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Public Library Publications Annual Security Outlook 2003 Japan


I. Security Situation in the Asia-Pacific Region


The terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, whose impact was felt deeply around the world, strongly reinforced the recognition that terrorism is a serious threat to the peace and stability of the entire international community. Since the attack took place, the fight against international terrorism has become an issue of the highest priority for the international community. Moreover, although the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction has long been an issue the world has been united in facing, since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S., concerns have been particularly growing over the possible acquisition and use of weapons of mass destruction by terrorist groups and others, and this has become a major security challenge for the international community.

The importance of international coalitions and cooperation to deal with these new security challenges is widely recognized in the international community, and the building and strengthening of international cooperative arrangements to deal with these challenges is a positive development in international relations. These arrangements have exerted a positive influence on relations among major countries and produced a significant change in the worldwide security environment.

On the other hand, in Asian region, many unstable and uncertain factors remain unresolved, such as the situation on the Korean Peninsula, which, even after the end of the Cold War, is still in the tense grip of military confrontation; in relation between China and Taiwan, both side still not having resumed political dialogue despite their progress in the economic sector involving trade and investment; and the situation between India and Pakistan, whose relations have become particularly tense since the assaults on the Indian Parliament building at the end of 2001. Moreover, since September 11, the surge in the activities of Islamic extremists, particularly in Pakistan and Southeast Asia, has become a source of great concern. With regard to the prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the strengthening of the non-proliferation regimes is also becoming an increasingly important task for countries in Asia, which, because of their economic growth, are becoming more than just transshipment points for trade but suppliers of "sensitive goods" with the increasing capacity to produce militarily sensitive materials.

2. Specific Regions

(a) Korean Peninsula

2002 was a year of significant changes regarding North Korea, including the Japan-North Korea relations. In September, Prime Minister Koizumi visited Pyongyang, setting the stage for the first Japan-North Korea summit meeting, and in October the two countries resumed normalization talks after a lapse of about two years.

However, various concerns still remain regarding North Korea. Although at the September summit meeting, DPRK National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-ll acknowledged for the first time the abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korea and apologized for them, and in October five abduction victims were returned to Japan after 24 years, progress has still not been made on the immediate return of the family members of the abductees remaining in North Korea and on the clearing up of the facts surrounding the abduction issue. The international community has grown increasingly apprehensive about. North Korea's nuclear weapons program, since the disclosures of the program to enrich uranium. Despite concerted calls by the international community for North Korea to abandon its development of nuclear weapons, North Korea took a number of actions to spike these growing concerns in the international community: in December North Korea, announced that it would lift the freeze on its nuclear program and immediately restart operations of its nuclear facilities and resume construction of its nuclear reactors; in January 2003 North Korea declared its withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT); and in February it resumed operations of its graphite-moderated experimental nuclear reactor.

North Korea's activities, including its development of weapons of mass destruction other than nuclear weapons such as chemical and biological weapons and its development, testing, deployment, and export of ballistic missiles, are also a grave security concern for not only the Northeast Asian region but the entire world.

Japan seeks North Korea's adherence to the NPT, the refreezing of operations at its nuclear facilities, and it's dismantlement of all nuclear weapons development. In close cooperation with the United States, South Korea, and other concerned countries and international organizations, Japan intends to continue it strong requests to North Korea that it demonstrate positive steps for promptly and peacefully resolving the various concerns mentioned above.

(b) China

In China the new leadership was approved in March 2003 by the National People's Congress but it is supposed that for the present the Chinese government would follow its previous policy course and continue to develop an "omni-directional" diplomacy which seek the maintenance of a favorable international environment for China's domestic economic growth its current highest priority.

In particular China's relations with the United States have made progress, as seen by U.S.-China cooperation in counter-terrorism measures after 9/11, President Bush's visit to China in February 2002, and President Jiang Zemin's visit to the United States in October of the same year. Good U.S.-China relations are important for the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region, and Japan hopes that the United States and China will continue to move forward with dialogue and cooperation in a wide range of areas and further develop friendly U.S.-China ties.

Japan is closely following the progress of China's modernization of its military forces, especially the development of its naval, air forces and missiles, which is taking place in the background of China's rapid economic growth in recent years. With the issuance of a defense white paper entitled "China's National Defense in 2002" in December last year, China has been showing a greater willingness to enhance the transparency of its military policy. In addition, the government announced at the recent National People's Congress that China's military budget for this year would total 185.3 billion RMB, a 9.6 percent increase over the previous year, but the rate of increase was relatively restrained compared with the increases for recent years. However, it is supposed that China's military spending is still opaque in some areas, such as alleged existence of expenditures for military purposes not included in the officially announced its military policy, including its military budget.

