Diplomatic Bluebook 2001

C. Notable Developments in 2000

1. Korean Peninsula Situation

a) Overview

Major developments took place on the Korean Peninsula in 2000. In terms of North-South relations, the historic inter-Korean Summit Meeting in June led to a rapid acceleration of dialogue and cooperation, establishing a rapprochement momentum which has not been seen since the initial North-South split. Between the United States and North Korea, First Vice Chairman of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) National Defense Commission Jo Myong Rok visited the United States in October as a special envoy from General Secretary of the Korean Workers' Party Kim Jong Il, followed by a visit to North Korea by U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as the first incumbent U.S. secretary to make the trip. Between Japan and North Korea too, the first-ever talks between Japanese and North Korean foreign ministers took place at the July ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and progress was seen in the resumption of normalization talks for the first time in around seven and a half years. North Korea took an active foreign policy line in 2000, also engaging China, Russia, and European countries.

With such positive movements in the Korean Peninsula, Japan, recognizing the importance of supporting these promising developments, has been persevering with the Japan-North Korea normalization talks in close coordination with the U.S. and the Republic of Korea (ROK). Efforts are also being made to solve humanitarian concerns and security issues as part of the bilateral dialogue process.

b) Japan-North Korea Relations

Japan's basic course in terms of its policy toward North Korea is to make efforts to redress abnormal postwar relations with North Korea in close coordination with the United States and the ROK, in a manner that can contribute to the peace and stability of the Northeast Asian region.

With regard to Japan-North Korea relations, a mission of Japanese parliamentarians visited North Korea in December 1999, headed by former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, spurring preliminary discussions for resuming normalization talks later that month and other positive signs. In March 2000, Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki announced in terms of the policy toward North Korea that normalization talks would be resumed in the first half of April and 100,000 tons of food aid would be provided to North Korea. Japan-North Korea Red Cross talks were subsequently held in Beijing, producing a joint statement that included home visits by Japanese spouses living in North Korea, the initiation of a thorough investigation on "missing" Japanese citizens, an investigation on the safety of North Korean victims who went missing before 1945, and an expression of gratitude from North Korea for the 100,000 tons of Japanese food aid. Home visits by Japanese spouses living in North Korea consequently took place in September for the first time in two years.

In April, in Pyongyang, Japan-North Korea normalization talks were resumed for the first time in around seven and a half years. A total of three talks have been held (April, August, and October), with both sides explaining their basic positions, and talks have entered the stage of discovering common ground.

In the normalization talks, the North Koreans are pushing above all for consultation and confirmation by the Japanese side on "settlement of the past," based on which discussion would move toward improving bilateral relations. As part of "settlement of the past," they take the position that (1) an apology; (2) compensation; (3) cultural properties; and (4) the status of North Korean residents in Japan are topics which must be central to discussion. Japan, on the other hand, adopts the position that the understanding and support of the people of Japan must be garnered to realize the normalization of relations, and that progress accordingly must be made in resolving concerns, such as the issue of abducted Japanese citizens and North Korea's missile program. Japan will continue to make steady efforts in the normalization talks.

A high-level dialogue between Japan and North Korea-the first-ever Japan-North Korea Foreign Ministers' talk between Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono and North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun-was held in Bangkok on the occasion of North Korea's participation for the first time in the ARF meeting in July.

Japan announced in October that it would provide 500,000 tons of food aid through the World Food Programme (WFP) to North Korea, which continues to face severe food shortages. In addition to the humanitarian aspect, this assistance was extended from the broader perspective of peace and stability for the region, based on the promising signs on the Korean Peninsula. Gratitude for this aid was expressed by North Korea in a letter from Premier Hong Song-Nam addressed to Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori.

c) North-South Korea Relations

Since ROK President Kim Dae Jung took up his position in February 1998, the ROK government has been pursuing an engagement policy toward North Korea based on the following tenets: (1) no tolerance for armed provocation that disrupts peace; (2) no unification based on absorption; and (3) an active pursuit of reconciliation and cooperation.

