Diplomatic Bluebook 2017

Chapter 3

Japan's Foreign Policy to Promote National and Worldwide Interests

3.Global Security

(1) Regional Security

The security environment surrounding the Asia-Pacific region is becoming increasingly severe due to various reasons such as the shift in the global balance of power. Meanwhile, it would be difficult to say that the framework of regional security cooperation is sufficiently institutionalized because of the diversity of political, economic and social systems in the region. Therefore, Japan makes efforts to realize a regional security environment desirable for Japan, by strengthening the Japan-U.S. Alliance, and by combining bilateral and multilateral security cooperation at multiple levels mainly in the Asia-Pacific region. Japan has also unveiled a new “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy” (See Special Feature “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy”), from the perspective of promoting the stability and prosperity of the extensive region stretching from the Asia Pacific Ocean, passing through the Indian Ocean, to the Middle East and Africa, by treating this region as an integrated whole and securing the free and open international maritime order in the Indo-Pacific.

Based on this view, Japan is working to strengthen cooperative relationships in the security field with other countries sharing strategic interests. In relation to Australia, the two countries agreed to strengthen Japan-Australia and Japan-U.S.-Australia security and defense cooperation. During Prime Minister Abe's visit to Australia in January 2017, the new Japan-Australia Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (Japan-Australia ACSA) was signed in the presence of the leaders of the two countries.

In relation to the UK, as agreed at the 2nd Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting (“2+2”) in January to further promote concrete cooperation in the areas of security and defense, the Royal Air Force including Typhoon fighter jets, visited Japan from October to November, and conducted a joint training with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, which was the first-ever joint training in Japan for the Japanese side with a country other than the U.S. An ACSA between the two countries was signed in January 2017. In relation to France, in the 3rd “2+2” held in January 2017, the two countries concurred on commencing negotiations for an ACSA and affirmed that they would materialize defense equipment and technology cooperation, among others. In relation to the ROK, the “Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of Korea on the Protection of Classified Military Information” was concluded in November based on the recognition that closer cooperation between Japan and the ROK is crucial amidst the growing threat posed by North Korea. In relation to ASEAN countries, Japan signed the “Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology” with the Philippines in February, and the two countries agreed on the transfer of Maritime Self-Defense Force TC-90 training aircraft in September. Furthermore, through efforts including the provision of patrol vessels, Japan continuously supports the effort toward enhancing maritime capability of the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. In relation to India, at the Japan-India Vice Foreign Minister-Foreign Secretary Level Dialogue (October) and the Japan-India Summit Meeting (November), the two countries welcomed the entry into force of the “Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of India Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology” and the “Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of India Concerning Security Measures for the Protection of Classified Military Information,” and shared the recognition that the development of the Indo-Pacific region as a free and open region is vital to the stability and prosperity of the entire region.

In addition to the strengthening of bilateral cooperative relations mentioned above, Japan has also been promoting cooperation in trilateral frameworks, such as the Japan-Australia-India Trilateral Dialogue Senior Officials Meeting (February), the Japan-U.S.-ROK Trilateral Summit Meeting (March), Japan-U.S.- India Senior Officials Meeting (June), and the Japan-U.S.-Australia Trilateral Ministerial Strategic Dialogue (July), to build a network for the peace and prosperity in the region with the Japan-U.S. Alliance as a linchpin.

Furthermore, for the stability of the security environment surrounding Japan, it is also important to promote relationship of trust with China and Russia. The Japan-China relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships, and Japan will further promote “Mutually Beneficial Relationship Based on Common Strategic Interests.” However, China's rapid move to strengthen its military capabilities in a wide range of areas, which lacks transparency, and its expanded and intensified activities at sea and in the air, are matters of concern for the region. With regard to these issues, Japan is exploring opportunities for cooperation with China in the areas of security and defense, while at the same time encouraging China to increase transparency of its security policy and comply with the international code of conduct. Against such backdrop, in November we held the Japan-China Security Dialogue. Japan is also energetically continuing negotiations with Russia through political dialogues, holding four summit meetings and three foreign ministers' meetings in 2016, with the aim of concluding a peace treaty on the basis of solving the issue of the attribution of the Four Northern Islands. In the area of security, the Japan-Russia security discussion was held in July, and at the summit meeting held in December, the two countries concurred on continuing defense exchanges and bilateral dialogues between the Security Councils of both sides.

Furthermore, Japan held the 15th Politico-Military (PM) Dialogue with Germany (June), the 19th PM Dialogue with France (July), the 13th PM Dialogue with Thailand (August), the 15th PM Dialogue with the UK (October), and the 9th PM Dialogue with Canada (December) respectively. Japan also held the first Security Dialogue with Kuwait (March), the 2nd Security Dialogue with Saudi Arabia (November), the 2nd Security Dialogue with Qatar and the 3rd Security Dialogue with Bahrain (December). It also held the 3rd Politico-Military-Security (PM) Dialogue with Mongolia (January), and the 14th Japan-NATO High-Level Consultations (February).

