Diplomatic Bluebook 2019

Chapter 3

Japan's Foreign Policy to Promote National and Global 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 power balance. 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 has been making efforts to realize a desirable regional security environment for Japan, by strengthening the Japan-U.S. Alliance, and combining bilateral and multilateral security cooperation at multiple levels. Japan also strives to achieve a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” from the perspective of promoting the stability and prosperity of the extensive region stretching from the Asia-Pacific, 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.

Japan is working to further strengthen deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance, as well as to enhance security cooperation with various countries other than the U.S. In relation to ASEAN Member States, through such efforts as providing patrol vessels, Japan continuously supports the efforts toward enhancing the coast guard capabilities of the Philippines, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Indonesia and other countries. In relation to India, in the Japan-India Vision Statement issued when Prime Minister Modi of India visited Japan in October, the two leaders iterated their unwavering commitment to working together toward a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.” At the Summit Meeting, the two leaders shared the view on the commencement of official negotiations on the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA). In relation to Australia, at the eighth Japan-Australia Foreign and Defence Ministerial Consultations (“2+2”) held in October, the Ministers confirmed their commitment to further deepening the security and defense cooperation between Japan and Australia, two countries with the will and capability to contribute proactively to the stability and prosperity of the region. At the Summit Meeting in November, the leaders affirmed that the two countries share a vision for a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” and shared the view on working together for regional stability and prosperity. In relation to the UK, at the Japan-UK Summit Meeting in January 2019, the two leaders shared the view that Japan-UK security cooperation has developed significantly and has entered a new chapter, and that they would further advance concrete cooperation toward achieving a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.” In relation to France, ACSA was signed in July. At the Japan-France Summit Meeting in October, the two leaders welcomed the signing of ACSA, the foundation of defense cooperation, and shared the view on further building up concrete cooperation between Japan and France toward achieving a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.” In relation to Canada, the two countries signed ACSA in April. At the Japan-Canada Summit Meeting in November, the leaders shared the view that they would deepen the strategic relationship between Japan and Canada, including security and defense cooperation. Their fourth Foreign and Defense meeting (“2+2”) Vice-Ministerial Dialogue was held in December. In relation to the ROK, based on the recognition that cooperation on the North Korea issues is important, the two countries held, inter alia, Japan-ROK Summit Meetings (February, May and September), Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers' Meetings (March, April, June, July, August and September [twice]) and Japan-U.S.-ROK Foreign Ministers' Meetings (January, June and July), and confirmed that they would work closely together between Japan and the ROK, as well as between Japan, the U.S. and the ROK.

In addition to strengthening the bilateral cooperation mentioned above, Japan has also been promoting cooperation in the following various frameworks in order to build a network for peace and prosperity in the region: the Japan-U.S.-India Summit Meeting (November), the Japan-U.S.-ROK Foreign Ministers' Meeting (January, June and July), the Japan-U.S.-Australia Trilateral Ministerial Strategic Dialogue (August) and the Japan-U.S.-Australia-India Consultations (June and November).

Furthermore, it is also important to enhance the relationships of trust with China and Russia for the stability of the security environment surrounding Japan. The Japan-China relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships, and Japan is striving to develop stable relations of friendship and cooperation from a broad perspective, under the “Mutually Beneficial Relationship Based on Common Strategic Interests.” As China's military trend is a major concern for Japan, Japan is making efforts to build multilayered channels for dialogue and exchanges in the field of security with China, including the Japan-China Security Dialogue. Alongside with such efforts to communicate effectively in the policy aspect, Japan is also encouraging China to improve transparency. The Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism between the defense authorities of Japan and China signed in May has great significance in the sense of promoting mutual understanding and confidence and avoiding unexpected collision. At the same time, Japan is striving to promote mutual relations of trust through high-level dialogues, including between leaders and foreign ministers. Regarding Japan-Russia relations, while holding political dialogues at various levels, including four Summit Meetings and Foreign Ministers' Meetings respectively in 2018, Japan has been energetically continuing negotiations with Russia to conclude a peace treaty through the resolution of the territorial issue. In the area of security, the Japan-Russia “2+2” Ministerial Meeting and Security Consultations took place in July. The two countries also held candid discussions on defense and security on such occasions as the visit to Russia by Chief of Joint Staff Kawano in October.

Furthermore, Japan held the first Politico-Military (PM) Dialogue with Israel (October), as well as the 6th PM Dialogue with Pakistan in April, the 14th PM Dialogue with Thailand in September and the 21st PM Dialogue with France in December. Japan also held the 3rd Security Dialogue with Qatar (March) and the 11th Security Dialogue with the ROK (March), as well as the first Security Consultations with Turkey (January) and Ukraine (October).

