Sectoral Analysis of the International Situation and Japan's Foreign Policy
A. Ensuring Peace and Stability
1. Ensuring the Security of Japan
a) Overview-The Three Main Pillars of Japan's Security Policy
There remain various uncertain factors in the post-Cold War international community. While the Asia-Pacific region, where Japan is situated, has witnessed increased political and social stability with remarkable economic growth, there are still unpredictable and uncertain elements, such as the existence of large-scale military capabilities including nuclear arsenals, the expansion and modernization of military forces by many countries, and the continuing tension on the Korean Peninsula.
In this situation, Japan embraces a security policy with three main pillars: firmly maintaining the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements, securing Japan's own appropriate defense capability and making active diplomatic efforts to ensure international peace and security.
ii) Defense Capability
Under its Constitution, Japan has moderately built up its defense capability in accordance with the fundamental principles of maintaining an exclusively defense-oriented policy and not becoming a military power that might pose a threat to other countries. Based on these principles, the National Defense Program Outline in and after 1977 adopted by the National Defense Council and the Cabinet on 29 October 1976 was reviewed for the first time in 19 years. In November 1995, the Security Council and the Cabinet adopted the National Defense Program Outline in and after FY1996 (hereinafter, the New National Defense Program Outline).
iii) Diplomatic Efforts to Ensure International Peace and Security
With ever-increasing interdependence in the international community, the stability and prosperity of Japan is inevitably linked to the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and of the world. From this perspective, in order to ensure Japan's security as well as regional peace and stability, various efforts must be made while maintaining the U.S. military presence: (1) bilateral and subregional dialogue and cooperation must be carried out with a view to promoting the settlement of conflicts and confrontations and fostering regional stability; (2) region-wide political and security dialogue and cooperation must be conducted to enhance the transparency of policies and mutual reassurance; and (3) political stability must be strengthened through such means as providing assistance and cooperation for economic development in the countries of the region. With regard to bilateral dialogue in Northeast Asia, Japan and the People's Republic of China held their first security dialogue meeting in 1994, and the third meeting was held in Beijing in January 1996. With regard to regional cooperation in Northeast Asia, the countries concerned-mainly Japan, the United States and the Republic of Korea-are currently working cooperatively toward resolution of the issue of nuclear development in North Korea. It is also important to continue talks on the stability of Northeast Asia from medium- and long-term perspectives. Furthermore, political and security dialogue in the Asia-Pacific region has been underway in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) since 1994. (For more details on ARF, see Chapter I, Part E, Section 2.)
In addition to the above, it is also important from the perspective of contributing to the securing of the peace and security of the world, including Japan, to address regional conflicts through means such as peace-keeping operations (PKO), to make efforts toward arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, and to engage in dialogue and cooperation with Europe in regard to security issues.
i) The Significance of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements
U.S. military deterrence based on the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States of America (Japan-U.S. Security Treaty) is necessary in order for Japan, with its policy of maintaining the minimum necessary defense capability, to enjoy peace and prosperity. The Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements also serve as a political foundation for a broad range of cooperative relations between Japan and the United States in the international community. Furthermore, the Security Arrangements have been increasingly important in promoting peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region by securing the U.S. presence as a stabilizing factor in the region.
ii) Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security
In order to operate the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements effectively and promote cooperation in the area of security, Japan and the United States have been engaged in close dialogue and exchanges of views at various levels. As a result of more than a year of such dialogue, Prime Minister Hashimoto and President Clinton issued the Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security during President Clinton's April visit to Japan. This declaration is of great significance in its reaffirmation of the important role of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements, and also in its clarification, both domestically and internationally, of the future direction of the Japan-U.S. alliance toward the 21st century. Specifically, from a broad perspective and with the 21st century firmly in view, it makes clear the future direction of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements, including cooperation toward a more stable security environment in the Asia-Pacific region, and the promotion of various forms of Japan-U.S. cooperation based on the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements. It is confirmed in the Declaration that the two countries will make efforts in such areas as the further enhancement of exchanges of information and views on the international situation and in particular the situation in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the promotion of continued close consultations on both countries' defense policies and military postures, including the U.S. forces structure in Japan and active responses to issues related to U.S. facilities and areas. Prior to the Japan-U.S. Summit in April, the Japan-U.S. Reciprocal Provision of Logistic Support, Supplies and Services Agreement was signed in order to create a framework for the mutual provision of logistic support, supplies and services between the Self-Defense Forces and U.S. forces. The objectives of this agreement are to contribute to the smooth and effective operation of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty and to contribute positively to cooperation toward efforts for the maintenance of international peace coordinated by the United Nations.
iii) Review of the "Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation"
The Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security also announced the initiation of the review of the current Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation, which were formulated in 1978. This review is being conducted in order to promote further defense cooperation between Japan and the United States in the new security environment of the post-Cold War era, while maintaining consistency with the New National Defense Program Outline adopted in November 1995. In June, the Sub-committee for Defense Cooperation, which is under the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee, was reconstituted, creating a mechanism for effective review, and work commenced. At the September meeting of the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee, the Progress Report on the Guidelines Review was issued, and the intention to complete the work by fall 1997 was made public.