In addition, Japan has actively participated in and contributed to multilateral frameworks, including the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMMPlus) in order to strengthen cooperation in the security area in the region. Among these, the ARF aims at improving the security environment of the Asia-Pacific region through dialogues and cooperation on political and security issues. The ARF is an important security dialogue framework in which various countries and regions including North Korea and the EU participate. It is also an important forum in promoting security cooperation in that it focuses on confidence building through various initiatives. In July, the 23rd ARF Ministerial Meeting was held. In addition to candid exchanges of views, primarily on regional and international affairs including the South China Sea and North Korea, the “ARF Ministerial Statement on Recent Tragic Terrorist Attacks” was adopted at Japan's proposal, in which the countries affirmed their commitment to continue cooperating on counter-extremism measures. Today, the ARF has evolved beyond the framework of traditional security, and is recognized as a forum that is appropriate for the candid exchange of opinions about non-traditional security issues including terrorism, refugees, and climate change. Japan is making a proactive contribution through, for example, taking a leading role as a co-chair in the Inter-Sessional Meeting (ISM) on Maritime Security (from summer 2014 to summer 2017) and Disaster Relief (from summer 2013 to summer 2016). In this regard, Japan hosted the ISM on Maritime Security in Tokyo in February 2017.

Furthermore, in addition to government-to-government dialogues (track 1), Japan actively utilizes frameworks in which people from both public and private sectors participate (track 1.5) as a forum for exchanging opinions and explaining its security policies. Japan participates in various conferences, including the Munich Security Conference (MSC), the Asia Security Summit (Shangri-La Dialogue), and the Regional Security Summit (Manama Dialogue) to promote understanding of other countries on Japan's security policy, and to promote cooperation and confidence-building.

(2) Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding

A On-the-Ground Initiatives
(A) UN Peacekeeping Operations (UN PKOs)

Traditionally, UN PKOs are positioned between parties to a dispute, and by monitoring ceasefires and the withdrawal of troops, they help calm the situation or prevent the recurrence of hostilities with the aim to support the settlement of the dispute through dialogue between the parties involved. However, following the changes in the international environment since the end of the Cold War, including an increase in civil wars, UN PKOs have multifaceted mandates in addition to its traditional mandates such as monitoring of ceasefires. These new mandates include support in Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants, security sector reform, elections, human rights, and the rule of law as well as the promotion of the political process and the protection of civilians. As of the end of February 2017, 16 UN PKO missions were deployed, primarily in the Middle East and Africa, with a total of over 100,000 military, police and civilian personnel deployed to these missions. In response to the increasing complexity and scale of the mandates and the associated shortages of personnel, equipment, and financial resources, discussions on more effective and efficient implementation of UN PKOs are underway in various forums, primarily within the UN.

Japan places a high priority on cooperation with UN PKOs under the policy of “Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation. Based on the Act on Cooperation with UN Peacekeeping Operations and Other Operations (PKO Act), Japan has dispatched approximately 11,500 personnel (as of February 2017) to a total of 13 UN PKO missions since 1992. Japanese staff officers have been dispatched to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) since 2011, while Engineering Units have been dispatched there since 2012. The Engineering Units in Juba and the South Sudanese capital have undertaken such activities as supporting displaced persons through the provision of water supplies as well as site preparation. Five years since its independence, large-scale clashes such as the one that took place in Juba, in July 2016, South Sudan still faces major challenges. As efforts to promote peace and stability in South Sudan through the activities of UNMISS remain important, Japan continues its contribution to the activities of UNMISS through the dispatch of Japanese personnel. Then in November 2016 a Cabinet decision was made to revise the implementation plan to enable the engineering unit to come to the aid of individuals engaging in activities related to UN peacekeeping operations, upon urgent request. In March 2017, among the dispatched Japanese personnel to UNMISS, Japan decided to conclude the activities of the engineering unit by the end of May 2017.

(B) ODA and other cooperation to facilitate peacebuilding

Japan attaches importance to peacebuilding as part of its international cooperation and it is positioned as one of the priority issues in Japan's Development Cooperation Charter.

As well as prevention of conflict and emergency humanitarian aid, peacebuilding requires comprehensive efforts including support for end of conflict, consolidation of peace, and nation-building as well as cooperation with diverse actors including international organizations. Based on the viewpoint of human security, Japan has been providing support for peacebuilding, particularly in the following countries and regions.

(1) Afghanistan

One of the most important issues for the peace and security of both the international community and Japan is to support Afghanistan's self-reliance and the stability of the region including Afghanistan and to prevent Afghanistan from stepping back to a hotbed of terrorism. Since 2001, Japan has provided assistance worth 6.2 billion US dollars to secure the independence self-reliance and stability of Afghanistan, in cooperation with international organizations.

At the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan held in October, the government of Japan expressed its intention to continue assistance worth up to 40 billion Japanese yen annually for four years from 2017 to 2020 based on the principle of mutual accountability whereby the international community's ability to sustain support for Afghanistan depends upon the Afghan government delivering on its reform commitments.

(2) Africa

Despite the fact that many countries in Africa have achieved economic progress, many issues remain including political problems that stemmed from a long period of colonial rule, social issues such as conflicts between tribes and religious groups, and socio-economic problems such as high unemployment rates, poverty and income disparity, and inadequate basic social services. In recent years, the intensification of activities by violent extremist groups as well as the resulting damage and refugee/internal displacement problems have become increasingly serious. In light of this, in cooperation with international organizations, Japan has been providing support for sustainable self-reliance and democratic and inclusive society building, and contributing to the realization of peace and stability in Africa through measures such as providing opportunities for basic education and vocational training, promoting social cohesion, and strengthening of the country's fundamental capabilities by utilizing Japan's knowledge and experience.

