Chapter II. Major Issues in the International Community and Roles of Japan


Section 1. Trends in International Politics and Contributions to Peace


1. East-West Relations


(1) Introduction

A review of changes in East-West relations since 1987 shows that there were two summit meetings between the United States and the Soviet Union in Washington (December 1987) and in Moscow (May-June, 1988), following two rounds of talks in Geneva in 1985 and Reykjavik in 1986. During that time, the INF (Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces) treaty aimed at abolishing intermediate-range nuclear weapons on a global scale was signed in December 1987 after many twists and turns. (The treaty went into force in June 1988.) An agreement on withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan was also signed in Geneva in April 1988. Thus, there were several noteworthy developments for improving East-West relations.

It should be noted, however, that, while we welcome these developments, the state of confrontation and tensions still exist basically in East-West relations. The political declaration of the Toronto Summit in June 1988 evaluated a certain change in East-West relations, saying, "In several important respects changes have taken place in relations between Western countries and the Soviet Union since we last met." On the other hand, the declaration was cautious of Soviet military farces in Eastern Europe and the Far East and confirmed the importance of deterrence.


(2) The West's Basic Position

Needless to say, the stabilization of East-West relations is quite an important matter for world peace and stability. In this respect, the West has taken the following stand: (1) In order to create a truly stable and constructive East-West relationship, the West will promote dialogue with the East, while maintaining deterrence. And in view of the past developments to which we will refer later; (2) the West, in promoting East-West dialogue, will seek progress in all fields of East-West relations, including not only arms control and disarmament but also regional conflicts, human rights and bilateral issues.

(a) The double-track approach of promoting dialogue while maintaining deterrence is based on a realistic thinking that the level of confrontation between the East and the West can be lowered by promoting dialogue, while maintaining deterrence without relaxing vigilance against the East. This is the basic policy pursued by all Western nations. In this respect, the Statement on East-West Relations, issued at the Venice Summit in June 1987, says, "While reaffirming the continuing importance of nuclear deterrence in preserving peace, we note with satisfaction that dialogue on arms control has intensified and that more favorable prospects have emerged for the reduction of nuclear forces." The political declaration issued at the 1988 Toronto Summit also upheld the same principle, saying, "We have confirmed our belief in constructive and realistic dialogue and cooperation, including arms control, human rights and regional issues, as the way to build stability between East and West and enhance security at lower levels of arms. We also have reaffirmed that for the foreseeable future nuclear deterrence and adequate conventional strength are the guarantees of peace in freedom." Thus, the declaration emphasizes that the Western nations should make efforts of both "deterrence and dialogue."

(b) In promoting dialogue with the East, the Western nations have taken the basic stand that progress should be made in all fields, including arms control disarmament, regional conflicts and human rights and bilateral issues. This is based on the serious reflection on the part of the West that the so-called mood of "detente," created in the 1970s by the conclusion of the SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) between the United States and the Soviet Union and other developments, resulted after all in the Soviet military buildup and expansion of influence over the Third World, including the military intervention in Afghanistan, as well as in the suppression of the "Solidarity" movement in Poland. Consequently, the Western nations have come to take the stand that in order to ease political tension and confrontation and create more stable relations between East and West, progress in arms control and disarmament is an important factor, but that is not enough; East-West relations should be viewed and dealt with totally, that is, progress should be made simultaneously in regional conflicts, human rights and bilateral issues which are causes of tension and confrontation.

In this respect, the Statement on East-West Relations issued at the Venice Summit says, "Thus, we each seek to stabilize military competition between East and West at lower levels of arms; to encourage stable political solutions to regional conflicts; to secure lasting improvements in human rights; and to build contacts, confidence and trust between governments and peoples in a more humane world. Progress across the board is necessary to establish a durable foundation for stable and constructive relationships between the countries of East and West." This basic principle was again upheld at the Toronto Summit.


(3) Developments in the Past Year

(a) Continued Dialogue between Eastern and Western Nations

(i) Dialogue between the United States and the Soviet Union

The American and the Soviet leaders made their mutual visits in December 1987 and in May-June 1988, each for the first time in 14 years. Prior to their visits, several rounds of talks were held between the American and the Soviet Foreign Ministers. Talks between the American and the Soviet Defense Ministers were also held independent of the summit meeting for the first time in postwar years (Bern, March 1988). In August 1988, American Defense Secretary Carlucci visited Moscow for further talks.

It is the fact that, despite these contacts between the United States and the Soviet Union, "serious differences remain" between the two superpowers (the U.S.-Soviet joint statement, June 1988). Steady progress in such dialogue is useful in easing East-West tensions, and it is hoped that further efforts will be made for the continuation of talks.

(ii) Progress in Relations in Eastern and Western Europe

In Europe, British Prime Minister Thatcher made an official visit to the Soviet Union in March 1987, and held many hours of talks with General Secretary Gorbachev. She was the first British Prime Minister to visit Moscow in 12 years. In July 1987, FRG President Richard von Weizsacker visited the Soviet Union, and Soviet Foreign Minister Shevardnadze also visited the FRG in January 1988. In September 1987, Honecker, chairman of the GDR State Council, visited the FRG for the first time in postwar years. Thus, like between the United States and the Soviet Union, there were active exchange of visits between government leaders in Europe. Since General Secretary Gorbachev came to power, Comecon has begun to show a flexible attitude in its relations with the EC. In June 1988, Comecon and the EC signed a joint declaration to establish an official relationship more than 30 years after their foundation. Subsequently talks have been conducted individually between the Comecon member states and the EC to establish their official relationships.

In Europe, there is also the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) as a forum for multilateral dialogues. The 3rd follow-up meeting of the Helsinki Final Act, adopted in 1975, has been held in Vienna since November 1986 to draft a final document on East-West exchanges, including European security and human rights issues. Since some East European nations have shown a strongly negative response to the human rights question, regarding it as an intervention in their internal affairs. Progress is slow in the meeting; however, the participants are striving to adopt the final document this autumn. (See Chapter III, Section 4-2 "East-West Relations in Europe")

(b) Arms Control and Disarmament

(i) Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF)

After many twists and turns, progress was made in talks on the INF treaty, which was signed by President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev during his visit to Washington in December 1987, and ratification documents were exchanged during President Reagan's visit to Moscow on June 1, 1988. The treaty went into force the same day. It has a significant meaning for the following reasons: (1) In the history of nuclear disarmament, this treaty marks the first step toward reducing existing nuclear weapons by eliminating an entire class of U.S. and Soviet intermediate-range nuclear missiles. (2) This treaty calls for the global-scale abolition of intermediate-range nuclear missiles, including those deployed in the Asian region of the Soviet Union. (3) This treaty provides for intrusive verification measures, including on-site inspection. After the treaty went into force, American and Soviet inspection teams made their mutual visits in July 1988. Thus, the two nations have taken a significant step toward scrapping shorter-range INF within 18 months of the effectuation of the treaty, and longer-range ones within three years.

(ii) START and DST

 The United States and the Soviet Union have basically agreed to reduce 50% of their strategic nuclear weapons, and have continued their talks (START) on the basis of this agreement. At the U.S.-Soviet summit meeting in Moscow, some progress was made in the questions concerning the verification of mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and air-launch cruise missiles (ALCM), but differences of views still remain between the two nations concerning relations with the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), the verification question, the treatment of sea-launch cruise missiles (SLCM), and the sub-limit question (the breakdown of the number of strategic nuclear warheads and its upper limit). Thus, the future of talks warrants no optimism.

As for the defense and space talks (DST), which have been conducted in parallel with START, the U.S. and Soviet positions are still apart on such questions as the period during which the signatories cannot leave the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty, the system after the said period ends, and activities permitted under the ABM treaty.

(iii) Conventional Arms Control Talks in Europe

In parallel with the 3rd follow-up meeting of the CSCE (started in Vienna in November 1986), 23 NATO and Warsaw Pact nations have held a round of preparatory meetings for conventional arms control talks in Vienna since February 1987. These talks aim at reducing conventional forces throughout Europe (from the Atlantic to the Urals). The nations have so far discussed the objective of the talks, when to start and where and what to reduce. Full-scale talks are yet to start.

No concrete progress has been made in Mutual and Balanced Forces Reductions talks (MBFR) which have been conducted since 1973 with the participation of 19 central European countries (seven Eastern and 12 Western nations). (See Chapter III, Section 4-2 "East-West Relations in Europe").

(iv) Nuclear Testing

In September 1987, the American and the Soviet Foreign Ministers agreed to start talks for a total ban on nuclear testing as the final goal, and talks for this purpose started in November 1987. Consequently, talks are under way to revise the verification procedures in the TTBT (Threshold Test Ban Treaty), signed in 1974, and the PNET (Peaceful Nuclear Explosion Treaty), signed in 1976, so that these two treaties can be ratified. At the U.S.-Soviet summit meeting in June 1988, the agreement was reached on conducting joint verification tests in the summer of 1988, to make an agreement on effective verification procedures under the TTBT. The tests were conducted in Nevada in August 1988, and are to be conducted in Semipalatinsk in September.

(c) Regional Problems

Based on the reflection that the U.S.-Soviet relations deteriorated as a result of the Soviet advances to the Third World (Angola, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, etc.) in the latter half of the 1970s, the Reagan Administration announced the Reagan proposal for the settlement of regional problems at the United Nations General Assembly in October 1985. Subsequently, the United States has actively taken up these problems for discussion at meetings with the Soviet Union.

