Sectoral Analysis of the International Situation and Japan's Foreign Policy
A. Ensuring peace and stability
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, 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.
Given this security environment, Japan embraces a security policy with three main pillars: firmly maintaining the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements, moderately building up Japan's defense capability and making active diplomatic efforts to ensure international peace and security.
i) Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements (refer to Subsection b below)
ii) Build-up of 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, 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 stability
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 China have been holding security dialogues since 1994, with the fifth meeting in December 1997 in Beijing. 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, region-wide political and security dialogue has been underway in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) since 1994. (For more details on ARF, see Chapter I, Part B, Section 6.)
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, that Japan continues working actively to address regional conflicts through means such as peacekeeping 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) Significance of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements
Although the Cold War has ended, the potential for instability and uncertainty persists in the Asia-Pacific region. Given this situation, U.S. military deterrence based on the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the United States of America (the 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. Furthermore, the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements have been increasingly important to the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region, not only because they serve as a political foundation for a broad range of cooperative relations between Japan and the United States in the international community, but also because they secure the U.S. presence as a stabilizing factor in the region.
Based on such a recognition, Japan and the United States have engaged in close dialogue and exchanges of views at various levels in order to effectively operate the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements effectively and promote security cooperation. In April 1996, Prime Minister Hashimoto and President Clinton issued the Japan-U.S. Joint Declaration on Security (the Joint Declaration). The declaration reaffirms the importance of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements and confirms that bilateral defense cooperation will be enhanced (see Subsections ii and iii below) and that active efforts will be made to deal with issues related to U.S. facilities and areas in Japan (see Subsection iv below).
ii) Issuance of the New Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation
The Joint Declaration announced the initiation of the review of the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation (hereafter the "Guidelines"), which were formulated in 1978, in order to build upon the close working relationship already established between the two countries. The Japanese and U.S. Governments reconstituted the Sub-committee for Defense Cooperation (SDC) under the auspices of the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (the SCC, or "2+2") in June 1996 to conduct this review. Ensuring transparency was stressed throughout more than a year of close consultations at such fora as the SDC, and the Progress Report on the Guidelines Review was issued in September 1996, followed by the Interim Report in June 1997. Dedicated work between Japan and the United States resulted in the issuance of the new Guidelines at the SCC meeting in New York on 23 September 1997 (local time).
The new Guidelines provide a general framework and policy direction for Japan-U.S. defense cooperation, imposing no obligations on either government to take legislative, budgetary, or administrative measures. The new Guidelines and programs under the Guidelines will be conducted within the limitations of Japan's Constitution and without any change to the rights and obligations under the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty or to the fundamental framework of the Japan-U.S. alliance; moreover, they will be consistent with the basic principles of international law and relevant international agreements. On the basis of these basic premises and principles, the new Guidelines outline the basic view and specific actions with regard to: (1) cooperation under normal circumstances; (2) actions in response to an armed attack against Japan; and (3) cooperation in situations in areas surrounding Japan that will have an important influence on Japan's peace and security ("situations in areas surrounding Japan"). With regard to cooperation in "situations in areas surrounding Japan" in particular, examples of items of cooperation in functions and fields such as noncombatant evacuation operations and rear support are specified in an annex to the Guidelines. Japan and the United States have already explained the contents of the new Guidelines to the countries concerned, and have received favorable responses. It is important to continue to make such efforts as necessary, both at home and abroad, concerning the objectives of the Guidelines.
The new Guidelines were reported to the Cabinet on 29 September, and a Cabinet Decision was made on ensuring their effectiveness. Based on this Cabinet Decision, deliberations are currently being held to establish domestic mechanisms, including legislative measures.
Further development of defense technology exchanges between Japan and the United States is an important task for ensuring the effective operation of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements. Joint research is currently underway on a ducted rocket engine, advanced steel technologies, ceramic engines for combat vehicles and eye-safe laser radar. The two governments have also concluded an agreement on the joint production of 47 new support fighters (F-2s) for the Air Self-Defense Force.
Ballistic missile defense (BMD) is an important area of study in planning Japan's future defense policy. Japan and the United States have been conducting working-level studies in order to make a policy decision on this matter, including the possibility of its introduction.