For example, Japan has been providing support to PKO training centers operated by Africa to a value exceeding 42 million US dollars for a total of 13 facilities by 2016. Since 2014, Japan has also been implementing the training course “Criminal Justice for French Speaking African Countries” in eight countries in Africa (Côte d'lvoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Mauritania), targeting those who belong to the field of criminal justice. This training course aims to improve criminal investigation standards in the target countries, and to ensure the protection of the human rights of suspects. The course contributes to human resource development through capacity building in the field of criminal investigations, prosecution, administration of justice, and counter-terrorism in the target countries. In addition, in several countries including Kenya, Nigeria, and Rwanda, Japan has provided equipment (face-recognition and fingerprint authentication systems, etc.) produced by Japanese companies to improve capacity for security maintenance and border control.

During the open debate of the UN Security Council, “Peacebuilding in Africa,” Foreign Minister Kishida declared Japan's assistance towards improving capacity for counter-terrorism in Africa (assistance amounting to a total of 120 million US dollars from 2016 to 2018, which includes human resource development for 30,000 people). At the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) held in August 2016, Prime Minister Abe announced the provision of assistance of approximately 500 million US dollars (approximately 52 billion yen) as well as human resource development for about 9.6 million people, including vocational training for 50,000 people, towards a peaceful and stable Africa. Through these efforts, Japan will continue contributing to realize such a peaceful and stable Africa.

Peacekeepers for military and police units under the UN mission
Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Project for Professionalization of the Police for the Population and Peace (Photo: JICA)Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Project for Professionalization of the Police for the Population and Peace (Photo: JICA)
B Initiatives within the UN

Many regional conflicts and civil wars are rekindled even after the conflict has ended. Hence, it is extremely important to provide appropriate support in the post-conflict period. Based on this understanding, the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) was established in 2005 with the aim of offering advice on integrated support from conflict resolution to recovery, reintegration, and reconstruction. Working closely with the UN Security Council, General Assembly, and other UN institutions, the PBC has provided advice to six countries (Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, the Central African Republic, Liberia, and Guinea) in order to identify the priority issues in peacebuilding and formulate strategies to support the implementation.

Japan has been a member of PBC since its founding and has been contributing to the organization as the chair country from 2006 to 2008 and as the chair of the Working Group on Lessons Learned from 2011 to 2015.

In 2015, the United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture, including the PBC, was reviewed. During this process, a report by the Secretary-General's Advisory Group of Experts, which pointed out the need to further strengthen cooperation with other institutions such as the UN Security Council, was submitted to the President of the General Assembly and the President of the UN Security Council. Through the discussions carried out based on this, the General Assembly Resolution (A/RES/70/262) and Security Council Resolution 2282 were adopted in April 2016.

Japan has also been actively engaged in the activities of the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) which was established around the same period as the PBC. As of December 2016, it has contributed a total of 46 million US dollars and ranks sixth among the major donor countries. Foreign Minister Kishida attended the PBF Pledging Conference held during the high-level meetings of the UN General Assembly in September and emphasized the importance of using innovative approaches such as cooperation among industry, government, and academia to secure funding in the future. At the same time, he announced that Japan will contribute about 10 million US dollars in the coming years.

C Human Resource Development
(A) The Program for Global Human Resource Development for Peacebuilding and Development

While civilian experts with a high level of skill and expertise have a substantial role to play in the field of post-conflict peacebuilding, the number of those who are capable of fulfilling the role are insufficient, and consequently, the development of personnel has become a major challenge. Japan has been implementing programs for human resource development in order to cultivate civilian experts in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East who can play a leading role in the field of peacebuilding and development. As of the end of the FY 2016, a total of 643 people have been trained. The trainees who completed the programs have gone on to play an active role in the field of peacebuilding and development worldwide in such countries as South Sudan and Afghanistan, and have received high acclaim from both the UN and other countries.

In the FY 2016 program, training courses for younger personnel, as well as for training courses for mid-career practitioners and one-to-one career development support, were implemented.

(B) Training for United Nations Peacekeepers

Japan has been supporting peacekeepers from various countries participating in UN PKOs to enhance their capabilities. From June to October, instructors from the Self Defense Forces were sent from Japan to provide training on the operation and maintenance of heavy engineering equipment to instruct operators in countries that have expressed their intention to dispatch engineering units to United Nations peacekeeping operations (the UN Project for African Rapid Deployment of Engineering Capabilities (ARDEC)). In addition to financial support, Japan also engages in dispatching instructors and other personnel to PKO Training Centers in Asia and African nations.

(3) Initiatives to Combat Security Threats

A Countermeasures against Terrorism and Violent Extremism

Japan is actively working to promote countermeasures against terrorism and violent extremism in collaboration with the international community.

