Diplomatic Bluebook 2022
Japan Strengthening Its Presence in the International Community
3 Global Security
(1) Regional Security
The security environment surrounding the Asia-Pacific region is becoming increasingly severe for various reasons such as the shift in the global power balance. It is more important than ever to further strengthen the deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance in the face of the increasingly severe security environment of the region. There is also a need for Japan to fundamentally reinforce its own defense capabilities. At the same time, by actively strengthening bilateral and multilateral security cooperation with each country, Japan has been making efforts to realize a desirable regional security environment for Japan.
ASEAN is located in a geopolitically strategic position and faces Japan's important sea lane. A more stable and prosperous ASEAN region is crucial to the stability and prosperity not only of the East Asia region but also of the international community. From this perspective, Japan has, for example, continued to provide support to enhance maritime safety capabilities in the Philippines, Malaysia, Viet Nam, and Indonesia, through the provision of patrol vessels, among others. In March, Japan and Indonesia held the Second Japan-Indonesia Foreign and Defense Ministerial Meeting (“2+2”), while they signed the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology and concurred on further promoting bilateral security cooperation. Japan and Viet Nam also signed the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology in September, and are accelerating bilateral discussions toward the realization of specific transfer of defense equipment including naval vessels. In November, Japan and the Philippines concurred on considering the launch of the “2+2” meeting.
Japan and India concurred to elevate the “Japan-India Special Strategic and Global Partnership” to greater heights at the Japan-India Summit telephone call held in October, immediately after Prime Minister Kishida assumed office, and the Japan-India Foreign Ministers' telephone call held in November, immediately after Foreign Minister Hayashi assumed office. In addition, they affirmed that they would coordinate to hold the Japan-India Foreign and Defence Ministerial Meeting (“2+2”) at an early date. The Japan-India Consultations on Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Export Control (February), the sixth Japan-India Maritime Affairs Dialogue (September), and the Second Meeting of the Japan-India Space Dialogue (November) were held online, and both sides exchanged views on the situation and potential for cooperation in the respective fields.
In relation to Australia, at the Japan-Australia Leaders Video Teleconference Meeting held in January 2022, the Japan-Australia Reciprocal Access Agreement was signed to facilitate cooperative activities between the JSDF and the Australian Defence Force, such as bilateral/multilateral exercises and disaster relief activities. At the same meeting, the two leaders also concurred on further deepening cooperation between the JSDF and the Australian Defence Force, on expanding the scope for cooperation to economic security and new domains such as space and cyberspace, and furthermore, on elevating the “Special Strategic Partnership” between the two countries to greater heights with a view to realizing a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP).” At this meeting, the two leaders also reaffirmed the importance of promoting not only bilateral cooperation, but also cooperation between Japan, Australia, India and the U.S., as well as between Japan, Australia and the U.S. At the ninth Japan-Australia Foreign and Defence Ministerial Consultations (“2+2”) held in June, the Ministers confirmed the importance of sharing their strategic awareness based on a consideration of regional security challenges, and of elevating security and defence cooperation between Japan and Australia to a new level so as to contribute to the peace, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
In relation to the UK, Japan's “global strategic partner,” at the fourth Japan-UK Foreign and Defence Ministers' Meeting (“2+2”) in February as well as at various leaders' and foreign ministers' meetings (including telephone calls), and in relation to France, Japan's “exceptional partner,” at various meetings (including telephone calls) between the leaders and foreign ministers, Japan and both countries confirmed that they would strengthen their cooporation in areas such as maritime security, toward the realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific. Japan's security and defense cooperation with both the UK and France has advanced significantly in recent years. The UK Carrier Strike Group (CSG21) led by the British aircraft carrier “Queen Elizabeth” called at Japan in September and conducted joint exercises, and the first round of negotiations on the Japan-UK Reciprocal Access Agreement was held in October. The French training fleet “Jeanne d'Arc” visited Japan in May and conducted joint exercises, and the 23rd Japan-France Politico-Military (PM) Dialogue was held in Tokyo in October. In relation to Germany, the first Japan-Germany Foreign and Defense Ministers' Meeting (“2+2”) was held as an online meeting in April, and the Japan-Germany Politico-Military (PM) Dialogue was held in June. At these meetings, Japan and Germany affirmed that they would continue to work closely toward the realization of a FOIP. German Navy frigate “Bayern” also called on Japan in November and conducted a bilateral exercise. During the Japan-Netherlands Foreign Ministers' Meeting in June, Japan and the Netherlands confirmed that they would strengthen cooperation toward the realization of a FOIP. In September, a Royal Netherlands Navy Frigate joined with CSG21 to visit Japan. Japan has also concurred with Italy (Japan-Italy Summit telephone call in March, and Japan-Italy Foreign Ministers' Meeting in June) on working closely toward the realization of a FOIP. In relation to the EU, the two sides concurred on strengthening Japan-EU cooperation in the Indo-Pacific at the Japan-EU Summit held in May, and the JSDF also engaged in joint exercises with the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) on several occasions. The EU also announced its Indo-Pacific Strategy in April and September. The September document clearly sets out “security and defense” as one of seven priority areas and touches on cooperation with Japan as one of its like-minded partners.
In relation to Canada, at the Japan-Canada Foreign Ministers' Meeting held in May, the Ministers announced the “Shared Japan-Canada Priorities Contributing to a Free and Open Indo-Pacific” (hereafter reffered to as “the six priority areas”) established with a view to the realization of a FOIP. At the Japan-Canada Summit Meeting in June, the two leaders agreed to further promote cooperation and coordination, in a concrete and robust manner, on these six priority areas. The six priority areas cover cooperation to address activities in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea, such as ship-to-ship transfers, and to make the most of the Japan-Canada Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), as well as cooperation on energy security, inter alia. The Japan-Canada Foreign and Defense Vice Ministerial Meeting (“2+2”) has been convened four times to date. With regard to bilateral exercises with the Canadian Armed Forces, the bilateral training “KAEDEX,” which has been held every year since 2017, was conducted in November. Several multilateral joint military exercises were also conducted. With regard to ship-to-ship transfers, naval vessels and aircraft from the Canadian Armed Forces conducted surveillance activities from the middle of September and the middle of October respectively.
There are various issues of concern in relation with China, such as the rapid strengthening of its military with lack of transparency, increasing activities by its military in the waters and air spaces surrounding Japan, and its intrusion into Japan's territorial waters, based on its own assertions in the areas around the Senkaku Islands, an inherent territory of Japan. Japan will continue to make use of opportunities at high-level dialogues, including summit meetings and foreign ministers' meetings, to firmly assert its position and resolve the issues of concern one by one, as well as to take a calm and resolute approach while strongly requesting for China's concrete action. As China's military trends are matters of grave interest to Japan, Japan is working on communicating its policies through security dialogues such as the Japan-China Security Dialogue, as well as efforts to build multilayered channels for exchanges. At the same time, Japan is communicating its concerns and urging China to improve transparency in relation to its defense policies and military power, as well as to take more concrete actions to contribute to the security environment and to the region, including Japan. The Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism between the defense authorities of Japan and China that commenced operation in June 2018 has great significance in the sense of promoting mutual understanding and confidence and avoiding unexpected collision.
In relation to the Republic of Korea, based on the recognition of the importance of Japan- ROK as well as Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation toward the denuclearization of North Korea, the two countries held Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers' Meetings (January (telephone call), May, September), Japan-U.S.-ROK Foreign Ministers' Meetings (May, September), and a Japan-ROK Summit telephone call (October). The two sides confirmed that Japan and the ROK, as well as Japan, the U.S. and the ROK, would work closely together.
Peace and stability in the Middle East region is vital to the peace and prosperity of the international community including Japan. The Middle East is one of the world's key energy suppliers and approximately 90% of Japan's crude oil imports rely on the region. It is, therefore, extremely important to ensure the safety of navigation of Japan-related vessels in this region. As Japan's independent efforts toward ensuring peace and stability in the Middle East region and the safety of Japan-related vessels, the Government of Japan has made a Cabinet decision in December 2019 on (1) making further diplomatic efforts toward easing tensions and stabilizing the situation in the Middle East, (2) taking thorough measures for ensuring safety of navigation including robust information sharing with relevant stakeholders, and (3) utilizing vessels and aircraft of the SDF for strengthening its information gathering posture. Japan has continued to conduct information gathering activities using SDF vessels and aircraft in the waters of the Middle East since January 2020.