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 operation of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements. Recognizing the vital importance of reducing the burden on the people of Okinawa, where U.S. facilities and areas are highly concentrated, the Governments of Japan and the United States completed the Final Report in December 1996 as a result of the deliberations of the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO), and have agreed to promote the consolidation, realignment and reduction of 11 U.S. facilities and areas in Okinawa, including Futenma Air Station and the Northern Training Area under certain conditions, and to take various measures such as the improvement of Status of Forces Agreement Procedures. The plans and measures, when implemented, will mean the return of approximately 5,000 hectares, or 21 percent, of the total acreage of U.S. facilities and areas in Okinawa, and the Japanese Government is currently making its utmost efforts to implement the Final Report. Measures other than the return of land are also being steadily implemented, including: aircraft noise reduction initiatives; improvement of payment procedures for claims; improvement of procedures for unusual occurrence notification; clarification of procedures for authorizing visits to U.S. facilities and areas; relocation of artillery live-fire training over Highway 104 to the mainland; and a memorandum for the Joint Committee on the construction of noise reduction baffles at Kadena Air Base. The SACO Final Report also states that with the return of Futenma Air Station, a Sea Based Facility (SBF) will be constructed off the east coast of the main island of Okinawa as replacement facilities. To follow this up, the Japanese Government conducted a preliminary survey of the marine area off Camp Schwab (a U.S. facility and area on the coast of Nago City), and on the basis of the results of this survey and other factors, drafted a basic proposal on the SBF and submitted it to local authorities. The Japanese Government views this as the best option at this point in time from the standpoint of maintaining the operational capabilities of the U.S. forces as well as taking into account the safety and quality of life of the people of Okinawa, and has been working to obtain the understanding and cooperation of the Okinawa Prefectural Government and other relevant local authorities. In this same context, on 21 December Nago City held a "referendum concerning the construction of the SBF off Nago City," with a turnout of around 82 percent of voters; about 46 percent were in favor of construction, while about 54 percent were opposed. On 24 December, Mayor Tetsuya Higa of Nago City met with Prime Minister Hashimoto to announce Nago City's acceptance of construction of the SBF and his own resignation as Mayor.
In September 1996, the Japanese Government also established the Consultative Committee on Promotion of Economic Policies concerning Okinawa as a forum to hear from and consult with Okinawa Prefecture on development of the Okinawa economy, throwing the weight of the entire Government behind the formulation of basic policies for promoting the Okinawan economy. The Committee is currently deliberating on a wide range of specific projects. Furthermore, the Japanese Government is steadily taking budgetary measures for realizing the recommendations proposed in November 1996 by the Cabinet Secretary's Commission on Okinawa Issues to alleviate the difficulties faced by municipalities hosting U.S. facilities and areas. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also established a liaison office in Okinawa in February 1997, headed by the Ambassador in charge of Okinawa. The Ambassador hears views and requests from the municipalities concerned on issues related to the stationing of U.S. forces, including Status of Forces Agreement Procedures, as well as consulting with U.S. forces stationed in Okinawa.
Some portions of the private and public land within U.S. facilities and areas in Okinawa were being used in accordance with the Law for Special Measures Regarding the Use of Land Incident to the Implementation of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement. While the title to use these portions of land expired in May 1997, the Okinawa Prefectural Land Expropriation Committee seemed unlikely to reach a decision based on procedures under this Law before the expiration date. To fulfill Japan's obligation under the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty to provide facilities and areas, the Japanese Government submitted to the Diet a bill for amendment of the Law for Special Measures, and this was passed in April 1997. Consequently, the Japanese Government was able to make temporary use of the land in question from May until a decision by the Land Expropriation Committee secured the necessary title, thus ensuring the stable utilization of facilities and areas by U.S. forces.
a) Promotion of arms control and disarmament and strengthening of the non-proliferation regime
The end of the Cold War has not meant an end to the danger of the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, including biological and chemical weapons. Arms control and disarmament in these areas, as well as the strengthening of non-proliferation regimes, require the attention of the international community as a whole.
i) Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction
- Nuclear disarmament
Japan has continued to work steadily on realistic nuclear disarmament measures toward the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons.