Despite private-sector exchanges between the ROK and North Korea, dialogue between the authorities had been stalled until the major turnaround in 2000. In March in Berlin, President Kim Dae Jung released the Berlin Declaration, which set out his policy toward North Korea, and in April it was announced that an inter-Korean Summit Meeting would be held, an event which transpired in mid-June.

From June 13 to 15, President Kim Dae Jung visited Pyongyang, conducting the first-ever inter-Korean Summit Meeting with General Secretary Kim Jong Il. The two leaders signed the North-South Joint Declaration which included (1) independent solution of the reunification issue; (2) settlement of humanitarian issues such as exchange of visits by separated families; (3) balanced development of the national economy through economic cooperation; (4) dialogue between ROK and North Korean authorities; and (5) a visit to the ROK by General Secretary Kim Jong Il at an appropriate time.

Four inter-Korean Ministerial Talks were subsequently held (July, August, September, December), as well as two rounds of Red Cross talks (June, September) and two exchanges of visits by separated families (August, November). In September, North Korean Workers' Party Secretary Kim Yong Sun visited the ROK. In regard to economic issues, two working-level meetings resulted in the signature of an agreement at the fourth inter-Korean Ministerial Talks in December concerning investment protection, prevention of double taxation, procedures for resolution of commercial disputes, and clearing settlements, part of the steady follow-up to the North-South Joint Declaration. Further, while no reference was made in the Declaration, North-South Defense Ministers' Talks were held in September on military matters, followed by three military working-level consultations held over November and December.

d) U.S.-North Korea Relations

Ongoing talks have been held between the U.S. and North Korea concerning issues such as missiles, nuclear weapons, and terrorism, and these were lifted to the level of high-level visits by key figures such as the U.S. visit of a special envoy from General Secretary Kim Jong Il in October, followed by the North Korea visit by State Secretary Madeleine Albright.

When the First Vice Chairman of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) National Defense Commission Jo Myong Rok, visited the U.S. in October as a special envoy from General Secretary Kim Jong Il, he met with President Bill Clinton, State Secretary Madeleine Albright, and other U.S. officials, and the U.S.-DPRK Joint Communiqué was released. The main points of the document were as follows: (1) neither government will have hostile intent toward the other; (2) the DPRK will not launch long-range missiles of any kind while talks on the missile issue continue; (3) the two sides agreed to support and encourage international efforts against terrorism; and (4) State Secretary Albright will visit North Korea in the near future to prepare for a possible visit by the U.S. president. State Secretary Albright consequently visited North Korea that month as the first-ever U.S. secretary to do so, meeting with General Secretary Kim Jong Il and other government officials and discussing a wide range of issues, including missiles. The U.S. intended to make the final decision on a visit to North Korea by President Clinton, based on whether sufficient progress had been made on matters of concern, and with the U.S. presidential elections bringing in a new administration, a presidential announcement was eventually released at the end of December canceling the visit.

e) Other Foreign Policy Moves by North Korea

North Korea also worked actively on its foreign relations with other countries. Firstly, in regard to the Russian Federation, the two countries signed the Treaty of Friendship, Neighborliness, and Cooperation in February, and Russian President Vladimir Putin visited North Korea in July. In regard to China, General Secretary Kim Jong Il visited China in May, conducting an active foreign policy himself. Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun participated in the July ARF Ministerial Meeting as the first North Korean representative to attend the meeting, and held foreign ministers' talks with Japan, the U.S., and the ROK.

By July, North Korea had established or resumed diplomatic relations with Italy, Australia, and the Philippines, and in September sent letters proposing to establish diplomatic relations with those nine European Union (EU) members with which relations had not been formed, as well as with the European Commission. Of these, the UK established diplomatic relations with North Korea in December. (North Korea also established diplomatic relations with the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, and Spain in 2001.)

f) North Korean Domestic Politics

In regard to domestic politics, events were held in September 2000 commemorating the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Korean Workers' Party, but the party convention and personnel reshuffle which had been rumored did not eventuate. General Secretary Kim Jong Il continues to push for the construction of a powerful nation which is a major power in terms of ideology, politics, the military, and economy, stressing "military-first politics" which prioritizes the maintenance and strengthening of military power to protect socialism. He is also engaged in a program of economic reconstruction, currently behind schedule. However, the economic situation remains grim due to energy and foreign currency shortages. The food situation seems to be improving slightly as a result of food aid from other countries, but cereal production in 2000 is expected to fall yet again.

g) Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO)

KEDO is an international organization established by Japan, the U.S., and the ROK in March 1995 in accordance with the "Agreed Framework" concluded by the U.S. and North Korea in 1994. It aims to finance and supply light-water reactors and interim energy alternatives in return for North Korea freezing its nuclear development program.