Firstly, Japan has reaffirmed to cooperate with the international community through various multilateral frameworks, including the United Nations, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), ASEAN, Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the Global Counterterrorism Forum4. In particular, at the Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting held in September, Japan announced that it would play a leading role in making “Asia resilient to terrorism”, and to that end, it would provide approximately 45 billion yen over the next three years for Asia to put in place comprehensive counter-terrorism measures consisting of: (1) Improvement of counter-terrorism capacity; (2) Measures to counter violent extremism conducive to terrorism; and (3) Social and economic development assistance for creating a foundation for a moderate society. In addition, Japan will help to develop 2,000 personnel for counter-terrorism over the next three years. Efforts are currently underway toward the implementation of these plans.

At the G7 Ise-Shima Summit in May, Japan, as the G7 presidency, took the lead in releasing the “G7 Action Plan on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism.” Japan also announced that it would provide a total of about 6 billion US dollars over three years for addressing the root causes of refugee and terrorism including human resource development and social stabilization. Japan is currently working on the implementation of these initiatives.

In addition, Japan held counter-terrorism consultations with Tunisia, Russia, the ROK, China, the U.S., Australia, and Belgium, and affirmed its commitment toward strengthening cooperation and exchanging information on the state of terrorism.

Japan also contributes actively to enhancing counter-terrorism and security capacities, as well as to countering violent extremism, which is the root cause of terrorism, in various countries. In relation to the former, Japan provides training programs and equipment for law-enforcement agencies in areas such as border control at airports, criminal justice including investigation and prosecution, and offender treatment, as well as development of legal systems and counter-terrorism financing measures including money laundering and organized crime. The final report of the Meeting of the Council on Safety Measures for International Cooperation Projects, published in August, also clearly states that Japan will provide support for the capacity building of security authorities in developing countries. In relation to the latter, Japan provides support toward strengthening response from the perspective of criminal justice, and toward initiatives by civil society to prevent violent extremism. It is steadily implementing these measures, including by ensuring necessary budget for urgent needs.

In 2016, workshops were organized for relevant government officials and other personnels involved in counter-terrorism in countries in Asia and Africa. Japan also contributed actively, allocating funds of about 13 million US dollars (supplementary budget for FY2015) to international organizations and funds, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), and providing Japan's knowhow toward the operation and implementation of related projects.

  • 4 The Global Counterterrorism Forum was Proposed by the U.S. as a new multilateral framework to counter-terrorism, and established in September 2011. The objective is to share the experiences, knowledge, and best practices (successful examples) of practitioners, and provide support for capacity building in areas such as the rule of law, border control, and violent extremism countermeasures. 29 countries, including the G7, as well as EU, are members (the United Nations is a partner).
B Criminal Justice Initiatives

The UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice are the core bodies in shaping policy on crime prevention and criminal justice in the international community. At the 25th Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) held in May, Japan submitted a resolution concerning preparations for the 14th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice that will be held in Japan in 2020. Japan also supported prison reform in Myanmar, and the improvement of prosecution capabilities in Southeast Asia, by funding the UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Fund of the UNODC. With regard to measures against cybercrime, Japan, the U.S., Australia and the UNODC are working together to organize a capacity building workshop for law-enforcement authorities from ASEAN countries.

Furthermore, Japan is undertaking deliberations concerning the conclusion of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its supplementary protocols, in order to prevent and promote cooperation to fight against transnational organized crime by establishing a global legal framework to tackle transnational organized crime.

C Anti-corruption Measures

As the G7 Presidency, Japan played a leading role in formulating the “G7 Action to Fight Corruption,” which is the G7's output concerning anti-corruption measures. Within the context of the G20 framework and primarily through the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group, Japan was involved in the formulation of “G20 Anti-Corruption Action Plan 2017-2018,” which also serves as the action guidelines for anti-corruption measures by the G20 in the next two years.

The OECD Working Group on Bribery monitors the “Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions” to prevent and combat the bribery of foreign public officials, and Japan is an active participant in this program. Japan has also supported the ADB/OECD Anti-Corruption Initiative promoted jointly by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as part of its contributions toward enhancing anti-corruption measures in the region.

In addition, Japan is undertaking deliberations concerning the conclusion of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which prescribes measures to effectively address such corruption as bribery and embezzlement of property by public officials, as well as international cooperation. In 2016, Japan contributed about 100,000 US dollars to UNODC projects to support efforts to promote the UNCAC.

D Measures to Combat Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism

In terms of measures to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism, Financial Action Task Force (FATF)5 has been leading global discussions concerning the international standards that countries should implement, as well as examining measures from new perspectives. As a founding member, Japan has actively participated in these discussions. To promote international efforts to stop money laundering and stem the flow of funds to terrorists, Japan provides assistance to Iran toward capacity building in the area of supporting the development of legal systems, in cooperation with the UNODC.

E Measures to Combat Trafficking in Persons

Japan has strengthened its domestic mechanisms to combat trafficking in persons, and also proactively provides assistance to developing countries based on “Japan's 2014 Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons.” This Action Plan was developed in order to effectively tackle trafficking in persons, which involves increasingly sophisticated and latent methods in recent years. In June, as the first cooperative project between Japan and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) in the field of trafficking in persons, a workshop on effective communication strategies to combat trafficking in persons was held at Nha Trang (Vietnam), through the utilization of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) 2.0. Japan also dispatched experts to this workshop. In December, a Government Delegation on Anti-Human Trafficking Measures was dispatched to Italy for the first time. The delegation had discussions with the relevant ministries of the Italian government about the current situation of trafficking in persons and its countermeasures under the refugee/migration crisis that have arisen in recent years. Through these discussions, Japan and Italy renewed their determination to eradicate trafficking in persons. In 2016, Japan has continued to provide assistance for the repatriation and social rehabilitation program for foreign victims of trafficking in persons protected in Japan, through funding to International Organization for Migration (IOM). Japan also funded training programs to law-enforcement authorities in Southeast Asian countries through projects organized by UNODC.