Particularly, the Afghan problem, in which the Soviet Union is directly involved, has cast a dark shadow on East-West relations as international opinion strongly denounced the Soviet action. Indirect talks between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been held in Geneva since June 1982 through the mediation of U.N. Under-Secretary-General Cordovez, the U.N. Secretary-General's personal representative, and these talks reached agreement on April 14, 1988. Four documents and one memorandum, including agreement on the withdrawal of the Soviet troops, were signed by Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as by the United States and the Soviet Union as guarantors.

In view of the fact that the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan in December 1979 caused East-West relations to deteriorate decisively, the agreement on the withdrawal of the Soviet troops should be welcomed as a significant step toward improvement of East-West relations. However, the main resistance forces, Mujahedeen, were not invited to participate in the Geneva accord, and fighting is still going on between the Kabul regime and the guerrilla forces. Afghan refugees cannot return home smoothly. Thus, the Afghan problem still has many things to be solved. (As for other regional problems, various moves have been made to reach political solutions, including talks between the parties involved, but many difficulties lie ahead. For further information, see 2. in this Section "Regional Problems."

(d) Human Rights

The human rights question is a basic matter linked directly to the fundamental values of Western nations. In the final document of the CSCE, adopted in 1975, the 35 participants (the United States, the Soviet Union and most European nations) pledged cooperation in human rights and other questions. From the viewpoint of observing the CSCE Final Act (Helsinki accord), the West has always taken up this question for discussion at meetings with the East, including President Reagan's meeting with Soviet leaders in Moscow.

Specifically discussed in connection with East-West relations are the problem of personnel and information exchanges between the East and the West and the problem of ensuring respect for human rights which tend to be thought light of under the Eastern system. In this respect, the number of people of Jewish or German origin who have left the Soviet Union after expressing the desire to do so has been increasing for the past two years or so. There have also been "democratization" moves within the Soviet Union. These trends, which may be helpful in improving East West relations, have not been institutionalized.

The Statement on East-West Relations, issued at the Venice Summit, says, "We call for significant and lasting progress in human rights, which is essential to building trust between our societies." The political declaration issued at the Toronto Summit also says, "We urge the Soviet Union to move forward in ensuring human dignity and freedoms, and to implement fully and strengthen substantially its commitments under the Helsinki process."


(4) Conclusion

It can be said that several favorable changes that have taken place in East-West relations in the past year or so are the result of the Western nations' firm unity and America's negotiations with the Soviet Union in this background. The Soviet Union under General Secretary Gorbachev is making dynamic moves internally and externally. In East-West relations, particularly, the Soviet Union is showing a flexible attitude, calculating advantages and disadvantages out of recognition that the improvement of relations with the West is indispensable for breaking the deadlock in its domestic economy. It should be noted that these new moves do not mean a fundamental change in the basic strategy of the Soviet Union but are indications that Moscow is pursuing a more effective policy to achieve its objective, that is, to build a "Strong Soviet Union." Therefore, it has become all the more important than before for the West to follow the Soviet moves carefully and maintain unity with the common understanding of the Soviet Union. As the leaders of the seven industrial nations declared at the Toronto Summit, "In the Soviet Union greater freedom and openness will offer opportunities to reduce mistrust and build confidence." Keeping this in mind, the West should respond positively to these Soviet moves. It is necessary for the West to improve economic relations with the East, taking the West's security interests into consideration.

In reality, the East and the West are still basically opposed to each other. Although the Soviet Union and other Eastern nations have made various "peace offensives," the Warsaw Pact nations still maintain per dominance in the conventional forces in Europe. The Soviet military buildup in the Far East is still continuing. The reduction of these threats remains as a major task.

Japan is the only Asian nation in the industrialized Western camp. As a member of the Asian community, Japan has explained East-West relations from the Asian point of view at summit meetings and on other occasions in an effort to deepen other nations' understanding. The Williamsburg statement says, "Western security is inseparable." Keeping this in mind and from the standpoint of maintaining security for the entire West, Japan has consulted and cooperated closely with the United States and other Western nations in arms control and disarmament and other issues, including the effort to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear forces on a global scale. These efforts are highly evaluated by the Western countries. It is necessary for Japan, the United States and Europe to be united and cooperate with one another in the future, taking their different positions into consideration.


2. Regional Problems


In many parts of the world today, there still exist regional conflicts, tension and instability. These problems not only hamper the progress and development of the nations directly involved but also threaten the stability of the areas and eventually endanger world stability and prosperity.

The regional problems may be divided roughly into two categories: those raised by the Soviet advances to or interventions in the Third World in the latter half of the 1970s and those originating mainly from the historical, ethnic or communal conflicts of the particular regions. In either case, the situation is characterized by a complex interaction between inherent local interests and circumstances, the interests of neighboring countries, those of major powers and the directions of East-West relations as a whole.

It should be welcomed that the Afghan problem and the Iran-Iraq dispute, which have long been the elements of instability, have begun to move toward settlements through positive efforts by the nations concerned and the United Nations. In other regions, there are also moves to solve local problems through their own efforts; conditions for the settlement of local disputes are being established by the parties directly involved and the United Nations and it is hoped that further progress will be made through such efforts. Japan, which is becoming a major actor in supporting international order, must continue its diplomatic efforts for early and peaceful solutions to these regional conflicts.

The following are the latest developments related to some of the major regional problems and a review of Japan's position vis-a-vis these problems and its diplomatic efforts.


Major Regional Problems


(1) Korean Peninsula

(a) General View

The peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula are closely related to those of East Asia, including Japan, and future moves on the Korean Peninsula are of vital importance to Japan, East Asia and the whole world. The basic state of confrontation between North and South still remains unchanged. From 1987 to 1988, however, there were new developments in the international situation in connection with the peaceful transfer of power in the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the summer Olympic Games in Seoul. Thus, the Korean Peninsula has entered a crucial phase, and future moves deserve attention.

(b) Review of Developments

(i) In the Korean Peninsula, large-scale military forces are opposed to each other across the demilitarized zone (DMZ); military tensions still exist.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) maintains friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance treaties with China and the Soviet Union. It seems that North Korea is still pursuing its military buildup policy with the aim of achieving its goal, that is, "Four Major Military Lines" (the militarization of all people, the fortification of the entire country, etc.) which was adopted in 1962. Furthermore, North Korea has modernized its military equipment by strengthening military relations with the Soviet Union.

While adhering to the U.S.-ROK mutual defense arrangements, the ROK has been making efforts to prevent disputes by strengthening its defense power. The ROK's defense efforts, together with the United States' firm commitment to the defense of the ROK, contribute to the maintenance of peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.

(ii) In North-South relations, there were signs that dialogue might develop through such channels as the Red Cross meetings and the North-South Adjustment Committee in the first half of the 1970s, and the economic talks and sports talks held through the mediation of the International Olympic Committee in the middle of the 1980s. However, the basic positions of North and South are wide apart. Since North Korea unilaterally suspended the dialogue in 1986 on the ground of the annual U.S.-ROK joint training (Team Spirit 86), there had been no substantial talks between North and South. On July 7, 1988, President Roh Tae Woo announced a special declaration and made a 6-point proposal, including the promotion of wide-range contacts with North Korea, cooperation in improving North Korea's relations with Japan, the United States and other countries, and efforts to improve the ROK's relations with China, the Soviet Union and other countries. Subsequently, the ROK has taken various steps to materialize these initiatives. Although North Korea opposed the Roh proposal, it proposed a North-South parliamentarians' conference the same month, and the ROK agreed to open a preparatory meeting for the proposed conference. Thus, future North-South dialogue deserves attention.

In connection with the 24th summer Olympic Games in Seoul, North-South sports talks had been held since 1985 through the mediation of the IOC. Since North Korea rejected the IOC's final proposal (July 1987) concerning athletic events to be held in the North, these talks made no progress.

(iii) The Korean Airlines incident in November1987 impressed on the world afresh the existence of tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Through investigations by the ROK government and other organizations, it was revealed that this incident, camouflaged as if Japanese nationals were involved, was a terrorist act planned and conducted by North Korea. With the aim of showing a stern attitude toward international terrorism, Japan took measures against North Korea, including restrictions on personnel interchanges. This incident was discussed at various international organizations, including the United Nations Security Council.

(iv) There are prospects that the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul will be held as a peace festival transcending different political systems and ideals with the participation of 161 countries and territories, including the United States, as well as many socialist countries, including the Soviet Union and China. The number of participants will be the largest in Olympic history. Since a successful Seoul Olympic Games contribute to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and Asia, Japan plans to cooperate in the Games as much as possible. The ROK is regarded as the front-runner of the Newly Industrializing Economies (NIEs). In addition to its remarkable economic growth, the ROK had demonstrated its political maturity to the world, the latest example of which was the peaceful transfer of power through a direct presidential election. The ROK has also expanded its economic contacts with some socialist countries by mutually establishing trade representative offices. If the Olympic Games are carried out successfully, Seoul's international position will rise sharply and its interchanges with China, the Soviet Union and other socialist nations will further expand.

Facing economic difficulties, North Korea now stands at a crucial turning point, whether to open its doors gradually to restore international trust it lost as a result of terrorist acts, including the Rangoon bombing and KAL bombing incidents, or whether to further isolate itself from the rest of the world.

(c) Japan's Position

Japan hopes that substantial talks will be resumed .at an early date between the North and the South and that dialogue will intensify through constructive efforts on both sides, so that tensions can be eased and lasting peace established on the Korean Peninsula with which this country has deep geographical and historical ties. From this standpoint, Japan welcomes and supports the above-mentioned July 7 special declaration and intends to cooperate with the nations concerned in the belief that a climate for intensified dialogue should be created.