As regards the light-water reactor project, KEDO and the Korea Electric Power Corporation signed a turnkey contract for the construction of a light-water reactor at the end of 1999, accompanied by a loan contract between KEDO and the Korean Export-Import Bank. In January 2000, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and KEDO also signed a loan contract. The turnkey contract went into effect in February 2000, taking the project forward into the actual construction phase. Since then, work has been made for construction.

Recognizing KEDO as the most realistic and effective framework to prevent North Korea from developing nuclear weapons, Japan has been actively participating in KEDO's policy-making as a member of the Executive Board. Personnel have also been dispatched, including the KEDO Deputy Director as well as policy staff and nuclear power experts. In addition, Japan has contributed approximately US$43 million as of the end of 2000 to cover administration expenses, etc. Based on a financing agreement made with KEDO in 1999, Japan has also provided a total of around 23.44 billion yen (around US$210 million) through the Japan Bank for International Cooperation for the light-water reactor project, as well as contributing around 490 million yen to date to cover interest payments on the above loans.

2. Middle East Peace Process

The current Middle East peace process, which began in 1991 with the Madrid Middle East Peace Conference, has achieved important results in a number of areas, including the launching of the Palestinian Interim Self-Government Authority in 1994 and the conclusion of the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty in the same year. However, progress began to stall under Israel's Netanyahu administration, which came into power in May 1996. In July 1999, Prime Minister Ehud Barak established a new administration in Israel, indicating his intention to advance all peace negotiation tracks, which were with the Palestinians, Syria, and Lebanon. In the Palestinian track, the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum was agreed in September 1999, and the parties concerned continued to pursue peace into 2000. This track looked particularly promising for a while, but ultimately no concrete result was attained from any of the negotiation tracks.

On the Palestinian track, negotiations stalled at the beginning of the year, and the deadline for a framework agreement in February 6 had to be extended, but on July 11, President Clinton invited Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chairman Yasser Arafat to Camp David in the outskirts of Washington, D.C. to launch a tripartite Summit (the Camp David Summit) toward achieving a final agreement. The Summit saw negotiations of an unprecedented depth, centering around such core issues in the Palestinian track as national territory, Jerusalem, and refugees. Despite two weeks of intensive negotiations, however, agreement was still out of reach when the meeting came to an end on July 24. Attention focused on the steps which the Palestinians would take toward independence after the final status agreement deadline on September 13,*6. but in early September, the Palestinians decided to postpone unilateral declaration of an independent Palestinian State and continue the negotiations in line with the wish of the international community for further negotiation.

On September 28, Israel's Likud Party Leader Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, and right after the visit, a clash between Israeli authorities and Palestinians began. Despite the ceasefire agreed at the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit*7 on October 16, clashes continued, leaving around 350 dead and thousands injured by December, the worst outbreak of violence since the current peace process was launched. In response to the fighting, the United Nations (UN) held its Tenth Emergency Special Session in October, adopting a resolution which demanded immediate cessation of violence and use of force. The Arab and the Islamic countries held an Arab Summit in October in Cairo, and the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) Summit in mid-November in Doha, condemning Israel and taking up a united stand in support of the Palestinians. Prime Minister Barak announced his resignation on December 9, calling for a vote of confidence of the people in his policy, while at the same time indicating that he would continue the peace negotiations until the administration's changeover. In mid-December, final status negotiations began again in Washington. In these negotiations, President Clinton put forward bridging proposals on the issues of territory, Jerusalem, and refugees, but due to enormous differences between Israel and the Palestinians on these core issues, both sides failed to reach an agreement during President Clinton's term.

