Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2013

(6) Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism

The progress of globalism, proliferation of high-tech devices and greater mobility of people have turned transnational organized crime and terrorism into threats to the entire global community. International organized crime, including the illicit trade of narcotic drugs and firearms, trafficking in persons, money laundering*, and corporate and economic crimes such as fraud and embezzlement, has become increasingly diverse and sophisticated in its methods in recent years. The activities of organizations influenced by and related to the international terrorist organization Al-Qaeda are becoming more active, especially in North Africa and the Sahel region. A terrorist attack occurred in Algeria in January 2013 that killed a number of victims including 10 Japanese nationals. In addition, piracy off the Coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden in eastern Africa is still a concern.

There is only so much that individual countries can do to combat transnational organized crime, terrorism and piracy. Therefore, in addition to strengthening the measures implemented by each country, it is necessary for the entire international community to eliminate all legal loopholes through efforts such as assistance for capacity building to handle criminal justice and law enforcement in developing countries.

<Japan’s Efforts>

Counter-Narcotics Assistance

In addition to participating proactively in international meetings of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Japan contributes to the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) Fund of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to provide assistance to developing countries, particularly in Asia. In FY2012, Japan used a contribution of $810,000 to the UNDCP Fund for projects including monitoring the illegal production of poppies (plants grown as ingredients for the drug opium) in Myanmar and synthetic drugs throughout Southeast Asia and other areas. The Commission on Narcotic Drugs underscores the importance of measures against new psychoactive substances (NPS)* known as law-evading drugs, which has recently become a social issue in Japan as well. It has obtained broad support from the international community, and has been implementing related projects through the UNODC. Japan also contributed $5.55 million to the UNDCP Fund in March 2013 to support anti-drug measures, border control, and alternative development in Afghanistan and neighboring countries. Additionally, through the United Nations Asian and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFEI) Japan supported the training for treatment of drug offenders.

Against Trafficking in Persons

As an anti-human trafficking measure, Japan is providing support to help capacity building of law enforcement agencies and social reintegration of victims.

In FY2012, Japan contributed approximately $51,000 to the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Fund (CPCJF) of the UNODC to support its projects on measures against trafficking in persons. In recent years, through the contribution to the CPCJF, Japan provided support for the Philippines National Police to develop Standard Operating Procedures for the investigation of trafficking in persons in the Philippines, and also translated e-learning materials of measures against trafficking in persons into Thai. Japan is considering support focused on Southeast Asia in the future as well.

Japan provides assistance through the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for the safe repatriation of victims of trafficking and their reintegration in their home countries, who are under protection in Japan. Moreover, Japan provides support for the Bali Process, which is a framework of human smuggling, trafficking in persons, and transnational crime in the Asia-Pacific region.

Further, Japan provides support that benefits measures against trafficking in persons through the Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects (a project of building a support center for women that aims to protect vulnerable women and children from trafficking in persons in Thailand) and technical cooperation (Thailand, Myanmar and Viet Nam). In addition, Japan conducted training regarding measures against trafficking in persons through UNAFEI.

Against Corruption

As part of its efforts against corruption, Japan supports the hosting of seminars and workshops on corruption prevention measures in Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia through contributions to the CPCJF.

Japan has also held various training courses and seminars through the UNAFEI for criminal justice professionals from developing countries mainly in the Asia-Pacific region and other regions. Topics included protection of witnesses and whistle-blowers and securing their cooperation, prevention of corruption, etc. Each of the topics is a priority issue stipulated in the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the United Nations Convention against Corruption. These efforts contribute to the sound development of criminal justice and the strengthening of cooperative relationships in each country.

Against Counter-Terrorism

The international community must make efforts to prevent methods of terrorism and safe havens from falling into the hands of terrorists, and to overcome vulnerabilities to terrorism. Japan provides assistance to developing countries that do not necessarily have sufficient capability to counter terrorism in order to improve their counter-terrorism capabilities. Particularly, Japan has intensified its support to help fight against terrorism in developing countries ever since grant aid for cooperation on counter-terrorism and security enhancement was established in 2006.

Japan has a close relationship with Southeast Asia, and it has stepped up its support in that region because it is especially important to Japan to prevent terrorism and maintain safety there. Specifically, Japan provides equipment, dispatches experts, hosts seminars and accepts trainees across various fields of immigration control, aviation security, port and maritime security, cooperation with customs, export control, cooperation for law enforcement, measures against terrorist financing (measures to cut off the flow of money towards terrorists and terrorist organizations) and encouraging the conclusion of the international counter-terrorism convention and protocol.