As mentioned before, Japan showed a stern attitude in its relations with North Korea, but its basic framework for economic and cultural contacts remains unchanged. At the same time, Japan expects North Korea to make sincere efforts toward relaxing tensions in the Korean Peninsula.


(2) Cambodian Problem

(a) General View

The Cambodian problem, which began with Vietnam's military intervention in Cambodia in December 1987, is characterized by a conflict between the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea consisting of the three anti-Vietnam factions, namely, the Sihanouk faction, the Son Sann faction and the Khmer Rouge, on the one hand, and the Vietnam-backed Heng Samrin regime* on the other. Militarily, the conflict is now at a stalemate, and although there are some political moves, no solution is yet in sight. In view of the continuing stationing of Vietnamese troops in Kampuchea, the prolonged refugee problem, and increased Soviet presence in Indochina, the Cambodian problem is posing the most serious security problem for the ASEAN countries, especially for Thailand.


Fig. 1 Cambodian Problem

(1) Conflicting Parties


Fig. 2

(2) Military Situation


(b) Recent Developments

(i) Vietnam has shown a seemingly flexible attitude, saying that it will withdraw all its troops from Cambodia by the end of 1990 and accept neutrality in the future. It seems that behind such an attitude is Vietnam's intention to get out of its economic slump by improving relations with Western nations.

At his initiative, Prince Norodom Sihanouk conferred with Hun Sen (the premier of the "Heng Samrin regime") in December 1987 and January 1988.

At these meetings, timetable for the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops and the question of setting up a coalition government were discussed. Taking Vietnam's intentions into consideration, the Hun Sen side insisted on the dismantlement of the Khmer Rouge's military wing as the prerequisite for the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops and an election under the "Heng Samrin regime." Thus, the Hun Sen side has shown no signs of concession.

(ii) Since Vietnam shows no signs of concession, Prince Norodom Sihanouk announced his intention to cancel the third meeting with Hun Sen scheduled for April in North Korea and suggested that the third meeting be held in France at the end of 1988.

In order to break the deadlock, Prince Norodom Sihanouk is exploring the possibility of direct talks with Vietnam, but Vietnam insists that talks among Kampucheans should come first, and has not responded to the Prince's call.

In July 1987, Indonesia proposed an informal dialogue plan ("cocktail-party" style dialogue) in which both the leaders of four Khmer parties and representatives of the other nations concerned would participate. This plan materialized in July 1988 as an Informal meeting in Bogor, Indonesia. Although certain progress was made toward a political solution as a result of four-day exchanges of views, the way for a real political solution is regarded as still difficult.

(iii) China, which believes that the Cambodian problem is the biggest stumbling block to improving relations with the Soviet Union, continues to support the three factions of the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea. Labeling Vietnam as an aggressor, China insists that Vietnam should first withdraw its troops. Thus, China still maintains a strong attitude toward Vietnam.

The Soviet Union has made some remarks on a political solution to the Cambodian problem, but has shown little change in its action. It seems that there is a certain limit on their influence over Vietnam.

Thus, the existence of many countries with strong interests makes a solution to the Cambodian problem more difficult.

(c) Japan's Position

The Cambodian problem is a regional conflict in Asia geographically close to Japan. If the solution is delayed, it will increase the Cambodian people's suffering, hamper economic development in Indochina and pose a threat to peace and stability in this region. Keeping this in mind, Japan has supported the ASEAN's peace efforts for a comprehensive political solution to this problem. At the same time, Japan has continued political dialogue with Vietnam and has encouraged Hanoi to take a more flexible attitude. Japan has also repeatedly expressed its intention to help Indochina rebuild its economy in the peace process after a political settlement is achieved. At the meeting of Japanese and ASEAN leaders on December 15, 1987, Prime Minister Takeshita clarified Japan's position, as mentioned above. At the Post-Ministerial Conference of ASEAN Foreign Ministers in July 1988, Foreign Minister Uno presented three-pillars of a political solution, the total withdrawal of Vietnamese troops through the introduction of international observers and an international peacekeeping force, the establishment of a truly independent, neutral and non-aligned Cambodia and an international guarantee for such a political solution. This concept was supported by other leaders. Foreign Minister Uno also expressed that Japan would be ready to extend appropriate aid and cooperation in different stages of the peace process, which were also welcomed by other countries. The invitation of Prince Norodom Sihanouk to visit Japan in early August is part of Japan's diplomatic effort along this line.


(3) Afghan Problem

(a) General View

The Afghan problem began when the Soviet Union intervened militarily in Afghanistan's unstable political situation in December 1979 and installed a regime in favor of Moscow namely the Karmal regime. Armed conflicts flared up in various parts of Afghanistan between the new regime which was not supported by its people and the Soviet troops which supported the new regime on the one hand and various resistance groups on the other. Since the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan was an act of aggression violating basic principles of international law, including respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-intervention in internal affairs, the Western nations and other members of the international community strongly denounced the action by the Soviet Union. Thus, the Afghan problem has become a "symbol" of East-West confrontation.




Sketch of Afghanistan


Since General Secretary Gorbachev assumed office in 1985, however, there have been signs of change in the Soviet policy toward Afghanistan. Including the mediation by U.N. Under-Secretary-General Cordovez, various efforts to break the deadlock had been made since the autumn of 1987. Proximity talks between Afghanistan (the Najibullah regime) and Pakistan in Geneva, mediated by Under-Secretary-General Cordovez, came to a conclusion on April 14, 1988, and the Soviet troops began to pull out of Afghanistan on May 15. Thus, a major step has been taken toward a solution to the Afghan problem.

(b) Recent Developments

(i) With the aim of reaching a political solution to the Afghan problem, Pakistan and Afghanistan began proximity talks in 1982 through the mediation of U.N. Under-Secretary-General Cordovez. Two rounds of these talks were held in Geneva in February-March and in September 1987. There were differences of views among the nations concerned regarding the period of the withdrawal of the Soviet troops which was the main subject of discussion at the talks. No agreement was reached at the end of that year. In January 1988, however, Soviet Foreign Minister Shevardnadze announced Moscow's intention to withdraw the Soviet troops within the year, and in February, General Secretary Gorbachev made this intention clearer and announced that the Soviet Union would separate the question of withdrawal from the question of what form of government to set up after the withdrawal. Moscow had insisted that the settlement of the question of government should be made the prerequisite for the withdrawal.

Immediately after the resumption of proximity talks in Geneva in March 1988, it was agreed that the Soviet troops should withdraw within a nine-month period, and broad agreement was reached on the wording of documents. Meanwhile, the United States and the Soviet Union discussed the question of setting up a provisional government, as well as the question of suspending their military aid, as matters outside the framework of the proximity talks. Regarding the latter question, the United States declared unilaterally that it would continue aid to the resistance groups as long as Soviet aid to Afghanistan is not suspended. Regarding the former question, it was agreed that U.N. Under-Secretary-General Cordovez should act as mediator in his private capacity for the establishment of a government based on the Afghan people's general will.

On April 14, 1988, the Geneva Agreement was signed by the United States, the Soviet Union, Pakistani and Afghan Foreign Ministers, in the presence of the U.N. Secretary-General. Thus, the Soviet troops will withdraw from Afghanistan within nine months starting from May 15, 1988, and 50% of them within the first three months.

(ii) The reasons why the Geneva Agreement reached at this particular time are the following: the Soviet Union, which had been seeking a solution to the Afghan problem since 1987, apparently wished to see its image improved in American and Western nations' eyes before the United States and Soviet summit meeting opens in late May, and to improve its relations with Western countries, so that it could rebuild its domestic economy; domestically, Moscow may have hoped to lessen its burden on the stationing of troops which proved to be ineffective; furthermore, the Najibullah regime's national reconciliation policy toward the resistance forces did not go well; and Pakistan regarded Afghan stability as indispensable for an early return of Afghan refugees to their home, so that it could lessen its economic and security burdens.

(iii) The resistance forces in Afghanistan are critical of the proximity talks in Geneva, in which they did not participate themselves, and oppose the Geneva Agreement. Since they are determined to continue their resistance, there is the possibility that the state of confusion may continue in Afghanistan after the Soviet troops pull out of the country. In fact, their offensive is gradually intensifying. Under these circumstances, for the stability in Afghanistan, it is hoped that a broad-based government will be established in Afghanistan at an early date. On July 9, U.N. Under-Secretary-General Cordovez announced a private peace plan for a cease-fire and the establishment of a new regime.


Positions of the Conflicting Parties
Resistance Forces Afghan Regime
��  Do not recognize any coalition government with the PDPA (the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan) or communities.
��  The Geneva Agreement is null and void.
��  Will establish a government of national reconciliation backed by the regime.
��  Will abide by the Geneva Agreement.


(c) Japan's Position

Since the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan, Japan has emphasized on every occasion the need for an early, comprehensive solution to the problem, including the complete total withdrawal of the Soviet troops, and has supported a series of the U.N. General Assembly resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Soviet troops. The start of the withdrawal of the Soviet troops marks the first step toward a comprehensive solution to the Afghan problem, and the realization of the withdrawal of the Soviet troops which international society has been seeking for many years will certainly contribute to the stabilization of East-West relations and peace in the region. Japan evaluates the Soviet withdrawal.

