment that provides stability, transparency and predictability, and maintaining and protecting an international order based on universal values.
  • (2) Basic Policies
    A. Contributing to peace and prosperity through cooperation for non-military purposes
    Japan’s development cooperation has contributed to peace and prosperity of the world through cooperation for non-military purposes, which is one of the most suitable modalities for international contribution. Japan has consistently followed the path of a peace-loving nation since the end of World War II. Japan's development cooperation has been highly regarded by the international community as an embodiment of the country's sincere aspirations for peace and prosperity of the international community. Japan will continue to uphold this policy and comply with the principle of avoiding any use of development cooperation for military purposes or for aggravation of international conflicts, in proactively contributing to securing peace, stability and prosperity of the international community.
    B. Promoting human security
    Human security - a concept that pursues the right of individuals to live happily and in dignity, free from fear and want, through their protection and empowerment - is the guiding principle that lies at the foundation of Japan's development cooperation. Japan will thus focus its development cooperation on individuals - especially those liable to be vulnerable such as children, women, persons with disabilities, the elderly, refugees and internally-displaced persons, ethnic minorities, and indigenous peoples - and provide cooperation for their protection and empowerment so as to realize human security. At the same time, Japan will make efforts so that this basic policy will be understood and accepted widely among its partner countries, thereby mainstreaming the concept even further in the international community. Likewise, from the standpoint of its people-centered approach, Japan will also proactively contribute to promoting basic human rights, including women's rights.

II. Priority Policies

  • (1) Priority Issues
    B. Sharing universal values and realizing a peaceful and secure society
    Peace, stability and security are prerequisites for nation-building and development. Accordingly, Japan will comprehensively address a wide range of factors causing conflict and instability, including poverty. It will also provide seamless assistance for peacebuilding from conflict prevention, emergency humanitarian assistance in the conflict situation, and promotion of conflict termination to emergency humanitarian assistance and assistance for recovery, reconstruction, and development in the post-conflict stage. Such assistance will address a range of needs such as: humanitarian assistance for refugees and internally-displaced persons; protection and participation of women and the socially vulnerable; reconstruction of social and human capital; the restoration of governance functions based on a trusting relationship between the government and the public; the removal of landmines and unexploded ordnance and the collection of small arms; and the restoration of public order.
  • (2) Priority policy issues by region
    With respect to Africa, Japan will provide assistance through joint efforts of the public and the private sector through the process of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) so that Africa’s remarkable growth in recent years based on expanding trade, investment and consumption will lead to further development for both Japan and Africa. Japan will take particular note of Africa’s initiatives toward regional development and integration at the sub-regional level. Meanwhile, Africa still has countries that are prone to conflict or are burdened with an accumulation of serious development challenges. Bearing this in mind, Japan will continue to actively engage in assistance for peacebuilding and assistance to fragile states from the perspective of human security, providing necessary assistance with a view towards establishing and consolidating peace and stability, and solving serious development challenges in the region.
    The Middle East is an important region not only for Japan but also for the international community as a whole in terms of peace, stability and stable energy supply. With a view to proactively contributing to the peace and stability of the region and to the coexistence and mutual prosperity of Japan and the Middle East, necessary assistance will be provided to address challenges such as peacebuilding, reducing disparity and human resources development.

III. Implementation

  • (1) Implementation principles
    B. Principles for securing the appropriateness of development cooperation
    (b) Avoidance of any use of development cooperation for military purposes or for aggravation of international conflicts
    Japan will avoid any use of development cooperation for military purposes or for aggravation of international conflicts. In case the armed forces or members of the armed forces in recipient countries are involved in development cooperation for non-military purposes such as public welfare or disaster-relief purposes, such cases will be considered on a case-by-case basis in light of their substantive relevance.
    (c) Situation regarding military expenditures, development and production of weapons of mass destruction and missiles, export and import of arms, etc.
    Japan will pay close attention to the situation in recipient countries regarding military expenditures, development and production of weapons of mass destruction and missiles, and export and import of arms, etc. This is done with a view to maintaining international peace and stability including the prevention of terrorism and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and based on the position that developing countries should allocate their resources appropriately and preferentially for their own socio-economic development.