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. The ARF is an important security dialogue framework in which various entities participate including North Korea and the EU, and it aims to improve the security environment of the Indo-Pacific region through dialogues and cooperation on political and security issues. It is also an important forum that focuses on confidence-building through various initiatives. At the 28th ARF Ministerial Meeting held in August, participating ministers candidly exchanged views mainly on regional and international affairs, including issues concerning North Korea and the East and South China Seas, as well as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Japan is also making a proactive contribution through, for example, serving as a co-chair of all the Inter-Sessional Meetings (ISM) on Maritime Security, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime, Disaster Relief, and ICTs Security.
Furthermore, in addition to government-to-government dialogues (track 1), Japan actively utilizes frameworks where participants from both public and private sectors exchange opinions and explain their security policies (track 1.5), as well as other means, as part of its efforts to promote other countries' understanding of Japan's security policies, and to facilitate cooperation and confidence-building in the region.
Since 2020, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), has conducted exchange programs for the children of U.S. Forces personnel and local junior and high school students in communities that host U.S. Forces Japan. This program aims to nurture human resources who will take an active role in the international society as well as to increase mutual understanding between Japanese and American junior and senior high school students through cultural and educational exchanges.
In 2020, the program was held in Misawa City, Aomori Prefecture, followed by those in Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture (twice), in Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture and in Misawa City, Aomori Prefecture in 2021. This column introduces the voices of Japanese students who participated in the programs in Iwakuni City and Sasebo City.
■Horikawa Maria, Yamaguchi Prefectural Iwakuni High School
My future dream is to become a nurse, bilingual in English and Japanese, so I was really looking forward to participating in this program. Once the program started, however, I really struggled to convey what I was thinking due to my poor English, but the high school students on the American base were friendly and polite to me. Communicating actively in the group work projects of making flags and mascot characters was very worthwhile, as it helped us understand each country's culture more deeply. Attending this program motivated me to keep interacting more with people from overseas. To do so, I will devote myself even more to learning English, conveying my thoughts and opinions while being considerate of others. I would like to participate again if a similar program is available.
■Urago Saki, Nagasaki Prefectural Sasebo Nishi High School
At first, I believed that I would have enjoyable conversations with ALTs(Note) and a good time with kids of the same age. However, when we tried to communicate, we couldn't understand each other, and my initial confidence had almost disappeared by the time we had gotten half-way through the first day. Even still, American high school students talked to me in a very friendly way, and we managed to get the conversations going despite my poor English. I was really happy when we finally shared a laugh together. In the session where we created mascot characters symbolizing Japan-U.S. exchanges, sharing opinions about each other's culture sparked my curiosity about the differences I wasn't normally aware of. This program helped me widen my perspectives and area of interests, making it a very valuable experience for me.
- Note: ALT stands for Assistant Language Teacher, a teacher from overseas whose native language is English.
(2) Economic Security
A Trends Surrounding Economic Security
In recent years, various challenges have been surfacing in fields that cut across national security and the economy. The scope of the national security domain is expanding rapidly. For example, emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), which bring greater convenience to people's lives, could be diverted to military uses and pose risks to national security. There are also growing moves by some countries to leverage economic dependency to coerce other countries or regions in order to achieve their own strategic interests. To address such security risks that are associated with economic activities, it is important to put in place comprehensive and effective economic measures that serve to ensure Japan's self-determination of its economic structure, as well as ensure its technological advantage and make itself even more indispensable for the international community. Efforts to strengthen economic security, centered on this approach, are becoming increasingly important.
In light of this situation, MOFA is actively engaged in efforts to strengthen cooperation with ally and like-minded countries as well as to establish norms to address new issues, as the ministry responsible for promoting diplomatic policies related to national security and external economic relations and for concluding, interpreting and implementing treaties and other international agreements.
B Recent Initiatives by Other Countries
Other major countries have also been rapidly advancing initiatives to promote economic security in recent years.
In June, the U.S. published a report based on the reviews directed under Executive Order 14017 “America's Supply Chains,” in which it set out the policy for the immediate implementation of initiatives including support for the domestic production of important pharmaceuticals, ensuring domestic supply chains for advanced storage batteries, investing in sustainable production and processing of critical minerals in the U.S. and abroad, and addressing the semiconductor shortage in cooperation with industries, allies and like-minded countries.
In May, the EU set out in its new industrial strategy the policy of reducing its dependency on specific regions for raw materials and technologies in strategic industries.
Australia formulated its International Cyber and Critical Tech Engagement Strategy in April. In this Strategy, it presented a policy of promoting initiatives such as identifying technologies that should be protected by Australia, while taking into consideration the geopolitical implications brought about by the development of critical technologies.
China is also rapidly promoting national strategies on economic security, including “Made in China 2025” and the new economic development model “dual circulation.” Efforts to develop the relevant domestic legislation are also advancing steadily. For example, the Data Security Law was enforced in September. This law, which pertains to data processing activities in and outside China, includes provisions that make it possible to pursue liability in cases where China's safety, public interests, or the legitimate interests of its citizens or organizations have been damaged.
C Japan's Direction Toward the Promotion of Economic Security
Discussions are also accelerating within Japan. The “Basic Policy on Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform 2021” (Cabinet Decision in June 2021) sets out the strategic direction on economic security. For example, the Government decided to work on realizing and implementing measures to expand and deepen cooperation with like-minded countries under the international order based on fundamental values and rules; ensure Japan's self-determination and acquire its advantage; from this perspective, strengthen its efforts to identify, protect, and develop critical technologies; and, enhance the resilience of essential industries.
The Kishida Cabinet, inaugurated in October, has positioned economic security as one of its priority issues and announced the formulation of a bill to promote Japan's economic security in the policy speech. At the first meeting of the Council for the Promotion of Economic Security, convened in November, the following were identified as areas where legislative measures should be required: (1) Enhancing the resilience of supply chains; (2) Ensuring security and reliability of essential infrastructure; (3) Public-private cooperation regarding advanced critical technologies; and, (4) Non-publication of certain patent applications. In addition, the following three points were set out as the broad direction toward the promotion of economic security: enhancement of self-determination, acquisition of advantage and indispensability, and maintenance and strengthening of international order based on fundamental values and rules.
D Economic Security Cooperation Between Japan and Other Countries
MOFA is playing an active role in efforts to strengthen cooperation with its ally and like-minded countries toward the maintenance and strengthening of an international order based on fundamental values and rules, and efforts toward the establishment of new norms.
For example, in the U.S.-Japan Joint Leaders' Statement issued in April, the two leaders affirmed their commitment to the security and openness of 5th generation (5G) wireless networks, and concurred that it is important to rely on trustworthy vendors. They also confirmed that they will promote and protect the critical technologies that are essential to the security and prosperity of both countries, and partner on sensitive supply chains, including on semiconductors. Furthermore, they affirmed that they will continue to work together, utilizing the G7 and WTO frameworks, to address the use of non-market and other unfair trade practices, including violations of intellectual property rights, forced technology transfer, excess capacity issues, and the use of trade distorting industrial subsidies. In the U.S.-Japan Competitiveness and Resilience (CoRe) Partnership, Japan and the U.S. also affirmed their commitment to promote Open Radio Access Networks (“Open-RAN”) through trusted suppliers and diversification of markets, and to strengthen competitiveness in the digital field by investing in secure networks, etc., such as 5G and next-generation mobile networks. The two countries also confirmed that they will cooperate on sensitive supply chains, including semiconductors, and on the promotion and protection of critical technologies, advance biotechnology including genome sequencing, and reinforce collaboration and partnerships between research institutions in the field of quantum science and technology. Furthermore, at the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (“2+2”) held in January 2022, Japan and the U.S. affirmed that they will advance and accelerate collaboration on emerging technologies, including accelerating innovation in critical emerging fields such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing, and pursuing joint investments to secure the technological superiority of the Japan-U.S. Alliance.