In addition, Japan has actively participated in and contributed to multilateral frameworks in the region, including the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) in order to strengthen security cooperation 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 that it is participated in by various entities including North Korea and the EU and also focuses on confidence building through various initiatives. In August, the 25th ARF Ministerial Meeting was held, where participating Ministers candidly exchanged views mainly on regional and international affairs, including the issues of North Korea and the South China Sea. Additionally, at the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting (ISM) on Security of and in the Use of Information and Communication Technologies which Japan established jointly with Malaysia and Singapore, the Terms of Reference (TOR) and Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs), including the ones proposed by Japan, were adopted. Japan is making a proactive contribution through, for example, twice co-chairing the ISM on Maritime Security.

Furthermore, in addition to government-to-government dialogues (track 1), Japan actively utilizes frameworks where participants from both public and private sectors (track 1.5) exchange opinions and explain their security policies. Japan participates in various conferences, including the IISS Asia Security Summit (Shangri-La Dialogue) (Singapore). Also Foreign Minister Kono attended the Regional Security Summit (Manama Dialogue) (Bahrain) in December as well as the Munich Security Conference (Germany) in February 2018, as a part of Japan's efforts to promote other countries' understanding of Japan's security policies, and to facilitate cooperation and confidence-building in the region.

(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 October 2018, 14 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 fora, primarily within the UN.

Based on the Act on Cooperation with UN Peacekeeping Operations and Other Operations (PKO Act), Japan has dispatched more than 12,500 personnel to a total of 27 missions including UN PKO since 1992. More recently, Japanese staff officers have been dispatched to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) since 2011, while the engineering units have been dispatched there since 2012. The engineering units in the South Sudanese capital of Juba and the surrounding areas have undertaken such activities as developing infrastructure such as roads, supporting displaced persons through the provision of water supplies, as well as site preparation, and concluded their activities in May 2017. On the other hand, four SDF officers are currently still on active duty at the UNMISS Headquarters. Japan will continue to contribute in various ways to peace and stability in South Sudan. Under the banner of “Proactive Contribution to Peace,” building on the past experiences of peacekeeping operations and making use of its own strengths, Japan will also continue to contribute proactively in the field of international peace cooperation in the future such as through dispatching units and individuals, as well as enhancing capacity building.

(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.

In the area of addressing humanitarian crises, it is effective to combine coordination between humanitarian assistance and development cooperation, with peacebuilding. It is important to fundamentally enhance measures to address the root causes of conflict, not only by taking post-conflict responses but by focusing more on the prevention of conflicts and their recurrence through nation-building and social stabilization measures during peace time. Japan places great importance on such “humanitarian, development and peace nexus,” and has been providing support for peacebuilding particularly in the following countries and regions.

a Middle East

Japan has provided comprehensive supports for peace and stability in the Middle East. For example, Japan provides food and refugee assistance in collaboration with international organizations for countries affected by conflicts, including Syria and its neighboring countries, Yemen and Afghanistan. In addition, Japan supports the development of human resources engaged in nation building. In 2018, Japan accepted 25 people from Afghanistan, including government officials who are expected to contribute to such fields as agricultural and rural development and infrastructure development for the reconstruction of the country. Japan also accepted 29 students from Syria to offer education to young people who were deprived of opportunities to attend school due to the Syrian crisis. Furthermore, in February, Japan decided to provide supports for holding fair and peaceful elections in Afghanistan.

From the perspective of humanitarian-development nexus, for example, in Jordan, Japan provided employment supports at the Zaatari Refugee Camp for Syrian refugees by, inter alia, offering technical guidance on electric power. Japan also contributed to improving the living conditions in the camp, for instance, through maintenance of electric power facilities of surrounding shelters conducted by the beneficiaries of Japan's technical guidance.

b Africa

Japan has contributed to laying the foundations for peace and stability in Africa, including providing supports for “Promoting social stability for shared prosperity,” one of the priority areas identified at the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) in August 2016.

For example, Japan has conducted criminal justice training since 2014 for police officers, prosecutors, judges and others from eight Francophone African countries, and has supported stabilization of the Sahel region through capability strengthening of investigation and judicial bodies. Japan has also contributed to consolidation of peace through fair elections, such as by assisting the registration of voters for general elections in Zimbabwe in summer 2018 (presidential, upper and lower house and local elections). In addition, in 2018, Japan decided to provide security equipment to countries including Burkina Faso and Mali to strengthen their capacity for security against frequent terrorist attacks and transnational crimes.

In 2018, Japan provided assistance for developing the capacity and rehabilitating the facilities of centers for disaster and emergency rescue, such as fire departments, in Côte d'Ivoire, which reemploy ex-combatants of anti-government militias. In the Central African Republic, Japan provided assistance including vocational training and livelihood improvement supports for returnees and ex-combatants of armed forces, contributing to promoting peace, security and reconciliation in post-civil war countries.