  • 5 It is an international framework established by the G7 Arche Summit (in France) in 1989 for the purpose of promoting effective measures to combat international money laundering. 34 countries and regions, including the G7, and two international organizations participated. FATF Recommendations are recognized as the international standards that the states shall implement for combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism and of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The FATF also monitors the progress of its members in implementing measures, and identifies jurisdictions that have deficiencies and risk of money laundering and financing of terrorism.
F Measures to Combat Illicit Drug Trafficking

In April, the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) was held at the UN Headquarters in New York for the first time in 18 years. State Minister for Foreign Affairs Kihara attended the session as the head of the government delegates from Japan. The importance of putting in place countermeasures against new psychoactive substances (NPS) and amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS), including methamphetamine, which Japan places much focus on, was also incorporated into the “Joint Commitment to Effectively Addressing and Countering the World Drug Problem,” which was the outcome document adopted at this Session.

In 2016, Japan assisted the Asia-Pacific countries in analyzing the trend of synthetic drugs and conducted a monitoring of illicit poppy opium cultivation in Myanmar under the cooperation with the UNODC. In Afghanistan and its neighboring countries, Japan provided around 5 million US dollars to the UNODC, and proactively supported the efforts of these countries, through strengthening border control, supporting illicit drug eradication and alternative crop development, helping women suffering from drug addiction, and combatting smuggling.

(4) The Oceans and Seas

Japan is a maritime nation that has achieved economic growth through maritime trade and development of marine resources, and has pursued “Open and Stable Seas.” For Japan, maritime rights and interests, which are the basis for economic survival including the freedom of navigation and overflight, and development of marine resources, are of great importance toward securing peace and security. To ensure these maritime rights and interests in the long-term and a stable manner, it is indispensable to maintain a maritime order and ensure safe maritime transport.

Furthermore, “Open and Stable Seas”, which are upheld by a maritime order governed by law and rules and not by force, are essential for peace and prosperity not only of Japan, but also of the international community as a whole. To maintain and develop “Open and Stable Seas”, Japan contributes actively to maintaining a maritime order and ensuring safe maritime transport.

However, in recent years, there are an increasing number of cases where interests of countries clash with each other from the perspective of securing resources and national security. In particular, there are an increasing number of cases of friction and tension between countries in the seas of Asia, and the international community is closely monitoring these cases with much interest. Against this background, based on the recognition that it is necessary to fully uphold the “Three Principles of the Rule of Law at Sea” advocated by Prime Minister Abe at the Shangri-La Dialogue in May 2014, Japan, which holds the G7 presidency in 2016, issued the “G7 Foreign Ministers' Statement on Maritime Security” at the G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting held in Hiroshima in April. This statement reaffirmed that the principles such as the freedom of navigation and overflight, compliance with international law, and peaceful settlement of disputes are common interests shared by the G7. It also affirmed the importance of international cooperation to address the threats of piracy and other maritime activities which threaten global stability, safety, and prosperity, and cooperation on maritime science including effective Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). At the G7 Ise-Shima Summit in May, the members of the G7 were united in issuing a message on the importance of the “Three Principles of the Rule of Law at Sea” to the international community, which received strong support. In December, following up on the meeting held in Germany in the previous year, Japan hosted the Second G7 High-Level Meeting on Maritime Security in Tokyo as part of its efforts to maintain the maritime order and ensure safe maritime transport. Furthermore, outside the framework of the G7, Japan has also utilized forums that are related to the East Asia Summit (EAS), including the ARF Inter Sessional Meeting on Maritime Security and the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF), to actively show the importance of “Open and Stable Seas” and disseminate Japan's stance and initiatives in the area of maritime security.

Combining various assistances including Official Development Assistance (ODA), capacity building assistance by the Ministry of Defense and Self-Defense Forces, and defense equipment and technology cooperation, Japan seamlessly supports coastal states mainly in Asia and Africa to enhance maritime law enforcement capabilities through providing patrol vessels, technical cooperation and human resource development, among other forms of assistance. In this way, Japan has been contributing to establishing and promoting the rule of law at sea.

A Order at Sea
(A) United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and related Japanese Initiatives

Also known as the “Constitution for the Seas,” UNCLOS is the very basis of a maritime order governed by law and rules. The Convention comprehensively provides principles governing uses of the sea, including the freedom of navigation and overflight over the high seas. It also stipulates the rights and obligations under international law on the development of marine resources and so on. Furthermore, this Convention led to the establishment of international organizations such as the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), and the International Seabed Authority (ISA). This Convention has been ratified by 167 countries including Japan (including some not recognized by Japan) and by the EU. As a leading maritime nation, Japan regards a maritime order, with the Convention at the core, as the cornerstone to ensure Japan's maritime rights and interests and facilitate maritime activities. As such, Japan actively contributes to discussions at conferences including the Meetings of States Parties to the Convention and to the activities by international organizations in order to ensure that the Convention will be even more widely applied and implemented appropriately. Furthermore, Japan has done its utmost to build, maintain, and develop a fair maritime order under the Convention, by various means such as holding international symposiums on the law of the sea where eminent Japanese and foreign experts are invited. (see 3-1-6.)