As the Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security indicates, this review work will include, among other studies, a study on Japan-U.S. cooperation in situations in areas surrounding Japan that will have an important influence on Japan's peace and security. It will be conducted entirely within the scope of Japan's Constitution, and without any change to the basic framework of the Japan-U.S. alliance. Both Governments will make efforts in maintaining transparency in order to promote understanding within both Japan and the United States, as well as in neighboring countries.
iv) Support for the U.S. Forces Stationed in Japan
The Government of Japan has of its own initiative been engaging in the utmost efforts to support the stationing of U.S. forces in Japan. It has borne the labor costs of Japanese employees working for the U.S. forces in Japan; the costs of water supply, heating and other utilities; and costs for relocation of training, pursuant to the new Special Measures Agreement, which was concluded in 1995 and came into effect in April 1996. (The stationing expenses of U.S. forces in Japan borne by the Government of Japan, including those related to the Special Measures Agreement, amounted to approximately 638.9 billion yen in FY1996.) The Government of the United States has highly appreciated these efforts by the Government of Japan. Japan's efforts, including cost-sharing for the stationing of U.S. forces in Japan, are important for ensuring the presence of U.S. forces, which serve as a stabilizing factor in the Asia-Pacific region.
v) Cooperation with the United States on Defense Technology
The United States has shown a high level of interest in the mutual exchange of technology with Japan in the area of defense, and it is important to promote the exchange of technology between Japan and the United States to ensure effective operation of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements. In addition to the ongoing joint research on the ducted rocket engine, advanced steel technologies and ceramic engines for combat vehicles, the initiation of joint research on the eye-safe laser radar was decided upon in September. Moreover, in response to Cabinet approval at the end of 1995 of the future procurement of 130 new support fighters (F-2s) for the Air Self-Defense Force, the two Governments concluded an agreement on the joint production of F-2s, which will be the first case of joint production between Japan and the United States.
The Government of Japan recognizes that ballistic missile defense (BMD) is an important area of study in planning future defense policy. Therefore, the Government of Japan has been conducting working-level studies on this matter with the Government of the United States in order to gather the information necessary to make a policy decision on whether BMD should be introduced.
How to minimize the impact of U.S. forces' activities in Japan on residents living in the vicinity of U.S. facilities and areas is an important issue for ensuring smooth implementation of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements. U.S. facilities and areas in Japan are highly concentrated in Okinawa. In order to reduce the burden on the people of Okinawa and enhance the credibility of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements, the Government of Japan, recognizing the vital importance of taking a sincere approach to coping with this issue by paying full attention to the views and opinions of the people of Okinawa, established the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) together with the Government of the United States in November 1995. In a manner consistent with achieving the objectives of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, the SACO has been studying issues related to the consolidation, realignment and reduction of U.S. facilities and areas in Okinawa; and issues related to the activities of U.S. forces, including training, noise and safety.
The SACO, scheduled to complete its work after one year, submitted an Interim Report in April. Various measures were discussed in this document, including the return of Futenma Air Station. Concrete plans and measures for implementation of the items put forward in the Interim Report were announced in the Final Report in December. As a result, a total of 11 U.S. facilities and areas, including Futenma Air Station and the Northern Training Area, will be consolidated, realigned and reduced under certain conditions, thus bringing the return of 5,000 hectares, or 21%, of the total acreage of U.S. facilities and areas in Okinawa. In addition to the return of land, agreement was also reached on aircraft noise reduction initiatives, improvement of procedures for payment for claims, procedures to provide investigation reports on U.S. military aircraft accidents, new procedures for visits to U.S. facilities and areas, the relocation of artillery live-fire training over Highway 104 to maneuver areas on the mainland of Japan, etc.
As to the return of Futenma Air Station, for which there was a particularly strong request from Okinawa Prefecture, the United States needed the use of an alternative heliport as a condition for such a return, and Japan and the United States engaged in intense discussion concerning the location of this heliport. In order to meet the need to maintain the operational capabilities of the U.S. forces while taking into account the safety and quality of life of the people of Okinawa, the two sides agreed to the development and construction of a sea-based facility. This offers two advantages. First, it can be removed if no longer needed, and second, it meets the strong request of the people of Okinawa to avoid the establishment of bases.