The first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2000 NPT Review Conference, was held in New York in April 1997, launching the preparation process toward the Review Conference. Japan supported a smooth start to this process by, for example, hosting a seminar in December 1996 on nuclear disarmament after the extension of the NPT.
The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1996, had been signed by 149 countries as of 31 December 1997, but it remains unclear when the treaty will enter into force. Japan will work with the countries concerned to make every possible effort to bring this about.
- Resolution on nuclear disarmament with a view to the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons
As it has every year since 1994, Japan submitted to the Fifty-Second United Nations General Assembly a resolution on nuclear disarmament with a view to the ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons. This was adopted by an overwhelming majority of Member States (156 in favor, 0 opposed and 10 abstaining). Bearing in mind the developments over the last year in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, the 1997 resolution goes one step further than last year's, welcoming efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons and noting the importance of safe and effective management of fissile materials that result from the dismantlement of nuclear weapons. The 1997 General Assembly was the first time since 1994 that all nuclear weapons states (the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France and China) had voted in favor of the resolution. The adoption of this resolution with such wide support 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.
- Developments regarding nuclear weapon free zones
On 27 March, Cambodia and Singapore deposited their instruments of ratification for the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, signed in 1995. This brought the number of countries who had deposited instruments up to the required seven, with the treaty accordingly entering into force the same day. However, there is still little prospect of the nuclear powers signing the treaty protocol.
- Nuclear disarmament between the United States and Russia, and Japan's contribution
The United States and Russia are currently working to reduce their respective deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 6,000 or fewer by 2001, based on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I). START II, which stipulates further reduction by the year 2007 to 3,000-3,500 strategic warheads, must be ratified by Russia before it can enter into force. In March 1997, both parties reached the understanding that once START II was in force, negotiations on START III would begin, and that it would reduce deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 2,000-2,500 by 2007.
Japan is working with the United States to promote START implementation, as well as actively advancing assistance for the elimination of nuclear weapons by Russia and other republics of the former Soviet Union.
- Chemical Weapons Convention
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), aimed at the elimination of chemical weapons, entered into force on 29 April, and the First Session of the Conference of the States Parties was accordingly held in The Hague, Netherlands, in May. The meeting established a Technical Secretariat of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, headed by Director-General José M. Bustani of Brazil, and discussed administrative and financial issues, including the budget, as well as verification procedures, etc. The Technical Secretariat also received declarations from the States Parties, and has been conducting initial inspections since June in order to verify these declarations. Deposit of instruments of ratification by Russia and other countries in November brought the number of States Parties to 105 as of December 1997, including all permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
- Biological Weapons Convention
The Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) comprehensively prohibits various activities, such as development, production, stockpiling, retention and transfer of biological and toxic weapons. Unlike the CWC, however, it does not have a verification system. Work to strengthen the Convention in this regard has been underway since 1991, and the group of experts newly established in September 1994 has been working since January 1995 to draft a new legally binding instrument, including verification measures. The group has been continuing its deliberations with the aim of concluding this work as soon as possible before 2001. As of 31 December 1997, 140 countries were States Parties to this Convention.
- 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, participating countries of international export control regimes have implemented coordinated export control policies for goods and technologies that can be used for the production of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, and of missiles which serve as their delivery systems. Nuclear-related goods and technologies are controlled in accordance with the London Guidelines [see note] by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), which consists of 35 countries. The goods and technologies related to biological and chemical weapons are controlled by the 30 participating countries of the Australia Group (AG), and those related to missiles are controlled by the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which now counts 32 members. Japan is actively contributing to these international export control regimes; in particular, as Chair of the MTCR, Japan held a plenary meeting of this body in Tokyo in November 1997.
Note:London Guidelines Part 1 controls items specialized for nuclear energy, while London Guidelines Part 2 controls dual-use items which can be used for both nuclear and non-nuclear purposes.
ii) Conventional weapons
- 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 enhancing 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 is playing a major role in the operation of the Register through, for example, those countries not yet participating. Furthermore, although the submission of data on the molding 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 the other Member States to further improve the Register.
