Diplomatic Bluebook 2001
Chapter II. JAPAN'S FOREIGN POLICY IN MAJOR DIPLOMATIC FIELDS
SECTION 1. POLITICS AND SECURITY
A. Japanese Peace and Security
The Asia-Pacific region has witnessed positive developments, including movements toward easing the tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Nevertheless, the region still faces numerous unpredictable and uncertain factors such as outbreaks of regional conflicts due to complex and diverse causes, including ethnic and religious differences and the further proliferation of missiles and other weapons of mass destruction.
Given this security environment, Japan embraces a security policy with three main pillars: (1) firmly maintaining the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements, (2) moderately building up Japan's defense capability on an appropriate scale, and (3) pursuing diplomatic efforts to ensure international peace and security.
The Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements are explained in detail in the next section.
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. Under the National Defense Program Outline adopted in November 1995, the New Mid-Term Defense Program, FY 2001-05 was approved by the Security Council of Japan and the Cabinet in December 2000. Japan's defense capability continues to be systematically upgraded as directed by this new program, which carries forward from the previous Mid-Term Defense Program, FY 1996-2000.
The peace and prosperity of Japan are inevitably linked to the peace and prosperity of the Asian region and of the world. It is therefore vital for Japan to engage actively in diplomatic efforts at various levels. Under this concept, it is incumbent upon Japan to continue to exercise an active role through the following efforts: bilateral and multilateral cooperation to ensure regional stability; political and security dialogue and cooperation toward building confidence with other countries; strengthening of arms control, disarmament, and the non-proliferation regime; efforts to address regional conflict by means of conflict prevention and participating in UN peacekeeping operations (PKO); and enhancing of regional stability through support and cooperation in the economic development of countries in the region.
a) Significance of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements
The Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements, which are based upon the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, have not only led to peace and prosperity in Japan and the Far East, but have also functioned effectively as a fundamental framework for stability and development throughout the Asia-Pacific region. These functions of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty are supported by the vast majority of the Japanese people.
While the Asia-Pacific region displays some positive signs, it must be noted that instability and uncertainty still exist in the region. Given this security environment, Japan is unable to respond to all of the situations that might threaten the country's security solely with its own defense capabilities. Thus, its security must be upheld under the deterrence provided by the maintenance of the Security Treaty with the U.S., its most trusted partner with which Japan shares the fundamental values of freedom and democracy.
The vital role of the Japan-U.S. alliance in preserving the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region was reconfirmed in the joint statement issued by the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (the 2+2 Meeting) held in New York in September.
Based on the above understanding, Japan continues to firmly maintain the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements as one of the main pillars of Japan's security policy.
b) Ensuring the Effectiveness of the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation
The Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation (hereinafter referred to as "the Guidelines") were designed for the purpose of building up a solid basis for more effective and credible Japan-U.S. cooperation under normal circumstances and during contingencies. Since the Guidelines and the related arrangements will facilitate the further improvement of Japan-U.S. defense cooperation, ensuring the effectiveness of the Guidelines is essential for increasing the credibility of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements.
In this regard, the Diet passed the Law Concerning Measures to Ensure the Peace and Security of Japan in Situations in Areas Surrounding Japan in 1999. In November, the Diet passed the Ship Inspection Operations Law, thus fulfilling the call in the 1999 legislation to create another law to stipulate such activities. This completed the legal preparations that the Diet had been deliberating for responding to situations in areas surrounding Japan, as required to ensure the effectiveness of the Guidelines. Additionally, a Bilateral Coordination Mechanism*1 was established during the September Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (the 2+2 Meeting), providing a system for the coordination of Japanese and U.S. activities during contingencies.
Japan will continue to work toward ensuring the effectiveness of the Guidelines in coordination with all concerned Japanese ministries and agencies and with the U.S. government, including ongoing reviews of the plans for defense cooperation under normal circumstances, as well as joint strategic planning in case of a military attack on Japan and plans for mutual cooperation in situations in areas surrounding Japan.
c) Stationing Expenses of U.S. Forces in Japan
Bearing in mind the extreme importance of ensuring the smooth and effective operation of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements, Japan, within the Status of U.S. Forces Agreement, has borne various costs related to U.S. forces in Japan, including land rental and the costs of maintaining and upgrading the facilities provided under the Facilities Improvement Program (FIP). Additionally, following the conclusion of the Special Measures Agreement in FY 1987, it has also borne the costs of labor, utilities, and the relocation of training facilities.