On the domestic front, in order to ensure good communication between the Central Government and Okinawa Prefecture, the Consultative Committee concerning U.S. Bases in Okinawa was established in 1995. In addition, the Consultative Committee on Promotion of Economic Policies concerning Okinawa, comprising the Governor of Okinawa and all Cabinet members except for the Prime Minister, was also established in order to provide a specific forum for talks between the Central Government and Okinawa Prefecture regarding basic policies on Okinawa. This Council has been deliberating upon Central Government policies aimed at promoting the economy of Okinawa. In addition, the Chief Cabinet Secretary's Commission on Okinawa Issues was established in November in order to discuss community development and other policies in municipalities hosting U.S. facilities and areas, and has presented a list of proposals for alleviating the difficulties faced by these municipalities. Also, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will establish a liaison office in Okinawa in 1997, headed by the Ambassador in charge of Okinawa, in order to further improve the mechanism for listening to comments and requests from the municipalities concerned on issues related to the stationing of U.S. forces, including procedures under the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.
Some portions of the private- and public-owned land within U.S. facilities and areas in Okinawa are being used in accordance with the Law for Special Measures Regarding Use of Land Incident to the Implementation of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement. The title to use these portions of land will expire in May 1997. The Central Government, obtaining cooperation from the Governor of Okinawa in making a public notice based on the Law in September, is making every effort to secure the title to use these portions of land at the earliest date possible.
a) Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)
i) Progress of Negotiations
Negotiations on a Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty began in January 1994 at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. Based on the resolution on the CTBT adopted at the Fiftieth Session of the United Nations General Assembly in December 1995, intensive talks were carried out to seek conclusion of the negotiations by the fall of 1996. In addition to its active participation in negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament (CD) toward an early conclusion to the negotiations, Japan also dispatched Foreign Minister Ikeda to Geneva in June, where he called upon the parties to the CD to work constructively toward conclusion. At the end of June, with agreement basically reached on a number of issues, including the scope of prohibited nuclear experiments, verification measures and the structure and role of the CTBT Organization, Ambassador Ramaker of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Nuclear Test Ban presented a final treaty proposal.
Almost all the countries participating in the CD expressed support for Ambassador Ramaker's final treaty proposal. However, in August, due to the objection of countries such as India which took exception to their inclusion on the list of nations that would have to ratify the treaty for its entry into force, no consensus was reached on support for the treaty proposal, and the CD was not able to adopt it. Nevertheless, taking into consideration the expectation of the international community that the treaty be concluded, 127 nations (including Japan) presented a joint draft resolution at the Fiftieth Session of the United Nations General Assembly calling for adoption of the treaty proposal. This resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority (158 in favor, 3 opposed, 5 abstaining) on 11 September (10 September New York time). The treaty was opened for signature on 24 September, and after it was first signed by the United States, China, France, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Hashimoto signed for Japan, the first non-nuclear weapons state to do so. As of 18 February 1997, 142 nations have signed the treaty, but among the 44 countries that must ratify the treaty for it to enter into force, India, Pakistan and North Korea have yet to sign. It is important that this treaty enter into force as soon as possible, and Japan shall make every possible effort in cooperation with the international community to bring this about.
ii) Principal Content of the CTBT
The principal content of the CTBT is as follows:
(1) Basic obligations: Each State Party to the CTBT undertakes not to carry out any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion (hereafter "nuclear explosion"), and to prohibit and prevent nuclear explosions at any place under its jurisdiction or control. Each State Party undertakes, furthermore, to refrain from causing, encouraging or in any way participating in the carrying out of nuclear explosions.
(2) Organization: The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty Organization shall be established to ensure the implementation of the provisions of the treaty, with the Organization located in Vienna. Organs of the Organization shall include the Conference of the States Parties, the Executive Council and the Technical Secretariat.
(3) International Monitoring System: Facilities for seismological monitoring, etc., shall be established all over the world for international monitoring of nuclear explosions.
(4) On-Site Inspection: In order to clarify whether a nuclear explosion has been carried out in violation of this treaty, the Executive Council shall be empowered to order an on-site inspection if at least 30 of the 51 members of the Executive Council cast affirmative votes in response to a request from a State Party to the treaty for such inspection.
