Diplomatic Bluebook 2022
Japan Strengthening Its Presence in the International Community
Section 1 Efforts for Peace and Stability of Japan and the International Community
1 National Security Initiatives
(1) Security Environment Surrounding Japan
The security environment surrounding Japan is becoming increasingly severe at a more rapid pace than ever before. Changes in the balance of power in the international arena are accelerating and becoming more complex, and uncertainty over the existing order is increasing. Against such a backdrop, competitions among states are prominently emerging, in which states seek to shape global and regional order to their advantage as well as increase their influence. What is more, in the international community, there is a broadening and diversifying array of security challenges that cannot be dealt with by a single country alone. With respect to space and cyber domains, establishing international rules and norms has also been a security agenda. In the maritime domain, there have been cases where a country unilaterally claims its entitlements or takes actions based on assertions that are incompatible with existing international order. These have generated undue infringement to rights accorded under international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Given that national security has been expanding its scope to economic and technological fields in recent years, the enhancement of efforts regarding the security policy in these fields is necessary. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, as well as increasingly complex international terrorism, remain a grave challenge for the international community. Against such a background, strong military powers are concentrating in the areas surrounding Japan, where clear trends are observed in further military buildup and an increase in military activities.
Facing such a security environment and other factors, it has become indispensable for Japan to make more proactive efforts in line with the principle of international cooperation. Japan cannot secure its own peace and security by itself, and the international community expects Japan to play a more proactive role for peace and stability in the world, in a way commensurate with its national capabilities. Japan will continue to adhere to the course that it has taken to date as a peace-loving nation, and as a major player in world politics and the economy, contribute even more proactively to securing the peace, stability and prosperity of the international community, and achieve its own security as well as peace and stability in the region (for Japan's Legislation for Peace and Security, see the Special Feature on page 183).
(2) Territorial integrity
Maintaining territorial integrity is a fundamental responsibility of the Government. Japan's policy to resolutely protect its land, sea and airspace remains unchanged. Japan will continue to maintain its stance of responding firmly but in a calm manner. Based on this, the relevant government agencies are working in close cooperation to advance measures to ensure a seamless and adequate response to any form of unlawful acts. At the same time, the Government of Japan engages in proactive efforts to promote awareness of Japan's position on territorial integrity among the international community, making use of the contacts and knowledge of our diplomatic missions overseas.
One of the most important responsibilities of a government is to secure the lives and peaceful livelihood of its people under any circumstances. March 2021 marks the fifth anniversary since the enforcement of Japan's Legislation for Peace and Security in March 2016. After the enforcement of the legislation, Japan has been engaged in various forms of cooperation with the U.S. and other relevant countries. The Japan-U.S. Alliance is stronger than it has ever been, and Japan is contributing further to peace and stability in the region and the international community.
For example, according to Paragraph 2 of Article 95 of the Self-Defense Forces Law newly established in the Legislation for Peace and Security, it has become possible for the Self-Defense Forces to protect the weapons, etc., of U.S. Forces and other troops currently engaged in activities in cooperation with the Self-Defense Forces to contribute to Japan's defense, from invasions that do not reach the level of an armed attack. From 2017 till the end of 2020, Japan escorted the U.S. Forces a total of 57 times on occasions such as joint exercises, information gathering, and warning and surveillance activities, including ballistic missile warnings. In November 2021, Japan also escorted the Australian Forces for the first time during a joint exercise.
In view of the enforcement of the Legislation for Peace and Security, a new Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) between Japan and the U.S. entered into force in 2017 to facilitate more extensive and smooth security cooperation between the two countries. With the entering into force of the new Japan-U.S. ACSA, it became possible to also apply the same framework, as for the settlement procedures in the previous Japan-U.S. ACSA (entered into force in 1996, second amendment entered into force in 2004), to the provision of goods and services that the Self-Defense Forces could provide additionally to the U.S. Forces under the Legislation for Peace and Security (for example, goods and services for multilateral exercises that both the Self-Defense Forces and U.S. Forces participate in). This further enhanced the effectiveness of Japan-U.S. cooperation.
In addition, Japan has also expanded and enhanced activities relating to cooperation on international peace and cooperation, such as UN Peacekeeping operations (PKO). In November 2016, new missions were assigned to the Japan engineering units deployed to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) from January 2012 to May 2017. The new missions included the so-called “kaketsuke-keigo” (coming to the aid of geographically distant units or personnel under attack) by the Self-Defense Forces and joint defense of encampments with the forces of other countries, in response to emergency requests from NGOs or other parties under attack by rioters or others when they are engaged in activities in the vicinity of Self-Defense Forces working on PKO missions overseas.
The deployment of headquarter personnel to the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) is also an activity that is not coordinated by the United Nations, and which has become possible for Japan to engage in with the enforcement of the Legislation for Peace and Security. MFO is an international organization that has been conducting ceasefire monitoring activities and providing support for dialogues and trust-building between Egypt and Israel on the Sinai Peninsula, since 1982. Japan began deploying international peacekeeping units to the Sinai Peninsula in April 2019, and currently has two headquarter personnel deployed to the organization. The deployment of headquarter personnel to MFO not only contributes to the peace and stability of the Middle East, which constitutes Japan's cornerstone for peace and prosperity, but also leads to the accumulation of useful knowledge for the future promotion of international cooperation on peacekeeping.
Since the enforcement of the Legislation for Peace and Security, Japan has been deepening cooperation not only with the U.S., but also with various other countries. Going forward, MOFA will strive to maintain and develop diplomatic relations that further advance mutual cooperation with other countries, with a view to securing the lives and peaceful livelihood of the people of Japan.