- Small arms issue
Small arms assault rifles are used extensively in regional conflict areas, leading to casualties even among civilians, and stand in the way of development even after the resolution of conflict. Despite this situation, no special measures have been taken to date except in regard to anti-personnel land mines. Japan proposed a draft resolution that requested the establishment of a panel of governmental experts under the United Nations Secretary-General to engage actively in the small arms issue, and this resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority at the United Nations General Assembly in 1995. In August 1997, the United Nations Panel of Governmental Experts on Small Arms, chaired by Ambassador Mitsuro Donowaki, a special advisor to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, submitted a report to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, including 20 recommendations to be taken. The 1997 United Nations General Assembly endorsed these recommendations and adopted by a large majority the resolution submitted by Japan to promote the implementation of these recommendations. Based on this United Nations resolution, further efforts will be made toward resolving the small arms issues, including establishment of a new group of governmental experts, initiating specific research and convening an international conference on small arms.
- Export control regimes for conventional arms and related goods and technologies
The Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM), which was designed with the goal of controlling the outflow of strategic items and technologies to communist countries, was terminated in March 1994. After more than two years of consultations, the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) [see note] was launched in July 1996 as a new international export control regime on conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies.
In contrast to COCOM, which designated communist countries as specific targets for export controls, the Wassenaar Arrangement does not predetermine any countries or regions as targets for export control. Rather, it aims to prevent excessive transfer and stockpiling of conventional weapons which could undermine regional stability. Furthermore, while COCOM required approval from the other participating countries for the export of controlled materials, under the Wassenaar Arrangement, participating countries are expected to exchange information on the control of relevant items and implement their export control policies in a responsible manner.
The Wassenaar Arrangement currently has 33 member states, including Japan, the United States, European countries and the Republic of Korea, as well as Russia and the countries of Eastern Europe which were regarded as targets for export control under COCOM. Japan has attached importance to tackling the challenge posed by conventional arms transfers taking place in the post-Cold War world, and has played an active role in the development of the Wassenaar Arrangement.
Note:Named after the city in the suburbs of The Hague, Netherlands, where negotiations were held.
- Cooperation with other countries to develop and enhance export control regimes
In order to further enhance the effectiveness of international export control systems, member countries of the above-mentioned export control regimes are calling on non-member countries to develop and strengthen 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).
b) Anti-personnel land mines
As seen in Cambodia and Afghanistan, anti-personnel land mines placed in conflict and left underground have been causing serious casualties among civilians. The United Nations estimates the total number of anti-personnel land mines left underground at more than 110 million, with more than 2,000 civilian casualties a month. Not only is this a grave concern, it also poses a serious barrier to post-conflict reconstruction. The anti-personnel land mine issue therefore requires an urgent international response.
The international community demonstrated an unprecedented degree of concern over the issue in 1997. Significant progress was made in regulatory efforts, seeking a total ban on anti-personnel land mines, and also in humanitarian efforts, strengthening demining activities and victim assistance.
- Banning of anti-personnel land mines
International efforts to strengthen regulations on anti-personnel land mines are not a new phenomenon. Resolutions in the United Nations resolutions seeking an export ban on anti-personnel land mines were adopted every year from 1993 to 1995 by consensus, and in May 1996, a protocol was adopted amending Protocol II of the Convention on Prohibitions and Restrictions on Certain Conventional Weapons in order to strengthen restrictions on anti-personnel land mine use and to introduce transfer restrictions. Japan concluded this protocol in June 1997.
Backed by such regulatory enhancement and with international opinion leaning increasingly toward a total ban on anti-personnel land mines, the so-called Ottawa Process, launched in October 1996 with a conference hosted in Ottawa by the Canadian Government, made swift progress in drafting a treaty imposing a global ban on anti-personnel land mines. This was vigorously supported by non-governmental organizations such as the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL). As a result, the so-called Total Ban Treaty on Anti-Personnel Land Mines was adopted in Oslo in September 1997, banning the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel land mines and making their destruction obligatory. The signing ceremony was held in Ottawa on 3-4 December, and Foreign Minister Obuchi signed on behalf of Japan. By the closing of the ceremony, the treaty had been signed by as many as 121 countries.