At the Japan-Australia Foreign and Defence Ministerial Consultations held in June, the Ministers committed to further strengthening cooperation in the area of economic security. For example, they concurred on further deepening cooperation in areas such as addressing illicit technology transfer and building the resilience of supply chains. They also affirmed that, by deepening cooperation on cyber and critical technology, the two countries will promote regional capacity building and strengthen the industry resiliences. At the Japan-Australia Leaders Video Teleconference Meeting held in January 2022, the leaders also pledged to strengthen bilateral cooperation on economic security, including addressing illicit technology transfer, building resilient supply chains, and strengthening the protection of critical infrastructures.
In addition to strengthening bilateral cooperation in these ways, Japan is also strengthening its cooperation with its ally and like-minded countries by utilizing initiatives such as the Japan-Australia-India-U.S. dialogue and G7.
At the G7 Foreign and Development Ministers' Meeting held in May, the Ministers affirmed that the G7 members will work jointly to address arbitrary and coercive economic policies and practices, so as to foster global economic resilience. In relation to China, they also affirmed they will urge China to assume and fulfill its obligations and responsibilities commensurate with its global economic role.
At the G7 Summit held in June, the leaders affirmed that they would consider mechanisms and share best practices among members in order to address vulnerability risks in supply chains for critical minerals and semiconductors. They also concurred on cooperating in the modernization of global trade rules to protect against unfair practices such as forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, market-distorting actions of state owned enterprises, and harmful industrial subsidies. At the ministerial level, at the G7 Trade Ministers' Meetings held in March, May and October, the Ministers concurred to work cohesively to correct unfair trade policies and practices.
At the Japan-Australia-India-U.S. Leaders' Video Conference held for the first time in March, the leaders put forward “The Spirit of the Quad” in relation to the need to govern and operate critical and emerging technologies based on shared interests and values, in order to establish a free, open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific. Under this spirit, they concurred on the following actions: launch a critical and emerging technology working group; develop a statement of principles on technology design, development, and use; facilitate coordination on technology standards development; facilitate cooperation to monitor trends and opportunities in biotechnology, and; convene dialogues on critical technology supply chains.
At the Quad Leaders' Summit held in September, the leaders affirmed that Japan, Australia India and the U.S. will cooperate on the following areas to guide toward responsible, open, high-standards innovation: development of technical standards on advanced communications and artificial intelligence; strengthening the resilience of supply chains of critical technologies and materials, including semiconductors; diversification of vendors for 5G networks including Open-RAN, and; monitoring of trends in the development of technologies including biotechnology. The “Quad Principles on Technology Design, Development, Governance, and Use” was also launched at the summit. The leaders affirmed the following points: the importance of universal values including freedom of expression and privacy; that technology should not be used for authoritarian surveillance and oppression; that they will advance cooperation with like-minded countries, etc., toward the development of resilient, diverse, and secure supply chains, and; that it is important to have a fair and open marketplace in order to bring about technological innovation and inclusive prosperity.
As for initiatives toward the establishment of new norms, in addition to issuing policy documents such as the aforementioned, various countries are also putting effort into diplomacy with a view to reflecting these norms in their domestic regulations and policies. For example, dozens of countries, including Japan, participated in the Prague 5G Security Conference convened in November and engaged in discussions on important principles relating to emerging technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, and quantum communications. These discussions covered points such as mitigating risks arising from unlawful foreign influence through subsidies and legal systems, and building trustworthy supply chains, as well as the diversification of suppliers and promoting competitiveness. As an outcome of the conference, Chairman's statements were issued on the principles of the development and use of emerging technologies, and on the principles for promoting the diversification of telecommunications suppliers, such as suppliers of 5G equipment.
E Economic Security Initiatives by MOFA
MOFA will continue to expand and deepen cooperation with like-minded countries under international order based on fundamental values and rules, while positioning the Japan-U.S. alliance as the cornerstone of diplomacy and security. It will also play an active role in government-wide efforts including the enactment of necessary legislation to ensure economic security.
The advanced use of cyberspace has brought greater convenience to the lives of people, but cyberattacks have also increased the potential security risks to Japan's economy and society as a whole. For example, the cyberattack on oil pipeline businesses that occurred in the U.S. in May had a major impact on socio-economic activities. Cyberspace has become a realm where countries compete with one another including during peacetime, in a way that reflects geopolitical tensions. With the growing threat of sophisticated cyberattacks that are prepared carefully and systematically, including attacks that states are suspected to be involved in, cyberspace is presenting an aspect that can no longer be described as a “peacetime situation.”
In light of this situation, Japan is cooperating with various relevant countries and putting in place initiatives to address and deter malicious cyber activities. One of these efforts is known as “public attribution,” which is to deter attackers by identifying them and condemning them publicly. Japan has publicly condemned North Korea's involvement behind the scenes of the WannaCry2 incident in 2017, as well as the long-running cyberattacks perpetrated by the China-based group APT10 in 2018. In July 2021, the Press Secretary of MOFA issued a statement on cyberattacks, assessing that a group known as APT40, which the Chinese government is behind, as well as a group known as Tick, which Unit 61419 of the Chinese People's Liberation Army is behind, were highly likely to have been involved in these cyberattacks, and firmly condemned these activities in coordination with Japan's ally and like-minded countries.
From the perspective of deterring cyberattacks, it is also important to formulate and promote rules that contribute to the peace and stability of the international community as well as to the security of Japan, through means such as discussions in the international fora. From the viewpoint that existing international law is also applicable to activities involving the use of cyberspace, Japan participates actively in the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) and the UN Open-ended Working Group (OEWG), and contributes to discussions on how international law should be applied and the norms that countries should comply with. The Sixth GGE adoapted a report that covered the application of existing international law to cyberspace and reaffirmed 11 norms that complement existing international law. At the OEWG, serious concerns were raised against cyberattacks on medical services and facilities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and Japan, as one of six countries including the U.S. and Australia, jointly recommended that medical services and facilities should be protected as a critical infrastructure in the same way as electric and water utilities. A report that incorporated these contents was adopted unanimously in March. After the agreement on this report, the new OEWG for the session spanning 2021 to 2025 was established with effect from June. Japan will continue to contribute to discussions toward ensuring a free, open and secure cyberspace.
In addition to deterrence efforts, gaining a better understanding of one another's views and enhancing mutual confidence are critical to prevent unforeseen situations stemming from cyber activities. With this in mind, Japan served as the co-chair alongside Singapore and Malaysia at the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on ICTs Security held in April. During the meeting, opinions were exchanged on viewpoints about the regional and international cybersecurity environment as well as initiatives by various countries and regions. Japan also took the lead in discussions on confidence-building measures that should be taken in the future based on the outcome of efforts by the international community, including the United Nations.
In view of the borderless nature of cyberspace, it is important to enhance the capacity of other countries and regions in order to stabilize cyberspace and the security environment for Japan and the world as a whole. From this perspective, Japan has continued to provide capacity building support mainly to ASEAN countries. For example, since 2017, Japan has established the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre (AJCCBC) and conducted cybersecurity exercises through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), among other initiatives. At the 14th ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Policy Meeting held in October, Japan and ASEAN member states confirmed the progress of various collaborative activities. Japan also contributes to the World Bank's Cybersecurity Multi-Donor Trust Fund, which is dedicated to capacity building support in the field of cybersecurity in developing countries. Japan will continue to promote human resource development and other relevant efforts. Furthermore, the Basic Policy on Cybersecurity Capacity Building Support for Developing Countries was revised in December, and MOFA will actively promote cooperation with relevant ministries and agencies to support capacity building in developing countries.
Through these initiatives, Japan will continue to contribute to the realization of a free, fair and secure cyberspace.
- 2 A malicious program that North Korea is believed to have been involved in. In May 2017, more than 300,000 computers in more than 150 countries were infected and ransom was demanded.