For example, Japan invited officials involved in measures against terrorism from ASEAN countries to a workshop it jointly hosted with Malaysia in February 2013 to discuss measures against the radicalization of individuals who are not directly related to existing terrorist organizations which have been the target of counter-terrorist measures in recent years. In addition, in FY2012, Japan contributed approximately $41,000 to the UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch, and held a workshop for ASEAN countries regarding CBRN terrorism* (terrorist attacks that use chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons) and maritime terrorism. In March 2013, as a counter-terrorism measure in Afghanistan, Japan decided to provide support to improve counter terrorism capabilities (a total of approximately $16 million) through international organizations including the UNODC, aiming to support law enforcement and judicial agencies to improve their capabilities for the prevention, detection, investigation and trials of terrorism and illegal arms trading. In addition, at TICAD V in June 2013, in order to improve the capabilities against terrorism in North Africa and the Sahel region, Japan announced its contribution to the development and humanitarian assistance to achieve the stabilization of the Sahel region through the development of 2,000 human resources and provision of equipments, and ¥100 billion in assistance.

Against Piracy

As a maritime nation Japan depends largely on maritime transport for the import of energy resources and food. Counter-piracy measures for ensuring the safety of navigation of vessels are issues that have a direct link to Japan’s prosperity and existence as a nation. Furthermore, maritime safety is an essential prerequisite for the economic development of the region.

In recent years, many incidents of piracy (Note 10) occurred off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden in Eastern Africa. Efforts made by the international community have succeeded to some extent in the decrease of the number of pirate attacks from 237 in 2011 to 75 in 2012. However, considering the high number of pirate attacks in the past, the situation still requires caution. The area where incidents of piracy occur has expanded from the area off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden to the western part of the Indian Ocean. Piracy constitutes a significant threat to the safety of navigation.

In response to these threats, Japan has been implementing counter-piracy measures, such as deploying two destroyers and two P-3C maritime patrol aircrafts of the Maritime Self-Defense Force to conduct escort activities for private ships for surveillance activities, based on the Act on Punishment and Countermeasures against Piracy enacted in June 2009. Japan Coast Guard law enforcement officers are also on the destroyers to make arrests, question detainees and perform other duties of judicial law enforcement activities when acts of piracy are committed.

In order to solve the Somali piracy problem, in addition to the abovementioned escort activities on the sea, multilayered efforts are necessary to enhance the maritime law enforcement capabilities of coastal countries, and to improve stability in Somalia, which is of particular relevance to the increase in piracy. As part of these efforts, Japan contributed a total of $14.6 million to the IMO Djibouti Code of Conduct Trust Fund founded by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) (Note 11) to implement the Djibouti Code of Conduct (a regional framework for improving capabilities for maritime law enforcement in Somalia and its neighboring countries). This Trust Fund has been used to set up and operate information-sharing centers for anti-piracy measures in Yemen, Kenya and Tanzania, and to establish a Djibouti Regional Training Center, which is currently under construction. The IMO is also conducting training programs to improve maritime security capabilities in countries surrounding Somalia.

In addition, Japan has contributed a total of $3.5 million to the Trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia to help improve the capabilities of Somalia and its neighboring countries to prosecute and crack down on alleged pirates in an effort to assist the international community in prosecuting, strengthening crackdown, and preventing the reoccurrence of piracy. In addition, in cooperation with the Japan Coast Guard, Japan has carried out training programs for the control of maritime crime, inviting maritime security officers from the countries around Somalia. Since 2007, Japan has disbursed approximately $299.03 million to Somalia in assistance to strengthen domestic security, provide humanitarian aid, and develop the infrastructure.

An escort ship protecting a ship traveling off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden (Photo: The Ministry of Defense)

An escort ship protecting a ship traveling off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden (Photo: The Ministry of Defense)


*Money laundering
Money laundering refers to the act of disguising funds or proceeds obtained from criminal activities as legally obtained assets, or the act of hiding such funds. Example: A drug dealer opens a bank account under a false name and hides money obtained through drug transactions in that account.
*New Psychoactive Substance (NPS)
NPS is also known as “law-evading drug” or “designer drug.” NPS is an abused substance that could harm public health, although it is not legally controlled by drug-related conventions. It is increasingly spreading worldwide, causing a serious health risk.
*CBRN terrorism
Weapons that utilize chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear substances are called “CBRN weapons,” taking the first letters of respective substances. “CBRN terrorism” is when terrorist attacks use such weapons.