Major international players such as the United States, Russia and China have not signed the treaty for security and other reasons, and further international efforts will be needed toward realization of a universal and effective ban on anti-personnel land mines. To advance the universality of the treaty and realize an anti-personnel land mine ban which embraces the main producers and exporters of land mines, Japan is also working with other relevant parties toward early initiation of negotiations on formulation of a universal and effective statement of consensus at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
- Demining and victim assistance
In March 1997, Japan held the Tokyo Conference on Anti-Personnel Land Mines as the first comprehensive meeting to examine steps to strengthen international measures on the humanitarian aspect of the anti-personnel land mine issue, namely demining and victim assistance.
The Tokyo Conference defined the anti-personnel land mine issue not only as a humanitarian issue but also as a barrier to the maintenance of peace and stability and reconstruction and development efforts. Members drafted the Tokyo Guidelines, establishing "zero victims" as the goal of international efforts on the anti-personnel land mine issue. Measures contained in the Guidelines include: (1) emphasis on ownership of the mine-infested countries, as well as partnership between mine-infested countries, donor countries, international organizations and NGOs; (2) enhancement of the United Nations' support and coordination functions; (3) development of cheaper, safer and more efficient technologies; and (4) support for comprehensive victim assistance programs.
To put the Tokyo Guidelines into practice, Japan has decided to provide a total of around 10 billion yen in assistance through its ODA programs over a five-year period beginning in 1998. This was announced by Prime Minister Hashimoto during the Japan-Canada Summit on 27 November. Japan's further efforts will include: provision of equipment related to demining; technical cooperation in the production of artificial limbs and the rehabilitation of victims, etc.; provision of facilities and materials for medical treatment and rehabilitation; strengthening of mine-related departments in the United Nations through United Nations contributions, etc.; and support for a conference to be held by Cambodia in October 1998 for mine-infested countries to share their experiences. Japan will also continue to provide assistance through NGOs as part of these cooperative efforts.
In this regard, Japan has decided, under certain conditions, not to apply the three principles on arms exports and the collateral policy guidelines to exports of equipment necessary for humanitarian demining activities, as part of its measures to further strengthen efforts on the anti-personnel land mine issue. This was announced on 2 December in comments by the Chief Cabinet Secretary.
a) Peacekeeping operations (PKO)
i) PKO debate
With the end of such large-scale operations as those in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the trend toward a gradual reduction in the scale of dispatches in existing peacekeeping operations, the total number of personnel dispatched on United Nations peacekeeping operations (PKOs) has dropped to approximately one-fifth of the peak level of PKO dispatches (14,879 as of 31 December 1997). Moreover, all PKOs in 1997, with the exception of the operation in Guatemala, which developed from a UN human rights monitoring mission, were continuations of existing PKOs; no new operations were established in new regions. Due to such changes in the environment surrounding PKOs, and bitter experiences in the former Yugoslavia and Somalia, there has been a marked shift in recent years toward improving the quality of PKOs rather than expanding their scale.
In regard to improving the peacekeeping capabilities of the African countries in particular, France, the U.S. and the UK put forward a joint initiative in May which is, among other things, aimed at coordination between the African countries and parties such as the main donors. This is currently being fine-tuned among the relevant countries, for example, through informal meetings under the United Nations framework.
Considerations also continue on improving the rapid deployment capabilities of PKOs. The concept of a "Rapidly Deployable Mission Headquarters" was developed to support the UN Standby Arrangements system, there being an indication that the present system which entrusts the final decision to dispatch troops with each troop-contributing country may restrict the necessary rapid deployment and expansion of PKOs. This concept calls for personnel on standby both at the United Nations and in the various Member States to be dispatched immediately to the mission area once a PKO has been set up, taking the lead in carrying out the necessary preparatory tasks for the startup of the operation. However, as financial issues such as expenditures for standby personnel have yet to be resolved, the concept remains under United Nations consideration and has not materialized yet.
ii) Japan's cooperation
Since the Law Concerning Cooperation for United Nations Peacekeeping and Other Operations (the International Peace Cooperation Law) went into effect in 1992, Japan has taken part in PKOs in Angola, Cambodia, Mozambique and El Salvador. At present, as part of a comprehensive effort toward peace and stability in the Middle East, 45 personnel from the Self-Defense Forces (transport platoons, etc.) have been dispatched to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) operating on the Golan Heights since February 1996. This dispatch to UNDOF was originally scheduled for two years, but given the importance of the operation, it was extended for two more years in February 1998. The work of the dispatched Self-Defense Forces has been highly commended by United Nations personnel, including local commanders, as well as by the recipient states.
