Diplomatic Bluebook 2015
Japan’s Foreign Policy that Takes a Panoramic Perspective of the World Map
Year 2014 turned out to be a turning point for Afghanistan. In September, the country completed the first-ever democratic transfer of power in its history. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) completed its mission at the end of the year, and the security responsibility was handed over to the Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF). Nevertheless, there were frequent terrorist attacks conducted by armed insurgencies including Taliban. It is of critical importance to achieve self-reliance and security in Afghanistan in order to secure the stability of the whole international community, including Japan, and the prosperity of the region.
After the runoff voting held in June, both camps of the two candidates, former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani and former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah accused each other of election fraud and the vote recounting took place. As a result, the Afgan presidential elections, which started in April, 2014 went in disarray. The international community also assisted Afghans in overcoming the difficulties including the fact that the US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Afghanistan twice during the election process for mediation. As a result of the six-month election process the victory of Dr. Ghani was announced and he took the office of the president on September 29. The runner-up candidate, Dr. Abdullah, joined the new administration as the chief executive officer. On the day after the inauguration of the president Ghani, Afganistan signed the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States and the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with NATO, which enable the troops of the US and other states including the NATO members to be stationed in Afghanistan to support the ANSF.
The new administration has been addressing many domestic challenges, including the improvement of security and fight against corruption in order to realize economic self-reliance. Japan has implemented various assistance that worth 5.5 billion US dollars in total since 2001 for security improvement and development in accordance with its policy to support Afghan’s self-reliance and to prevent Afganistan from slipping back to a hotbed of terrorism.
The “Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework” (TMAF) was established at the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan in 2012, in which the Afghan government committed to make an effort to improve its governance while the international community promised to provide assistance. In the London Conference on Afghanistan in December 2014, the participants reaffirmed the reciprocal commitments by both the Afghan government and the international community under TMAF and acknowledged the necessity to further follow up TMAF. Japanese ambassador to Afghanistan Mr. Hiroshi Takahashi attended the London Conference and conveyed the message that Japan, along with the international community, would continue to support the new Afghan government’s efforts toward its self-reliant development and reform.