(5) Entry into Force: The treaty shall enter into force 180 days after the date of deposit of the instruments of ratification by all 44 states which were members of the CD as of June 1996 and which appear in Table 1 of the International Atomic Energy Agency's December 1995 edition of Nuclear Power Reactors in the World (including nuclear weapons states, India, Pakistan, Israel and Japan), but in no case earlier than two years after its opening for signature. If the treaty has not entered into force three years after the date of the anniversary of its opening for signature, the states which have already deposited their instruments of ratification shall convene a conference to decide by consensus what measures consistent with international law may be undertaken to accelerate the ratification process in order to facilitate the early entry into force of the treaty.
b) Disarmament and Non-Proliferation of Nuclear and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction
In addition to the CTBT, the main efforts toward disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction include those listed below.
i) Disarmament of Nuclear Weapons after Indefinite Extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
Japan considers a stable Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime to be of great importance to world peace and stability, and believes it essential that the number of countries in possession of nuclear weapons be prevented from increasing. Accordingly, Japan supported an indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference. At the same time, in order to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons, Japan strongly urged nuclear weapons states to faithfully implement nuclear disarmament negotiations obligations in accordance with the provisions of Article VI of the NPT. In order to maintain and promote the post-Cold War trend toward nuclear disarmament, Japan regards constructive dialogue and cooperation between states with and without nuclear weapons as indispensable. In this regard, Japan attaches great importance to the preparations beginning in 1997 for the NPT Review Conference in the year 2000. In order to achieve a smooth start for this process, Japan hosted in Kyoto in December a seminar on Nuclear Disarmament after the NPT Extension, in which all the major nations participated.
ii) Resolution on Nuclear Disarmament with a View to the Ultimate Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
As it had in 1994 and 1995, Japan submitted to the Fifty-first Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1996 a resolution on nuclear disarmament with a view to the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons. It was adopted by an overwhelming majority of member states (159 in favor, 0 opposed and 11 abstaining). Bearing in mind the developments over the last year in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, the 1996 resolution goes one step further than last year's, calling upon member states to do their best to ensure a smooth start to the NPT review process, which will begin as of 1997. The adoption of this resolution with the endorsement of many member states, as was the case in 1994 and 1995, is a clear indication that there is broad-based acceptance in the international community of Japan's position that it is important to make steady efforts for nuclear disarmament in a realistic and determined manner with the goal of achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.
iii) Developments Regarding Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaties
On 25 March, the United States, the United Kingdom and France signed the protocol of the South Pacific Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (the so-called Treaty of Rarotonga, which was signed in 1985 and entered into force from 1986). On 11 April, 42 African countries signed the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (the so-called Pelindaba Treaty), and the United States, the United Kingdom, France and China signed the protocol of the treaty. (The Russian Federation signed the protocol on 5 November.)
iv) International Court of Justice (ICJ) Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons
On 8 July, the International Court of Justice announced its advisory opinion on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons, responding to a request by the United Nations General Assembly. Paragraph 105 of the main text of this advisory opinion roughly states that: (1) there is no international law giving any specific authorization of the threat or use of nuclear weapons, or any comprehensive and universal prohibition of the threat or use of nuclear weapons as such; (2) the threat or use of nuclear weapons should meet with requirements under the United Nations Charter in regard to the exercise of the right to self-defense, and be compatible with international humanitarian laws, etc.; and (3) the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian laws, but the Court cannot conclude definitely whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be lawful or unlawful in an extreme circumstance of self-defense in which the very survival of a state would be at stake. The same paragraph also notes that an obligation exists to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control. The advisory opinion develops a multifaceted and detailed argument on the legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons from the perspective of international law, and incorporates many individual opinions and dissenting opinions. This reflects the existence of a diversity of opinion on this issue in the international community.
v) Nuclear Disarmament between the United States and the Russian Federation
The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty I (START I) came into effect in December 1994. The United States and the Russian Federation have been engaging in the process of dismantling nuclear weapons on the basis of this treaty. In addition, all nuclear weapons located in the Republic of Kazakhstan were moved to the Russian Federation in April 1995, with those located in the Ukraine moved in June 1996 and those in the Republic of Belarus moved in November 1996. The transfer of nuclear warheads from these three countries has therefore been completed.
