Sectoral Analysis of the International Situation and Japan's Foreign Policy
Ensuring peace and stability
B. World peace and stability
In the post-Cold War period, the international community continues to confront various factors of instability and a multitude of challenges. Again in 1999, conflicts rooted in ethnic and religious causes mushroomed, creating massive numbers of refugees, while anti-personnel landmines and small arms laid claim to countless victims. The proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, as well as their delivery systems, continued to cause major concern. This section focuses on efforts by the international community and Japan to combat these issues, taking up conflict prevention, including the elimination of poverty and other potential causes of conflict, and then turning to the strengthening of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation as important means of regulating the instruments of conflict. International peace cooperation is also examined as a critical element in preventing the expansion and intensification of conflict when it does occur, and in charting a course toward conflict resolution. Refugee problems, which frequently emerge as conflicts break out, are also highlighted in terms of dealing with the refugees and displaced persons.
Throughout 1999 in various fora of the international community, conflict prevention was much discussed. It appeared, for example, on the agenda of the G8 Cologne Summit and the G8 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in June, which were followed by an ad-hoc G8 Foreign Ministers' Meeting on conflict prevention held in Berlin in December. ARF has also initiated a discussion on preventive diplomacy.
Discussion on conflict prevention in the G8 was not unrelated to the worldwide attention attracted to the situations in Kosovo and East Timor. Experience of these cases and other conflicts in Africa and elsewhere, as well as the accompanying humanitarian and economic tragedies, has resulted in a surge in the recognition that checking conflict beforehand is less costly in various senses than dealing with a conflict which has already broken out, and therefore it is important to prevent conflicts before they break out. Moreover, when a conflict has already broken out, the international community needs to end it at the earliest possible point and achieve a peace which is sustainable over a long period by taking measures to prevent a recurrence of conflict.
After the end of the Cold War, discussion on conflict prevention has been activated since the submission in June 1992 by then-United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali of a report entitled "An Agenda for Peace" responding to a request from the Security Council. Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali submitted in January 1995 the "Supplement to an Agenda for Peace." These two reports effectively indicated the direction of discussion on this subject in the international community with the United Nations at its center.
A standard definition of conflict prevention has yet to be established. Its scope has not been clearly defined either. Conflict prevention efforts to date by the international community, including Japan and other countries, the United Nations and regional organizations could, however, be classified into the following categories: efforts to address economic and social issues which could become fundamental causes of future conflict where signs of such conflict have yet to emerge; the elimination or alleviation of a political or social structure of confrontation which could escalate into conflict (reconciliation and mediation, etc.); peace-making activities directed at ending conflicts which have already broken out; and the maintenance of peace and prevention of conflict recurrence after ceasefires or peace agreements. Together, these activities could be described as conflict prevention in a broad sense.
Japan has engaged in cooperation for resolving and preventing many conflicts, while also participating actively in the discussion in such fora as the United Nations and the G8. Furthermore, examples of Japan's contribution to the activities of regional organizations include assistance for strengthening the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and assistance for the dispatch of the OAU Election Observer Group to Nigeria.
Japan has long believed and has taken every opportunity to appeal to the international community that conflict prevention should be addressed through a "Comprehensive Approach." Such an approach entails developing an overall grasp of the various causes behind the outbreak of a conflict, bearing in mind efforts from pre-conflict through to post-conflict stages, as well as include policies and measures in political, security, economic, social and development areas. The need for such an approach having been confirmed at the ad-hoc G8 Foreign Ministers' Meeting on conflict prevention held in Berlin in December, the international community is gradually coming to recognize the importance of a "Comprehensive Approach." Japan for its part will continue to further promote this comprehensive approach.
The danger of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction including nuclear weapons and missiles as their delivery systems, remains after the Cold War, and the strengthening of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, require the urgent attention of the international community as a whole. In 1999, no tangible progress was evidenced in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) negotiations. In addition, as the United States sought the amendment of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty to open the way for the deployment of a national missile defense (NMD) system, talks were initiated with the Russian Federation toward overcoming Russian concern in this regard; however 1999 saw no agreement reached between the two sides. Further, while attention also focused on whether India and Pakistan, both of which conducted nuclear tests in 1998, would adhere to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), this too did not eventuate in 1999. With the U.S. Senate rejection of the ratification of the CTBT and the failure of the Geneva Conference on Disarmament (CD) to commence Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty negotiations, 1999 was overall a year of extremely limited progress toward nuclear disarmament.