Initiatives & Funding Commitment (Comprehensive Actions Towards Peace)

  • Human Resource Development in Asia for Peacebuilding (August, 2006) (Japanese / English)
  • Japan's Support for the Consolidation of Peace in Africa (February, 2006) (Japanese / English)
  • Japan and Australia toward a Creative Partnership (May, 2002) (Japanese / English)
  • Action from Japan on "Conflict and Development" (July, 2000) (Japanese / English (PDF)Open a New Window (43KB)

Initiatives & Funding Commitment (Mine Removal, Small Arms)

Landmines, which are buried mainly in regions where conflicts have lasted for many years, and small arms, which are said to be the cause of a large number of conflict victims, are grave humanitarian issues because they have indiscriminately killed or injured non-combatants, such as civilians including children. At times, these landmines and weapons interfere with reconstruction and development activities or cause reoccurrence of conflicts.

Toward the solution of the anti-personnel landmine problem, Japan proposed the “Zero Victim Program (Japanese /English )” at the signing ceremony of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention in Ottawa in December 1997. Regarding this problem, Japan announced that it would provide approximately 10 billion yen over five years from 1998 for mine clearance and victim assistance. Japan achieved this target at the end of October 2002.
At the Third Review Conference of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention held in June 2014, Japan announced the following approach to the mine action which serve as a guide for our international assistance going forward (Japanese (PDF) Open a New Window / English (PDF) Open a New Window ); first, Japan will continue to support those countries that are heavily affected by anti-personnel mines and UXOs; second, Japan will promote regional and South-South cooperation; and third, Japan aims to provide comprehensive support to victim assistance.

Japan’s Efforts on the Issue of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) (Japanese / English (PDF) Open a New Window)
Since 1995, when the issue of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) was posed in the International community, Japan has been consistently playing the key role in the framework centered on the United Nations. Japan has contributed to the rule making process of the international community on SALW. Japan has been providing road maps to tackle the issues of SALW as well as raising awareness of the international community in this regard by such kind of efforts, that Japan has submitted UN General Assembly resolution on SALW almost every year since 1995 and established the Meeting of Governmental Experts.
Through the ODA, Japan implements the weapons collection and disposal programs in combination with development assistance, which is carried out in Asian and African counties, to reduce the damage in the field. Furthermore, Japan has provided supports to various programs for legal assistance as well as capacity building assistance to the law enforcement related to small arms and light weapons.

Good Practices on Conflict and Development

Land Mine

In the Republic of Nicaragua, due to the internal conflict between Frente Sandinista de Liberacion Nacional (FSLN) and the rightist anti-government military force (Contra) during 1979 to 1990, more than 130,000 antipersonnel mine were located near the border with Honduras. Since 1989, mine clearance activities have been started in cooperation with 11 other countries, EU and international organizations such as UNICEF and UNDP.
Japan has provided technology to enable mines clearing and the technical cooperation since 2000. The developed mines clearing machines enabled removing and collecting mines ten times more per day than one team doing the job. As a result, over the 3 and a half years, it was able to remove more than 12,000 mines and contributed to the human security as well as rural development and economic growth of the country where agriculture is the main industry such as a production of coffee.

Small Arms

In Cambodia, the small arms were used during the internal conflict continued since 1970, and they have still been in many places as the critical cause for threatening the nation in the case of using them for crimes. According to the requests from the Cambodian government, Japan implemented "Peace Building and Comprehensive Small Arms Management Programme in Cambodia" which combines the collection of small arms from the local residents and the community development program since 2003. As a result, more than 28,000 small arms and more than 113,000 explosives and munitions had been collected and this program contributed very much to the community's security.