As August 1995 marked the third year since the International Peace Cooperation Law went into effect, a review of the Law was initiated in accordance with its relevant additional provisions. Based on lessons drawn from and reflections on dispatches to date, the relevant ministries and agencies are considering specific details of the amendment bill, focusing on amendments in the following three areas: (1) weapons should be used as a rule under orders by the senior officer present at the scene; (2) provisions should be made for international election-monitoring activities similar to those carried out as part of PKOs to make smooth and appropriate cooperation possible in this area; and (3) cooperation in kind to international humanitarian relief activities should also be made possible in such cases where a formal cease-fire has not been established.
Ethnic and religious conflicts which have surfaced in a number of regions since the end of the Cold War have sent world refugee numbers soaring in the 1990s, with the total refugee population reaching 30 million in 1995. Since then, however, the resolution of the Indochina refugee issue and the repatriation of many refugees from Mozambique and Rwanda have whittled this figure down to around 26 million as of January 1997. Refugees around the world and a large number of internally displaced persons who have been uprooted by conflicts and forced to flee their homes continue to be not only of humanitarian concern but also a global issue which could have an effect upon the peace and stability not only of the regions concerned but of the entire world.
Refugee assistance activities were hampered in 1997 by a series of events, such as the violation of international humanitarian principles exemplified by the alleged massacre of Rwandan refugees in and involuntary evacuation from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the former Zaire), as well as the killing of personnel of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and World Food Programme (WFP) in Rwanda and Tajikistan. The issue of the safety of humanitarian personnel was raised even in the United Nations Security Council, where the use of armed force against humanitarian personnel was condemned and a Chairman's Statement issued requesting that the relevant governments adopt appropriate measures. Also, related resolutions were adopted at the United Nations General Assembly. The matter has now become a key issue in terms of assistance for refugees.
Japan recognizes humanitarian assistance for refugees and displaced persons as one of the important pillars of its international contribution. Given that these refugees emerge as a result of political, ethnic and religious conflicts, Japan provides active support through international organizations in a neutral position, such as UNHCR, WFP and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). In terms of further action on the refugee issue, while there will be a continued need for humanitarian assistance, efforts are also needed to prevent conflict and to provide assistance so as to keep repatriated refugees from becoming refugees once more. Political means first need to be used to prevent conflicts, and in cases where conflict has already erupted, a smooth transition from emergency humanitarian relief to recovery assistance and to development assistance is essential. It will be important to strengthen coordination and cohesion among the various governments, international organizations, NGOs and other parties which are central to this support.
c) Peace in the Middle East
i) Trends in the peace process
The Middle East peace process, which started in October 1991 at the Madrid Middle East Peace Conference, has achieved significant 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 the Gaza Strip. However, a series of terrorist incidents in Israel over February and March 1996 led to the suspension of bilateral negotiations, and in June 1996, Israel saw Benjamin Netanyahu, leader of the Likud Party, establish a conservative coalition government. While the new government expressed its commitment to continuing the peace process, it also put an emphasis on security and advocated a different position from the former Labor Party government, such as opposing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state; maintaining the settlements; and maintaining Israel's claim to sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which brought the peace process to a halt.
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations made some progress with the conclusion of the Hebron Agreement in January 1997, covering the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Hebron and implementation of the Interim Self-Government. Subsequently, however, the Israeli Government announced plans for the construction of settlements in East Jerusalem, initiating this in March despite criticism from the international community. This deepened conflict between the parties, and negotiations stalled again. A string of suicide bombings, considered to have been carried out by Palestinian extremists, made progress in the peace process much more difficult.
Following a visit to the region by U.S. State Secretary Madeleine Albright in September, foreign ministers from the United States, Israel and the Palestinian Interim Self-Government met in New York at the end of the same month. The Israeli-Palestinian negotiations which had stalled since March were subsequently partially reopened in October. Talks continue between the two parties on four main issues: (1) securing cooperation; (2) time-out on unilateral measures such as construction of settlements; (3) further redeployment of Israeli forces in the West Bank; and (4) the handling of permanent status negotiations. A wide gulf remains, however, between the two parties' respective positions, and the possibility of an early breakthrough is faint.