(B) A Challenge to the Maritime Order and Response by Japan and International Community (see 1-1(2), 2-1-2(1) and 2-1-6)
a Situations surrounding the East China Sea

In the East China Sea, Chinese government-owned vessels have continued to intrude into Japan's territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands at the same frequency in 2016 as in the past. In particular, many Chinese public vessels surged into the waters around the Senkaku Islands in August, and repeatedly intruded into Japan's territorial waters. Furthermore, in June 2016, a military vessel of the Chinese Navy was also confirmed to have entered the contiguous zone of the Senkaku Islands for the first time. In addition, China has been continuing unilateral resource development in the Exclusive Economic Zone and on continental shelves in areas pending delimitation. In recent years, many cases of survey activities conducted without Japan's consent in the waters surrounding Japan have been confirmed, including the East China Sea, as well as survey activities of a nature that are different from that to which Japan has consented. Given that the situation in the East China Sea has not improved, Japan continues to respond in a firm but calm manner while making claims that should be made.

b Issues surrounding the South China Sea

In the South China Sea, China has been further taking unilateral actions that change the status quo and increase tensions such as large-scale and rapid land reclamation, building of outposts as well as their use for military purposes, and attempts to create a fait accompli. Many countries including Japan have expressed concern over such China's actions. While Japan welcomes dialogues between China and ASEAN about the issue of the South China Sea, these should be held based on international law and the premise of maintaining self-restraint and non-militarization on the ground. With regard to the arbitration proceedings based on UNCLOS concerning the conflict between the Philippines and China over the South China Sea, lodged by the government of the Philippines, the Arbitral Tribunal made its final arbitral award on July 12, 2016. On the same day, the Foreign Minister released a statement which explains that Japan has consistently advocated the importance of the rule of law and the use of peaceful means, not the use of force or coercion, in seeking settlement of maritime disputes and that as the Tribunal's award is final and legally binding on the parties to the dispute under the provisions of UNCLOS, the parties to this case are required to comply with the award. and expressed Japan's strong expectation that the parties' compliance with this award will eventually lead to the peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea.

Japan has a high interest regarding the issues over the South China Sea as it relies on marine transportation for most of resources and energy, and attaches importance to the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, as well as security of sea lanes of communication. The international community is called upon to cooperate in order to maintain and develop “Open and Stable Seas.”

B Ensuring Safe Maritime Transport

Japan actively contributes to ensuring the freedom of navigation and overflight and safe maritime transport, through anti-piracy measures in Asia and Africa, as well as close partnership and cooperation with other countries.

(A) Anti-piracy measures off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden
a Current status of piracy and armed robbery cases

According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the number of piracy and armed robbery cases (hereinafter referred to as the “piracy cases”) off the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden was 237 at its peak in 2011, but then dropped to zero in 2015 and two in 2016. It is due to maritime law enforcement activities of respective navies and self-defense measures adopted by merchant ships. However, root causes of piracy off the coast of Somalia remain unresolved. Thus, the situation could easily revert if the international community were to halt its efforts.

b Extension of anti-piracy operations and record of escort activities

Since 2009, Japan has been conducting anti-piracy operations by deploying Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers (with coast guard officers on board) and P-3C maritime patrol aircraft to the Gulf of Aden. On November 1, 2016, the Government of Japan decided to continue anti-piracy operations based on the Act on Punishment and Countermeasures against Piracy for another year. The deployed destroyers protected 114 merchant ships on 72 escort operations between January and December 2016, while the P-3C maritime patrol aircraft carried out 233 mission flights, in which they conducted surveillance, information gathering and provided information to naval vessels of other countries.

c Promotion of international cooperation in anti-piracy measures

Japan has been making multi-layered efforts, including support for enhancement of maritime law enforcement capacity of Somalia and neighboring countries as well as for stability of Somalia, in order to solve root causes of piracy off the coast of Somalia. Japan has assisted the establishment of Information Sharing Centres in Yemen, Kenya, and Tanzania, as well as the construction of a training center in Djibouti for capacity building of the region through contributing 14.6 million US dollars to a fund established by the IMO. Moreover, Japan has contributed 4.5 million US dollars to an international trust fund managed by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), through which it assists Somalia and neighboring countries in improving courts and training judicial officers, as well as repatriation to Somalia of those found guilty of piracy in the neighboring countries including Seychelles. In December 2015, Japan provided two patrol vessels to the Djibouti Coast Guard, to which the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has extended technical assistance for capacity building. With a view to promoting stability in Somalia, Japan has provided a total of 410.34 million US dollars since 2007 aimed at improvement of public security, humanitarian aid, employment creation, and support for the police.