Note 10: Typically, pirates off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden attack a ship navigating in the water with automatic rifles and rocket launchers, take control of the ship, and demand ransom for the safe release of the crew.

Note 11: On January 1, 2012, former IMO Maritime Safety Division Director Koji Sekimizu was elected as IMO Secretary-General.

●Tajikistan and Afghanistan

Tajik-Afghan Poverty Reduction Initiative (TAPRI)
Aid through international organizations (March 2011 - March 2012)

Tajikistan and Afghanistan share a long border and have close ties not only geographically but also historically and linguistically. However, areas in both countries along the border face a number of poverty issues, including a low investment rate, high unemployment, and underdeveloped infrastructure. Furthermore, these areas are mountainous, making border control very challenging. For these reasons it is feared that the deterioration of security in Afghanistan will result in an influx of illegal narcotics and arms from Afghanistan to Tajikistan. It is therefore imperative that both countries work together to prevent conflict and stop the smuggling of narcotics in the areas along the border.

In light of this, the Japanese Government contributed US$5 million and participated in the Tajik-Afghan Poverty Reduction Initiative (TAPRI) via the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for one year beginning in March 2011. The goals of this project were to: (1) strengthen cooperation in the areas along the border of both countries; (2) facilitate sustainable economic and social development; and (3) drive the reduction of poverty through improving the lives of the citizens of both countries in Khatlon Province (Tajikistan), Kunduz Province (Afghanistan) and Takhar Province (Afghanistan), which are all located along the border.

As a result, 219,949 people (145,777 residents in Tajikistan and 74,172 residents in Afghanistan) directly benefited, while indirectly more than 1.6 million people benefited from the project. Furthermore, the project allowed 1,605 Tajik citizens to take micro-finance loans and provided residents of 10 communities with access to safe water, irrigation and alternative energy sources. The project also provided 275 regional administrators from both countries with training on community development planning and public services development, which has resulted in the formulation of six community development plans and 15 agricultural community development plans. These outcomes vastly exceed initial targets.

The project has also facilitated cooperative relations between neighboring communities of both countries, showing that the project has been influential in the building of trust between the two countries.

Opening ceremony for School No. 34 in Qumsangir District, Khatlon Province (Photo: UNDP)

Opening ceremony for School No. 34 in Qumsangir District, Khatlon Province (Photo: UNDP)

Observation of a medical center in Qumsangir District, Khatlon Province (Photo: UNDP)

Observation of a medical center in Qumsangir District, Khatlon Province (Photo: UNDP)

●Several countries, including Kenya, Seychelles, Tanzania, and Djibouti

Maritime Law Enforcement Training for Countries in Asia and Surrounding Somalia
Training and Dialogue Program (region specific) (Multiple occasions between 2011 and 2013)

The number of pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden has dramatically decreased since 2012, as a result of various efforts made by the international community. However, piracy and armed robbery against ships there still remain a serious threat to the safety of navigation, and the current situation can easily be reversed should the international community relax its efforts. Japan and other countries consider anti-piracy measures in these areas as an international priority, and are working together to resolve this problem.

In this context, Japan has extended diverse assistance to strengthen the maritime security capabilities of countries in the region. For example, in accordance with “Asia Anti-Piracy Challenges 2000” adopted at an international conference on anti-piracy measures held in Tokyo in 2000, the Japanese Government held the “Maritime Law Enforcement Training for Countries in Asia and Surrounding Somalia”, and invited to the Japan Coast Guard, officers from maritime security organizations of countries in the Middle East and Africa working to combat Somali piracy and other issues.

Through this training program, Japan has transferred its maritime security techniques to participating countries, and has contributed to strengthening their maritime law enforcement capabilities. 15 maritime security officers in 2011, 22 maritime security officers in 2012, and 18 maritime security officers in 2013 arrived in Japan from countries such as Djibouti and Kenya and took part in the training program.

A participant engaged in lifesaving training on the sea (Photo: JICA)

A participant engaged in lifesaving training on the sea (Photo: JICA)