Anti-personnel landmines, small arms and other conventional weapons have become the main weapons used in the many regional conflicts of the post-Cold War period, and are also hindering post-conflict reconstruction. In light of this situation, international efforts are also being enhanced in the area of conventional weapons.
a) Weapons of mass destruction
- Toward early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)
In October, Japan served as Chair of the Conference on Facilitating Entry into Force of the CTBT in Vienna, making a substantial contribution to the success of the meeting, including the formulation of a strong political message toward early entry into force of the CTBT. Further, while the rejection by the U.S. Senate to ratify the CTBT soon after the conference was a major setback in terms of an early entry into force, Japan promptly dispatched State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ichita Yamamoto to Washington to express Japan's concern and regret to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and the relevant members of the Senate, calling on the United States to ratify the CTBT. Secretary of State Albright responded by sending a letter to Foreign Minister Kono promising continued efforts for ratification. State Secretary Yamamoto also visited India and Pakistan in late October, urging these countries to sign and ratify the CTBT. Japan has since been dispatching high-level missions to each of those countries among the 44 whose ratification of the CTBT is required for its entry into force but which have not yet ratified it.
- Tokyo Forum for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament
Convened in response to the May 1998 nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan, the Tokyo Forum for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament released a report in July 1999 which contained highly significant recommendations in terms of setting a path for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. One such recommendation was that the U.S.-Russia START process be revitalized toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons, calling on both countries to each reduce their strategic nuclear warheads to 1,000. The Government of Japan is also drawing on the report's recommendations in promoting arms control and disarmament diplomacy toward realization of a world free of nuclear weapons.
- Maintaining and strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)
At the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2000 NPT Review Conference, held in New York in May, consensus was blocked by factors such as the confrontation between the nuclear-weapon states and the non-aligned movement over nuclear disarmament. As the NPT Review Conference, to be held over April and May 2000, is intended to review the present situation of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation since the 1995 decision to extend the NPT indefinitely, and to look ahead to the future, the success of this conference will be vital in maintaining the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
(Nuclear proliferation in South Asia)
The Lahore Declaration, announced on the occasion of the India-Pakistan Summit Meeting in February, seemed to signal a move in the right direction, for example in its reference to the promotion of confidence-building measures and on-going efforts to strengthen dialogue. However, in April, both India and Pakistan proceeded to conduct ballistic missile launch tests, while in May, fighting broke out in part of the Indian side along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, territory disputed between the two countries. Although the fighting ended in July, subsequent developments such as the Indian shooting-down of a Pakistani plane and a coup d'etat in Pakistan have left South Asia unstable. Advancing efforts by India and Pakistan toward nuclear non-proliferation, and particularly adherence to the CTBT, will be vital not only in maintaining the global nuclear non-proliferation regime, but also in ensuring the stability of South Asia. Against this background, Japan held the South Asia Task Force Meeting in Tokyo in February to strengthen efforts to address this issue in coordination with the G8 and other relevant countries, and has also maintained high-level dialogue with India and Pakistan as a means of appealing to both mainly in regard to CTBT adherence.
- UN General Assembly Resolution: Paving the way toward the 2000 NPT Review Conference
Since 1994, Japan has presented draft resolutions on "Nuclear Disarmament with a View to the Ultimate Elimination of Nuclear Weapons," and acquired overwhelming support from the international community. The 1999 Resolution, taking into account the July report of the Tokyo Forum for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, called on all States Parties to intensify their efforts with a view to reaching an agreement on updated objectives for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament at the 2000 NPT Review Conference, and successfully issued a powerful message appealing for the need for the success of the conference.
- Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty
Next in line to the CTBT as a measure toward multilateral nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament is the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty. In 1999, the impact of disagreement over nuclear disarmament and prevention of an arms race in outer space hindered the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva from establishing an ad hoc committee to negotiate this treaty, and negotiations were left pending. With the NPT Review Conference just ahead, the early commencement of Cut-Off Treaty negotiations as a concrete step toward nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament is a vital task, and Japan will continue to contribute positively toward the progress of negotiations and their early conclusion.