Japan expects the Soviet troop withdrawal to be carried out as scheduled in accordance with the Geneva Agreement and hopes that a voluntary return of all the Afghan refugees to their home be ensured and that a broad-based government reflecting the consensus among the Afghan people can be established at an early date. It is important for the nations concerned to make these efforts, so that substantial progress can be made toward a comprehensive settlement. Japan has decided to disburse $5 million out of the $20 million special U.N. contribution for the expenses for the implementation of the Geneva Agreement, including the observation of the Soviet troop withdrawal. Japan has also decided to dispatch a civilian personnel to cooperate in the U.N. activities, namely UNGOMAP. Japan will cooperate positively with U.N. agencies in their activities to ensure all refugees' voluntary return home. It is necessary for Japan to further study what it can do to help Afghanistan rebuild its economy when a new government that truly represents the people is established in that country.


(4) Iran-Iraq Conflict

(a) General View

The Iran-Iraq conflict, which broke out in September 1980, continued for about eight years until 1988. The conflict was triggered initially by a territorial dispute, interference in domestic affairs and exportation of the movement of the Islamic revolution. But in the background there exists antagonism between Arab and Persian religious issues and others. The conflict between Iran and Iraq is very deep-rooted.

The situation of the conflict in recent years has become more complicated as it was seen that complexity in terms of tactics as exemplified by tanker attacks by both sides, the use of chemical weapons and attacks on civilian targets was increased, and armed dashes between Iran and the United States broke out since 1987.

In July 1987 the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 598 calling for, an immediate cease-fire in the Iran-Iraq conflict, and subsequently the U.N. Secretary-General carried out peace efforts which culminated in the acceptance of the said resolution by Iran on July 18, 1988 (Iraq accepted the resolution immediately after it was adopted). The cease-fire came into effect on August 20. The two countries then agreed to enter into direct talks under the auspices of the U.N. Secretary-General from August 25, thus taking a major step toward peace.

(b) Recent Developments

(i) Land Battles

In January 1987 Iran carried out its 5th Karbala Operation in the southern part of Iraq and secured a footing within Iraqi territory. During the rest of 1987, fighting continued in the mountainous regions of the north in main, but no major change occurred in the war.

From the end of February 1988, both countries continued to launch missile attacks on each other's cities. In the beginning of April, Iraq successfully recovered Fao Peninsula, which Iran had occupied since 1986, and by July Iraq had recovered nearly all of the territory that Iran had occupied. As a result, the military situation became advantageous to Iraq.

(ii) Situation in the Gulf

Attacks on vessels occurred frequently in 1987, as in 1986, and in May 1987, the U.S. warship Stark was mistakenly attacked by an Iraqi fighter plane.

From October 1986, ships sailing to and from Kuwait were attacked one after another, and consequently, Kuwait asked the United States to permit its tankers to sail under the U.S. flag. The U.S. accepted the request and at the same time reinforced its Middle East fleet. Iran aired a strong protest against the reinforcement of U.S. Navy, insisting that the U.S. showed its intention to intervene in regional affairs as a superpower.

In July a tanker touched a mine while being escorted by the U.S. Navy. Against the threat of mines, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium dispatched mine sweeping boats. In September, the United States captured an Iranian boat, charging that it had tried to lay mines in the sea (although the Iranians denied the charge). Then in October, Iran fired missiles on Kuwait, one of which damaged a tanker bearing the U.S. flag and afterward, the U.S. ordered its warships to attack an Iranian oil platform complex.


Recent Developments Surrounding Iran-Iraq Conflict


Estimated Number of Vessels Attacked in the Gulf

(Jan. '84-Jul. '88)


Iran-Iraq Conflict

Assertions of Iran and Iraq: Positions and Defferences


In April the United States, asserting that Iran had again placed mines in the sea, attacked another Iranian oil platform complex in the sea. Iran retaliated by attacking an oil platform complex owned by the United Arab Emirates.

Moreover, in July 1988 a U.S. warship, which had been exchanging fire with Iran, mistook an Iranian passenger plane for a fighter plane and shot it down with a missile. It was feared the tension in the Gulf region would be intensified, but it was exclusively handled by the U.N. Security Council and ICAO, and Resolution 616 expressing regret was adopted by the Security Council.

Furthermore, on the grounds that Iran had rejected Security Council Resolution 598, the United States individually imposed economic sanctions against Iran involving a complete ban on imports from Iran and prohibition of exports of 14 items capable of being redirected for military use.

(iii) Iran-Arab Relations

Arab countries had assumed a position closer to Iraq, which is also an Arab country. On account of the intensification of fighting between Iran and Iraq and the Mecca incident that broke out in July 1987, in which Iranian pilgrims clashed with the Saudi authorities, an extraordinary Arab League Summit Meeting was called in November. At the summit the Arab heads of state reconfirmed their support of Iraq and intensified their anti-Iranian position, and Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in April 1988.

(c) Japan's Role

(i) With the commencement of attacks on land by Iran in the southern part of the Iraqi territory in 1987, calls for an immediate peaceful resolution of the Iran-Iraq conflict increased further in the international community. In July, the Security Council adopted Resolution 598, calling for an immediate cease-fire, withdrawal, and the establishment of a neutral body to investigate responsibility for the conflict.

(ii) Iraq immediately announced its acceptance of Security Council Resolution 598, but Iran did not make a clear announcement of acceptance. Thus the U.N. Secretary-General commenced in September 1987 his arbitration efforts toward the implementation of Resolution 598. In July 1988 Iran officially announced its acceptance of Resolution 598. As a result, a cease-fire came into effect on August 20, and the two countries agreed to enter direct talks from August 25 under the auspices of the U.N. Secretary-General. Thus, the Iran-Iraq conflict took the first major step toward peace, although there are still many unresolved issues. Thus it will be necessary to keep a close watch on how the peace talks develop.


Position on Implementation of Resolution 598

(as of the end of July, 1988)


(iii) Japan, which has been continuing to endeavor to create a climate conducive to a solution of the conflict, actively participated in the deliberations for the adoption of Security Council Resolution 598 as a non-permanent Security Council member, doing its utmost to make the content of the resolution acceptable to both Iran and Iraq. Moreover, Japan has actively supported the mediation efforts of the Secretary-General, for example, by allocating $10 million out of its $20 million special U.N. contribution to the expense for those efforts.

(iv) Japan has been continuing to take every possible opportunity to encourage both Iran and Iraq to achieve an early peaceful solution of the conflict and to positively respond to the U.N. mediation efforts. Foreign Minister Kuranari visited Iran in June 1987 and Iraq in September 1987 and made an appeal to the two sides for an early peace. Moreover, when the Iranian Foreign Minister Velayati visited Japan in November, Japanese Foreign Minister Uno directly and strongly urged him to accept Security Council Resolution 598. When Iraq's Foreign Undersecretary Zahawie visited Japan in February 1988, the Japanese side had a dialogue for peace with him.

(d) Safety of Navigation in the Gulf and Japan's Contribution

(i) At the beginning of 1987, concerns for securing safe navigation of vessels increased both in Japan and abroad. In January a Japanese ship was attacked, which was the first incidence of Japanese flagged shipping in the Iran-Iraq conflict. From then until July 1988, 10 vessels owned by Japanese, of which four were Japanese flagged ships, were similarly attacked.

(ii) About 55 percent of all of Japan's crude oil is imported from the Gulf region via the Strait of Hormuz. Thus Japan is one of the major beneficiaries of securing safe navigation of vessels sailing in the Gulf. Against this background Japan, as a responsible member of the international community, is committed to share the burden for securing safe navigation by non-military means. Thus, in October 1987, it adopted a package of measures, including the installation of a safety navigation systems, making strenuous efforts for their implementation.


(5) Middle East Peace Problem

(a) General Viw

There bad not been any major developments in the issue of peace in the Middle East for some time. But with the outbreak of disturbances in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip in December 1987, active diplomatic moves were made with the view to activating the Middle East peace process. In February 1988, U.S. Secretary of State Shultz launched a vigorous diplomatic initiative including a concrete peace proposal, but the outlook for success is still uncertain.


Middle East Peace Problem


(b) Recent Developments

(i) In recent years efforts had been made to resolve the problem of achieving peace in the Middle East by holding international conferences, but no significant progress was visible up to the end of 1987.


The issue of Peace in the Middle East

(1) What is the issue of peace in the Middle East?

It consists of the following points of difference between Arab nations and Israel arising from the founding of the state of Israel in 1948.

The main points of difference between the various parties to the dispute;

(a) The issue recognizing the right of self-determination for Palestinians, including the right to establish an independent state of Palestine.
(b) The issue of the Israeli withdrawal from the territories it has occupied since the 3rd Middle East Conflict (1967).
(c) The issue of recognizing the right of Israel to exist.

(2) Four wars have been fought between Arab nations and Israel from 1948 to 1973, but the fundamental differences that exist between the belligerents have not been resolved.

(3) Road to peace:

An historic visit to Israel was made by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1977. Then in 1978 the Camp David Agreement (CDA) involving the three leaders - Carter, Sadat and Begin - was concluded. Subsequently, in 1979, relations between Egypt and Israel were normalized

More recently, disturbances broke out on the West Bank and Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip in December 1987, the largest since Israel first occupied the area in 1967. This prompted U.S. Secretary of State Shultz to visit the Middle East and present his peace proposal four times from February 1988. Even at the Toronto Summit, the Middle East conflict was taken up in the chairman's summary statement. But the prospects of peace are still far from certain.