START II, which stipulates further disarmament, was ratified by the United States in January, and early ratification by the Russian Federation is hoped for.
vi) Chemical Weapons Convention
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)1 is a comprehensive treaty aiming at elimination of chemical weapons, and was opened for signature in January 1993. With the deposit of Hungary's instrument of ratification in October, it was confirmed that the Convention would enter into force on 29 April 1997. With a view to preparing for the Convention's entry into force, discussion is now underway in the Preparatory Commission for the establishment of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)2 in regard to administrative and financial issues, verification procedures and the First Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention, which will be held once the Convention has come into force.
vii) Biological Weapons Convention
The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) is a treaty which aims to prohibit the development, production, stockpiling, retention and transfer of biological weapons. However, since the time of its conclusion in 1972, it has been pointed out that this convention lacks a verification system, which is its major shortcoming. Work to strengthen the Convention has been underway since 1991, and based on the results of considerations by experts in 1993 (which listed verification measures feasible for introduction from a scientific and technological standpoint), a new experts' group was established in 1994. This group has been working since January 1995 on the drafting of a legally-binding instrument which includes verification measures.
viii) Export Control Regimes for Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) and Missiles
Prohibiting possession of WMDs alone is not sufficient to prevent proliferation of WMDs and missiles; it is also necessary to improve and strengthen the existing export control regimes in pursuit of our non-proliferation goal. From this perspective, international efforts have been made to coordinate control of those goods and technologies that can be used for the production of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, and of the missiles which serve as their delivery systems, under current international export control regimes. Nuclear-related goods and technology are controlled in accordance with the London Guidelines3 by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which consists of 34 countries. The goods and technologies related to biological and chemical weapons are controlled by the 30 participating States of the Australia Group (AG), and those related to missiles are controlled by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which now counts 28 members. Japan is actively contributing to these international export control regimes. As one such contribution, the Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Vienna is serving as the Point of Contact (secretariat) of the NSG.
c) Disarmament and Control of Conventional Weapons
In the international environment of the post-Cold War era, as well as the promotion of arms control and disarmament and the strengthening of the non-proliferation regime for weapons of mass destruction, it has become an important task for the international community to prevent destabilization through the transfer and accumulation of conventional weapons.
i) Anti-Personnel Land Mines
Anti-personnel land mines placed indiscriminately during times of conflict and left underground have been causing serious casualties among civilians, which has become a major issue not only from a humanitarian standpoint, but also in terms of post-conflict rebuilding. To strengthen restrictions on anti-personnel land mines, meetings to review the Convention on Prohibitions and Restrictions on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) have been held since September 1995, resulting in the adoption of amendments to Protocol II of the Convention in May, which strengthens regulations on the use and introduces regulations on the transfer of mines. In recent years, international public opinion has become increasingly strong regarding the need for greater international efforts toward a global ban on anti-personnel land mines. At the Lyon Summit, Japan also stated its support for international efforts toward such a ban and also jointly proposed a resolution urging states to vigorously pursue an effective treaty at the Fiftieth General Assembly of the United Nations for a global ban on anti-personnel land mines; this resolution was subsequently adopted. In addition to this strengthening of restrictions, Japan also stated at the Lyon Summit that it would be important to make efforts in the areas of support for mine removal, technological development for the detection and removal of mines, and support for victims, and announced that an international conference would be held in March 1997 in Tokyo for the purpose of strengthening this kind of international cooperation.
ii) United Nations Register of Conventional Arms
As a result of the initiative taken by Japan and other member states of the United Nations, the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms was inaugurated in January 1992 for the purpose of increasing the transparency and openness of armaments. Every year, more than 90 states report on exports and imports of offensive weapons classified into seven categories, such as battle tanks and combat aircraft. Japan has played a major role in ensuring the smooth operation of the Register by promoting understanding and participation of all states through such efforts as hosting workshops. Furthermore, although the submission of data on the possession of arms or procurement through domestic production is not required under the Register, Japan has voluntarily provided such data and is making efforts in cooperation with other member states to improve the Register system.
iii) Small Arms Issue
In January 1995, in the Supplement to the Agenda for Peace, United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali called for "micro-disarmament," the restriction of small arms, which are used extensively in conflict areas and which are causing casualties. Japan stated its support for this view, and proposed the establishment of a panel of governmental experts under the United Nations Secretary-General for the purpose of considering the issue of micro-disarmament. There are currently no particular measures in regard to small arms, of which there is an excessively large accumulation. The panel will produce a report from the results of its deliberations and submit this through the Secretary-General to the Fifty-second General Assembly of the United Nations. Ambassador Donowaki, a special advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, is serving as the chairman of the panel.
iv) Export Control Regimes for Conventional Arms and Related Goods and Technologies
Unlike weapons of mass destruction, there was no international export control regime for conventional weapons and related dual-use goods and technologies after the termination of the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM), which was designed with the goal of controlling the outflow of strategic items and technologies to the former communist countries. However, after more than two years of consultations, the Wassenaar Arrangement (TWA)4 was officially launched in July as a new international export control regime on conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies.