(4) The Oceans and Seas
Japan is surrounded by the sea on all sides, and is blessed with a vast exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and long coastlines. It 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.” “Free, Open and Stable Seas,” which are upheld by maritime order based on the rule of law including freedom of navigation and overflight, rather than force, are essential for the 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 promotes initiatives to ensure safe maritime transport and cooperate on maritime security. Such initiatives are also important toward securing Japan's maritime interests, which form the basis for Japan's economic survival.
Japan is advancing efforts toward the realization of a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP)” that aims to bring stability and prosperity to the Indo-Pacific region, in particular, by strengthening maritime order in the region where important sea lanes are located.
A Order at Sea
(A) Basic Stance
There is an increasing number of cases where the interests of countries clash with each other from the perspective of securing maritime interests 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. At the 13th Asia Security Summit (Shangri-La Dialogue) held in Singapore in 2014, Prime Minister Abe shared the view that it was necessary to fully uphold the “Three Principles of the Rule of Law at Sea” (see 6(2) on page 240).
Japan also utilizes frameworks such as the G7 and ASEAN-related meetings including the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)3 to actively send a message regarding the importance of “Free, Open and Stable Seas” based on the rule of law, and Japan's stance on maritime security as well as the importance of international cooperation in this area. At the EAS in October 2021, Prime Minister Kishida stated that Japan highly valued the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), which upholds values such as openness, transparency, inclusiveness and the rule of law. He reiterated full support for the AOIP, which shares the fundamental principles with the FOIP, and called on each country for their support. In addition, at the ASEAN-Japan Summit Meeting in the same month, Prime Minister Kishida spoke about the steady progress of concrete cooperation in the four priority areas of AOIP,4 including maritime cooperation, that contributes to the fundamental principles of AOIP, based on the Joint Statement of the 23rd ASEAN-Japan Summit on Cooperation on ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific adopted by Japan and ASEAN in 2020.
Among the frameworks related to ASEAN, the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF) and the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Maritime Security are frameworks that are focused on the maritime sector. At the 9th EAMF hosted by Brunei in November, Japan spoke about the importance of maritime order based on the rule of law, and Japan's initiatives toward a sustainable ocean economy. An expert from Japan also made a presentation about international trends of and Japan's contributions toward the issue of marine plastic litter, which is also a pressing regional issue.
Japan is also promoting bilateral coordination and dialogues in the maritime sector. The 6th Japan-India Maritime Affairs Dialogue was convened in September, and the 4th Meeting of the Japan-Philippines Maritime Dialogue was held in October. During these meetings, the participants affirmed the importance of free and open maritime order based on the rule of law, and concurred on strengthening maritime cooperation in the future. In addition, at the Japan-Turkey Foreign Ministers' Meeting held in August, the Ministers agreed to establish a dialogue on maritime issues between Japan and Turkey with a view to deepening discussions on various maritime issues, including maritime order based on the rule of law.
- 3 Regional cooperative frameworks with the participation of the 10 ASEAN countries as well as various countries, regions and organizations. In addition to the East Asia Summit (EAS) and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), other examples include the ASEAN+3 (Japan, China, ROK) and Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
- 4 The four areas of maritime cooperation, connectivity, SDGs and economy.
(B) United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
Also known as the “Constitution for the Oceans,” UNCLOS is the very basis of maritime order governed by the rule of law. Japan regards maritime order with the Convention at the core as the cornerstone that safeguards Japan's maritime rights and interests while facilitating its maritime activities across the international community. As such, Japan actively contributes to discussions among concerned international organizations at conferences that include the Meetings of States Parties to the Convention, as well as to the sharing of ideas for achieving stability in the maritime legal order, in order to ensure that the convention will be even more widely applied and implemented appropriately (see 6(2) on page 240).
(C) Challenge to Japan's Maritime Sovereignty (Situation Surrounding the East China Sea) (see Chapter 2, Section 2, 2(1) B(D) on page 45)
In the East China Sea, China Coast Guard vessels have continued to intrude into Japan's territorial sea around the Senkaku Islands in 2021. Incidents of China Coast Guard vessels approaching Japanese fishing vessels were repeated, and in some cases intrusions into the territorial sea took place for prolonged periods. The number of days of navigation in the contiguous zone by China Coast Guard vessels also reached a record high. Chinese military vessels and aircraft are also becoming increasingly active and expanding their operations. Furthermore, China has been continuing with unilateral resource development in areas where the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the continental shelf are pending delimitation. Additionally, in recent years, Japan has found numerous research projects being conducted by China in the waters surrounding Japan, such as the East China Sea, without Japan's consent.
Given China's continued unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea, Japan will carefully monitor the trends and movements around its air and sea spaces, and continue to respond in a firm but calm manner while making claims that should be made. At the same time, it will promote cooperation with the relevant countries including the U.S. in order to achieve peace and stability in the East China Sea.
(D) Challenge to the Maritime Order (Problems Surrounding the South China Sea) (see Chapter 2, Section 2, 7 (2) on page 88)
In the South China Sea, China has been conducting unilateral attempts to change the status quo and that run counter to the rule of law and openness, as well as attempting to create a fait accompli. These include the further militarization of disputed features. China has also continued or enhanced actions that escalate tensions in the region. The international community, including Japan, has expressed serious concerns over these actions. Japan strongly opposes unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion, and has consistently supported the full enforcement of the rule of law in the South China Sea, while focusing on ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight and ensuring the safety of sea lanes. Japan has also emphasized the importance of all parties involved with the South China Sea to work toward the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law, in particular the UNCLOS.
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 on marine transport for much of its resources and energy and which is a stakeholder that utilizes the South China Sea. Cooperation within the international community is of great importance in maintaining and developing “Free, Open and Stable Seas” based on the rule of law. For this reason, Japan supports the U.S. Freedom of Navigation Operations.5
- 5 The U.S. Government explains its “freedom of navigation” operations as efforts to challenge excessive claims that can infringe freedom of navigation and overflight, and the right of lawful uses of the sea. One example of this is the navigation of the U.S. Navy's USS Benfold guided-missile destroyer through the waters around the Spratly Islands on September 8, 2021.
B Ensuring Safe Maritime Transport
Japan actively contributes to ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight and safe maritime transport through counter-piracy measures in Asia and Africa as well as close partnership and cooperation with other countries.
(A) Counter-piracy Measures in Asia
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 62 in 2020 and 56 in 2021.
To encourage regional cooperation in coping with incidents such as acts of piracy in Asia, Japan took the initiative in formulating 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 incidents such as acts of piracy in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore and other regions, via the Information Sharing Centre (ReCAAP-ISC) established in Singapore. Japan has been supportting the activities of ReCAAP-ISC by dispatching the Executive Directors and Assistant Directors and making financial contributions. Moreover, Japan is carrying out programs to support for enhancing maritime law enforcement and surveillance capabilities of coastal states in Asia, which have been highly acclaimed in the international community.
(B) Counter-piracy Measures Off the Coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden
According to the IMB, the number of piracy and armed robbery cases off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden was 237 at its peak in 2011 but has since declined to a low level (zero in 2019 and 2020, and one in 2021). Despite efforts such as maritime operations of the navies and 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.
Since 2009, Japan has been conducting counter-piracy operations by deploying Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers (with coast guard officers on board) and P-3C patrol aircraft off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. To solve the root causes of piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden, Japan has been making multi-layered efforts that include support for enhancing the maritime security capabilities of Somalia and its neighboring countries and ensuring the stability of Somalia.
Japan has supported the establishment of Information Sharing Centres in Yemen, Kenya and Tanzania, as well as the construction of the Djibouti Regional Training Centre (DRTC) by contributing 15.53 million US dollars to date to a fund established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Moreover, Japan has contributed 4.5 million US dollars to an international trust fund that enhances capacity building for piracy procecution, to support Somalia and its neighboring countries. In addition, Japan provided two patrol vessels to the Djibouti Coast Guard in 2015, and decided in 2021 to provide support for the construction of two patrol vessels as well as the improvement of a floating pier. Japan has also been supporting the enhancement of its capacity to secure maritime security through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)'s technical cooperation and joint exercises with the Deployment Surface Force for Counter-Piracy Enforcement. Furthermore, with a view to promoting the stability of Somalia, Japan has provided a total of 500 million US dollars since 2007 aimed at supporting improvement in basic services and public security through support for the police, as well as revitalization of the domestic economy through vocational training and job creation, among other measures.