At the Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting on July 22, both countries confirmed that efforts would be made to reduce and streamline the expenditures to a certain extent while basically maintaining the existing framework after April 2001. In principle, both countries agreed as follows: under the new Special Measures Agreement Japan would bear the costs of the same items (labor, utilities, and the relocation of training facilities) which the old Agreement stipulated while the maximum number of employees regarding labor costs would remain unchanged, and the utilities costs for housing located outside the U.S. facilities and areas would not be borne. Additionally, Japan and the United States agreed, in principle, to lower the current maximum procurement volumes. (These measures will reduce Japan's burden by approximately 3.3 billion yen on a budgetary basis during FY 2000). After working out some details, Minister for Foreign Affairs Yohei Kono and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright signed the new Special Measures Agreement at the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (the 2+2 Meeting) held on September 11, and this Agreement was approved by the Diet on November 17.
d) Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation on Technology and Equipment
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. Cooperative research or improvement work is currently underway in the following seven areas: advanced steel technologies, ceramic engines for fighting vehicles, eye-safe laser radars, the ACESII ejection seat, advanced hybrid propulsion technologies, shallow water acoustic sound technologies, and low-vulnerability gun propellant for artillery. Since the end of the Cold War, nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles have proliferated, and Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) has become an important agenda item in Japan's defense policy which is exclusively defense-oriented. Since FY 1999, Japan has been conducting cooperative research on BMD technologies with the United States, focusing on the Navy Theater-Wide Defense (NTWD) system.
e) Issues Involving U.S. Forces Stationed in Japan
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 the smooth operation of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements. The U.S. side too is well aware that the understanding and support of these residents are a vital element in stationing U.S. forces in Japan. In the joint statement issued at the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (the 2+2 Meeting) in September and on numerous other occasions, the U.S. government has clarified the importance of locally stationed U.S. forces building "good neighbor" relations with local residents. Based on this perception, Japan and the United States are cooperating closely in implementing various measures to facilitate the smooth activities of U.S. forces stationed in Japan and to reduce the various impacts on local communities.
In particular, recognizing the vital importance of reducing the burden on the people of Okinawa, where U.S. facilities and areas are highly concentrated, the Japanese and U.S. governments are working on the steady implementation of the Final Report of the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) drawn up in December 1996. Among the items incorporated in this report, almost all measures concerning the adjustment of training and operational procedures and improving the Status of Forces Agreement procedures have been implemented. As for the return of land, the Sobe Communications Site and the Yomitan Auxiliary Airfield are expected to be returned in 2005, and in the end a total of approximately 5,000 hectares is planned to be returned, which is equivalent to about 21 percent of all U.S. facilities and areas in Okinawa. As was reaffirmed at the Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting on July 22, Japan and the United States will continue to cooperate in steadily implementing the SACO Final Report.
With regard to the return of the Futenma Air Station, the Consultative Body on Futenma Replacement Facilities is holding consultations with local government bodies toward formulating a basic plan in accordance with the December 1999 Cabinet Decision on the relocation of the Futenma Air Station. The Japanese and U.S. governments are working closely together via various fora, including the Futenma Implementation Group (FIG), the reactivation of which was agreed to at the 2+2 Meeting in September. Both governments are exerting every possible effort to realize the relocation of the Futenma Air Station at the earliest possible date.
Further, bearing in mind the settlement of issues related to U.S. facilities and areas in Okinawa, the alleviation of the socioeconomic burden brought about by them, and the many years of history involved as well as the regional disparities which have emerged as a result of that history, the government of Japan is advancing various measures to promote socioeconomic development in Okinawa. The Cabinet Decision on the relocation of the Futenma Air Station includes (1) the development of the Futenma Air Station relocation site and the surrounding area; (2) the development of northern Okinawa; and (3) the promotion and facilitation of the use of former U.S. facilities and areas. The government as a whole will pursue steady implementation of these measures.
As for the environmental issues related to U.S. facilities and areas, at the 2+2 Meeting in September, the Japanese and U.S. governments issued a Joint Statement of Environmental Principles, thus expressing their commitment, as a political will at the ministerial level, to strengthen cooperation and consultations between the two countries to protect the environment. Based on this joint statement, Japanese-U.S. environmental cooperation and consultations will be strengthened, for example, by periodically reviewing the environmental governing standards for U.S. forces in Japan, and by sharing related information.