Negotiations between Israel and Syria and between Israel and Lebanon broke down in March 1996, and it is not clear when and if either will resume.
ii) Japan's role
In recognition of its responsibility to play a part in the international cooperation underpinning the Middle East peace process, Japan has been directly urging the parties involved to work toward peace, seizing opportunities such as the February visit to Japan by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs David Levy of Israel, the dispatch of Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Shunji Yanai in April, the August visit to Japan by Prime Minister Netanyahu and the November visit to Japan by Prime Minister Rafic Hariri of Lebanon.
Japan has also provided various types of economic cooperation to the parties involved in order to develop an environment conducive to peace. This includes more than US$320 million (as of the end of 1997) provided to the Palestinian Interim Self-Government, making Japan one of the major contributors in this regard.
In addition, Japan is providing personnel as part of its contribution to progress in the peace process and to regional stability. For example, 77 election monitors were dispatched to the Palestinian Council elections in January 1996, and Self-Defense Forces were dispatched in February to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights. Moreover, Japan is also making an intellectual contribution through active participation in the multilateral track of the peace process, not only on the environment, in which context Japan serves as a gavel-holder of the Working Group on Environment, but also in areas such as tourism and water resources. In addition, Japan is extending financial cooperation in the establishment of the Middle East and Mediterranean Travel and Tourism Association and the Middle East Desalination Research Center. Japan also led the way in May 1997 in becoming party to the Agreement Establishing the Bank for Economic Cooperation and Development in the Middle East and North Africa.
d) The former Yugoslavia
i) The Bosnia and Herzegovina peace process
Based on the peace agreement (the Dayton Agreement) signed in December 1995, Bosnia held elections in September 1996, and in early 1997, common institutions were established, including the Presidency, the Parliamentary Assembly and the Council of Ministers.
The common institutions comprise a central Bosnian state structure with joint participation by Muslims (Bosujak), Serbs and Croats. However, the parties have taken different stances on every occasion, such as in deliberation on bills, and these institutions can function only with support and strong pressure from the High Representative and the international community. The civilian aspect of the peace implementation therefore proceeded much more slowly than originally expected.
The international community responded to this situation by demanding at the Steering Board of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) in Sintra in May that the parties involved implement certain concrete and time-bound measures for the peace implementation. At the December PIC in Bonn, members responded to insufficient fulfillment of the measures from the Sintra meeting by agreeing to strengthen the powers of the High Representative, allowing him to decide on interim measures when parties are unable to reach agreement.
Municipal elections, postponed because of lack of the necessary conditions, were held in September and ended on the whole without incident. However, because the elections were based on a national census conducted before the eruption of the conflict and the ensuing ethnic cleansing, in some regions election results did not reflect the real ethnic distribution.
In terms of peacekeeping, the presence of the Stabilization Force (SFOR), which was established in December 1996 to take over the mandate of the Implementation Force (IFOR), served as an effective deterrent and maintained peace with no military clashes.
Central issues in the years to come will include activities of the parties and cooperation by the international community in regard to the lagging civilian aspects of the peace implementation, such as smooth operation of the common institutions; ethnic reconciliation at the municipal level and the promotion of the repatriation of refugees and displaced persons; and ensuring freedom of movement.
ii) Situation in Croatia
In Croatia, after Croatian forces had taken over most Serb-controlled areas in May and August 1995, agreement was reached on the remaining region, namely Eastern Slavonia, in November, and the United Nations dispatched the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium (UNTAES).
The UNTAES, although its mandate has been extended several times, has carried out its mission smoothly, including elections held in 1997, and will finally conclude its mandate on 15 January 1998. Responsibility will then be transferred to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which will complete the process toward reintegration. There is still concern, however, that reintegration will prompt an outflow of Serbs from Eastern Slavonia.
iii) Japan's contribution to the former Yugoslav issue
The former Yugoslav issue most directly concerns 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 is contributing actively to the peace implementation in Bosnia. In 1997, Japan announced that it would provide up to US$130 million in rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance; it also announced that approximately US$5.8 million would be provided to the former Yugoslav region, including Bosnia, as humanitarian and refugee assistance. Moreover, 29 personnel were dispatched to the September municipal elections, participating in OSCE supervision and monitoring activities.
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