- Cooperation toward the implementation of nuclear disarmament
With Russia's huge amount of nuclear weapons being reduced through the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) process, the following tasks are taking on a growing importance in terms of promoting nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation: the dismantling of nuclear weapons, the management and disposition of weapons-grade fissile materials no longer required for defense purposes, the prevention of fissile material smuggling, and the prevention of the outflow of scientists who were involved in the development of weapons of mass destruction during the Cold War era. Japan is advancing concrete cooperation with Russia and other countries in these areas, as evidenced by Prime Minister Obuchi's announcement at the June G8 Cologne Summit that Japan would contribute funding to projects amounting to US$200 million, and adoption at the end of the year of budgetary measures totaling 13.4 billion yen, while pledging US$20 million to ISTC.
Amidst the highlighted threat of a possible worldwide proliferation of biological weapons, the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), which entered into force in March 1975 and to which 143 countries were States Parties as of the end of 1999, comprehensively prohibits activities such as development, production, stockpiling, and retention of biological weapons. The BWC, however, lacks any provisions on measures to verify the compliance by the States Parties with their obligation. Since 1995, therefore, negotiations have been underway on the creation of a protocol which includes verification measures to ensure an accurate response to trends such as worldwide biological weapons development. Wide disparities between the positions taken by the negotiating parties have thus far prevented agreement on some points, but dedicated negotiation efforts continue toward the earliest possible conclusion before the target year of 2001. Japan for its part will continue to participate actively in negotiations toward realization of a powerful and effective verification regime.
The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which entered into force in April 1997 and had 128 States Parties as of the end of 1999, is an epochal disarmament treaty equipped with "challenge inspections" as one of its verification measures. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the implementation body of the CWC, has been established in the Hague in the Netherlands, and is steadily implementing on-site inspections and other verification measures, conducting around 580 inspections around the world by the end of 1999. Japan is faithfully carrying out its obligations under the CWC in order to contribute to worldwide chemical weapons disarmament, as exemplified by its acceptance of a large number of industrial inspections up to the end of 1999, and an on-site inspection for chemical weapons of the former Japanese Army which were recovered from Lake Kussharo in Hokkaido, in June 1999.
(Missiles as delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction)
The proliferation of missiles-the delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction-is not only a serious threat to regional stability but to international peace and security. This issue constitutes an essential part of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. A number of disturbing developments emerged again in 1999, including missile launches by India and Pakistan. Japan conveyed its concern to the countries engaged in missile-related activities and called for self-restraint. The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), in which 32 countries participate, is also playing an important role in responding to missile proliferation problems as the only multilateral framework with the objective of preventing the proliferation of missiles as delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction. Japan is addressing various missile-related issues, primarily through the MTCR.
b) Conventional weapons
(Conventional weapons in general)
- United Nations Register of Conventional Arms
As a result of the initiative taken by Japan and the European Community (EC), the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms was established in January 1992 for the purpose of enhancing the transparency and openness of armaments. Every year, Japan and more than 90 other states report on exports and imports of conventional weapons in seven categories, such as battle tanks and combat aircraft. Japan is playing a major role in the operation of the Register by, for example, urging those countries not yet participating to do so.
- Wassenaar Arrangement (WA)
Replacing the already-terminated Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM), intended to control the outflow of strategic items and technologies to communist countries, the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) was established in July 1996 as an international export control regime for conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies for preventing regional instability. In the three-and-a-half year history of the WA, information exchanges on the transfer of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies and on regions of concern have been gradually strengthened, and policy coordination has been made among member countries in terms of restraint of arms exports to regions of conflict. An overall assessment of WA functions was undertaken in 1999, bringing about greater transparency in arms transfers, an issue which has been pending since the establishment of the WA.
Regarding anti-personnel landmines, Japan advocated the "Zero Victims Program," recognizing that it is essential to take a comprehensive approach which includes realization of a universal and effective ban on anti-personnel landmines and the strengthening of demining and victim assistance, and has been actively making efforts to achieve the goal of zero victims.
In terms of a landmine ban, in September 1998 Japan concluded the Ottawa Convention, which bans the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines and makes their destruction obligatory, with Diet approval. The Convention went into force on 1 March 1999, with the first Conference of the Parties held in May, and Japan intends to work toward ensuring the universality and effectiveness of the Convention. In addition, Japan will work with the relevant countries at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva toward the early commencement of negotiations on a treaty banning the transfer of anti-personnel landmines, which could well garner the participation of countries unlikely to conclude the Ottawa Convention in the near future.