(C) Counter-piracy Measures in the Gulf of Guinea
According to the IMB, while the number of piracy and armed robbery cases in the Gulf of Guinea had remained at a high level in recent years with 64 cases in 2019 and 84 cases in 2020, it fell to 35 cases in 2021. Although many of these used to occur in the territorial waters of coastal states, a growing number of cases has been occurring in the open seas in recent years. For this reason, coastal states are required to strengthen their maritime law enforcement capabilities and to enhance their ability to address piracy through coordination with other countries. Japan has provided coastal states with capacity building assistance through trainings conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and JICA. Japan has also been involved in discussions in the international community through participation in the “G7++ Group of Friends of the Gulf of Guinea,”6 a cooperative and coordination mechanism to address illegal maritime activities in the Gulf of Guinea.
- 6 In addition to the G7, non-G7 countries and international organizations participate in the Group.
C Cooperation on Maritime Security
(A) Capacity Building Assistance
Japan provides seamless assistance to various countries for capacity building in the area of maritime security, through cooperation between MOFA, the Ministry of Defense and Self-Defense Forces, the Japan Coast Guard and other agencies.
MOFA provides capacity building assistance to law enforcement agencies and other organizations in developing countries, through the provision of equipment such as patrol vessels and human resource development implemented through bilateral ODA. Japan has been providing support toward the Maritime Law Enforcement Capacity Building Project implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) under its Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP), with the aim of addressing the diverse illegal maritime activities that have been increasing further in recent years. Through this project, MOFA is conducting training and workshops for practitioners involved in measures to address illegal maritime activities
The Ministry of Defense and Self-Defense Forces have provided capacity building assistance in the area of maritime security to Myanmar,7 Thailand, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Brunei to date. Through these support initiatives, it is strengthening cooperative relations with partners that share strategic interests with Japan.
To provide capacity building assistance to coast guard authorities of coastal states of the Indo-Pacific, the Japan Coast Guard dispatches highly skilled Japan Coast Guard officials with expert knowledge as well as the Japan Coast Guard Mobile Cooperation Team (MCT), a special team that provides capacity building support, to the coast guard authorities of each country. In addition, the Japan Coast Guard also invites the coast guard officials from each country to Japan where it conducts training for them. It also administers the Maritime Safety and Security Policy Program, a Master's level education program on maritime policy that accepts coast guard officials from Asian countries. Through this program, the Japan Coast Guard contributes to the development of human resources with advanced practical and applied knowledge, knowledge on international law and international relations as well as research into the relevant case studies, the ability to conduct analysis and make proposals, and international communication skills.
When providing such capacity building assistance, Japan cooperates closely with like-minded countries including the U.S., Australia, India, the UK and France.
- 7 Assistance is currently suspended (as of December 2021)
(B) Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA)
Consolidating and sharing a wide range of maritime information and understanding maritime domain effectively and efficiently are vital toward the realization of “Free, Open and Stable Seas.” Japan places great importance on international cooperation in such maritime domain awareness (MDA) initiatives.
In recent years, progress has been made in the Indo-Pacific region to establish information sharing centers for the consolidation, analysis and sharing of maritime information, such as phenomena related to the safety of navigation and ship information. Japan has dispatched personnel (Executive Directors and Assistant Directors) to the ReCAAP-ISC based in Singapore, as well as liaison officers to the Information Fusion Centre (IFC) established by the Republic of Singapore Navy, and the Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) established by the Indian Navy. Furthermore, the authorities of Japan and India exchange information based on the Implementing Arrangement for Deeper Cooperation between the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Indian Navy, signed on the occasion of the Japan-India Summit Meeting held in October 2018.
Japan also organizes the “ARF Workshop on International Cooperation on Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA)” as an official event of the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Maritime Security.
(5) Outer Space
In recent years, outer space has become congested due to its diversified use and increasing number of countries using space. In addition, the increase of space debris due to factors such as Anti-Satellite (ASAT) tests and satellite collisions poses a growing risk to the sustainable and stable use of outer space.
In order to cope with this situation, Japan has been engaging in initiatives such as strengthening Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and mission assurance for space systems, while working on international rule-making and international space cooperation, including cooperation with its ally, the U.S., in particular.
A Realizing the Rule of Law in Outer Space
Reflecting the changing situation concerning outer space, the international community has been vigorously discussing international rule-making concerning outer space activities in a variety of ways. Japan has also been actively involved in these efforts toward establishing and strengthening the rule of law in outer space.
The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) is a permanent committee established under the UN General Assembly. It is becoming increasingly important as a forum for establishing international rules related to civil space activities. Professor Aoki Setsuko of the Keio University Law School was the first Japanese person to chair the COPUOS Legal Subcommittee for the 2021 session. During her term, she contributed to the progress of the sustainable development and use of outer space (see the Column page on 207).
In recent years, there have been growing expectations toward the development and use of commercial space resources in Japan and abroad. Following from the U.S. and other countries, Japan enacted a domestic law on space resources (Act on the Promotion of Business Activities for the Exploration and Development of Space Resources) in June, and enforced it in December. Active discussions have also been held within COPUOS on the approach to international rules related to space resources, and Japan is working together with the governments of various countries to construct internationally consistent space resources frameworks.
With regard to the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS), in 2021, same as the previous year, the resolution on “Reducing space threats through norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviours” was jointly proposed by the UK, Japan, and other countries at the UN General Assembly First Committee, and was adopted with the support of 163 countries. Thereafter, this draft resolution was adopted at the Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly with the support of 150 countries. Based on this resolution, an Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) was established for the period of 2022 to 2023, with the aim of further deepening discussions on responsible behaviors. Japan will continue to engage actively in discussions in this OEWG and to promote international discussions on responsible behaviors, so as to prevent the escalation of an arms race in outer space.
In November, Russia conducted a test of a direct ascent anti-satellite missile against its satellite. The destruction of a satellite, which generates a large amount of space debris, is an irresponsible behavior that undermines the sustainable and stable use of outer space. The Government of Japan expressed concerns toward the test and calls upon the Government of Russia not to conduct this kind of test in the future.
Furthermore, with a view to contributing to the rule of law in outer space, Japan has been offering support to developing countries toward capacity building in the development and implementation of domestic space-related laws. In May, Japan announced that it will cooperate on the “Space Law for New Space Actors” project of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). Under this initiative, Japan provides support to emerging space-faring nations in the Asia Pacific region for the development and implementation of domestic space-related laws. Through these efforts, Japan is contributing to the building of legal capacity of these nations necessary for the appropriate management and supervision of domestic space activities, including private sector activities.
B International Dialogues and Consultations on Outer Space
Japan promotes dialogues and consultations on outer space primarily with major space-faring nations and nations in the Asia-Pacific region.
In relation to the U.S., at the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (“2+2”) held in March, the two countries affirmed the importance of the space domain in terms of national security. At the Japan-US Summit Meeting held in April, the leaders declared that Japan and the U.S. will deepen cooperation in the space domain, both in the defense and the civilian sectors.
In relation to India, the Second Meeting of the Japan-India Space Dialogue was convened in November. In addition to exchanging information on the space policies of Japan and India, the two sides also exchanged views on topics including security, cooperation between the relevant organizations, the space industry, global navigation satellite systems, space situational awareness (SSA), and international rules and norms pertaining to outer space.
Furthermore, at the Second Japan-Australia-India-U.S. Summit Meeting in September, the parties concurred on launching a working group on space as a new initiative, in order to advance cooperation in the space domain. Specifically, the four countries will engage in discussions on the sharing of satellite data to address issues such as climate change, providing support for capacity building to other countries in the Indo-Pacific region, and international rule-making.
With regard to multilateral meetings, the 27th session of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF-27), co-organized by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST), was held in November and December. At this Forum, discussions were held on the expansion of the space industry, promoting sustainable space activities for the future, and contributing to the resolution of social issues.