On the Lebanese track, Prime Minister Barak initiated unilateral withdrawal from Southern Lebanon in mid-May on the grounds that withdrawal based on agreement seemed unlikely, and it was completed by May 24. On June 18, the UN Security Council issued a President's Statement confirming that Israel had withdrawn in compliance with Security Council Resolution 425.

On the Syrian track, Prime Minister Barak and Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Al-Sharaa brought negotiating teams to Shepherdstown, West Virginia, U.S. on January 3, 2000 to engage in intensive negotiations. At the negotiations, committees on borders, water resources, and other relevant issues were established through mediation by President Clinton, but the negotiations broke down a week later. In March, President Clinton conducted talks with Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad, but did not succeed in reopening negotiations. In June, the death of the Syrian president, who had been in power for 30 years since 1970,*8 opened the way for the Basshar Al-Assad (son of the late president) administration, but negotiations have not yet been resumed.

As for the multilateral tracks, the Multilateral Steering Group met for the first time in around five years in Moscow in February, *9 with members agreeing to hold formal meetings of the Multilateral Working Groups. These have yet to take place.

Recognizing that the Middle East peace issue is directly linked with the peace and stability of not only the Middle East but the world as a whole, Japan has been playing an active economic and political role in supporting the achievement of a fair, lasting, and comprehensive peace. At the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit in July, Japan and the other G8 members issued a statement on support for Middle East peace. Subsequently, Prime Minister Mori had talks directly with Chairman Arafat during the Chairman's visit to Japan in August and also with Prime Minister Barak in New York in September, urging persistent negotiation efforts toward achieving a peace. As for the clashes between Israelis and Palestinians, Japan has taken such opportunities as telephone conversations between Foreign Minister Kono and Israeli Foreign Minister Schlomo Ben Ami and Palestinian Authority Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Nabeel Shaath to urge the parties concerned to bring an end to the violence and resume negotiations, as well as appealing to neighboring countries.

Furthermore, viewing the promotion of Palestinian self-reliance as vital to the stability of the region, Japan has provided the Palestinians with a total of approximately US$580 million in aid since 1993. This includes more than US$4.3 million contributed to the Palestinians in emergency medical aid and other aid to alleviate the hardships which the Palestinians are facing and are caused by the clashes between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Since 1996, Japan has also been dispatching personnel to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights. In addition, Japan has been actively participating in multilateral negotiations in such areas as tourism, water resources, and the environment, and it acts as gavel-holder of the Environment Working Group.

3. Yugoslavia/Kosovo

The biggest destabilizing factor in Southeast Europe over the last decade has been the Milosevic administration in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). Slobodan Milosevic became president of the Republic of Serbia, part of what became the FRY, in 1989, and maintained control over the new Yugoslavia consistently for more than 10 years up until October 2000. The toppling of his administration by a mass uprising in October 2000 and its peaceful replacement by the Kostunica administration are therefore extremely significant developments.

President Milosevic advanced policies with a clear Serbian nationalism, intervening in Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina when these countries declared their independence from the former Yugoslavia and also conducting repressive policies toward the Kosovo Albanians. These policies sparked a tragic ethnic conflict which caused enormous material damage as well as producing numerous casualties, refugees, and displaced persons.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina in particular, where Muslims (Slavic Muslims), Serbs, and Croats were the dominant ethnic groups, full-scale armed conflict broke out in April 1992 between the Muslims and Croats, who were seeking independence, and the Serbs, who opposed this. Because the Milosevic administration supported the Serb forces, the international community laid the primary responsibility for the Bosnia and Herzegovina conflict at the feet of his administration, with stringent UN sanctions imposed on the FRY. The Bosnia and Herzegovina conflict subsequently evolved into conflict and antagonism between all three main ethnic groups, resulting in around 200,000 deaths, as well as refugees and displaced persons said to total around 2.2 million, up until the end of 1995 when a comprehensive peace agreement (the Dayton Accord) was reached.