With regard to demining and victim assistance, in December 1997, Japan announced that it would extend around 10 billion yen in financial support over the next five years as a means of putting the "Zero Victims Program" into practice. Specific activities include assistance for demining activities provided through international organizations, as well as the supply of demining-related equipment and dispatch of experts through bilateral assistance. Japan has also provided support through non-governmental organizations (NGOs) using grant assistance for grassroots projects. In terms of victim assistance, Japan has been supporting the development of facilities and equipment involved in the manufacture of artificial limbs and victim rehabilitation, primarily through assistance extended to international organizations and NGOs. By September 1999, Japan had already provided more than US$43 million in anti-personnel landmine-related aid, including that up to November 1997.
Small arms and light weapons, such as automatic rifles, handguns, machine guns and portable anti-tank missiles have become the main weapons actually used in recent conflicts, by which many casualties including civilians are generated. Even after a conflict has been settled, excessive accumulation and availability of those weapons often continue to threaten public order, thus hindering post-conflict rehabilitation efforts. Japan has been taking initiatives in this area, including submission of draft resolutions entitled "Small Arms" to the UN General Assembly in 1999, 1998, 1997 and 1995 for promoting efforts to address the issue of small arms. In particular, the UN Panel of Governmental Experts on Small Arms, which Japan chaired, concluded a report in July 1997, and in 1999 Japan successfully led the UN General Assembly in deciding to convene a UN Conference on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects in June or July 2001, and to begin the preparatory process for this. Japan will contribute to this process to ensure a successful outcome of the UN Conference in 2001, and will also consider extending assistance for the resolution of small arms problems in the developing countries affected.
a) Current status
United Nations peacekeeping operations (PKO) have played an important role in maintaining international peace and security. As of the end of December 1999, 17 PKOs were deployed, with around 18,000 personnel dispatched from approximately 80 countries, including those operations newly established during this year, such as the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), and the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).
As has been particularly evident since the end of the Cold War, the bulk of the conflicts with which the international community has to deal are no longer between but within states, and considerable attention is now being paid to humanitarian and human rights issues. In line with these trends, recent PKOs have been charged not just with traditional mandates such as observation of ceasefire and withdrawal of armed forces, but also a wide range of activities in other areas, including election monitoring, civilian police, surveillance of the state of human rights, implementation, coordination of and support for humanitarian relief activities, such as the return of refugees, and also advice on administrative duties. Further, as in the case of UNMIK in Kosovo and UNTAET in East Timor (both set up in 1999), PKOs are now also being established which are mandated with authoritative functions in the areas of legislation, judiciary and administration in the region in question, taking a primary role in broad-ranging activities leading to post-conflict peace building. UNTAET in particular is distinctive in being designed to support East Timor's independence and nation-building.
Cooperation is also deepening between PKOs and other agencies such as regional organizations and humanitarian assistance organizations. For example, as witnessed in the leading role played by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the institution-building component of UNMIK, and the cooperation between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) and UNTAET's humanitarian assistance and emergency rehabilitation component, regional organizations, humanitarian assistance organizations and other agencies are achieving results by carrying out their respective duties in coordination with PKOs working in the same area.
PKOs are expected to continue serving an important role in maintaining and strengthening international peace and security while deepening ties with post-conflict peace-building efforts.
(Debate on PKOs)
The international community has continued to explore ways to implement PKOs more efficiently and effectively, including efforts to enhance PKOs emergency deployment capabilities. As of December 1999, 87 countries had expressed their willingness to participate in the United Nations Standby Arrangements, a system whereby UN Member States report to the United Nations beforehand the type and number of personnel they can provide within a certain period so as to respond quickly to the establishment of a PKO, and close to 150,000 personnel were registered under this system. Moreover, to further improve PKO emergency deployment capabilities, the United Nations has long been discussing the establishment of a Rapidly Deployable Mission Headquarters (RDMHQ) to act as the central control unit from the time that troops on standby are dispatched to the mission area prior to the official launch of a PKO up until the usual local headquarters has been established. While the RDMHQ is not yet fully in operation, some civilian posts have been permitted, with the concept moving toward realization. Further, the United Nations Stand-by Forces High Readiness Brigade, the establishment of which was proposed primarily by the North European countries, is a non-UN organization aimed at the prompt dispatch of a more flexible contingent within the framework of the UN Standby Arrangements, and a basic organization comprising a steering committee and a planning body drawn from among participating countries continues to work toward full-scale operation from 2000 onward.