On the Palestinian side, the 18th Palestine National Council (PNC, equivalent to a PLO Parliament) adopted a hard-line policy demanding that the PLO be allowed to participate in international conferences on an equal footing with other participating countries and in the capacity of an independent state, while rejecting the option of requiring the PLO to participate within a joint-delegation framework with Jordan, a moderate in the Arab camp.

Moreover, on the Israeli side, the other party to the dispute, there was a conflict of opinion between the Labor Party (led by Foreign Minister Perez) and the Likud Party (led by Prime Minister Shamir), the two parties from which Israel's coalition cabinet is formed: whereas the Labor Party supported an international conference that would lead to direct bilateral negotiations, the Likud opposed the very convening of the conference on the grounds that it would compromise Israel's territorial integrity. Consequently, the Israeli government was unable to adopt a united stance.

(ii) Amid such circumstances, a traffic accident occurred on the Gaza Strip on December 8, 1987 involving an Israeli military truck. Four Palestinians were killed. This accident triggered the most serious disturbance on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since Israel began its occupation in 1967.

(iii) The sudden change in the West Bank and Gaza Strip drew attention to the importance and urgency of settling the peace issue in the Middle East, resulting in the activation of peace efforts by the United States and other countries concerned. In January, in a note sent to U.N. Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar, Soviet Foreign Minister Shevardnadze proposed the convening of a foreign-ministerial level Security Council meeting. In the same month, President Mubarak of Egypt announced a peace initiative that generally called for the suspension of Israel's settlement activities and acts of violence on the West Bank and Gaza Strip provided, among other things, that the safety and rights of Palestinians are assured.

(iv) While these moves were made by the countries concerned, U.S. Secretary of State Shultz and others also launched an ambitious peace initiative on the diplomatic front. From February 25 to March 4, Shultz engaged in shuttle diplomacy between Israel, Syria and Egypt, presenting his peace proposal to each in the process. The proposal calls first for the convening of an international conference to be attended by the conflicting parties, and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council. It then calls for the commencement of bilateral talks between Israel and the neighboring countries. In particular, talks should be held between Israel and the joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation with a view to reaching an agreement within six months on transitional measures to be taken concerning the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The proposal also states that negotiations should be started on the ultimate status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip seven months after the bilateral talks commence.

(v) The countries concerned as a whole welcomed these moves by the United States as an indication of the latter's active participation in the peace process. But individual countries have made different demands from their respective positions, and as of the end of July, Egypt announced its support of the U.S. proposal, but the others concerned have not yet indicated their final response. Israel, since it has yet to resolve the split within its government mentioned in (i) above, is still split between Foreign Minister Perez, who advocates acceptance of the U.S. proposal, and Prime Minister Shamir, who refuses to accept. Thus, even when the latter visited the United States in mid-March, he could not present a unified position of his government concerning the proposal in question. The Arab side is taking the position of first ascertaining the response of the Israel side. Although Egypt has praised the U.S. proposal as forward looking, the hard-liners, Syria and PLO, have expressed reservations.

(vi) As the foregoing shows, it is still too early to predict the outcome of Secretary of State Shultz's peace proposal, but the United States has pledged to continue its peace efforts in the future. The U.S. presidential election and Israel's general election will be held in the fall of 1988, and the effects of their outcome on the peace process will be watched closely.

(c) Japan's Role

Japan has usually taken the position that peace in the Middle East must be fair, lasting and comprehensive, and that such a peace must be achieved by fulfilling the following conditions: (1) Israel's withdrawal from all of the Arab territories it occupied as a result of the 1967 War; (2) recognition of the rights of Palestinians to self-determination, including the establishment of an independent Palestinian state; and (3) recognition of the right of Israel to exist.

On the basis of the above position, Japan has provided as much indirect support as possible to help achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict, including holding dialogues with the parties concerned. In September 1987, Foreign Minister Kuranari visited Jordan, and later in December his Jordanian counterpart, Taher al-Masri, visited Japan. Through these and other meetings, the Japanese government exchanged views on ways to achieve peace in the Middle East. Furthermore, in June 1988, as part of "cooperation for peace," which is within the "plan for international cooperation," and to explore what role Japan can, and should play in the issue of peace in the Middle East, Foreign Minister Uno visited Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Israel - the parties directly involved in the Middle East conflict.

In addition to these diplomatic efforts, in its efforts to help stabilize the living conditions of Palestinian residents in connection with the Palestinian issue, the core of the peace process in the Middle East, Japan has up to now provided a level of financial support and food aid second only to the United States through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. In fiscal 1988, based on the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, Japan decided to donate $1 million to the Multinational Force and Observers stationed on the Sinai peninsula. It also decided to provide $1 million cash assistance to the socioeconomic development of the West Bank and Gaza Strip region by establishing a Japan-Palestine development fund under the United Nations Development Programme.


(6) Southern African Problem

(a) General View

In the southern African region, much concern was generated as to the deteriorating situation in South Africa and resultant adverse effects on the neighboring countries that rely heavily on South Africa for their economies. To make matters worse, South Africa launched border attacks on Angola, Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana as part of its policy of destabilizing the neighboring countries.

Amid such alarming conditions, and against a background of the recent progress in the U.S.-Soviet relationship, situations involving Angola have begun to show signs of progress since the beginning of 1988. But the fact remains unchanged that the situation in the southern African region continues to be determined by South Africa.

(b) Conflict in South Africa

(i) Despite the imposition of strengthened sanctions against South Africa by many countries in 1986, the whites in South Africa doggedly resisted the international pressure, as reflected by the fact that the conservatives, including the ruling Nationalist Party, gained a landslide victory in the election of the House of Assembly (consisting only of white parliamentarians) held in May 1987. Since then, no progress has been made on the terms for introducing fundamental reforms to apartheid. This is evidenced by the following: (1) Pretoria twice extended its state of emergency, the first in June 1987, the second in June 1988; (2) in February 1988, Pretoria announced its intention to prohibit the activities of 17 anti-Apartheid groups, including the United Democratic Front (UDF), as well as to restrict the activities of the Conference of South African Trade Unions (COSATU); (3) Pretoria announced its intention in March 1988 to execute six death-row prisoners who were sentenced to death as suspects in the murder of the deputy mayor of Sharpeville, which took place in September 1984 (the South African government, under heavy denunciation from the international community, has subsequently postponed the execution, and the defense counsel has submitted a request for retrial); and (4) as reflected in the border attacks on Zambia in April 1987, on Mozambique in May 1987 and on Botswana in March 1988, Pretoria reinforced its destabilizing maneuvers against the neighboring countries.





(ii) Eight resolutions were adopted at the 42nd United Nations General Assembly, including comprehensive compulsory sanctions against South Africa based on Article 7 of the United Nations Charter.

Moreover, in March an emergency Security Council meeting was held to discuss measures restricting the activities of anti-apartheid groups that the South African government announced in February 1988. A resolution calling for compulsory sanctions against South Africa was introduced and debated, but in the end it was rejected because the United Kingdom and the United States invoked their veto power (Japan abstained).

(iii) Japan has adopted and continued to maintain various kinds of sanctions against South Africa in line with its strong opposition to apartheid. In addition, as a way of promoting dialogue with black South African leaders, and at the invitation of the Africa Association, Mr. Oliver Tambo, President of the African National Congress, visited Japan in April 1987 and met with then Prime Minister Nakasone and Foreign Minister Kuranari. And to support the blacks in South Africa, who are victimized by Apartheid, Japan began making new donations in 1987 ($400,000 in the first fiscal year) to projects designed to support medical treatment and education for blacks. Moreover, Japan has strengthened its economic cooperation vis-a-vis the neighboring countries of South Africa.

(c) Conflict in Angola

(i) In order to maintain Apartheid, South Africa implements measures to destabilize the neighboring countries as part of its foreign policy, and in particular South Africa puts strong pressure on the government of Angola because it neighbors resource-rich Namibia, which Pretoria has illegally occupied.

In October 1987, when Angolan government troops launched a massive attack on the anti-government organization UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola), which has its headquarters in Jamba, in the southern part of the country, South Africa initiated massive military intervention to support UNITA, thus inflicting huge casualties on the government troops.


Main items on which South Africa, Angola and Cuba reached agreement.

*  Implementation of the U.N. Security Council Resolution No. 435.

*  Staged and total pullout of Cuban troops from the Angolan territory.

*  Territorial integrity and inviolability of border.

*  Noninterference in affairs of states.

*  Acceptance of responsibility for not allowing the use of own territory by any other country for any act of war.

*  Recognition of role to be fulfilled by permanent members of the U.N. Security Council as guarantors to the future enforcement of the agreement.

Future problems

*  Date at which the U.N. Security Council Resolution No. 435 will be implemented.

*  Agreement on schedules for the withdrawal of Cuban troops.

*  Process for the withdrawal of South African troops from the Angolan territory.

*  Stoppage of military assistance to the UNITA by South Africa and the U.S.

*  Reconciliation between the Angolan government and the UNITA.


In response to this military intervention by the South African army, in addition to criticizing the attack on Angola, the U.N. Security Council in November unanimously adopted Resolution 602 calling for an immediate halt to South Africa's acts of aggression against Angola and the unconditional withdrawal of all its forces which now unlawfully occupy part of Angola. Nevertheless, South Africa has ignored this resolution and continues to intervene in Angola militarily.