Cooperation with Multilateral Organizations

The Support for Afghanistan

One of the most important issues related peace and security of Japan and the international community is to support Afghanistan’s efforts toward self-reliance and the stability of the region including Afghanistan, and to prevent Afghanistan from stepping back to a hotbed of terrorism. Japan has consistently supported Afghanistan’s reconstruction efforts mainly in such fields as (1) enhancement of security capabilities; (2) reintegration of ex-combatants; and (3) socio-economic development (agriculture, improvement of basic infrastructure, education, basic health, among others).
Japan and Afghanistan jointly held the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan in July, 2012. The Conference, attended by representatives of about 80 countries and international organizations, issued an outcome document titled “The Tokyo Declaration”. At the Conference, the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework (TMAF) was established to clarify the mutual commitment between Afghanistan and the international community for the sustainable development of Afghanistan and to regularly monitor and review the commitment. On that occasion Japan announced that it would provide up to around $3 billion of assistance to Afghanistan in about five years from 2012. Japan has been implementing a steady support through bilateral partnership and cooperation with international organizations.

The Support for Iraq

In October 2003, Japan announced reconstruction assistance package to Iraq totaling up to US$5 billion comprised of US$1.5 billion in grant aid for immediate assistance (emphasizing on recovery of living standard of Iraqi people including power generation, education, water and sanitation, health, employment, as well as improvement of security) and up to US$3.5 billion, mainly in the form of Japanese ODA loans, in order to meet medium-term reconstruction demands (mainly supporting rehabilitation of economic and social infrastructure in ODA loans), achieving this international commitment in May 2012. The US$1.5 billion of grant aid includes reconstruction assistance implemented by UN organizations and the World Bank through US$490 million extended to the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI), where Japan served as the first chair of its Donors’ Committee, and emergency humanitarian assistance implemented by UN organizations.

The Support for Sudan

Peacebuilding is one of the priorities of Japan’s diplomacy towards Africa. In particular, stability in Sudan and South Sudan is directly related to the stability of the whole of Africa. The two countries are therefore an area within Africa requiring intensive assistance for the consolidation of peace. With this understanding, Japan has disbursed over $1.3 billion to Sudan and South Sudan since 2005.
Japan continues to support the consolidation of peace through disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of former soldiers and lend assistance in fields dealing with basic human needs (BHN) so that the people of the two nations actually feel that peace has been established and do not revert to civil war.
Specifically, Japan provides support focused on meeting BHN and maintaining a food production base mainly in the war-torn regions of Sudan.
To South Sudan, in addition to the aforementioned support, Japan’s assistance has focused on development of infrastructure and governance. In May 2014, Japan provided emergency humanitarian assistance in response to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation there since December 2013.
Japan has dispatched an engineering unit from the Japan Self-Defense Force to work on the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) and is implementing projects that are linked to the engineering unit’s activities so that Japan can put forth an integrated effort for stability and nation-building in South Sudan. In 2013, Japan implemented the Project for the Rehabilitation of Juba Na-Bari Community Road in coordination with the Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Project. The unit is currently providing supports for IDPs and conducting other operations in response to the deterioration of the security situation since December 2013.

The Support for Mindanao

The International Monitoring Team (IMT) started its operation in Mindanao in October 2004 after the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed the ceasefire agreement in July 2003. Based on the request of the GRP and the MILF, Japan has dispatched experts (“Senior Advisor for Reconstruction and Development of Mindanao”) to IMT. They, as the leader of the socio-economic development section, have worked for the assessment of the needs for reconstruction and development, for the monitoring of development projects in the former conflict-affected areas, and for the formulation of a comprehensive development plan for the area.
The assistance written above called “Japan Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development: J-BIRD” has been valued highly there. Moreover, after the recurrence of conflict, Japan contributed much to the resolution through participation in the International Contact Group (ICG) as a peace talks observer and intermediation in the unofficial summit conference between GRP and MILF.
The comprehensive peace agreement was signed in March of 2014, and then Japan declared continuation and reinforcement of its assistance to achieve the true peace by focusing on such areas as construction of schools, clinics and wells, human resource development in the shifting process, and economic development for sustainable growth (cooperation aiming at agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and infrastructure development). When the President Aquino of GRP visited Japan in June of 2015, Japan announced a new phase called “J-BIRD2,” which focuses more on Bangsamoro’s economic independence.