I am currently serving as Chair of the Legal Subcommittee (two-year term) of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). COPUOS is a subsidiary organ under the UN General Assembly that was established as a permanent committee in 1959. With the aim of promoting the peaceful exploration and use of outer space through international cooperation, it provides support for research and information exchanges in space science and technology, encourages reviews on legal regime governing outer space, and reports the results of its activities to the UN General Assembly. There are two Subcommittees under the COPUOS: the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. Every year, meetings are convened for two weeks for each Subcommittee and 10 days for the main Committee in Vienna, Austria, where the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs is based. Japanese Chairs at the COPUOS to date include Dr. Horikawa Yasushi, who served as the Chair of the main Committee from 2012 to 2014, and astronaut Dr. Mukai Chiaki, who chaired the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee in 2018.
The Legal Subcommittee plays a pivotal role in formulating international space law. All five United Nations treaties on outer space, including the Outer Space Treaty (1967), were drafted by the Legal Subcommittee, and upon their adoption, a draft treaty was sent by the Committee to the UN General Assembly. After being adopted by the General Assembly, they were signed and ratified by each Member State before entering into force, and are serving as the core of international space law concerning space exploration and use.
In 2020, meetings of the Legal Subcommittee were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, the scheduled discussions were postponed to the following year. In 2021, the situation did not improve dramatically, so the Legal Subcommittee meeting that is usually convened from the end of March to early April was held in hybrid format, both online and in-person, for two weeks from May 31 to June 11. As the meeting is held in the six official languages of the United Nations: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish, a special online system was prepared to facilitate interpretation for the attendees. Agenda items discussed for the 2021 session included: space traffic management, space debris, small satellite activities, national space legislation, national implementation of non-legally binding UN instruments, and the legal issues of space resources. Among these, the greatest attention was paid to issues of space resources, which had been first included in agenda items in 2017. One of the greatest accomplishments of the 2021 session was the successful establishment of a space resources working group, where detailed and concrete discussions on legal norms on the exploration, exploitation and utilization of space resources would be held. The Outer Space Treaty provides non-appropriation of outer space, but does not set out provisions on the exploitation, extraction, and commercial use of space resources. Thus, it is a preferable step that the newly made working group would be the platform to clarify and collectively make new norms on space resources activities that remain vague today. I think the successful setting up of this working group could fully demonstrate a solid basis of international cooperation nurtured through decades of efforts.
The hybrid meeting format sometimes made discussions more difficult than usual, with problems such as the occasional instability in connections. However, this conversely brought out the cooperative spirit of delegations of States members, which enabled the effective and amicable discussions of the meeting as well as the adoption of the report of this Subcommittee during the morning session of the final day. Despite the difficult conditions, this was achieved through the delegations' strong will to promote the peaceful uses of outer space for the benefit of all humanity. I feel deeply grateful and fortunate to have had the opportunity to witness this as the Japanese Chair of the Legal Subcommittee.
C Space Science and Exploration
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 2019, Japan decided to participate in international space exploration under the proposal of the U.S. (Artemis program). Thereafter, in 2020, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan and the Administrator for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) signed a Joint Exploration Declaration of Intent for Lunar Cooperation (JEDI), and announced the details of cooperation between Japan and the U.S. During the same year, eight countries including Japan and the U.S. signed the Artemis Accords, which set out a political commitment to establish principles for creating a safe and transparent environment in promoting outer space activities, including the Artemis program. In addition, Japan and the U.S. concluded a Memorandum of Understanding concerning Cooperation on the Civil Lunar Gateway, a human outpost in the lunar vicinity that will be developed as a part of the Artemis program. Afterwards, more countries signed the Artemis Accords, and the total number of signatories reached 13 countries with the addition of Poland in October 2021.
The International Space Station (ISS) is an epic project in which 15 countries participate and has become a symbol of international cooperation regarding outer space. With the aim of providing support for capacity building in the space field, Japan provides many emerging and developing countries with the opportunities to conduct experiments using the ISS/Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” and to deploy cube satellites. In June, Mauritius' first satellite was deployed through the KiboCUBE program, a cooperative framework between JAXA and UNOOSA that provides developing countries with the opportunity to deploy CubeSats from Kibo. Furthermore, continuing from 2020, the second Kibo Robot Programming Challenge (Second Kibo-RPC), an educational program for students from the Asia-Pacific region who represent the next generation, was held from July to October.
D International Cooperation through the Utilization of Space Technology
Outer space is a unique space that enables the constant observation of the Earth's atmosphere, land and seas. In recent years, there have been growing expectations toward the role of space technology in resolving global issues such as climate change, forest conservation, water resources management, disaster prevention and food security. Japan promotes international cooperation through utilization of space technology, which is one of Japan's strengths in the international arena, and contributes to the achievement of the SDGs.
For example, the world's first greenhouse gases observing satellite “IBUKI” has been capturing information on the concentration of greenhouse gases on Earth for more than 10 years. The 2019 Refinement to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories defined, for the first time, the utilization of satellite data to improve the precision of emissions from each country and included examples from the utilization of IBUKI. In addition, the JICA-JAXA Forest Early Warning System in the Tropics (JJ-FAST), developed for the conservation of forests that serve as an important “carbon sink” for the absorption of greenhouse gases, uses data from the Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2 “DAICHI-2” to provide free information on forest changes in 77 countries around the world. This system is used for purposes such as detecting illegal logging.
Japan also provides, at no charge, the Global Satellite Mapping of Precipitation (GSMaP) system, which utilizes multiple satellites to observe the global rainfall situation. This system is applied to a wide range of uses, including rainfall situation monitoring, disaster management and agriculture, in 141 countries and regions around the world. Furthermore, Japan took the lead in launching “Sentinel Asia,” an initiative to provide free observational satellite information during disasters to contribute to disaster management in the Asia-Pacific region. To date, this project has responded to more than 350 emergency requests from 35 countries.
In light of the global spread of COVID-19, JAXA, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) joined forces to implement an observation project to capture information on the Earth's environment, economic activities and other aspects (such as changes in carbon dioxide concentration in large cities, changes in airport hangars and car parks, etc.) before and after the pandemic. The results of their analysis are published on a dedicated website.
(6) Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding
A On-the-Ground Initiatives
(A) UN Peacekeeping Operations (UN PKO)
As of December 31, 2021, 12 UN PKO missions are on active duty, primarily in the Middle East and Africa, to handle a wide range of duties that include monitoring ceasefires, promoting the political process, and protecting civilians. More than 80,000 military, police, and civilian personnel have been 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 PKO are underway in various forums, primarily within the UN. In December, under the themes of technology and medical support, the 2021 Seoul UN Peacekeeping Ministerial was held as an online meeting in the Republic of Korea to address issues faced by UN PKO.
In addition to PKO missions, the UN has also established Special Political Missions (SPMs) mainly consisting of civilian personnel. SPMs fulfill diverse roles including conflict prevention and mediation, and post-conflict peacebuilding.
Based on the Act on Cooperation with UN Peacekeeping Operations and Other Operations (PKO Act), since 1992 Japan has dispatched more than 12,500 personnel to a total of 28 missions, including UN PKO. More recently, since 2011 Japanese staff officers have been dispatched to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), while engineering units used to be deployed there from 2012. The engineering units in the South Sudanese capital of Juba and the surrounding areas have undertaken such activities as developing infrastructure that includes roads, the provision of water supplies to displaced persons, as well as site preparation, and concluded their activities in May 2017. As of December 31, 2021, four Self-Defense Forces of Japan (SDF) officers are on active duty at the UNMISS Headquarters, who continue to work toward peace and stability in South Sudan. Additionally, since April 2019, Japan has been conducting activities contributing to peace and stability in the Middle East by dispatching two SDF officers to the Force Headquarters for the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO), which is stationed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Under the banner of “Proactive Contribution to Peace,” by building on the past experiences of peacekeeping operations and making use of its own strengths, Japan will continue to contribute proactively in the field of international peace cooperation in the future by means such as enhancing capacity building support and dispatching units and individuals.