(ii) The United States had continued to play a role as a mediator in negotiations between South Africa and Angola, and since 1984 it has continued to negotiate with the Angolan government over the question of the withdrawal of Cuban troops stationed in Angola. But in January 1987, in protest of the UNITA Chairman Savimbi's visit to the United States, the Angolan government cut off talks with the United States. Thus in April 1987, the then OAU Chairman, President Sassou-Nguesso of Congo, intervened and successfully brought the United States and Angola back to the negotiating table for the first time in 15 months.

Since then talks between the two countries were held several times. And in January 1988, through a series of the negotiations, the Angolan side agreed in principle, among other things, to withdraw Cuban troops from the whole territory of Angola (up to this time it had insisted that the withdrawal only of Cuban troops stationed below latitude 13 S. could be considered). In this way the Angolan side began to show a more flexible attitude toward the issue of Cuban troop withdrawal, due in part to the economic devastation caused by the prolonged civil war.

In May, thanks to the U.S. initiative, a meeting was convened attended for the first time by the four principal parties involved in the Angolan conflict - South Africa, Angola, Cuba and the United States. At the meeting the Angolan side presented South Africa with its proposal on the Cuban troop withdrawal schedule. In July, Angola, South Africa and Cuba for the first time agreed to support the document "which set forth Principles for a Peaceful Settlement for Southwestern Africa." Furthermore, at a meeting held in Geneva at the beginning of August, an agreement was reached, among other things, to implement U.N. Security Council Resolution 435 by November 1, 1988. This resolution calls for an immediate cease-fire in the Angolan civil war and stipulates the procedures for establishing the independence of Namibia (although no agreement was reached on the schedule for withdrawal of Cuban troops and other related matters).

Against a background of the recent progress on the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, the United States and the Soviet Union are holding close talks on this issue. At vice foreign ministers' meeting held in March, the Russian side announced its support of the U.S. efforts to bring about a political settlement in southern Africa.

At any rate, to achieve a fundamental settlement of the Angolan conflict, it is essential that South Africa adopt a more flexible attitude. Hence, close attention should be paid to the situation of South Africa.


(7) Central American Conflict

(a) General View

Factors, including underdevelopment and social inequality, are at the root of the Central American conflict. But in addition to these conditions that are indigenous to Latin American countries, the conflict is further complicated by the involvement of the East-West rivalry. In Nicaragua, the Sandinistas came into power in 1979 after they toppled the Somosa dictatorship. A civil war ensued between the Sandinista government, which quickly turned leftist, and the anti-government Contras. This civil war is at the core of the Central American conflict.


Central American Conflict (rough sketch)


Whereas Cuba and the Soviet Union provide military and economic support to the Sandinista regime, the United States provides aid to the Contras and to all Central American countries except Nicaragua on the grounds that it cannot just sit and watch the aforementioned movements of Communists in Central America, an area vital to its security.

Against these actions influenced by the East-West rivalry, the neighboring four countries of Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia and Panama (the Contadora Group) have expressed their opposition to the notion of locating the Central American conflict within the context of East-West rivalry, and called for an end to intervention by countries outside the region, while advocating efforts to settle the conflict through dialogues and negotiations among the countries concerned. Thus, one of the characteristics of the Central American conflict is that peace efforts are being continued by countries within the Latin American region. These countries have held numerous talks on various levels starting from the heads of states.

(b) Establishment of Central American Peace Accord

(i) After the peace initiative made by the Contadora Group over the four years from 1983 was baffled, and after a year of groping for ways to bring about a settlement, a statement of mutual agreement was signed concerning the Guatemalan peace process based on a proposal made by Costa Rican President Arias. The Central American Peace Accord is important in the sense that it establishes a framework for settling the conflict through an initiative by the five Central American countries themselves.

(ii) With regard to implementation of the Accord, at the beginning many measures were taken that generated expectations that considerable progress would be made in, among other things, democratization, internal reconciliation and amnesty. But the more the negotiations approached the crux of the Central American conflict, the more they seemed to stagnate.

(iii) The San Jose Declaration issued jointly by the presidents of the five Central American countries reconfirmed the commitment of the presidents to continue their efforts to implement the Peace Accord. It also clarified the fact that the role of the Contadora Group, which had participated in the "International Verification Follow-up Committee" regarding peace in Central America, had for all practical purposes come to an end, making the Central American countries themselves the main actors in the promotion of peace in Central America.


Main Developments Concerning the Conflict in Central America

1983-1986: Peace efforts of the Contadora Group
Aug. 7, 1987: The Guatemala Peace Accord document was signed at the meeting of the five Central American presidents. Among other things, the accord provided for the following: democratization cease-fire, amnesty, non-use of territory for launching attacks on other countries, suspension of aid to non-regular army or rebel forces.
Jan. 16, 1988: San Jose Joint Communique was issued at the meeting of five Central American presidents.
March 15: Nicaragua's government army invaded Honduras.
March 17: U.S. troops dispatched to Honduras (until March 31).
March 23: Agreement reached on temporary cease-fire in Nicaragua. The agreement provided for suspension of offensive military activities for 60 days starting April 1, and for the holding of full-scale cease-fire negotiations.
March 31: U.S. Congress enacted a bill calling for provision of $47.9 million worth non-military aid to the Contras.
April 15-June 9: Full-scale Nicaraguan cease-fire talks were held four times.
June 29-July 1: Secretary of State Shultz visited Central American countries except Nicaragua.


(c) Temporary Cease-fire in Nicaragua and Subsequent Development

There were some misgivings that an invasion of Honduras by Nicaraguan troops would paralyze the Central American peace process, but an agreement was reached on a temporary cease-fire between the Nicaraguan Government and the Contras.

The 60-day cease-fire was the longest ever agreed during the civil war that had been continuing for seven years. It was agreed because of dire economic conditions - such as an inflation of over 1,000 percent a year - and exhaustion caused by the civil war, as well as the increased dissatisfaction of the people. Moreover, in 1987 Nicaragua could not receive an additional 100,000 tons of oil (the amount of oil needed is about 750,000 tons) from the Soviet Union, thus forcing Nicaragua to cut back on the amount of oil distributed to its people. There is a limit to the Soviet Union's aid which it can provide in this region. Meanwhile, since it became unrealistic to expect the United States to resume its military aid to the Contras, the latter required a considerable period of time to recover from the damage the massive attack inflicted, thus making it difficult to continue fighting. Moreover, it may be that both sides sought compromises because neither side was capable of gaining a decisive military victory.

However, the subsequent cease-fire negotiations faced rough going and eventually ended in failure. The negotiations broke down once over the issues of (1) the deadline for realizing democratic rule, (2) the timing for disarming the Contras and (3) the separation of political parties from the military as well as from the police. Notwithstanding such a breakdown, the Government side unilaterally extended the term of the cease-fire, while the Contras announced their intention not to engage in offensive military conduct, thus bringing about the anomalous situation of a cease-fire in fact being maintained. Meanwhile, the United States, seeking a political and diplomatic way out of the conflict in Central America, the Nicaraguan problem in particular, dispatched Secretary of State Shultz on a tour of four Central American countries. The Nicaraguan Government has adopted a series of steps to tighten control of anti-government radio stations and newspapers in response to the renewed activities of the opposition parties and the anti-government movement since the beginning of July. As has been shown, in Nicaragua developments are hampering efforts toward democratization. Realization of peace in the area is far from being assured.

(d) Japan's Position

(i) Japan has consistently supported peace efforts by countries within the region directly involved in the Central American conflict.

On August 11, 1987, Japan announced its willingness to sign a statement of mutual agreement on the Guatemalan peace process through an informal comment issued by the Press Secretary to the Foreign Minister.

On March 23, 1988, Japan also expressed its high praise of the temporary cease-fire agreement in Nicaragua, arguing that it was a positive step toward realizing peace in Central America.


Five Central American Countries ("Military Balance" 1987-88)


(ii) It is essential to improve the conditions of poverty and other social problems afflicting the countries within the region that underlie the conflict in Central America. From this stand-point, Japan intends to contribute to the stabilization of the region by continuing to strive to expand economic cooperation, including aid to refugees in the region.

(iii) In September 1987 Foreign Minister Tadashi Kuranari paid an official visit to Guatemala and gave a speech relating to Central America. The following are the key points of his then speech:

a) Importance of attaining peace on the basis of democracy.

b) Contributions to the regional development of Central Americ as follows:

i) Expansion of economic and technical assistance, dispatch of an economic cooperation mission (carried out April 4-23, 1988), and cooperation in the economic development through implementation of measures for the recycling of funds.

ii) Acceptance of more than 400 trainees in the next five years, and holding a seminar on how to develop human resources in Central America (held March 9-11, 1988).

iii) Enforcement of reconstructive development after the attainment of peace.

iv) Relief assistance of refugees.

3. Problem of International Terrorism


(1) International Terrorism and Japan's Position

(a) In recent years, international terrorism has occurred with increased frequency and in an ever-expanding range of areas, thus posing a serious challenge to world peace and to all democratic societies. Moreover, much attention has been directed to so-called "state-sponsored terrorism" involving the active employment of international terrorism to implement state policies. In short, international terrorism is becoming increasingly complex and difficult to deal with.

International terrorism has also become a serious problem that cannot be overlooked for Japan and it is especially so from the point of view of assuring the safety of remarkably increasing numbers of Japanese living abroad.

(b) The cooperation of the international community is indispensable for preventing international terrorism. From this viewpoint, efforts to formulate a legal framework to deal with international terrorism, including hijacking, and to preclude any state from protecting international terrorists have been made at the United Nations, Summit meetings, and other international forums. Efforts have also been made to create an international environment in which international terrorists would never go unpunished.