Japan supports PKO training centers operated by African countries. Between 2008 and 2018, Japan contributed a total of 52 million US dollars to such centers in 13 countries and contributed to building up the peacekeeping capabilities of Africa.

B Initiatives within the UN (Peacebuilding)

Based on the understanding that many regional conflicts and civil wars are rekindled even after the conflict has ended, and that, it is extremely important to provide appropriate support in the post-conflict period, 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. The PBC conducts discussions to identify priority issues and formulate peacebuilding strategies in the agenda countries1. Japan has served as a member of the Organizational Committee since the PBC's establishment and contributed to its activities.

Two resolutions were adopted in April 2016: the UN General Assembly Resolution (A/RES/70/262) on the “Review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture” including the PBC, and the UN Security Council Resolution 2282. These resolutions recommended the improvement of the efficiency and flexibility of the PBC, along with the strengthening of cooperation between the PBC and the UN Security Council as well as other organizations. In accordance with the General Assembly Resolution, the UN Secretary-General issued a report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace (A/72/707-S/2018/43) in 2018. The report makes a variety of proposals for, inter alia: enhancing financing for peacebuilding; increasing operational and policy coherence of PBC; strengthening UN leadership, accountability and capacity; and boosting partnerships with international organizations and the civil society.

At the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace held in April, Japan expressed support for the Secretary-General's initiatives in the area of peacebuilding. At the meeting, the General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/72/276), which includes a request to the Secretary-General to present an interim report regarding his proposals to the General Assembly during its 73rd session (Security Council resolution 2413 of the same content was also adopted).

Japan has contributed proactively to the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) since its establishment in 2006. Announcing its aim to allocate 10 million US dollars in September 2016, Japan has contributed a total of 50.5 million US dollars (2.0 million US dollars in 2018) and ranks sixth among the major donor countries as of December 2018.

  • 1 Five countries of Burundi, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Central African Republic, and Liberia.
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 is insufficient, and therefore, the development of relevant human resources remains a major challenge. Japan has been implementing programs for human resource development in order to cultivate civilian experts who can play a leading role in the field of peacebuilding and development. As of the end of the FY2018, a total of about 750 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 FY2018 program, a training course for human resources and a training course for mid-career practitioners with experience in the field of peacebuilding and development were implemented. In addition, a new course was implemented to assist those who have certain professional and transferable experience in this field in order to start building up their new careers at international organizations.

(B) Training for United Nations Peacekeepers of Various Countries

Japan has been supporting peacekeepers from various countries participating in UN PKOs to enhance their capabilities. From 2015 to 2018, Japan has dispatched 125 JSDF instructors for training 211 future engineering personnel from eight countries in Africa that have expressed their intention to dispatch engineering units to UN PKOs (the UN Project for Rapid Deployment of Enabling Capabilities). These instructors conduct training on the operation of heavy engineering equipment. UN Secretary-General Guterres commended Japan's supports for this project during his visit to Japan in August 2018. At the High-level Meeting on Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) in September 2018, Secretary-General Guterres also remarked that this project represents an innovative approach to addressing the urgent challenge of improving peacekeeper capabilities. A decision was made to expand this project to Asia and the surrounding regions, and trial training was conducted in Viet Nam from November to December. Japan also dispatches instructors and other personnel and provides financial assistance to PKO Training Centers in Asia and African nations.

Peacekeepers for military, police and headquarters personnel under the UN mission
Trial training of UN Triangular Partnership Project for Rapid Deployment of Enabling Capabilities (RDEC) in Asia and the surrounding regionsTrial training of UN Triangular Partnership Project for Rapid Deployment of Enabling Capabilities (RDEC) in Asia and the surrounding regions

Furthermore, Japan and the UN co-organized a training course in Japan for capacity enhancement of Women's Protection Advisers engaged in the prevention and response to conflict-related sexual violence in UN PKO missions and at other levels.

(3) Initiatives to Combat Security Threats

A Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism Measures

While operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) carried out in Iraq and Syria had effectively reduced the areas dominated by ISIL, the threat of terrorism and violent extremism is spreading throughout the world, including Asia, as a result of the return or relocation of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) who were under the influence of ISIL to their home countries or to third countries. In May 2018, terrorist bombings occurred against churches in Surabaya City, Indonesia, causing over 13 deaths, including of six bombers, and injuring over 40 people. ISIL claimed responsibility for the terror attack.