In contrast to COCOM, which designated specific countries (the former communist countries) as subject to export restrictions, the Wassenaar Arrangement does not predetermine any countries or regions targeted for export control. Rather, it aims to prevent excessive transfer and stockpiling of conventional weapons which could undermine regional stability. Furthermore, while the former COCOM required approvals from the other participating countries for the export of restricted materials, under the Wassenaar Arrangement, the responsibility for export control is left to the discretion of each member state based upon information exchanged among members on the transfer of relevant items.
The Wassenaar Arrangement currently has 33 member states, including Japan, the United States, European countries and the Republic of Korea, as well as the Russian Federation and the countries of Eastern Europe which were formerly subject to restrictions enacted under COCOM. Japan has given serious consideration to an approach to controlling the flow of conventional arms in the international community in the post-Cold War era, and has played an active role toward the early inauguration of an appropriate international export control regime.
v) Cooperation with Other Countries to Develop and Enhance Export Control Regimes
In order to further enhance the effectiveness of international export controls, countries with the above-mentioned export control regimes are calling on non-members to develop and enhance their export control systems. Japan promotes cooperation and dialogue in the field of export control by, for example, organizing seminars and providing training courses for Asian countries and the New Independent States (NIS).
a) United Nations Peace-keeping Operations (PKO)
i) PKO Debate
With the end of such large-scale operations as those in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the number of PKO personnel dispatched around the world in 1996 dropped to some 20,000, approximately one-third of the number at its peak. Furthermore, all UN peace-keeping operations in 1996 were continuations of existing operations; no new operations were initiated. With such changes in the environment surrounding United Nations peace-keeping operations and bitter experiences in the former Yugoslavia and Somalia, there has been a marked shift of emphasis toward improving the quality rather than increasing the number of peace-keeping operations.
In particular, there has been a notable improvement in the rapid deployment capabilities of UN peace-keeping operations. Under the UN Standby Arrangements, it had been noted that the fact that it was up to each troop-contributing country to decide whether or not to actually dispatch its own troops was a restricting factor when rapid deployment or expansion was required. To resolve this difficulty, a "Rapidly Deployable Mission Headquarters" concept has been introduced. This concept calls for each country to provide 20-30 personnel to be stationed at the United Nations, who, once a PKO has been set up, would be dispatched immediately to the mission area, and would take the lead in carrying out preparatory tasks for the startup of the operation. In addition, the defense ministers of seven nations (Canada, the Netherlands and various Scandinavian countries) agreed at the end of 1996 to establish a "UN Standby Forces High Readiness Brigade" with a view to shortening the initial time needed for deployment. This plan is based on the current UN Standby Arrangements and the Brigade is scheduled to be ready for actual deployment by 1999.
Other efforts have been made by the United Nations to improve the quality of PKO personnel and apply the lessons of past experiences to future peace-keeping operations, such as holding regional peace-keeping training workshops and establishing the Lessons Learned Unit.
ii) Japan's Cooperation
In February, Japan dispatched a transport unit and other personnel totaling 45 from the Self-Defense Forces to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights. This marks the third time that the Self-Defense Forces have participated in a PKO mission since Cambodia and Mozambique, and the fifth time for Japan, including the two missions to Angola and El Salvador for election observation. The Self-Defense Forces dispatched to UNDOF accomplished their task smoothly, and their work was highly commended by UN personnel, including local commanders, as well as by the recipient states.
As August 1995 marked the third year since the Law Concerning Cooperation for United Nations Peace-keeping and Other Operations (the International Peace Cooperation Law) went into effect, a review of the Law was initiated in accordance with the additional provisions thereto. In a report presented to Prime Minister Hashimoto in September, the following points were raised as items calling for immediate revision: (1) commanders should be authorized to determine the use of weapons; (2) smooth and appropriate cooperation should be made possible also for international election-monitoring activities similar to those carried out as part of UN peace-keeping operations; and (3) assistance in kind to international humanitarian relief activities should be made possible also in such cases where a cease-fire has not been established. Currently the government ministries and agencies concerned are taking forward the review toward finalizing the text for revision while taking into consideration past lessons and experiences.