(c) Japan has always been firmly opposed to all forms of terrorism, whatever the reason for resorting to it, and has adopted the basic position of actively promoting international cooperation together with all nations, including the Summit nations, that share its resolve in preventing international terrorism as a problem for the entire international community. It is important that Japan continues to hold fast to this position and to take the necessary measures to prevent international terrorism.

Moreover, if the worst comes to the worst and a terrorist incident occurs and Japanese nationals are taken hostage and unlawful demands are made on the Japanese Government, the government will of course make every effort to safely rescue the hostages. But at the same time for the purpose of maintaining law and order and to prevent recurrence of terrorist incidents, the Japanese Government is expected by the international community to adopt a firm attitude toward unlawful demands made by terrorists, based on the principle of "making no concessions to terrorists," which has been confirmed at all recent summit meetings.

Needless to say Japan can hold fast to the basic position outlined above only with full understanding and support of all its people.


(2) Trends since 1987

(a) 1987 was a year in which major international terrorist events took place involving Japan such as the destruction of a Korean Airlines jet occurred in November and the arrest of a leading member of the Japanese Red Army disclosing the activities of this terrorist group in Asian countries and elsewhere.

(b) Generally speaking, though the number of terrorist incidents attracting worldwide attention have decreased, international terrorism is still a very serious problem.

State-sponsored terrorism, which has become a serious international problem in recent years, still persists, but large-scale activities of this type has become less conspicuous than in 1986 thanks in part to the fact that anti-terrorist sentiment has been built up on an worldwide scale.

On the other hand, in southwestern Asia, Western Europe and other areas, there have been major terrorist incidents in the conflicts mounting over ethnic, religious and other differences. In Pakistan new elements have become conspicuous, including frequent bombing incidents believed to be triggered by international terrorists. In Latin America and other regions, terrorist activities by guerrilla groups have been noticeable.


(3) Korean Airlines Jet Incident

(a) On November 29, 1987, a Korean Airlines jet leaving Baghdad and bound for Seoul blew up in mid-air, killing 115 passengers including the crew.

An investigation by the Japanese embassies revealed that passports carried by a man and a woman under Japanese names, both of whom got off the plane halfway, were forged. The embassy in Bahrain where the two were staying immediately informed the authorities there. One of the offenders, a man, killed himself, and the other, a woman, was arrested by the Bahraini authorities and was later extradited to the Republic of Korea.

A subsequent investigation by the Republic of Korea, among other things, revealed that the incident constituted an organized terrorist act carried out by North Korea, resulting in many countries issuing statements condemning North Korea. On January 26, 1988, Japan made its position clear in the form of a statement by the Chief Secretary of the Cabinet calling for measures against North Korea including restriction of contacts between Japanese diplomats and North Korean officials.

(b) The Republic of Korea demanded that a U.N. Security Council meeting be convened to deliberate on the incident, while Japan made a separate request to the same effect. The Council meeting was convened from February 16 to 17 and heated arguments were exchanged, but none of the countries represented supported the North Korean claims. The Chairman then closed the meeting with a statement expressing the hope that there would be no recurrence of similar incidents.

Furthermore, based on a request made by the South Korean government, the incident was discussed at a meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in March. A resolution, jointly introduced by a group of Western countries including Japan, was adopted on March 25 condemning the destruction of the Korean Airlines jet and expressing the hope that a recurrence of similar incidents would be prevented.


(4) Trends Concerning the Japanese Red Army

On November 21, 1987, Osamu Maruoka, a leading member of the Japanese Red Army was arrested in Tokyo. A subsequent investigation revealed that other members of the Red Army were also active in the Philippines and other footholds in South East Asia. In April 1988, Yu Kikumura, an associate of the Red Army, was arrested in the United States for illegal possession of explosives and other charges. The fingerprint of Junzo Okudaira was found in conjunction with the bombing attack in Naples which took place in April. In June, Hiroshi Sensui was arrested in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the group responsible for the "Yodo-go hijacking incident" issued a written statement in March 1988 implying renewed terrorist activities. In May, Yasuhiro Shibata, one of the hijackers, was arrested in Japan.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through embassies consulates and other organizations, is taking all necessary steps against any forms of terrorist attack carried out by the Japanese Red Army.


(5) Promoting International Cooperation Against Terrorism

(a) At the Venice Summit held in July 1987, a "Statement on Terrorism" was issued in which the principle of making no concessions to terrorists, among other things, was confirmed. The annex to the Statement provides that the 1978 Bonn Declaration shall be applied even to the countries that protect criminals who destroy aircraft and aviation facilities.

Moreover, a "Political Declaration" concerning terrorism and other matters, including the principle of not allowing hijacked planes to take off was issued at the Toronto Summit held in June 1988, and to fight against terrorism was confirmed with a strong resolution.

(b) In December, a resolution was adopted at the 40th U.N. General Assembly that strongly condemned all forms of terrorism as crimes and called for international cooperation to prevent them.

(c) In recent years there have been many terrorist attacks on airports and numerous sea-jackings. Spurred by these events, considerable progress has been made in constructing a framework of international law designed to prevent terrorism in these areas. This is reflected in the following developments: (1) the adoption of the "Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation" at a diplomatic conference sponsored by ICAO in February 1988; and (2) the adoption of the "Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation" and the "Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf" at a diplomatic conference sponsored by the IMO (International Maritime Organization) in March 1988.

(d) Through "Japan-R.O.K. Consultations on Security Measures for the Seoul Olympic Games," Japan is exchanging information with the Republic of Korea to prevent unexpected events including terrorist attack before and during the Seoul Olympics.


4. U.N. Activities


The then Prime Minister Nakasone, delivered a speech in the session at the 42nd General Assembly of the United Nations in September 1987. While accepting the solemn fact that the world today is faced with issues including disarmament, economic problems, regional conflicts, Nakasone called for international attention to such areas in which man should assume responsibility in the 20th Century: as maintenance of peace, promotion of international exchange, correction of regional gap and environmental protection. He stressed a large role the United Nations should play in achieving these goals.

The United Nations, since it was established in 1945, has expanded its activities to deal with peace-keeping, arms control, North-South problems, social problems, and human rights problems, and through its activities, it has contributed to the maintenance of world peace and to the welfare of mankind as a universal international organization. And it has been some time since people pointed out its inability in the area of peace-keeping and its stagnation in the socioeconomic activity. Many countries, lamenting the gloomy view of the present United Nations that is prevalent today, take it seriously that steps have to be taken to strengthen the function of the United Nations, and they have been making their efforts for promoting reform of the U.N. This year has witnessed significant changes as follows.


(1) Brisk Peace-keeping Activities

Of the various activities undertaken by the United Nations during the past year, the most noteworthy is its vigorous peace-keeping activities. First, to bring about an early peaceful settlement of the long-lasting Iran-Iraq conflict, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 598 on July 20, 1987. Furthermore, the U.N. Security Council had been unanimously supporting the Secretary-General's energetic efforts to implement the resolution. As a result of these efforts, Iran at last accepted the resolution in July 1988, thereby suddenly changing the situation. In August a cease-fire was finally achieved between Iran and Iraq, a conflict of which had for eight years threatened the peace and security not only of the Gulf region but also of the entire world. In the meantime, Japan, as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, not only actively participated in the peace process from the stage of drafting Resolution 598, but also made a significant contribution, among other things, making a special contribution of $20 million to the U.N. peace-keeping activities, including the settlement of the Iran-Iraq conflict.

The agreement on April 14, 1988 reached through indirect U.N. negotiations in Geneva on Afghanistan can be regarded as fruits of the active efforts of the United Nations peace-keeping operations including Under-Secretary Cordovez, the personal representative of Secretary-General de Cuellar. Since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan had been one of the main factors responsible for deterioration of the East-West relationship particularly between the United States and the Soviet Union, the U.N. contribution to the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan, along with its contribution towards a settlement of the Iran-Iraq conflict, should be praised.

Moreover, with regard to the United Nations' peace-keeping ability, the "Declaration on the Prevention and Removal of Disputes and Situations which may Threaten International Peace and Security and on the Role of the United Nations in this Field," which six Western countries, including Japan, presented, has substantially been finalized after four years of deliberations and is slated to be adopted at the 43rd General Assembly in 1988. It is hoped that this declaration will organically arrange the roles of the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Secretary-General in the peace-keeping field, thus strengthening the peace-keeping function of the United Nations as a whole.


(2) Revitalizing the Economic and Social Fields

The issue of revitalizing the United Nations in the economic and social fields realm was actively tackled. The issue of reform was originally raised as a follow up to the recommendation of the "Group of High Level Inter-Governmental Experts to Review the Efficiency of the Administrative and Financial Functioning of the United Nations (G18)," a group which Japan took the initiative in organizing. The recommendation aims to strengthen and improve the efficiency of the works of the United Nations such as the organic cooperation of the operational activities for development which are carried out mainly by the United Nations Economic and Social Council and its subsidiary bodies. Japan has made positive contributions in discussions at the Special Commission of the Economic and Social Council.

As the foregoing demonstrates, in the past year the United Nations showed renewed vigor. Meanwhile, in order to increase its contribution to the international community, Japan has made efforts to promote international cooperation through the United Nations, as well as to help strengthen the capacity of the United Nations so that it can regain the trust and confidence of individual countries. In the future, however, Japan will have to place even more importance on the United Nations than it has done so far.