Uotsuri Island, Senkaku Islands (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)Uotsuri Island, Senkaku Islands (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
Swarm of Chinese fishing vessels (Photographed on August 6 Photo: Japan Coast Guard)Swarm of Chinese fishing vessels (Photographed on August 6 Photo: Japan Coast Guard)
Chinese Government vessels and fishing vessels (Photographed on August 6 Photo: Japan Coast Guard)Chinese Government vessels and fishing vessels (Photographed on August 6 Photo: Japan Coast Guard)
source: http://amti.csis.org/ etc.
(B) Anti-piracy measures in Asia

To encourage regional cooperation in the fight against piracy cases in Asia, Japan was at the forefront of efforts to formulate the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP), which entered into force in 2006. Each of the contracting parties provides information regarding piracy cases and cooperate via the Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP-ISC) established in Singapore under the Agreement. Japan supports the activities of ReCAAP-ISC by sending its Executive Director and an Assistant Director, in addition to the provision of financial support. Such efforts by Japan to counter piracy in Asia have been highly appraised internationally.

According to figures released by IMB, the number of piracy cases in the seas of Southeast Asia was 68 in 2016. In recent years, serious cases have occurred and there is an increasing concern about it, including the abduction of the crew of small tankers navigating in the sea or anchored at the harbor.

(5) Cyber

Year by year, as cyber space is becoming an essential platform for people's socioeconomic activities, the scale and the influence of cyber attacks are expanding. In recent years in particular, the scale of DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks has reached an unprecedented level, and critical infrastructure has become the target of attacks. Thus, the threat of cyber attacks is becoming more serious.

Japan is no exception, and has been increasingly exposed to the cyber threats. For instance, the Japan Pension Service suffered cyber attacks in which approximately 1.25 million cases of personal information were stolen. With the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games to be held in 2020, the cybersecurity issue proves to be an urgent priority for Japan.

Cyber attacks are characterized as being highly anonymous, causing a significant impact in a short period of time, being less affected by geographical constraints and easily crossing national borders. For this reason, cyber security is an issue that is difficult for a single country to address alone. As such, coordination and cooperation of the international community are essential.

As a result, based on the “Cybersecurity Strategy”, which was adopted by the Cabinet in September 2015, the Government of Japan has advanced efforts, including contributing to the making of international rules, promoting cooperation and confidence-building among other countries, enhancing countermeasures against cybercrimes, and supporting capacity building.

In respect of developing international rules, from its standpoint that existing international law is applicable to cyber activities, Japan has taken active roles in discussions in the international community through the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts (UN-GGE) and other forums.

Regarding promoting cooperation and confidence-building with other countries, Japan has held consultations and dialogues with countries and organizations, including the U.S., the UK, France, Australia, Israel, Estonia, Russia, EU, and ASEAN. On top of that, Japan has newly held consultations and dialogues with Germany, the ROK, and Ukraine. Furthermore, Japan participated in a workshop held in March on cyber confidence-building measures organized jointly by EU and Malaysia, within the framework of the ARF. At the G7 Ise-Shima Summit held in May, a new G7 working group on cyber (Ise-Shima Cyber Group (ISCG)) was decided to be established. Its first meeting was held in Tokyo in October. Through these talks, Japan exchanges information about cyber-related policies and initiatives, deepens mutual understanding, enhances cooperation and fosters confidence-building with other countries.

Regarding countermeasures against cybercrime, as the first member country in Asia of the “Convention on Cybercrime” (Budapest Convention), which is the only multilateral treaty on the use of cyberspace, Japan actively participates in its related conferences, and promotes to expand the parties of the Convention, especially among Asia.

Due to the nature of cyberspace, the lack of incident handling capacity of some countries and regions may pose risk to the entire world. Therefore, capacity-building support for developing countries is important for ensuring Japan's security as well. Japan has been providing support, including the capacity-building of CSIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team)6 and the relevant administrative agencies mainly in ASEAN countries. Based on the “Basic Strategy of Cybersecurity Capacity Building for Developing Countries” formulated by the government as a whole in October, Japan will continue to provide strategic and efficient assistance on a “All-Japan” basis.

  • 6 A general term which refers to a group to deal with computer security incidents. In order to minimize the damage caused by computer security incidents, they collect and analyze incident related information, vulnerability information and predictive information of cyberattacks, consider solutions and measures, and cope with the incidents.

(6) Outer Space

In recent years, outer space has become congested due to the diversified use of outer space and increasing number of countries using space. In addition, increase of space debris caused by Anti-Satellite (ASAT) tests, collisions of satellites etc., has posed a growing risk to the sustainable and stable use of outer space.

In order to cope with this situation, Japan has been proactively participating in discussions on the rule-making for outer space with the aim of realizing and strengthening the rule of law. It also promotes dialogues and consultations on outer space with other countries to contribute to the efforts to ensure security in outer space.

Amid new technologies and services with regard to space utilization and applications, Japan proactively engages in space science and exploration such as the International Space Station (ISS), the overseas development of Japanese space industry, resolution of global challenges by utilizing space technologies, and support for capacity building in the field of outer space in developing countries.

A Realizing and Strengthening the Rule of Law in Outer Space

Based on the environmental changes related to outer space, the international community has been discussing the necessity of formulating new rules for outer space. Japan also has been contributing to these discussions with the aim of realizing and strengthening the rule of law in outer space7. It is important to restrict actions that create space debris such as ASAT tests and to formulate rules with regard to transparency and confidence-building measures (TCBM) which will promote information exchange on outer space activities between countries. From these points of view, Japan has been proactively contributing to discussions on the development of the International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities (ICOC) led by EU.