On the other hand, the increase in the quantity of PKOs and variety of their duties in the wake of the Cold War has also added to the number of casualties among personnel engaged in PKOs and other related operations, with the result that ensuring the safety of these personnel has become an issue of urgency. Responding to the situation, the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1994, and to which Japan became the second party in 1995, was entered into force in January 1999. As of the end of December 1999, 29 countries had become parties to the Convention, but more states will be need to become parties to increase its effectiveness.
Since becoming a UN member in 1956, Japan has regarded cooperation with the United Nations as an important pillar in its foreign policy, and has cooperated widely in peace-oriented activities undertaken with the United Nations at the center, such as PKOs.
Since the Law Concerning Cooperation for United Nations Peacekeeping and Other Operations (the International Peace Cooperation Law) went into effect in 1992 up to 1998, Japan dispatched personnel to PKOs in Angola, Cambodia, Mozambique and El Salvador, as well as to international humanitarian relief operations for Rwandan refugees in the former Zaire and international election monitoring activities in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In 1999, Japan dispatched civilian police to the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) from July through September, and also sent a contingent of the Air Self-Defense Forces to Surabaya and Kupang from November to transport aid commodities provided by the UNHCR for East Timorese displaced persons in West Timor, Indonesia. A logistical support contingent and headquarters officers have been dispatched to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) deployed on the Golan Heights since February 1996 to the present.
Aside from this personnel cooperation based on the International Peace Cooperation Law, a Japanese citizen has also been selected as UNTAET Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Humanitarian Assistance and Emergency Rehabilitation, while other Japanese are serving as senior staff and civil officials in UNMIK.
In addition, Japan has been extending cooperation in kind under the International Peace Cooperation Law, sending two shipments of tents and other items to the UNHCR in April for the relief of Kosovar refugees, radios to UNAMET in June for public relations use regarding the direct ballot in East Timor, and tents and other items to the UNHCR in October for the relief of East Timorese displaced persons.
Japan has received high commendation from the United Nations, related countries and other members of the international community for these efforts.
To deepen understanding of PKOs and ensure more effective cooperation, Japan has also held a series of seminars, including a seminar co-hosted with Canada and Malaysia in March within the framework of ARF under the theme of "The Changing Face of Peacekeeping," where a wide-ranging exchange of views was conducted on the various issues facing today's PKOs.
The ethnic and religious conflicts which have emerged in a number of regions since the end of the Cold War set world refugee numbers soaring in the 1990s, bringing the total figure of refugees and internally displaced persons targeted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to around 30 million in 1995. Since then, the number of people that fled has been whittled away by such developments as the winding-down of the Indochina refugee problem and the repatriation of a large number of Mozambican and Rwandan refugees, while still reaching approximately 25 million as of January 1999. In addition, large-scale refugee problems erupted in 1999 in Kosovo, East Timor and elsewhere.
Refugees and internally displaced persons around the world continue to be not only of humanitarian concern but also issues which could affect the peace and stability of both the regions concerned and the entire world. Japan recognizes humanitarian assistance for refugees and internally displaced persons as an important pillar in its international contribution from the perspective of human security, and provides positive support through international organizations in a neutral position, such as the UNHCR, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The Government also extends support to Japanese NGOs which provide humanitarian assistance, and has formulated various measures to expand and improve support for Japanese NGOs in Kosovo and elsewhere to ensure their faster mobilization in the field. Japan intends to continue seeking permanent solutions to the problem of refugees, maintaining close cooperation with international organizations such as the UNHCR-headed by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata-and NGOs.
Permanent solutions to the problem of refugees require not simply support from a humanitarian perspective, but also provision of assistance toward regional stabilization to prevent conflict and to protect returnees from becoming refugees once again. Therefore, not only do efforts toward conflict prevention need to be strengthened, but it is also important to ensure the smooth transition from emergency humanitarian relief to post-conflict reconstruction assistance and then full-scale development aid. Coordination and cooperation must be strengthened among the various governments, international organizations, NGOs and other parties which are practically engaged in providing such assistance. In addition, refugee assistance operations are frequently threatened by incidents such as the killing of staff of international organizations. Thus, ensuring the safety of humanitarian personnel is a crucial issue in terms of providing assistance.
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