Even after the agreement had been reached, the FRY was internationally isolated. Because of such issues as the FRY's domestic democratization, treatment of Kosovo Albanians, and failure to cooperate in the execution of the Dayton Accord, Western nations did not conduct active exchange with the FRY under President Milosevic. The UN and other international organs stopped recognizing the FRY's membership, and Yugoslavia was excluded from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and other international financial institutions.

From the end of February 1998, conflict intensified in Kosovo in the south of the FRY between FRY authorities and Albanians, who were by far the most dominant ethnic group in Kosovo, again producing many refugees and displaced persons. In 1999, the Kosovo conflict escalated into fighting between Kosovo Albanians (Kosovo Liberation Army) and the Serbian police forces. The international community put forward various peace proposals, but as these were consistently rejected by the FRY, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) eventually launched air strikes against the FRY from March to June 1999, while at the end of May 1999, President Milosevic and other government officials were indicted as war criminals by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia on the suspicion of "crimes against humanity in Kosovo" and so on. While peace negotiations remained in deadlock, an emergency G8 Foreign Ministers' Meeting held in Bonn, Germany in May agreed on a common G8 position toward resolution of the conflict. A peace proposal based on the G8 proposal was accepted by President Milosevic, resulting in the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSC) 1244 in June that year which established the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). In Kosovo, UNMIK is currently implementing the UNSC resolution, and in October 2000 local elections were held which were won by a moderate Albanian faction. However, Serbs did not participate in these elections, and while the ethnic Albanians continue to press for independence from the FRY, many members of the international community stand opposed to Kosovo's independence, a complex situation not amenable to any simple solution.

President Milosevic, on the other hand, attempted to prolong his political control by holding on to his post as Yugoslav president, forcing through amendments in July 2000 to constitutional provisions on, for example, federal presidential elections, which had previously banned leaders from running twice. This incurred strong opposition not only from the international community, but also from the Republic of Montenegro (part of the FRY, together with Serbia), which was placed at a disadvantage by the changes in the election system.

However, at the September 24, 2000 election, it was the Democratic Opposition of Serbia (DOS) candidate Vojislav Kostunica who received majority support. President Milosevic reacted by using illicit means to try to turn the casting vote. This was countered by massive demonstrations organized by DOS in the capital Belgrade on October 5-6, successfully forcing out President Milosevic. On October 7, the new Kostunica administration came to power on a platform of democratization and cooperation with the international community.

The Kostunica administration is currently working on democratization, reintegration to the international community, and economic reconstruction. The FRY is well on its way back into the international community, participating in the Stability Pact for Southeast Europe in October, and joining the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in November, and the IMF in December. The same month, the FRY also established diplomatic relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina and has made significant progress toward normalizing relations with the other former Yugoslav republics. Further, as a result of the parliamentary elections of the Republic of Serbia on December 23, the democratic reform faction led by FRY President Kostunica won by an overwhelming majority, securing political power even at the republic level where much of the power lies. However, in Montenegro, there is also a strong call for independence from the FRY, leaving relations between the FRY and Montenegro fraught.

The series of events since September 2000 are epochal in the way in which they have moved the entire Southeast European region toward stability and prosperity. Japan has long recognized that the peace and stability of Southeast Europe is vital not only to Europe but to the international community as a whole, and in order to support FRY moves toward democratization, Japan provided emergency humanitarian aid to the FRY in December 2000 totaling US$10 million (US$5.7 million in refugee assistance and US$4.3 million in assistance for wheat fertilizer), as well as removing the economic sanctions imposed on the FRY in June 1998 in response to the deterioration of the Kosovo situation (suspension of new investment in the Republic of Serbia and freezing of funds for the governments of the FRY and the Republic of Serbia).

Japan recognizes that the FRY's neighbors also have a major role to play in further promoting the trend toward reform in the FRY, which is just beginning to introduce democracy, and therefore emphasizes cooperation not only with the FRY but also with the surrounding countries.