In the “G7 Action Plan on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism” compiled at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit in 2016, Japan stressed the importance of the following points: (1) concrete counter-terrorism measures including the utilization of Interpol databases and passenger name records (PNR); (2) promoting tolerance through dialogues aimed at preventing violent extremism; and (3) support for capacity-building in developing countries. At the G7 Charlevoix Summit held in 2018, the leaders reaffirmed that the G7 would continue to work together to counter terrorism. With regard to (1), which includes the utilization of advance passenger information (API) and PNR possessed by airlines and biological data, as a measure to address FTFs returning or relocating to their home countries or to third countries from areas dominated by ISIL, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2396 in December 2017 which introduces some obligations on Member States to utilize and share such information. Japan, as a co-sponsor of the resolution, contributed to its adoption. With regard to (2), namely, measures to counter violent extremism, which is the root cause of terrorism, Japan considers it important to build tolerant societies that do not exclude but are receptive to different values. From this perspective, Japan has given priority to community supports through promotion of intercultural and interfaith dialogue and empowering women and youths (capability enhancement and advancement).

With regard to (3), Japan's counter-terrorism assistance places particular emphasis on Asia. As one of the initiatives to strengthen comprehensive counter-terrorism measures, Japan announced at the Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting in 2016 that it would provide support of 45 billion Japanese yen and develop 2,000 personnel in the next three years. Japan has already largely exceeded this target by providing support of 80 billion Japanese yen and developing approximately 2,600 personnel for counter-terrorism in the first two years after the announcement. More specifically, to strengthen protection from terror attacks during the 18th Asian Games held in Indonesia in 2018, Japan provided counter-terrorism equipment made in Japan (such as facial recognition system) for the main stadium of the Games. In September 2018, Japan also held a workshop for practitioners from ASEAN countries using such equipment, as part of efforts to promote the use of facial recognition and other biological data.

As another initiative, Japan has continued the invitation program for Islamic schoolteachers for 15 years, arranging interfaith dialogue, cultural visits and school visits for the participants. Japan will continue to implement such initiatives moving forward, in order to contribute to promote moderation and to create more tolerant societies that are receptive to different values.

Japan also implements counter-terrorism measures through international organizations. Japan has contributed about 66 million US dollars (supplementary budget for FY2017) to international organizations and funds, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), thereby providing support for individual projects to counter terrorism and violent extremism through these organizations.

In addition, Japan held bilateral counter-terrorism consultations in 2018 with the UK, Tunisia, Russia, China and Turkey to exchange information on terrorism situations and confirm the strengthening of coordination.

The Government of Japan has promoted counter-terrorism measures in collaboration with relevant countries and organizations. Based on the view that information gathering is critical for combating terrorism, the Government established the Counter Terrorism Unit - Japan (CTU-J) in December 2015 and has been making concerted efforts to gather information with the Prime Minister's Office serving as the control tower. A Japanese national who had been detained in Syria for over three years was released in October 2018. This was the outcome of the principal role exercised by the CTU-J in requesting the cooperation of relevant countries and dealing with the situation by making use of Japan's information network. It is also significant that the Consular Affairs Bureau and the CTU-J fully acknowledge each other's roles and have worked together closely to execute their important responsibility of securing the safety of Japanese nationals overseas. In light of this experience, Japan will continue to further enhance its information gathering through the CTU-J and take all possible measures to counter terrorism and ensure the safety of Japanese nationals overseas.

B Criminal Justice Initiatives

The UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (“Congress”) and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice are in charge of shaping policy on crime prevention and criminal justice in the international community. In April 2020, the 14th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice will be held in Kyoto (“Kyoto Congress” [See Opening Special Feature “Focusing on 2019-2020”]). Japan is making preparations to host this meeting in collaboration with relevant countries, organizations, ministries and agencies and others. Under the overall theme of “Advancing crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law: towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda,” the Kyoto Congress is expected to adopt a political declaration concerning measures on crime prevention and criminal justice as well as approaches for international cooperation, and discussions are underway on the content to be included in the declaration.

Furthermore, Japan provides support to improve prosecution capabilities of law-enforcement authorities in Southeast Asia and to enhance capacities related to measures against cybercrime by providing financial contributions to UNODC and through financial contributions from the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF).

In July 2017, Japan concluded the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), in order to prevent transnational organized crime including terrorism more effectively, and to promote cooperation to fight against such crime, which establishes a global legal framework to tackle this problem. Japan advances international cooperation including investigation assistance, in accordance with UNTOC.

C Anti-corruption Measures

As a state party to the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which sets out provisions for international cooperation and measures to tackle acts of corruption, such as bribery and embezzlement of property by public officials, Japan has actively participated in discussions for strengthening international cooperation on prevention and eradication of corruption at conferences of the state parties of the convention and other occasions. In addition, Japan has been conducting training for anti-corruption authorities in developing countries with the aim of strengthening their investigation and prosecution capabilities, by making financial contributions to UNODC. In 2018, Japan contributed approximately 120,000 US dollars to UNODC to support the operation of the UNCAC Implementation Review Mechanism, which reviews the status of implementation of the Convention by each state party.