The Asia-Pacific region is rich in diversity in terms of political and economic regime, stage of economic development, and cultural and ethnic aspects, and also lacks any clear unitary threat. Given this background, there exists no collective defense security mechanism analogous to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Europe. Rather, regional stability has primarily been maintained through the building of bilateral security agreements, centered on the United States. While there are presently no fundamental changes being made to this security structure, intra-regional cooperative frameworks, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF), are steadily being improved and fortified. Based on the premise of continued U.S. presence and involvement in the region, Japan is working to enhance the security environment surrounding the country by making multi-level efforts to upgrade bilateral and multilateral frameworks for dialogue, such as the ARF, by promoting security dialogue and defense exchanges to boost mutual trust within the region, and by implementing various other initiations.
During 2000, Japan maintained close contacts with other countries in the region, for example, through Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi's visit to Southeast Asia; Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori's visits to the U.S., the Republic of Korea (ROK), and four South Asian countries; participation in the ASEAN+3 (Japan, China, the ROK) Summit Meeting, the Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting, and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM); and visits by the leaders of the U.S., China, the ROK, and Russia to Japan. Japan also worked to build intra-regional confidence through fora, such as the ARF, which is designed to promote overall political and security dialogue and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Japan is also promoting bilateral security dialogues and defense exchanges with individual Asia-Pacific countries. In addition, it will be important, from a middle- to long-term perspective, to continue to explore appropriate frameworks for discussing peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
The ARF is gradually advancing dialogue and cooperation in accordance with the three-stage approach of (1) promoting confidence-building measures, (2) developing preventive diplomacy, and (3) diversifying the approaches to conflicts. Various confidence-building measures have already been implemented, including issuing national defense white papers, submitting national defense policy papers, and holding meetings on PKO and disaster relief. The overlaps between confidence-building measures and preventive diplomacy include discussions of the enhanced role of the ARF Chair and the annual publication, from 2000, of the ARF Annual Security Outlook compiled by the ARF Chair based upon contributions from individual members explaining their understandings of their own national and regional security conditions. The ARF has also been continuing its deliberations regarding the concept and principles of preventive diplomacy, defined as the second stage of ARF's three-step process.
In July 2000, North Korea participated for the first time in the Seventh ARF Ministerial Meeting held in Bangkok. North Korea's participation in the ARF is expected to contribute to the aims of the ARF by expanding opportunities for dialogue with other countries in the region and facilitating North Korea's diplomatic development as a responsible member of the international community. This is considered as a desirable development from the perspective of fostering peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. At the Bangkok Ministerial Meeting, many of the ARF participants released statements welcoming North Korea's participation in the ARF. The members, including North Korea, exchanged opinions regarding the political and security issues facing the Asia-Pacific region, including those on the Korean Peninsula. The inter-Korean Summit Meeting and North Korea's improvement of relations with the international community were both appreciated, and participants expressed expectations of further forward-looking movements by North Korea. There was a frank exchange of views regarding measures in response to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, which presents a challenge to the region's security. Concerning the future direction of the ARF, the participants agreed to conduct further deliberations on the enhanced role of the ARF Chair and on the concept and principles of preventive diplomacy. A discussion also took place on the ARF's activities to address transnational crime, such as the illicit trafficking in small arms.
Together with Singapore, Japan served as the co-chair of the ARF Inter-sessional Support Group (ISG) meetings from July 1999 to July 2000 (ISG meetings are held at the working level during the one-year inter-sessional period between the annual ARF ministerial meetings), and thus played a positive role toward advancing ARF deliberations. At the ISG meetings, members discussed the ARF's future approach to preventive diplomacy, and views were also exchanged regarding the conditions on the Korean Peninsula, the territorial issues in the South China Sea, and the illicit trafficking in small arms and other transnational crime.
Given the unique characteristics of the Asia-Pacific region noted above, the most realistic and appropriate approaches for the enhancement of the region's security environment should be viewed as developing and strengthening both bilateral and multilateral frameworks for dialogue and cooperation in a multi-tiered manner. This approach should gradually improve Asia-Pacific cooperative relations in the security field, and each Asia-Pacific country is expected to continue making concrete efforts to realize the long-term stability of the Asia-Pacific region.
- The Bilateral Coordination Mechanism was designed to coordinate the activities of the Japanese and U.S. governments in the event of an armed attack on Japan and in case of situations in areas surrounding Japan through the involvement of the relevant agencies of the two countries. This Mechanism was established at the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee meeting (the 2+2 Meeting) on September 11, 2000 following planning by both governments, in accordance with the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation which call for cooperation under normal circumstances.
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