i) The Nature of the Problem
Particularly since the end of the Cold War, the frequent outbreak of regional conflicts has been producing a huge number of refugees. This is not only a humanitarian issue but also a critical problem which could have negative effects on the peace and stability of all the world, as it could be a crucial factor of instability in the conflicts of the countries of origin of these refugees, as well as in the regions in which they take asylum. In addition to these refugees, in recent years the international community has also been very concerned about the large numbers of internally displaced persons who have been uprooted by conflicts and forced to flee their homes. In order to prevent these people from leaving their home countries and becoming refugees, the establishment of an international system responding to this situation is urgently needed. Due to political, ethnic or religious affiliations, these refugees and internally displaced persons seldom become the object of bilateral assistance between governments. For this reason, relevant international organizations such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) usually play an active role in providing humanitarian assistance from a neutral and impartial position. A lasting solution to refugee issues, however, requires more than just humanitarian assistance. The international community needs to take comprehensive action, while bearing in mind political, military and development aspects as well. Specifically, it is important to formulate a set of integrated measures which are synthetically coordinated with steps toward political resolution of disputes, military measures such as PKO, humanitarian assistance providing protection and relief for refugees, and official development assistance (ODA) to promote refugee repatriation and resettlement.
ii) Developments in 1996
As of the end of 1996, the world's refugee population was an estimated 30 million. At a regional conference to address the problems of refugees, displaced persons, other forms of involuntary displacement and returnees in the countries of the CIS and relevant neighboring states, held in Geneva in May, discussions focused on preventative diplomacy to deal with the existence of potential refugees and internally displaced persons in the former Soviet Union. The Conference adopted an action plan indicating how to tackle these issues. Elsewhere, the issue of refugees in Indochina is heading toward resolution after more than 20 years as a major source of international concern, and a Comprehensive Plan of Action, which provides the framework for coordination of the efforts of the relevant countries and international organizations, was concluded at the end of June. As a result, most of the Vietnamese boat-people throughout Asia, who have never been recognized as refugees, have been repatriated to their own country. In Africa, the outbreak of civil war in Zaire in November triggered the beginning of repatriation of most of the more than one million Rwandan refugees who had taken up camp in Zaire since 1994, and afterwards the repatriation of Rwandan refugees in Tanzania also began.
iii) Japan's Contribution
To facilitate a lasting solution to such refugee issues as these, it is important for the international community as a whole to continue supporting efforts toward the resettlement of repatriated refugees which are made by entire regions, including both the refugees' countries of origin and of asylum. Recognizing humanitarian assistance to refugees and displaced persons as one of the imperative pillars of Japan's international contributions to the peace and prosperity of the world, Japan is playing an active role in this sphere as a major donor country to the international organizations providing humanitarian assistance to refugees. For instance, in order to support refugees and internally displaced persons in the pitiful situation caused by the crisis in eastern Zaire, Japan contributed a total of US$21.52 million in response to the United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Flash Appeal for the Great Lakes Region, issued in mid-November. Japan also supports the activities of its NGOs active in the region.
c) The Middle East
i) The State of the Middle East Peace Process
The Middle East peace process, which started in October 1991 at the Madrid Middle East Peace Conference, has achieved important progress in a number of areas, including the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, the Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty, and the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Although the tragic assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in November 1995 shocked the international community, further advances have been noted: Israel and Syria subsequently resumed their peace negotiations; Israel withdrew its troops in December 1995 from principal cities on the West Bank of the Jordan River; elections for the Palestinian Council were held in January 1996; and the Palestinian Interim Self-Government was established. Terrorist bomb attacks in February and March in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, however, seriously undermined the confidence of the Israeli public in the country's security, bringing the peace process to a standstill: Syria-Israel peace talks were suspended, and Israel imposed an economic blockade on the area under Palestinian self-rule. Nevertheless, progress was not totally lacking during this period: the Summit of Peacemakers was held (March); the Palestinian Council deleted the enemy clause from the Palestinian Constitution (April); and final status negotiations commenced (April). On the other hand, however, the Israeli and Hezbollah militia in southern Lebanon stepped up aerial bombardment in April; thus the course of future events became fluid.
In Israel's May general elections, Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the conservative Likud Party, defeated incumbent Prime Minister Shimon Peres. While the new Government expressed its commitment to continuing the peace process, it also advocated a different position from the former Labor Party Government on a number of points: putting particular emphasis on security; opposing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state; maintaining the settlements and claiming Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and Jerusalem. As a result, dialogue between the parties to the peace process was broken off, and the peace process came to a halt. With growing Arab frustration and a worsening economic situation due to the blockade, Israel's construction of a tunnel under the old city of Jerusalem triggered confrontations between Palestinians and the Israeli army in cities on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip, which caused many casualties on both sides. Urged by President Clinton, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Yasser Arafat met for Summit Talks in Washington, D.C. in October. With the United States acting as mediator, the two parties carried out consultations on Hebron and other issues connected with the implementation of the Interim Agreement. (Negotiations were concluded in January 1997, producing the so-called Hebron Agreement.)