Within the context of the G20, Japan, as the incoming G20 presidency, actively took part in the activities of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group and contributed to the discussions for developing deliverables, including the High-Level Principles for Preventing Corruption and Ensuring Integrity in State-Owned Enterprises.

The OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) Working Group on Bribery verifies each state party's implementation status of the “Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions” to prevent and combat the bribery of foreign public officials. 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 OECD as part of its contributions toward enhancing anti-corruption measures in the region.

D Measures to Combat Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism

In terms of measures to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an international framework that establishes the international standards that countries should implement, as well as mutually examines their implementation status. As a founding member, Japan has actively participated in these discussions. In recent years, the FATF has been engaged in initiatives to prevent the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and has issued the FATF statement that calls for the eradication of illegal financial activities by North Korea.

Japan provides capacity building assistance to Iran and the ASEAN countries in areas such as the development of legal systems, in cooperation with UNODC to promote international efforts to disrupt money laundering and stem the flow of funds to terrorists.

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. For example, in 2018, Japan launched some new training programs through JICA to deepen mutual understanding and promote more effective regional cooperation on human trafficking countermeasures (especially prevention, protection and support to restore the autonomy of victims) of stakeholders in Asian countries, including Japan. With respect to cooperation with international organizations, in 2018, through funding to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Japan continued to provide assistance for the safe repatriation of foreign victims of trafficking in persons protected in Japan and carry out social rehabilitation support programs to prevent the repetition of trafficking after returning to their countries. Japan also funded training programs for law-enforcement authorities in Southeast Asian countries through projects organized by UNODC.

As a state party to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Japan has also further deepened its cooperation with other countries with a view to eradicating trafficking in persons.

F Measures to Combat Illicit Drug Trafficking

Japan works in cooperation with UNODC to investigate and analyze synthetic drugs such as amphetamine-type stimulants and new psychoactive substances in the Asia-Pacific region, provide support for improving container control capacity of regulatory authorities at air and sea ports, and put in place measures against illicit drug trafficking that is spreading across borders. In relation to Afghanistan, which is the world's largest region for the illegal cultivation of opium poppy, Japan has contributed 5 million US dollars to UNODC in order to strengthen border controls, promote alternative development to drug crop cultivation and enhance capacity building of narcotics agents in cooperation with the neighboring countries. Furthermore, at the 61st session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) held in March 2018, Japan, Russia, Central Asian countries and UNODC co-organized a side event on law enforcement capacity-building to counter narcotic drugs in West and Central Asia. Japan appealed its proactive supports for the region, including the “Domodedovo Project” being implemented among Japan, Russia and UNODC (See Column “Combating the drug trafficking in Afghanistan - Establishment of a Counter Narcotics Canine Unit in Afghanistan under the Trilateral Cooperation between Japan, the Russian Federation and UNODC”).

Combating the Drug Trafficking in Afghanistan

Hideki Hosaka, Project Coordinator

Regional Section for Europe, West and Central Asia

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

The cultivation of illegal opium poppy is through the roof in Afghanistan against the backdrop of country's unstable security situation and prevalence of poverty. Opium and heroin, which have many addicts in the world, are derived from opium poppy and today, it is said, Afghanistan accounts for about 90 percent of world's production of illegal opium poppy. Countering the drug problems is one of the important missions for stability of Afghanistan and its neighbours. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) takes various initiatives in this field with Member States, which include opium survey, capacity building of counter-narcotics authorities, improvement of the criminal justice system, development of alternative crops, drug abuse prevention, medical care of the addicts and rehabilitation support.

Photo: Combating the Drug Trafficking in Afghanistan

As part of such activities UNODC has been implementing the “Domodedovo Training Project” since September 2012 in coordination with Japan and Russia. In this project, counter-narcotics officers of Afghanistan and the five Central Asian countries are invited to take part in the specialized training conducted in the suburb of Moscow under the curricula of the “Domodedovo Training Centre” - a professional and vocational institution of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, with the financial contribution of Japan. In this project, Japan provides not only project fund but also visible technical support, dispatching experts of Narcotics Control Department of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan to every training course.

The “Domodedovo Training Project” received support from beneficiary countries, namely Afghanistan and the Central Asian countries. In the past seven years, a total of 195 counter-narcotics officers were trained, contributing to the enhancement of operational activities in the countries. This is unique cooperation format, involving three Partners - Japan, Russia and the UN - on board, working together to support the counter-narcotics efforts of Afghanistan and neighbouring countries. It can be regarded among one of the practices to meet the “Shared Responsibility” declared in the Outcome Document of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) in 2016.