(B) ODA and Other Cooperation to Facilitate Peacebuilding
In addressing prolonged conflicts and increasingly diverse humanitarian crises, peacebuilding and preventing the recurrence of conflict even in peacetime, in addition to humanitarian assistance and development cooperation, are important toward the realization of an inclusive society. There is a greater need than before to address the root causes of crises by providing support toward building resilient nations and stabilizing societies from a medium- to long-term perspective, and by supporting self-sustaining development. Japan has been providing support for peacebuilding based on this “humanitarian-development-peace nexus” approach, and positions peacebuilding as one of the priority issues in its Development Cooperation Charter. The following are some of the main initiatives implemented recently.
a. Middle East
Japan has provided comprehensive support for peace and stability in the Middle East. This includes providing food and refugee assistance, as well as support for the development of human resources who can play an active role in nation-building. Japan received 16 students from Syria in 2021 to offer education to young people who were deprived of opportunities to attend school due to the Syrian crisis. As for Palestine, in addition to an increase in the refugee population, it is also facing serious deterioration of the living environment, including the deteriorated refugee camp infrastructure as well as unemployment and poverty. In light of this, Japan worked on improving the living environment of refugees through the implementation of the Camp Improvement Project (CIP) at refugee camps in Palestine, as well as by providing support to educational facilities, and contributed to the stabilization and improvement of the people's welfare based on human security.
At the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) in 2019, Japan announced the New Approach for Peace and Stability in Africa (NAPSA). Through support for institution building and enhancing governance, strengthening the resilience of local community, prevention of youth radicalization and other efforts, Japan supports African-led efforts and contributes to peace and stability in Africa under the banner of NAPSA which respects Africa's ownership in conflict resolution and addresses the root causes that hamper peace and stability in Africa.
For example, Japan has conducted criminal justice training since 2014 for Francophone African countries, and has supported stabilization of the Sahel region by strengthening the capabilities of investigative and judicial bodies. In Guinea-Bissau, Japan worked in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to provide support for the capacity building of the National People's Assembly, and to strengthen access to the judiciary in the southern region of the country. Japan is also supplying security equipment to strengthen countries' ability to maintain security against frequent terrorist attacks and transnational crimes, and providing support for the removal of landmines.
In South Sudan, along with dispatching personell to UNMISS headquarter, in response to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS)8 signed in 2018, Japan has been supporting the implementation of the agreement and ceasefire monitoring through the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional organization in East Africa. Furthermore, Japan, in collaboration with the UNDP, has disbursed a total of 63 million US dollars between 2008 and 2021 to Peacekeeping Training Centers located in 14 African countries, contributing to strengthening Africa's capacity for peacekeeping activities.
- 8 As the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, issued in 2015, seemed to have stagnated, this Revitalized Agreement, bringing together stakeholders in South Sudan by IGAD, set out matters including the implementation schedule for the observance of ceasefire.
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 UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) was established in 2005 with the aim of offering consistent advice on assistance, from conflict resolution to recovery, reintegration and reconstruction. The PBC conducts discussions to identify priority issues and formulate peacebuilding strategies in the agenda countries.9 Japan has served as a member of the Organizational Committee since the PBC's establishment and contributed to its activities while communicating the importance of institution and capacity building, the need to address the root causes of conflicts, and the strengthening of PBC's relationships with key UN agencies and institutions such as the World Bank and IMF.
Based on the “Review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture” including the PBC of April 2016, the UN Secretary-General issued a report on peacebuilding and sustaining peace (A/72/707-S/2018/43) in February 2018. The report makes a variety of proposals for, inter alia: enhancing financing for peacebuilding; increasing operational and policy coherence of the PBC; and strengthening UN leadership, accountability and capacity. The third “Review of the United Nations peacebuilding architecture” was conducted in 2020, and the UN General Assembly resolution (A/RES/75/201) and Security Council resolution 2558 were adopted in December the same year. While welcoming progress on the implementation of the relevant resolutions of the past, the review affirmed that efforts will be made to continue with the implementation of these resolutions, the importance of the role of the PBC, and the convening of a meeting to discuss sustained financing.
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 57.7 million US dollars (2.2 million US dollars in 2021) and ranks seventh among the major donor countries as of December 2021. In the address delivered by Prime Minister Suga at the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly in 2021, he announced that Japan will remain committed to peacebuilding.
- 9 The four countries of Guinea-Bissau, Central African Republic, Liberia and Burundi.
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 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 FY2021, more than 800 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 in Asia, Africa, and other parts of the world, and have received high acclaim from both the UN and other countries. Out of the approximately 180 people who have completed the training course for entry level human resources (hereafter, “entry level course”) to date, more than 50 work as regular employees of international organizations. Hence, this program also contributes significantly to the career development of Japanese nationals, as well as to enhancing their presence in international organizations in the fields of peacebuilding and development. In the FY2021 program, an entry level course and a training course for mid-career practitioners with experience in the fields of peacebuilding and development were conducted (see the Column on page 213).
(B) Training for Peacekeepers of Various Countries
Japan has been supporting peacekeepers from various countries participating in UN PKO to enhance their capabilities. Since 2015, in conjunction with cooperative efforts among the UN, supporting member states, and troop contributing countries, Japan has provided support for the Triangular Partnership Programme (TPP), a framework for innovative cooperation aimed at addressing the urgent need to improve the capabilities of PKO personnel by providing necessary training and equipment to personnel deployed to UN PKO. For example, Japan has sent 172 SDF personnel and other individuals to Kenya and Uganda as instructors and conducted training on the operation of heavy engineering equipment for 277 personnel from eight African countries that expressed intentions to dispatch engineering units to UN PKO. Since 2018, this project has been extended to Asia and the surrounding regions. Japan has dispatched 68 SDF personnel and other individuals to Viet Nam and conducted training on the operation of heavy engineering equipment for 56 personnel from nine countries of Asia and the surrounding regions. Additionally, in October 2019 a lifesaving training program began in the medical field, a considerably problematic area for UN PKO, while support for the introduction of telemedicine into UN PKO missions was launched from 2021. In December the same year, training for the construction process management course in the field of military engineering was conducted remotely for the first time. Other than TPP, Japan dispatches instructors and other personnel, as well as provides financial assistance, to Peacekeeping Training Centers in Asia and Africa.
(7) Initiatives to Combat Security Threats
A Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
Since the end of 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has had profound impacts not only on domestic politics, economy and society, but also on the international political and economic order, and further, affected people's behavior, mindsets and values. It has also had a major impact on the environment surrounding terrorism. Terrorists continue to carry out their terrorist activities in Asia and other parts of the world while adapting to the new social circumstances that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the weakening of governance as well as social divisions brought about by the manifestation of poverty and racial and ethnic issues. Furthermore, the increased dependence on information and communications technology by people around the world has motivated terrorists or terrorist organizations to spread extremism through the Internet and social media, and moreover, to conduct illegal behavior that could lead to terrorism in cyberspace, such as acquisition of funding for terrorism. There is a pressing need to respond comprehensively to these developments.
Based on the “G7 Action Plan on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism” compiled at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit in 2016, Japan has to date implemented the following actions: (1) measures to enhance counter-terrorism capacity, which includes promoting the utilization of Interpol databases and measures against the funding of terrorism, (2) education and promotion of moderation in communities through dialogues and other means, in order to prevent violent extremism, which is a root cause of terrorism, and (3) support for capacity building of law enforcement agencies, including measures to support rehabilitation in prisons.
To steadily promote measures to counter terrorism and violent extremism, which is an issue that has gained importance as the COVID-19 pandemic becomes a protracted situation, Japan provided contributions in the amount of 2.1 billion Japanese yen (supplementary budget for FY2020) to the projects implemented by international organizations and funds, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), the Hedayah, International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, and the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), among others, by using their respective strengths and expertise effectively.
As an initiative that Japan has carried out continuously for the past 16 years, Japan has also run an exchange program inviting Islamic school teachers and providing opportunities to experience interfaith dialogue, school visits and cultural events in Japan. However, this has been suspended since FY2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Japan will work toward the resumption of the program going forward, in order to help promote moderation and the creation of more tolerant societies that are receptive to different values.
Through bilateral and trilateral counter-terrorism consultations, Japan also exchanges information on the world terrorism situations and affirms the strengthening of cooperation in the field of countering terrorism with other countries.
