1. Nation: Japan
2. Support to the Global War on Terror:
The present international community faces a range of global-scale problems, from international terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to various conflicts and international crime. Globalization has raised concerns that the occurrence of events even in regions far from Japan will pose a threat to our country or have a negative impact on our nation.
In light of the difficulty for a single country to respond to and solve these global threats and the need to take an approach that addresses them not only on the military front but also on various other fronts, it is widely recognized that the international community should join hands in coping with these threats.
Along with national defense, Japan’s defense and security goals set under the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) are to improve the international security environment, based on the efforts made by the international society, so as to reduce the chances that any threats will reach Japan. The NDPG also calls for Japan to promote diplomatic efforts including the use of Official Development Assistance (ODA), and, together with such diplomatic efforts, promote activities that nations of the world cooperatively undertake to enhance the international security environment (hereinafter referred to as “international peace cooperation activities”) so that Japan can deal with these issues proactively and on its own initiative.
Upon the transition of the Defense Agency to the Ministry of Defense in January 2007, missions of the Self Defense Forces (SDF) were reviewed and its international peace cooperation activities have been stipulated as a primary mission.
3. Support to Operation Enduring Freedom:
At a time when the international community has been united in fighting against terrorism, it is necessary for Japan to reinforce its efforts to combat terrorism in collaboration with other countries. Based on this idea, Japan is making anti terrorism efforts on various fronts.
Activities by the SDF to support the international terrorism campaign in line with the Replenishment Support Special Measures Law have contributed to the peace and security of the international community, including Japan, enabling Japan to fulfill a role commensurate with its status in the international society and increasing confidence in Japan by the international community and also in making Japan-U.S. cooperation in security even more close and effective.
Specifically, soon after the terrorist attacks took place in the United States on September 11, 2001, Japan came to perceive the fight against international terrorism as its own task, and clarified its position that it would make a positive and independent contribution to world efforts to prevent and eradicate terrorism. Since October 2001, the MSDF has conducted cooperation and support activities, refueling naval vessels of the United States and other nations operating in the Indian Ocean.
These activities by the MSDF have won high acclaim from the international community, including the United States, as paving the foundation for activities being undertaken by worships of many countries to block and deter terrorists, weapons and ammunition from using marine routes.
4. Support to Operation Iraqi Freedom:
Major combat operations have ended in Iraq, and the international community is redoubling its efforts to help rebuild the country, following the adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1483 and subsequent resolutions since May 2003. The reconstruction of Iraq is extremely important for ensuring peace and security in the global community including Japan, as well as for attaining peace and stability for the Iraqi people and the Middle East. Japan started dispatching SDF units to the Middle Eastern countries in December 2003 based on the Law Concerning Special Measures on Humanitarian and Reconstruction Assistance in Iraq, approved in the Diet in July of the same year. The dispatched SDF units have conducted operations for humanitarian assistance in cooperation with support provided by Official Development Assistance (ODA).
The SDF units have also been assisting troops of foreign countries in their efforts to restore security and stability in Iraq to a degree that would not hamper the units’ activities for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance.
These cooperation activities by Japan can play a role in preventing Iraq from becoming a hotbed of terrorism and helping the country to rebuild itself so that it can become a peaceful, democratic and responsible country, paving the foundation for Japan and Iraq to establish favorable relations in the future. In addition, they are not only instrumental in stabilizing the overall Middle East but also are extremely important for Japan because the situation in the Middle East region directly affects the prosperity and stability of Japan, which relies on the region for nearly 90% of its petroleum consumption.
Japan’s humanitarian contribution to the reconstruction of Iraq has further cemented the relationship of mutual confidence between Japan and the United States, helping to strengthen the bilateral security alliance.
Japan’s support to help rebuild Iraq has won acclaim both from the international community and the Iraqi people as playing a significant role in not only achieving closer and more effective security cooperation between Japan and the United States, but also enhancing trust in Japan by the global community.
5. Name of SNR, structure of staff:
Capt. Hiroshi MORI; Japanese team consists of two officers.
(1) Fact book: www.kantei.go.jp
(2) Defense: www.mod.go.jp
(3) Foreign Affairs: www.mofa.go.jp