Photo: Combating the Drug Trafficking in Afghanistan

In October 2018 the “trilateral cooperation” expanded its field with a new project for establishment of the “Counter Narcotics Canine Unit in Afghanistan” with the support of another important partner: the Government of Afghanistan. The police dogs (K9) for drug detection are reliable assistants to tackle the smuggling and illicit trafficking of drugs, and they are recruited in police agencies and customs authorities in all over the world including Japan. The introduction of counter narcotics K9 is the first attempt in Afghanistan. UNODC will address this mission step by step, utilizing know-how of Russia in the field of education of K9 and handlers as well as the financial and technical assistance of Japan. First step was already made: in October 2018, one-month training course for managers, chief handlers and administrative officers in future K9 Unit was conducted in Rostov-on-Don, the Russian Federation.

In November 2018, the representatives of UNODC, Afghanistan, Japan and Russia met in Vienna and signed a declaration to show their mutual commitment for further cooperation, highlighting the past achievements as well as the new development for introduction of counter-narcotics K9. It is expected that the four partners will continue their cooperation under the trilateral cooperation format, making use of the advantage of each country.

  • * The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

(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 “Free, 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, stability and prosperity. To ensure these maritime rights and interests in the long-term and in a stable manner, it is indispensable to maintain and strengthen a maritime order and ensure safe maritime transport.

Furthermore, “Free, 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 “Free, Open and Stable Seas,” Japan contributes actively to maintaining and strengthening maritime order and ensuring safe maritime transport toward achieving a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.”

However, in recent years, there has been an increasing number of cases where the interests of countries clash with each other from the perspective of securing resources and national security. In particular, in the seas of Asia, there has been an increasing number of cases of tension arising from friction between countries, and the international community is closely monitoring these cases with much interest. Against this background, at the 13th Asia Security Summit (Shangri-La Dialogue) held in Singapore in May 2014, Prime Minister Abe stated that it is necessary to fully uphold the “Three Principles of the Rule of Law at Sea” (See 6(2)). At the G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting held in Toronto in April 2018, the ministers stressed the importance of a free and open maritime order based on the rule of law, expressed concerns over the situation in the East and South China Seas, and expressed their commitment to addressing issues such as combating illegal activities at sea, including acts of piracy, and capacity building assistance, including maritime domain awareness (MDA), and promoting cooperation. Furthermore, outside the framework of the G7, Japan has also utilized fora 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 “Free, Open and Stable Seas” and disseminate Japan's stance and initiatives in the area of maritime security.

Combining various assistances by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, Self-Defense Forces and the Japan Coast Guard, including capacity building assistance, defense equipment and technology cooperation, and MDA, 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 the rule of law. Japan regards a maritime order, with the Convention at the core, as the cornerstone to ensure Japan's maritime rights and interests and to 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 relevant international organizations in order to ensure that the Convention will be even more widely applied and implemented appropriately (see 6(2)).

(B) A Challenge to the Maritime Order and Response by Japan and International Community (see Chapter 1, 1(2), Chapter 2, Section 1, 3(1) and Chapter 2, Section 1, 7(2))
a Situation surrounding the East China Sea

In the East China Sea, Chinese Government vessels have continued to intrude into Japan's territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in 2018, and active operations by Chinese military vessels and aircraft have been observed. In addition, China has been continuing unilateral resource development in areas where the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelves are pending delimitation. In recent years, Japan has found the Chinese side conducted a number of research in the waters surrounding Japan such as the East China Sea. Many of the research were conducted without Japan's consent or in a manner which Japan did not consent to. Given China's continued attempts to change the status quo unilaterally in the East China Sea, Japan will carefully monitor the trends and movements around its air and sea spaces, continue to respond in a firm but calm manner while making claims that should be made, and at the same time, promote cooperation with the relevant countries including the U.S. in order to achieve peace and stability in the East China Sea.

Uotsurijima of the Senkaku Isands
b Issues surrounding the South China Sea

In the South China Sea, China has been further conducting unilateral actions to change the status quo that increase tensions such as large-scale and rapid building of outposts as well as their use for military purposes, and attempts to create a fait accompli. The international community including Japan has expressed grave concern over such China's actions. Until now, Japan has consistently supported the full enforcement of the rule of law in the South China Sea, and emphasized the importance for all the concerned parties related to the South China Sea to work toward peaceful settlement of disputes based on international law. With regard to dialogues between China and ASEAN concerning issues surrounding the South China Sea, Japan's stance is that the easing of tensions through such initiatives should lead to demilitarization of the area and to a peaceful and open South China Sea.

Large-scale and rapid development of outposts by China in the South China Sea

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, Japan released a statement by the Foreign Minister. The statement explains 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 that Japan strongly expects that the parties' compliance with this award will eventually lead to the peaceful settlement of disputes in the South China Sea.