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. Regarding the incident in which a Japanese national being detained in Syria was safely released in October 2018, this outcome is owed to CTU-J playing a key role in requesting the cooperation of the countries concerned and handling the situation by leveraging Japan's information network. Following the series of terrorist bombings that occurred in Sri Lanka in April 2019, the Director General and other officials from CTU-J were immediately dispatched to the area to gather information. To fulfill the critical responsibility of securing the safety of Japanese nationals overseas, Japan will continue to further enhance its information gathering through the CTU-J and take all possible measures to counter terrorism to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals overseas.
My name is Yamasaki Tomomi. Under the Program for Global Human Resource Development for Peacebuilding and Development, commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, I have been posted as a UN Volunteer to the Nigeria office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN organization that specializes in the migration issues of people around the world.
In Nigeria, IOM has the largest country office among UN entities and bodies and provides a wide range of support, including assistance to internally displaced persons, human trafficking countermeasures, and border control. My main role is to assist IOM in developing, monitoring and evaluating projects, mainly in the area of peacebuilding.
For example, as of July 2021, approximately 2.18 million people have been internally displaced in the northeastern part of Nigeria due to the presence of non-state armed groups (NSAGs) for over a decade. In order to address the causes of the forced migration, IOM has been assisting the Government of Nigeria through a program to promote disengagement, disassociation, reintegration, and reconciliation (DDRR) in the northeastern part of Nigeria. Under this program, activities are conducted to encourage NSAG associates to disengage from the organizations and return to civil society. I supported the development of new projects under the DDRR program to strengthen the capacity of the Government-run rehabilitation centers for former NSAG associates through activities including staff training and facility maintenance. I have also developed questionnaires as a monitoring tool for a series of town hall meetings that aimed to promote communities' preparedness for the reinsertion and acceptance of former NSAG associates. The tool was helpful in assessing the impacts of the meetings and receiving feedback to improve the program.
While assistance by the international community has been focusing on the assistance in the northeastern part of the country, the northwestern part where the same level of support has not been provided is experiencing increased insecurity highlighted with organized crimes, such as kidnappings for ransom and robbery murders, which resulted in forced migration. In order to plan responses to the situations in northwest Nigeria, I participated in a field assessment and proposed possible interventions to IOM Nigeria.
The participation of diverse stakeholders, starting from the stage of project development, is vital in providing support for peacebuilding. This is why the processes are so time-consuming. Nevertheless, I feel greatly rewarded by my experience in the IOM, which contributes to the peace and stability of Nigeria through the development of new programs and projects while listening to the viewpoints of various parties, and the affirmation of project outcomes through monitoring and evaluation.
B Criminal Justice Initiatives
The UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (“Congress”) and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (both of which have their secretariats under UNODC) are in charge of shaping policy on crime prevention and criminal justice in the international community. Despite inviting the Congress to Japan for the second time since the Fourth Congress held in 1970, the meeting was postponed for about a year due to the impact of COVID-19. In March 2021, the 14th Congress (“Kyoto Congress”) was convened in Kyoto. The hybrid meeting, combining online sessions and in-person participation, was attended by approximately 5,600 participants from 152 countries and regions, a record high. Under stringent border measures, foreign delegations, including Ministerial level participants from 13 countries, visited Japan to participate in the event. At the Kyoto Congress, Minister of Justice Kamikawa was elected as President of the Congress and delivered statements at the opening and closing ceremonies. The opening ceremony was also attended by Prime Minister Suga and other key government officials, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres delivered a speech online via live stream. Japan, as the chair of the Congress, led discussions on the draft political declaration, and worked in cooperation with participating countries and international organizations, most of all the UNODC, toward the adoption of the political declaration. In accordance with the overall theme, “Advancing crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law: towards the achievement of the 2030 agenda,” the political declaration (“Kyoto Declaration”), summarizing the matters that should be addressed over the medium- to long-term by the international community in the areas of crime prevention and criminal justice, was adopted. Going forward, it is important for the UN and member states to steadily implement the contents of the Kyoto Declaration. With a view to taking the lead in the implementation of the Kyoto Declaration, Japan will launch the Criminal Justice Forum for Asia and the Pacific, regularly hold the Global Youth Forum for a Culture of Lawfulness, and formulate model strategies on reducing reoffending. At the same time, Japan is also actively taking part in international meetings such as the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to promote its initiatives.
Furthermore, Japan provides support to improve prosecution capabilities and other criminal justice functions, to improve the operation of prisons, and to enhance capacities related to measures against cybercrime in Southeast Asian countries by providing financial contributions to UNODC and through financial contributions from the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF).
Japan is a State Party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), which establishes a global legal framework for promoting cooperation to prevent and combat transnational organized crime including terrorism more effectively. Japan advances international cooperation that includes providing international assistance in investigation in accordance with the UNTOC and reviewing the implementation of the Convention.
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 address corruption such as bribery and embezzlement of property by public officials, Japan has actively participated in discussions for the effective implementation of the UNCAC and strengthening international cooperation on preventing and combating corruption. In addition, Japan contributes to the capacity building of criminal justice practitioners in developing countries by conducting the International Training Course on the Criminal Justice Response to Corruption (UNCAC Training Programme) through the United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFEI). In order to promote the implementation of the UNCAC, the UN General Assembly Special Session against Corruption was held in June, during which State Minister for Foreign Affairs Uto Takashi delivered a speech on behalf of Japan. The political declaration adopted at this Session is significant from the perspective of strengthening the concerted efforts of the international community toward the further prevention and eradication of corruption. It also highlighted the continued commitment to promote the steady implementation of existing international conventions, including the UNCAC and the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (OECD Anti-Bribery Convention), and to contribute to international cooperation on anti-corruption measures.
Japan is an active participant in the OECD Working Group on Bribery, which verifies the implementation of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention by each state party to prevent the bribery of foreign public officials.
D Measures to Combat Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism
Regarding anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) measures, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an international framework that establishes the international standards that countries should implement and conducts peer reviews to assess levels of implementation. In recent years, the FATF has also been engaged in initiatives to prevent financing for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and has issued the FATF statement that calls for the eradication of illegal financial activities by North Korea.
As a founding member, Japan has actively participated in these discussions. The Fourth Round Mutual Evaluation Report of Japan was adopted at the FATF Plenary held in June, and was published at the end of August. Japan is steadily making preparations and implementing measures to address the points for improvement raised in this Report.
In addition, Japan takes measures to combat the financing of terrorism as a State Party to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, and also implements measures to freeze the assets of terrorists and terrorist organizations in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution 1373, and designated by the UN Security Council Taliban Sanctions Committee or the ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee. Japan added one individual designated by the ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee in June and November, and two individuals and one organization were similarly designated in December, as subjects for asset freezing measures. As of December 31, Japan has implemented asset freezing measures on a total of 405 individuals and 121 organizations.
E Measures to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants
Japan has strengthened its domestic system to combat trafficking in persons, for which methods are becoming increasingly sophisticated and obscure, while proactively providing assistance to developing countries, in accordance with “Japan's 2014 Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons.” For example, in 2021, Japan continued to conduct training programs through JICA to deepen mutual understanding on human trafficking countermeasures (especially prevention, protection and support to restore the financial independence of victims) of stakeholders in Asian countries, including Japan, and to promote more effective regional cooperation. With respect to cooperation with international organizations, in 2021, 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 to carry out social rehabilitation support programs to prevent the recurrence of trafficking after they return to their countries. Japan also funded training programs and other awareness-raising activities for law enforcement authorities in Southeast Asian and South Asian countries through projects organized by UNODC, UN Women and other organizations.
Japan also implemented support projects mainly toward ASEAN and African countries, with a view to preventing the smuggling of migrants.
As a State Party to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, Japan has also further deepened its cooperation with other countries with a view to combating trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants.
F Measures to Combat Illicit Drug Trafficking
Japan works in cooperation with UNODC to investigate and analyze synthetic drugs, strengthen capacity for drug control at national borders, and provide support for the production of alternative crops, thereby working to take measures against illicit drug trafficking that is spreading across borders.