4. Other Moves

(a) Indonesia

Since experiencing the economic impact of the Asian currency and economic crisis and the consequent collapse of the Soeharto administration, Indonesia has been working on reforms in a variety of areas but continues to face many political and economic difficulties, such as the deterioration of local situations due to separatist and independence movements. In 2000, as regards domestic politics, the corruption suspicion linked to President Abdurrahman Wahid and other problems brought to light moves to topple the President by various political factions led by Islamic parties before the annual general meeting of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) in August. The President rode these out by reshuffling his cabinet and transferring part of his duties to the Vice-President, but political confrontation has continued. In terms of local situations, Indonesia has to deal with the separatist and independence movements in Aceh Special Province and in Irian Jaya Province, as well as conflict among residents in Maluku and Northern Maluku Provinces, with no immediate likelihood of resolution in any of the cases. On the economic front, being on the path of recovery from the time of the economic crisis, Indonesia still has weak credibility in the market and will need to move forward with reform in various areas if it is to institute a full-fledged economic recovery.

Recognizing the stability of Indonesia as critical to regional stability and prosperity, Japan has been supporting Indonesia's reform efforts. In 2000, two Summits and three foreign ministers' talks were held between the two countries. Japan took advantage of these occasions to reiterate its basic position and also, as a friend based on a relationship of mutual trust, to advise Indonesia on the country's efforts to address the various issues it faces. For example, at the April Summit, Japan supported the president's efforts to implement economic reform programs and to deal with the East Timor issue and expressed its expectation for the President to display stronger leadership. Following an attack made on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR office in West Timor in September, Japan took opportunities, such as Summit talk with Indonesia during the UN Millennium Summit held immediately after the incident, to encourage the Indonesian government to take active measures. (Refer to the section on East Timor for details on the East Timor refugee problem in West Timor.)

In regard to Indonesia's local situations, Japan has expressed support for the nation's territorial integrity and has implemented various types of assistance to alleviate the hardships of displaced persons caused by the deteriorating situation as well as to provide indirect support for the Indonesian government's efforts to bring the situations under control. Support for Indonesia's territorial integrity was also referred to in the concluding statements of the G8 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Miyazaki, the ASEAN+3 (Japan, China, the ROK) Foreign Ministers' Meeting, and the Japan-EU Summit in July.

In terms of assistance to Indonesia, the Consultative Group Meeting for Indonesia (CGI) was held in Tokyo on October 17-18, discussing various issues such as Indonesia's economic situation and the state of structural reforms. Member governments and international institutions called on Indonesia to work on further structural reforms and also announced that a total of US$4.8 billion in assistance would be provided to help Indonesia fulfill its FY2001 budget requirements. Japan also announced that despite its stringent domestic fiscal circumstances, it would provide assistance to Indonesia not just for FY2001 budget but from a medium- to long-term perspective in recognition of the importance of supporting Indonesia's reform efforts.

(b) East Timor

In East Timor, nation-building efforts by the East Timorese are going ahead toward independence under the guidance of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). Japan started providing active humanitarian assistance immediately after the September 1999 violence. In addition, under its basic policy of extending as much assistance as possible to East Timor toward its independence and nation-building, Japan held the first Donors' Meeting for East Timor in Tokyo in December 1999, and pledged assistance of around US$130 million over three years, the largest package to be provided by a donor country (approximately US$100 million for reconstruction and development assistance, and approximately US$30 million for humanitarian assistance). Subsequently, beginning with the dispatch of an economic cooperation study team to East Timor to examine reconstruction and development needs in January 2000, Japan has been actively providing reconstruction and development assistance.

Immediately after the first Donors' Meeting, Senior State Secretary Shozo Azuma visited East Timor on January 12-14, 2000, followed by Foreign Minister Kono on April 30. At the G8 Miyazaki Foreign Ministers' Meeting in July, Minister for Foreign Affairs Kono, as Chair of the meeting, drew on his own observation of the area in noting the need for continued support by the international community, a reference to which was also included in the Conclusions of the G8 Foreign Ministers' Meeting.

As assistance from the international community gains momentum, the East Timorese have begun to seek more active participation in nation-building, and the so-called East Timorization of East Timor governance has begun to be actively pursued. More specifically, in July the East Timor Transitional Administration (ETTA) was established under UNTAET, with four (later five) of the eight-member Cabinet (later nine) comprising East Timorese. The National Council was also launched in October comprising 36 East Timorese representatives, and now plays a key role in decision-making. Japan intends to provide assistance with a focus on human resources development to encourage the active and responsible participation of the East Timorese and to enable East Timor to be self-reliant after independence. Japan has also been stressing the importance of reconciliation among the East Timorese and calling for the establishment of a democracy tolerant of various views. In terms of plans for independence, the East Timorese have expressed their will to go ahead with preparations for elections and formulation of a constitution, setting the end of 2001 as a target date for independence.