The issue with regard to the South China Sea is directly related to the peace and stability of the region and constitutes a legitimate concern of the international community. The issue is also an important matter of concern for Japan, which depends most of its resources and energy on sea transport and places importance on freedom of navigation and overflight, as well as securing safe sea lanes. Cooperation within the international community is of great importance to maintain and develop “Free, Open and Stable Seas.” From this perspective, Japan supports the U.S. Freedom of Navigation Operations.

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 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 and cooperates on piracy cases in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, and other regions, via the Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP-ISC) established in Singapore under the Agreement. Japan supports the activities of ReCAAP-ISC through personnel (dispatching the Executive Director and an Assistant Director) and financial contributions. From May 19 to 25, to further strengthen regional coordination and cooperative relations, Japan, in cooperation with ReCAAP-ISC, organized the “Second Capacity Building Executive Programme on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia” in Tokyo and Kanagawa for participants from all contracting parties. In addition, Japan is implementing capacity building programs for coastal countries in Asia to enhance maritime law enforcement and maritime surveillance, which is highly appraised in the international community.

According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the number of piracy cases in the seas of Southeast Asia was 76 in 2017 and 60 in 2018. In recent years, there have been cases of crew abduction in the Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea in Southeast Asia, posing a threat to vessels navigating in these waters. In view of this situation, Japan announced at the East Asia Summit (EAS) held in November that it would provide steady support of 15 billion Japanese yen over two years toward the realization of “Asia resilient to terrorism,” through comprehensive initiatives for improved safety in the southern part of the Philippines, the Sulu Sea, and the Celebes Sea. Based on these initiatives, Japan will continue to actively support capacity building for maritime safety.

(B) 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 IMB, the number of piracy and armed robbery cases (hereinafter referred to as “piracy cases”) off the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden was 237 at its peak in 2011, but has since been on a decline, dropping to a low level (zero in 2015, two in 2016, nine in 2017 and three in 2018). Despite sustained efforts in maritime law enforcement activities by the navies of countries, self-defense measures by merchant ships, the root causes of piracy off the coast of Somalia remain unresolved. Pirates off the coast of Somalia still have the intention and capability to carry out acts of piracy, which requires a careful watch on the situation.

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

Since 2009, Japan has been conducting anti-piracy operations, without any interruption to the operations, by deploying Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers (with coast guard officers on board) and P-3C maritime patrol aircrafts to the Gulf of Aden. On November 9, 2018, the Government of Japan decided to extend anti-piracy operations based on the Act on Punishment and Countermeasures against Piracy for another year. The deployed destroyers protected 38 merchant ships on 29 escort operations between January and December 2018, while the P-3Cs carried out 237 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 the 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 the Djibouti Regional Training Center (DRTC), through contributing 15.1 million US dollars to a fund established by the IMO. At DRTC, Japan and France co-organized a seminar on maritime security in October 2017. Japan has also supported seminars in DRTC aimed at capacity building for maritime law-enforcement authorities and others. 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, for which JICA provides capacity building support through its technical cooperation. In February 2018, Japan and Djibouti exchanged notes regarding the provision of vessel for maritime surveillance. With a view to promoting stability in Somalia, Japan has provided a total of 468 million US dollars since 2007 aimed at supporting improvement in basic services and public security through support for the police, and revitalization of domestic economy through vocational training and job creation, among other measures.

(5) Cyber

Year by year, as cyberspace is becoming an essential platform for people's socioeconomic activities, the scale and the influence of cyberattacks are expanding. As the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 approaches, cybersecurity is a matter of urgent priority.

Furthermore, cyberattacks are characterized as being highly anonymous, advantageous to the attacker, less affected by geographical constraints and able to cross national borders easily. For these reasons, 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.

Against this backdrop, in light of the “Cybersecurity Strategy” that was revised in July 2018, Japan has conducted cyber diplomacy based on three pillars: “promotion of the rule of law in cyberspace”; “development of confidence-building measures”; and “cooperation on capacity building.”

In respect of “promotion of the rule of law in cyberspace,” 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 (GGE) and other fora. At the UN General Assembly in December, a resolution submitted by the U.S. and co-sponsored by Japan on the establishment of a sixth GGE was adopted by a majority vote (138 votes in favor and12 against with 16 abstentions).

In addition, Japan collaborates with other like-minded countries in taking initiatives to deter malicious cyber activities. In December, Japan issued a statement expressing resolute condemnation of a group conducting cyberattacks based in China known as APT10, and urged all the G20 members including China to take responsible actions as a member of the international community.

As regards countermeasures against cybercrime, Japan, as the first country from Asia to become a party to the Convention on Cybercrime (Budapest Convention), which is the only multilateral treaty on the use of cyberspace, has actively participated in meetings related to the Convention and sought to increase the number of states party, especially in the Asian region.