As for China-Taiwan relations, although no prospects have arisen for the resumption of talks since the suspension of dialogue in 1999, in January 2003, after receiving permission from China's aviation authority, "the Lunar New Year Chartered Flights" run by a Taiwanese airline flew into a Chinese airport, the first airplane from Taiwan to do so. Japan strongly hopes that the issue of Taiwan will be peacefully resolved through discussions between both sides, and Japan will continue to appeal for the prompt resumption of dialogue to this end.

(c) India and Pakistan

Tensions between India and Pakistan had mounted after the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament building in December 2001. The situation subsequently reached a stalemate, but the terrorist attack on an army camp in Indian Kashmir on May 14, 2002 again raised the tensions between both sides. International community was concerned about the possibility of an outbreak of a large-scale military conflict between India and Pakistan, both of which possess nuclear capability. Among efforts by the international community, including Japan, to spur momentum toward the reduction of tensions in the region, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Amritage visited Pakistan in June 2002 and received President Musharrafs commitment to stop infiltration across the Line of Control permanently. Responding to this commitment, the Indian government announced the lifting of the ban on Pakistani commercial aircraft passing through Indian airspace, and the tensions between both countries had been eased to some extent.

In October India and Pakistan announced a withdrawal of their troops deployed along their borders, and the near completion of these withdrawals provided positive signs of a military deescalation. However, with the postponement of the SAARC Summit expected to be held in January 2003 in Pakistan, and the successive expulsion of diplomats by both countries, there have been little indications of an ease of tensions between India and Pakistan. In the midst of this, on March 24, an indiscriminate attack that killed more than twenty people occurred in Kashmir. As the thaw comes in Kashmir, there is the possibility of an increase in terrorist incidents. Therefore the situation needs to be watched carefully.

As high tensions between India and Pakistan could greatly damage the stability in South Asia, it is necessary for the international community to continue to call in India and Pakistan to work for the prompt reduction of tensions between them and for the improvement of their relations. In this regard, Japan has been making continuous diplomatic efforts through high-level contacts with both governments.

(d) Timor-Leste (former East Timor)

After the period of the provisional administration by the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), Timor-Leste became independent on May 20, 2002. Although public security and order in Timor- Leste is generally stable with the presence of the successor peacekeeping operation, the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET), signs of instability caused by the decaying of economic conditions are appearing, as seen by the rioting that broke out in the capital, Dili, last December.

In addition to providing rehabilitation and development assistance to Timor- Leste, Japan has dispatched a Self Defense Force Engineer Unit to UNMISET; in cooperation with the international community, Japan will continue to support Timor-Leste's nation-building efforts toward self-sustainability.

II. Japan's Efforts for Securing Peace and Stability in Japan and in the Region

1. Japan's Basic Security Policy

Above all else, the aim of Japan's diplomacy is to secure the peace and prosperity of Japan and its citizens. For this, working toward the realization of the peace, stability, and prosperity of the entire international community is indispensable.

Even with the end of the Cold War, a range of uncertain and unstable factors still remain in the Asia-Pacific region, in which Japan itself is located. In order to ensure the security of Japan and a stable security environment around Japan, Japan intends to continue to follow its security policy consisting of three main pillars:  1) firmly maintaining the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements, 2) moderately building up Japan's defense capability on an appropriate scale, and 3) pursuing diplomatic efforts to ensure the stability of the international environment surrounding Japan.

2. Japan-U .S. Security Arrangements

Since Japan cannot deal by its own self-defense forces with all of the possible situations that might threaten its security, it is essential for Japan to ensure the forward deployment of U.S. forces through its continued and firm adherence to Japan's security treaty with the United States (Japan-U.S. Security Treaty) and ensure the security of the nation under this deterrence. From this perspective, it is vital that both countries continue their unflagging efforts to strengthen the credibility of the Japan-U .S. Security Arrangements. As part of those efforts, in order to ensure the effectiveness of the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation ("Guidelines"), Japan continues to conduct bilateral defense planning in case of an armed attack against Japan and mutual cooperation planning in situations in areas surrounding Japan.

In addition, the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements, which are based on the Japan-U .S. Security Treaty, effectively function as a fundamental framework for not only bringing about peace and prosperity in Japan and the Far East but for also realizing peace, stability, and prosperity in the entire Asia-Pacific region. In this sense, the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements can be said to be fulfilling a role as a "public good" in the region.