ii) The Role of Japan
In recognition of its responsibility to play a part in the international cooperation for underpinning the Middle East peace process, Japan encouraged the parties concerned in their peace efforts: Foreign Minister Ikeda visited the region in August; a visit to Japan was made in September by President Arafat of the Palestinian Interim Self-Government; and Ambassador Nobuo Matsunaga, Special Envoy of the Japanese Government, was dispatched to the Middle East in November. Japan is also lending its cooperation to various efforts to build an environment conducive to peace. Particularly, Japan has provided more than US$250 million in aid to the Palestinian Interim Self-Government as of the end of 1996, and is also actively providing assistance to the other parties to the process. An example of this is Japan's support for the construction of the Sheik Hussein Bridge linking Jordan and Israel.
Furthermore, as part of its political contribution to progress toward regional peace and stability, Japan dispatched over 70 election monitors to the Palestinian Council elections in January, and in February, the Self-Defense Forces were dispatched to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights. In addition, Japan has served as the gavel holder (chair) of the Environment Working Group; participated actively in multilateral talks on tourism, water resources and other issues; and lent its cooperation to the establishment of the Bank for Economic Cooperation and Development in the Middle East and North Africa, the Middle East and Mediterranean Travel and Tourism Association, and the Middle East Desalination Research Center.
d) The Former Yugoslavia
i) The Situation of the Conflict in the Former Yugoslavia
The conflict in the former Yugoslavia, which has persisted for more than four years since 1991, moved toward peace with the signing of a peace agreement in December 1995, and in 1996 progress was made toward a stable peace on the civilian and peace-keeping fronts.
In regard to civilian aspects, the elections in Bosnia, one of the most important items on the agenda, were carried out relatively calmly on 14 September 1996 with almost no major ethnic strife, and work began on the recognition of governments for each of the two parts of Bosnia. Municipal elections had been scheduled for that same day, but were twice postponed on the grounds that the necessary conditions had not yet been established. In the end, the relevant international parties at the London Conference of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) reached an agreement to hold the elections by the summer of 1997. (Japan's delegate to the PIC was State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Masahiko Koumura.)
In terms of peace-keeping, efforts to keep apart the armed elements of the parties to the conflict were successful. In addition, the presence of the Peace Implementation Force (IFOR), composed mostly of personnel from NATO, served as a deterrent, and the military situation in Bosnia was generally calm. The IFOR mandate concluded on 20 December, but in view of the need for a continued military presence in Bosnia, the Stabilization Force (SFOR), comprising approximately 31,000 personnel, was established with a mandate through the end of June 1998.
Great attention shall henceforth be focused on how the international community cooperates toward resolution of a number of important outstanding questions in regard to civilian issues, such as promoting the repatriation and resettlement of refugees and internally displaced persons, ensuring freedom of movement and implementing municipal elections.
ii) Japan's Position Regarding Peace in the Former Yugoslavia
The issue of peace in the former Yugoslavia is linked intimately to Europe, both geographically and historically. However, from a humanitarian point of view, and from the standpoint of creating a new international order in the post-Cold War era, it is also of global significance. As such, Japan contributed approximately US$87 million in 1996 for humanitarian and refugee assistance to the former Yugoslavia, including Bosnia. In addition, Japan also announced that it would contribute at least US$130 million in rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance in 1996; its assistance for rehabilitation and reconstruction from 1996 through 1999 is expected to total roughly US$500 million. Thus, Japan has played a positive role in securing peace in the former Yugoslavia.
Peace in Bosnia has only just begun, and it is crucial that Japan, as a member of the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council, actively participate in international efforts for the civilian implementation of the peace agreement.
iii) The Situation of Local Elections in Serbia
After unrest stemming from local elections held on 17 November in Serbia led to injuries and death at the end of the year, a delegation from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), headed by former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González Márquez, visited Yugoslavia, where it verified victories by the opposition in Belgrade (including eight ward councils in the city) and 13 other cities. Major North American and European countries called unanimously upon Yugoslavia to accept the findings of the OSCE report and to demonstrate respect for democratic rights. While recognizing some of the opposition victories, the Yugoslavian authorities have taken a hard line, basically maintaining the position that this is a domestic matter and shall be handled through domestic procedures, and they have strengthened police control (as of December 1996). (Since then, the Government and ruling party, bowing to domestic and international pressure, passed a special law on 11 February 1997 to accept the OSCE report, thus putting opposition mayors in office and establishing opposition-led city councils in urban areas such as Belgrade and other cities.)
Back to Index