Regarding the “development of confidence-building measures,” to prevent unforeseen situations stemming from cyber activities, it is necessary to deepen understanding of each other's views and heighten confidence in each other. Japan has held consultations and dialogues with 14 countries and regions such as the U.S., the UK, France and Australia. In addition, within the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) framework, Japan, together with Malaysia and Singapore, co-chaired the first ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Security of and in the Use of Information and Communication Technologies (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) in April. Through these consultations, Japan strives to exchange information about cyber-related policies and initiatives, deepen mutual understanding and foster confidence-building measures with other countries.

Regarding “cooperation on capacity building,” due to the nature of cyberspace, the lack of incident handling capacity of some countries and regions may pose a risk to the entire world. Therefore, capacity building 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)2 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 2016, Japan will continue to provide strategic and efficient assistance on an All-Japan basis.

  • 2 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 engaged in mission assurance for space systems, and is implementing measures to ensure the stable use of outer space, including efforts in cooperation with other countries, notably, Japan's ally the U.S.

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 has also been actively involved in these discussions with the aim of establishing the rule of law in outer space. For example, Japan has actively participated and contributed to discussions at international meetings and other fora, such as the development of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) Guidelines for the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities, and has played a major role in international rule-making. Prof. Setsuko Aoki of Keio University Law School will serve as the Chair of the COPUOS Legal Subcommittee in 2020 and 2021. At the COPUOS session in June 2018, a symposium and high-level segment (meeting among key representatives of member states) of a meeting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first UN Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE+50) were held, as an opportunity to consider the future course of international cooperation for the peaceful uses of outer space. At the events, participants confirmed the future course of international cooperation for the peaceful uses of outer space and the role of outer space as a driving force for sustainable development. A resolution concerning UNISPACE+50 was adopted at the UN General Assembly in October. With regard to the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS), a Group of Governmental Experts was established by the resolution submitted to the UN General Assembly in 2017 and its first meeting was held in January 2018 (attended by experts from 25 countries including Japan).

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.

The Fifth Meeting of the Japan-U.S. Comprehensive Dialogue on Space was held in Tokyo in July. The two sides exchanged comprehensive views on space cooperation from a broad perspective on civil and security topics, and issued a joint statement as an outcome document. In November, Prime Minister Abe and Vice President Pence of the U.S. confirmed that the two countries would strengthen space cooperation in the areas of security, exploration and industry, including considering in a concrete manner cooperation of Hosted Payloads (offering the excess capacity on a satellites to accommodate additional payloads owned and operated by the third party) and the lunar orbital platform,the Gateway. In October, Prime Minister Abe and Prime Minister Modi of India reiterated their commitment to promoting the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, and decided to start an annual space dialogue for enhancing bilateral cooperation on outer space. With respect to multilateral meetings, the 25th Session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-25) was co-organized by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Singapore Space and Technology Association (SSTA) in November in Singapore, to enhance the framework on space cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

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 International Space Station (ISS) is an epic project in which 15 countries participate, and has become a symbol of international cooperation in the field of outer space. The Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” is capable of releasing nanosatellites, and is also used to release satellites on behalf of many emerging and developing countries with the aim of providing support for capacity building in the space field. For example, through a JAXA-UN collaboration program (KiboCUBE) that provides opportunities to deploy nanosatellites from Kibo, Kenya's first nanosatellite was deployed in May. In March, Japan also hosted the Second International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF2). The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Hayashi served as the Chair of ISEF2, which was attended by ministers and heads of space agencies from 45 countries and international organizations. Topics, on the significance of space exploration, significance of international cooperation, and future forms of cooperation were discussed. Outcome documents were issued, including the “Tokyo Principles for International Space Exploration,” which will serve as a foundation to advance implementation of international space exploration.

It is an important challenge for Japanese space industries to tap into the growth of the expanding market of space development and applications, primarily in emerging countries. Both the public and private sectors are working together to promote entry into the foreign market of the Japanese commercial of space, especially in the Asia Pacific region by utilizing top-level-sales (heads of governments and companies carry out sales activities themselves), diplomatic missions, and utilization of the Japanese Quasi-Zenith Satellite System “Michibiki” which commenced operations in November, such as supporting oversea demonstrations of automated driving agricultural machinery, etc. Furthermore, Japan has been contributing to addressing global issues such as climate change, disaster management, forest conservation, marine fisheries resource management, energy resource issues, and supporting capacity building in the field of space in emerging countries through international cooperation by space technology utilization. For example, Japan and Indonesia have commenced a joint development of a high precision fisheries resource management system in Indonesia using a Japanese Earth observation satellite. In addition, Japan has started pilot programs related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.