3. Maintaining an Appropriate Defense Capability and the Legislation Regarding Responses to Armed Attack

Japan has been making efforts on its own initiative to build a moderate defense capability in accordance with the fundamental principle based on the Japanese Constitution of not becoming a military power that could pose a threat to other countries. Under this policy, Japan formulated the National Defense Program Outline (NDPO), which defines the appropriate nature of Japan's defense capability and prescribes specific preparedness targets. Japan has since been striving to develop its defense capability in accordance with the NDPO.

The NDPO, which was formulated in 1995, provides a framework for Japan to build up a defense capability that is both able to respond effectively to various situations and, at the same time, able to ensure appropriate flexibility so that Japan can respond smoothly to changes in circumstances. This is accomplished with efforts to make Japan's defense capability more rational, efficient, and compact, by enhancing necessary functions, and by improving its quality.

In accordance with the approach laid down in the NDPO, Japan's Medium-Term Defense Program (for the period from FY2001 to FY2005) sets as priority aims the enhancement of means to cope with the rapid advance and dissemination of information and communications technology, the improvement of capabilities for responding to attacks by guerilla groups or special forces, or to attacks by nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons (NBC), and the enhancement and improvement of the capabilities of disaster relief dispatch teams.

Japan is also engaged in cooperative research with the United States on ballistic missile defense (BMD) technologies, but any research on missile defense systems that Japan is undertaking, including that with the United States, is strictly and purely for defensive systems for the protection of the lives and property of Japanese citizens. Such defensive systems pose no military threat to other countries, will not lead to an arms race, and will not adversely affect the peace and stability of the region. Japan is making efforts to ensure the transparency to other countries of the research Japan is undertaking on missile defense.

Under Japan's Constitution, building up and maintaining in peacetime systems for responding to an armed attack on Japan in order ensure the independence and sovereignty of the nation and the security of its citizens is the duty of the nation. At present, the bills are under consideration in the Japanese Diet, and in the future additional necessary legislation will be prepared. Any attacks from outside the country and to ensure the security of Japanese citizens; it will strictly adhere to international law, including international humanitarian law. Moreover, preparation of such legislation will increase the credibility of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements and in turn contribute to the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

In these above-mentioned ways, legislation regarding Response to Armed Attack will lead to the greater transparency of Japan's security policy and the increased predictability of Japan's actions in the case of defense emergencies.

4. Efforts for Ensuring the Stability of the International Environment surrounding Japan

The peace and stability of Japan are closely intertwined with the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region and in turn of the world as a whole. With this understanding, Japan continues to play an active role in these areas: bilateral and multilateral cooperation for regional stability; political and security dialogues with other countries for confidence-building; efforts for the prevention and eradication of international terrorism; dealing with regional conflicts through efforts for conflict prevention and participation in U.N. peacekeeping operations; increasing regional stability through assistance and cooperation for the economic development of countries in the region; and the strengthening of arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation regimes.

(a) Dialogue, exchange, and cooperation with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region

With the assumption of the continuing presence and commitment of the United States in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan believes that building multi-tiered frameworks for dialogues at the bilateral level and at multilateral forums such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) is a realistic and appropriate approach for securing the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region. Japan is making positive efforts to strengthen relations of mutual trust and build cooperative ties in the area of security through the promotion of security dialogues and exchanges of defense officials.

The ARF and other forums such as the ASEAN +3, ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conferences (PMC), and the Asia-Pacific Meetings (ASEM) provide arenas for discussion on political and security issues in the Asia-Pacific region. Japan welcomes the development of frank exchanges of views on these political and security issues at these forums and believes it is appropriate that political and security dialogue in the region is centered in the ARF, which is a region-wide forum enjoying the participation of all the major countries of the region and has become a forum for promoting concrete dialogue and cooperation on vital issues, including confidence building measures. In the future as well, Japan will continue to cooperate with other participating countries to advance the ARF process.

(b) Measures to Fight against International Terrorism

Since the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, the international community has strengthened its solidarity in the fight against terrorism. Yet the threat of terrorism still remains serious, and it is essential to continue persistent efforts to eliminate this threat.

Recognizing that the fight against terrorism is an issue that Japan itself must be fully engaged in, Japan has been actively taking measures against terrorism in cooperation with the international community. As part of these efforts, in addition to the implementation of fuel supply and transport cooperation and support activities for the U.S: and other military forces by Japan's Self-Defense Forces under "Anti Terrorism : Special Measures Law", Japan has been bolstering its counter-terrorism measures; in a wide range of areas, including the freezing, of terrorists' assets in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the conclusion of all the 12 counter-terrorism conventions. Moreover, in order to deny safe havens to terrorist groups operating beyond national borders, Japan has been encouraging other states to implement relevant UN Security Council resolutions and to conclude and implement relevant counter-terrorism conventions. Focusing on countries in the Asian region, Japan has also been providing assistance to build capacity for countering terrorism to developing countries through the holding of seminars and training courses in Japan for officials from Asian, countries in six areas, including the freezing of terrorists' assets, immigration control, and Aviation security.