While the nation-building process moved on to a stable trajectory in East Timor, the Indonesian government and international organizations continued to provide assistance to East Timor refugees in West Timor (East Nusa Tenggara Province, Indonesia) for the improvement of their living conditions and their repatriation to East Timor. In addition to the support provided to these refugees through international organizations, Japan airlifted humanitarian relief goods for displaced persons from Surabaya to Kupang in Indonesia by Self-Defense Force planes from November 1999 to February 2000. Then in September, the UNHCR office in Atambua in West Timor was attacked and staff members were killed. The UN Security Council responded by adopting Resolution 1319, which called on the Indonesian government to take the necessary measures for the restoration of order and so on. Japan appealed to the Indonesian President and various other levels of the Indonesian government to address the situation. The Indonesian government subsequently took measures such as the disarming of armed elements, and the Security Council mission dispatched in November gave certain recognition to these efforts. A comprehensive solution, however, will require continued efforts on the part of the Indonesian government, as well as active assistance from the international community, including Japan.

(c) Efforts to Deal With African Conflicts

More armed conflicts have occurred in sub-Saharan Africa than anywhere else in the world. Artificial boundary demarcations, fragile state foundations, and other problems have created complex and entangled elements of conflicts, including poverty, ethnic and religious antagonisms, economic rights to natural resources, political power, and independence issues. World attention focused on Africa in 2000 due to the seizure of peacekeeping operations (PKO) staff in the Sierra Leone civil war and the illicit trading of diamonds, which is recognized as one of the central causes of conflicts in Africa.

The emergence and continuation of these armed conflicts not only result in numerous deaths and injuries and enormous numbers of refugees and displaced persons, but are also attended by economic recession and environmental destruction. Further, AIDS and other infectious diseases are spreading, human rights are being suppressed, weapons and drugs are flowing in and out, and organized crime is gaining momentum. This is because governments have lost their ruling power and cannot adopt effective countermeasures.

Peace-brokering efforts by African regional institutions such as the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), as well as by neighboring countries, made some progress in 2000 toward resolution of the Ethiopia-Eritrea conflict and the Burundi civil war. However, the ceasefire in Sierra Leone broke down at one point, while no sign has yet emerged of an end to the Democratic Republic of the Congo conflict. Thus, resolving the African conflicts will obviously be difficult. Since stability and prosperity in Africa are vital to world stability and prosperity, the international community needs to actively support African efforts to deal with African conflicts.

(1) Japan's Efforts

Japan has provided a range of support toward preventing and resolving African conflicts, including: (1) financial assistance for peace processes and reconstruction efforts;*10 (2) personnel contributions, such as PKO staff dispatches;*11 (3) political contributions, such as appealing for the peaceful resolution of conflicts;*12 and (4) intellectual contributions, including symposia on conflict prevention and resolution.*13 As part of a comprehensive approach to conflict prevention and resolution, Japan has also engaged actively in the following efforts: (1) the dispatch of election monitors; (2) refugee assistance; (3) assistance in developing conflict prevention and resolution systems;*14 (4) regulations on the inflow of arms, including small arms; (5) de-mining and assistance for landmine victims; and (6) efforts on the conflict diamonds. In 2000 in particular, Japan took the opportunity of the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit to arrange dialogues between G8 leaders and the leaders of developing countries, including South Africa, Nigeria, and Algeria, as well as heads of international organizations, shining a spotlight on the African problem. At the UN Millennium Summit, Prime Minister Mori met with the presidents of South Africa, Nigeria, and Algeria, exchanging views on such issues as African conflicts. (In January 2001, Prime Minister Mori became the first incumbent Japanese Prime Minister to visit sub-Saharan Africa, and he asserted that there would be no stability and prosperity in the world in the 21st century unless the problems of Africa were resolved, a message highly regarded by the leaders of the countries he visited.)