(3) Issue of Multilateral Disarmament

1987 saw progress in disarmament and arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union as manifested in, among other things, the signing of the INF treaty. However, for disarmament to contribute to true world peace and stability, the various countries of the world will have to strive to cut back on weapons through multilateral negotiations. With this point in mind, Japan has attached importance to the disarmament talks being carried on at the United Nations, the Geneva Conference on Disarmament, and has called for the promotion of truly effective arms control and disarmament.

(a) Deliberations on Disarmament in the U.N.

At the First Committee of the 42nd U.N. General Assembly, the issue of disarmament was discussed under a favorable atmosphere brought about by then ongoing negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union aimed at signing the INF treaty. As a whole, the atmosphere was dramatically different from that of the beginning of the 1980s when the East, West, and the non-aligned nations were sharply polarized. Moreover, expectations were high for the Third Special Session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament which was to start from May 1988, and this had a positive psychological effect on both sides. This point was also reflected in the preparation and adoption of resolutions. For example, of the 61 disarmament resolutions that were adopted (67 in 1986), 25, or three more than in 1986, were adopted by a consensus, indicating that the negotiations among the countries that had tabled conflicting draft resolutions went fairly successfully.

As for individual resolutions, the same themes as in previous years including nuclear test ban issues and a ban on chemical weapons were prepared and adopted. Japan made efforts to ensure that deliberation could advance toward a truly practical form of disarmament and arms control.

In May 1987, discussions were held at the United Nations Disarmament Commission on the issue of reduction of nuclear as well as conventional disarmament, and on reduction of military budget and verification.

The Third Special Session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament was held in the U.N. headquarters under the chairmanship of Deputy Foreign Minister of GDR Mr. Peter Florin on May 31, 1988. On June 1, Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Takeshita delivered a speech and elucidated his thoughts on disarmament and arms control and enunciated Japan's readiness to promote actively to achieve peace. With respect to arms control and disarmament, Takeshita announced plans to convene an international conference in Japan on the establishment of an international nuclear test verification network, and in connection with "cooperation to achieve peace," he aroused great interest when he talked about sending Japanese civilian personnel to take part in U.N. peace-keeping activities. Takeshita's speech was highly praised by various countries.

The substantive discussions were held at the Special General Assembly centering on the committee of the whole set for June 6. The Western nations, including Japan (whose representative is a vice chairman of the committee of the whole), exerted their maximum efforts for a consensus adoption of a concluding document that was as forward-looking as possible, which would serve as a guideline for future multilateral disarmament efforts based on such new developments such as the progress of the U.S.-USSR arms control talks. But it proved to be a rather difficult task to find common ground among more than 150 member states when the basic foreign or security policy of one member state often varied widely from that of another member. Consequently, the Special General Assembly closed on June 25 without adopting a concluding document.

(b) Deliberations in the Conference on Disarmament

Deliberations at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament (CD) were held from February to April (the spring session) and from June to August (summer session). Eight agenda were taken up including nuclear test ban, chemical weapons prevention of an arms race in outer space, cessation of the nuclear arms race and nuclear disarmament.

With regard to a nuclear test ban, the Western countries insisted that thorough discussions on "verification and observance" should be continued in the CD, while the Eastern bloc and the Non-aligned countries demanded that negotiations on the proposed treaty for a total nuclear test ban should be started immediately. The two sides could not iron out their differences, and apart from exchanging views at the plenary session no Ad Hoc committee on this issue has been set up since 1984.

The Conference on Disarmament has been engaged in the work of drafting a convention on chemical weapons since 1969. This work continued throughout 1987, not only while CD was in session, but also at informal consultations held outside CD. Japan has been making efforts in promoting discussions on the issue, placing the conclusion of the treaty at the top of priorities in non-nuclear disarmament. In July 1987, it submitted a working paper considering the "non-production" of chemical weapons.


(4) Human Rights Issue

Japan believes that respect for fundamental human rights is not only an important goal in itself, but also contributes to peace and stability in the world. From this basic stance, it endeavors to actively protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms by engaging in activities at various U.N. organizations. In 1987, Japan actively participated in the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, the Commission on Human Rights and other related fora. In the elections for the membership to the Commission on Human Rights held at the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 1987, Japan was reelected to a third term since 1982. Also in the elections for membership to the Sub-commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities held at the Commission on Human Rights in 1988, Professors Ribot Hatano of Gakushuin University and Yozo Yokota of International Christian University were elected.

The strong tendency of politicization of talks on human rights continued unabated throughout 1987. Given the past history of controversy, deliberation on the Resolution of "human rights situation in Cuba," introduced by the United States was in the spotlight at the 44th session of the Commission on Human Rights. Fierce maneuvering was inspited between the United States, which strongly pushed its adoption, and Cuba, which tenaciously opposed such a move. The verbal fighting was brought to an end when a resolution calling for the dispatch of a fact-finding team to Cuba introduced by Central American countries was adopted without a vote. From the standpoint that substantive improvements in the human rights situation in Cuba should be realized. Japan, by conferring consistently with the United States of America, Cuba and other countries concerned, contributed to coordinating their positions to adopt the proposed resolution.

Other noteworthy developments include (1) an increase in the number of votes supporting the resolution on the human rights situation in Iran, and (2) the flexibility the Soviet Union exhibited during talks on the Afghanistan problem.


(5) The Refugees Problem

Today, in Afghanistan, Africa, Indochina, Palestine and other regions of the world, there are more than 12 million refugees. They not only constitute a humanitarian problem, but also a political problem which threatens the peace and stability of the affected regions.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spearheads all relief activities undertaken by the U.N. In addition, the United Nations strives to promote the following durable solutions to the refugee problem: (1) voluntary repatriation; (2) local integration in the country of first asylum; and (3) resettlement in third countries. At the meetings of the UNHCR Executive Committee held in October 1987, in addition to relief activities and the promotion of durable solutions, the problem of armed attacks on refugee camps and that of providing greater protection to refugee women and refugee children were also discussed.

Japan participates actively in these discussions on refugees held in the United Nations as well as other international fora related to refugees. In addition, up to now it has provided aid to refugees all over the world worth about $950 million through UNHCR, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), World Food Program (WFP), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and others. In this way Japan contributes actively to solving the refugee problem.


(6) Activities of Specialized U.N. Organizations

(a) U.N. specialized agencies - covering a wide range of areas, including labor, education/science/culture, agriculture and health - carry out projects which aim to promote collaborative multilateral relations from a professional, technical viewpoint. In addition to contributing actively to the project activities of various organizations, Japan not only assumes a significant share of the expenses, but also makes voluntary donations. There were two noteworthy events involving principal organizations. First, the November 1987 election of Prof. Mayor as the new Director-General of UNESCO, replacing M'Bow, the former Director-General, marks the first step toward the recovery of UNESCO's universality. Second, the appointment of Hiroshi Nakajima to the office of secretary-general of WHO at the organization's executive board meeting in January 1988 marks the first time that a Japanese has been assigned to head a special organization of the United Nations.

(b) Election of UNESCO's Director-General

The election of UNESCO's Director-General in the fall of 1987 was held under unprecedented circumstances. The United States and the United Kingdom, on the grounds that UNESCO had become excessively politicized and its financial and personnel management untransparent, had withdrawn from UNESCO at the end of 1984 and 1985 respectively. Japan participated in this election with the basic position that the election of any one person as head of a U.N. agency for multiple terms is undesirable and the injection of "new blood" was indispensable for the reform of UNESCO.

There were nine candidates in the election held at the Executive Board October 1987. On the fifth ballot, the decisive vote was taken between Mr. M'Bow and Prof. Mayor (former Spanish education minister). In the end, seeing the clear attitude of non-support of the Soviet Union and East European nations, Mr. M'Bow withdrew his candidature. At the General Conference held in November, Prof. Mayor was designated the 7th Director-General with an overwhelming majority.

Japan believes that the reforms thus far carried out at UNESCO are still not enough and that the organization has many more tasks to tackle, including administrative and financial reform and improvements of the content of its programs. While supporting the new Director-General, Japan will continue its efforts in contributing to reform UNESCO and to restore its universality.

(c) Election of WHO (World Health Organization)

In January 1988, at the election of the next Director-General of WHO held in the WHO Executive Board (consisting of 31 nations including Japan, based in Geneva), Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima, the ex-Regional-Director of the Western Pacific, was nominated for the post of the next Director-General of WHO. On this nomination, Dr. Nakajima was appointed by the World Health Assembly in May, and in July assumed the office of fourth Director-General of WHO (five-year term).

Dr. Nakajima is the first Japanese to assume a post of Director-General in principal United Nations Specialized Agencies. His outstanding qualifications certainly won him the appointment, but his appointment is also a manifestation of the high estimation with which the various countries regard Japan's policy toward the United Nations and the policy of WHO, and as such reflects how strongly the world expects Japan to play an active role in the international community.

Founded in 1948, WHO is a U.N. Specialized Agency with its headquarters in Geneva. It has 166 member countries. Since it joined the organization in 1951, Japan has actively contributed to its programs. In 1987 its share of assessed contribution was about $26.15 million, making it the second biggest contributor following the United States. Modern society is faced with many diseases, such as AIDS, cancer and malaria, which threaten the very existence of mankind. Boasting of one of the highest medical standards in the world, there is ample room for Japan to contribute. From this standpoint, it is of great significance that a Japanese has assumed the office of Director-General of WHO, which takes the lead in solving the world's health problems. Japan will need to continue cooperating actively with WHO to meet the growing expectations of the world.



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* This regime was set up with Vietnam's backing. Japan recognizes the of Coalition Government Democratic Kampuchea and does not recognize this regime.