At the G7 Hiroshima Foreign Ministers' Meeting in April, Japan, serving its G7 Presidency, coordinated the formulation of a Joint Communiqué that covered concerns of the development of ASAT capabilities and the commitment to strengthen norms for outer space activities.

In addition, at the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS), discussions have been held on the peaceful use of outer space, including the development of the UNCOPUOS Guidelines for the “Long Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities.” Japan has actively participated in the discussions and has reached an agreement on 12 guidelines during the meeting of the Committee in June 2016. At the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of COPUOS in January 2017, Japan's first female astronaut, Chiaki Mukai, served as Chair (see column “On the Frontlines of Space Diplomacy”).

  • 7 Japan has enacted the “Act concerning the launch and control of satellites” and the “Act concerning ensuring adequate handling of satellite remote sensing data” (known as the “two space acts”) in November 2016 to deal with the expansion of outer space activities by private companies.
B International Dialogues and Consultations on Outer Space

An increasing number of various bilateral and multilateral dialogues and consultations on outer space have been held with the aim of facilitating international cooperation and information sharing from a broad perspective and promotion of international cooperation; reflecting the growing interest of the international community concerning outer space. Japan also promotes dialogues in the fields of security, science, and industry with major space-faring nations and other countries in the Asia-Pacific Region.

In March, the First Japan-France Comprehensive Dialogue on Space (Paris) was held, commencing consideration on Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and other cooperation. In addition, the Japan-U.S. Space Security Dialogue (Tokyo) and the Second Japan-EU Space Policy Dialogue (Brussels) were held in March, while the Sixth Japan-U.S.-Australia Trilateral Space Security Dialogue (Tokyo) was held in October.


On the Frontlines of Space Diplomacy ~ Contributions from Space experts at the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space ~

Have you ever heard that there is a committee in the United Nations that exclusively deals with space related issues? The UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS), headquartered in Vienna, is a committee with a long history. It has played a significant role in the formulation of several space treaties, including the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 which provides the basic framework on international space law. In recent years, in addition to formulating rules, the Committee is also actively engaged in solving global issues through space utilization, reviewing measures for the long-term use of outer space, and promoting use of outer space in developing countries.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, working in close cooperation with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), contributes actively to discussions conducted at UNCOPUOS. From 2012 to 2014, JAXA Technical Counselor Yasushi Horikawa served on the Committee as the first Japanese to be appointed as the chairman of the Committee. He has demonstrated initiative in a proactive manner, such as proposing the “Contribution of space activities to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals” as one of the main agenda for UNCOPUOS and winning wide support from the member states on his proposal. He previously worked as an engineer on the frontlines of the development of manned and unmanned spacecraft, serving as the Project Manager for the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) “Kibo” in the International Space Station.

On January 2017, Chiaki Mukai, the first female Japanese astronaut, was appointed as the chair of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS. In the field of space diplomacy, she has gained much respect as an astronaut who has performed various missions under the severe environment in outer space, after experiencing the stringent astronaut selection requirements and training. Her leadership has also been highly appraised.

Professor Setsuko Aoki from Keio University serves in the Legal Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS as the chair of the Working Group on the “Review of International Mechanisms for Cooperation in the Peaceful Exploration and Use of Outer Space.” As new issues pertaining to international space law emerge, such as space resource development activities, cooperation with researchers at the forefront of these fields has become more important than ever.

A high level of expertise, including knowledge of science and technology, as well as deep experience and understanding of the practical space utilization and developments, are sometimes necessary on the frontlines of space diplomacy. By cooperating with the Japanese Space experts and earning an excellent reputation worldwide, we have been conducting “Space diplomacy” proactively.

Appointment of Chiaki Mukai as the chair of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS.Appointment of Chiaki Mukai as the chair of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS.
Introduction of Japan's space exploration programs by the Japanese delegation.Introduction of Japan's space exploration programs by the Japanese delegation.
C Space Science and Exploration, Overseas Development of Japanese Space Industry, and Contributions to Global Challenges

The progress of space exploration and application for peaceful purposes is a common benefit for all humankind and is also significant in terms of diplomacy. In particular, the ISS is an epic project in which 15 countries participate and has become a symbol of international cooperation in the field of outer space. From July, astronaut Takuya Onishi stayed on the ISS for nearly four months as a member of the 48th/49th Expedition Mission crew conducting various experiments and building a new usage environment for the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo.” “Kibo” is capable of releasing nanosatellites and is also used to release nanosatellites on behalf of many emerging and developing countries with the aim of providing support for capacity building in the space field.

To acquire internationally increasing demand for satellites and launching services is an important challenge for the Japanese space industry. The Government of Japan has been promoting overseas development of its space industry through top-level sales and diplomatic missions overseas. Furthermore, through development cooperations utilizing space technologies, Japan has been contributing to addressing the global issues such as climate change, disaster risk reduction, forest conservation, resources/energy, and to supporting capacity building in the space field in devaloping countries. Based on these experiences, in order to promote more strategic and efficient all-Japan support hereafter, Japan coordinated to formulate the “Basic Strategy: Capacity Building for Developing Countries in the Space Field.”