(2) Sierra Leone Civil War

In Sierra Leone, a ceasefire agreement was reached in May 1999 between the government and the anti-government forces, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). As a result, the Lome Peace Agreement was concluded in July 1999. However, in May 2000, with the withdrawal of the ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), RUF attacked the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), which was attempting to expand into areas controlled by anti-government forces. RUF killed and detained UNAMSIL officials. The fighting continued in defiance of the Lome Agreement, and the situation accordingly deteriorated. Mediation by Liberia and other parties saw the UNAMSIL staff released, and consequently, in November, another ceasefire agreement was concluded between the government and RUF. However, UNAMSIL does not have sufficient capacity to effectively maintain peace in the area, and therefore, close observation of the area will continue to be necessary to ensure that the agreement is upheld.

(3) Ethiopia-Eritrea Border Conflict

Since the outbreak of the border conflict in May 1998, fighting between Ethiopia and Eritrea continued intermittently throughout 1999 and into 2000. As a result of the mediation by the OAU and the United States as well as the efforts toward peace by the international community including Japan, Ethiopia and Eritrea signed the Cessation of Hostilities in June 2000, which contains an immediate ceasefire and the dispatch of a peacekeeping mission. They also signed the Peace Agreement in December 2000. They are expected to steadily implement the Peace Agreement and to settle border demarcation and other issues.

(4) Burundi Civil War

Since civil war broke out in Burundi in October 1993, skirmishes have continued between the ethnic majority, the Hutus (85 percent of the population), and the minority group, the Tutsis (15 percent). The mediation undertaken by former Tanzanian President Julius Kambarage Nyerere was taken over by former South African President Nelson Mandela on Nyerere's death, with a succession of peace conferences held. Japan has contributed financial assistance of US$210,000 for these conferences, while U.S. President Clinton and other quarters of the international community lobbied actively to push forward the peace process. As a result, a peace agreement was signed in Arusha in August 2000, and by September, all parties to the negotiations had added their signatures. In response to these positive developments, a Donors' Meeting was held in December in Paris, where donor countries and institutions pledged their assistance. The international community will have to work together to bring greater pressure to bear on the main anti-government forces which are not part of the peace process to become involved, and to secure the cessation of aggression.


  1. The Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum of September 1999 set the goals of a framework agreement by February 13, 2000 and final conclusion by September 13, 2000.
  2. The Summit was held in Cairo October 16-17 and attended by Prime Minister Barak, Chairman Arafat, U.S. President Clinton, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) High Representative Javier Solana.
  3. The funeral of President Hafez Al-Assad was held in Damascus and attended by Foreign Minister Kono on behalf of Japan.
  4. The Japanese delegation was Senior State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Shozo Azuma, from the U.S. State Secretary Madeleine Albright, from Russia Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, from Israel Foreign Minister David Levy, from Palestine delegation head Faisal Husseini and from Egypt Foreign Minister Amre Moussa.
  5. A total of US$576,704,000 between 1994 and 1999.
  6. Japan dispatched Self-Defense Force staff and units to the ONUMOZ (United Nations Operation in Mozambique) between 1993 and 1995, the first time the SDF has been sent to Africa, and also dispatched SDF units to engage in humanitarian international assistance activities in 1994 for Rwandan refugees.
  7. On occasions such as the Second Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD II), held in Tokyo in 1998, key government figures such as Prime Minister Obuchi and Foreign Minister Koumura appealed for peace directly to key figures from the Great Lakes region, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and other conflict-torn areas, and also attended international conferences on conflict, working toward resolution of African conflicts.
  8. International Symposium on the Roles of Sub-Regional and Nongovernmental Organizations in Conflict Prevention and Peace Initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa (May 2000), International Workshop/Symposium on Children and Armed Conflict: Reintegration of Former Child Soldiers in the Post-Conflict Community, and others.
  9. Since 1996, Japan has donated a total of around US$1.45 million to the OAU Peace Fund. A sum of US$100,000 was also donated to ECOWAS in 2000.

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