(c) Consolidation of Peace

In view of the lessons of the tragic events that have occurred in the world since the end of the Cold War, not only preventing conflicts between states but also making serious efforts to ensure that large-scale inter- or intra -state violence does not arise and to create a world free of civil wars, genocide, and terrorism are important in the pursuit of peace.  In this context international efforts for peace and stability centering on the United Nations have great significance, and Japan is continuing its dispatch of SDF personnel to U.N.peacekeeping operations in East Timor and other areas.

While traditional U.N. centered peacekeeping operations are of great significance, the transition from fragile cease-fire agreements to more lasting and sustainable peace ("consolidation of peace") and the rehabilitation of countries ravaged by civil war into stable societies ("nation-building") have also become areas of great importance. The "consolidation of peace" includes the support for preventing the recurrence of conflict and includes the promotion of peace processes, the securing of domestic security and stability, and the extension of humanitarian and rehabilitation assistance. The "Nation-building" refers to support for the creation of political, economic, and social frameworks in those regions beset by instability.

Up to now, in addition to providing assistance to Kosovo and East Timor, in January 2002 Japan held, together with the United States, the EU, and Saudi Arabia as co-chairs, the International Conference on Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan, and in May 2002, during her visit to Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi presented her ideas for the formulation of a project called the Register for Peace, a project that would make concrete contributions to the consolidation of peace in the country.

Regarding Sri Lanka, Japan has been actively supporting the peace process in Sri Lanka that was set on track with the signing of a ceasefire agreement in February 2002. In October 2002 the Government of Japan appointed Mr. Yasushi Akashi, former Undersecretary General of the United Nations, as the Representative of the Government of Japan for this peace process, and in addition to holding the sixth round of the Peace Talks in Hakone, Japan in March of this year, Japan will host the Tokyo Conference on the Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka and the eighth round of the Peace Talks in June 2003.

Japan aspires to make the consolidation of peace and nation-building a pillar of its international cooperation, and Prime Minister Koizumi expressed this intention in a policy address delivered in Sydney in April 2002. To support this plan, the Advisory Group on International Cooperation for Peace, comprised of experts in the field, presented its recommendations for this policy to the prime minister in December 2002, and the government is currently studying concrete measures for the consolidation of peace and nation-building.

(d) Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

With regard to the issue of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the danger of terrorist groups possessing and using weapons of mass destruction is now strongly recognized. As a result, the necessity to bolster efforts particularly in the area of non-proliferation has received heightened awareness, and the importance of reestablishing strict adherence to existing multilateral treaties for non-proliferation and maintaining and strengthening means of verification and making new efforts for ensuring compliance with these treaties has been reaffirmed by the international community.

In the Asia-Pacific region, the threat posed against the securing of the region by proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery is increasing. Under these circumstances, Japan is making a range of active efforts in the field of arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation. Moreover, Asian countries, whose capacity to produce sensitive materials increased due to their economic growth, will not just serve as transshipment points for trade. Japan will promote dialogues with the Asian countries as the responsibility they must bear in this field is becoming greater.

Japan attaches great importance to taking practical and progressive measures for disarmament with a view to the earliest possible realization of a peaceful and safe world free of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons. At the U.N. General Assembly in the autumn of 2002, Japan submitted a draft resolution entitled "A Path to the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons," and this resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority of member states. This resolution presents a concrete path the international community should pursue for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, including a call for the early entry into force of the CTBT and the immediate commencement and the early conclusion of negotiations on the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty. Japan intends to further strengthen its diplomatic efforts for the implementation of these practical measures to eliminate nuclear weapons. In addition, as a part of its efforts to promote the conclusion of the IAEA Additional Protocols for strengthening the IAEA Safeguards, which is an indispensable system for the present-day international nuclear non-proliferation regime, Japan hosted the International Conference on Wider Adherence to Strengthened IAEA Safeguards in Tokyo in December 2002.

Japan continues to adhere firmly to its "Three Non-Nuclear Principles" of "not possessing, not producing and not permitting the introduction of nuclear weapons into Japan" as an essential and fundamental policy for the nation. To ensure adherence to these principles, Japan maintains a basic policy of requiring that the utilization of nuclear energy shall be limited to peaceful purposes, as stipulated by Japan's Atomic Energy Basic Law. As a State Party to the NPT and adhering to IAEA Safeguards, including the IAEA Additional Protocols, Japan continues to make all efforts for securing transparency regarding the related nuclear activities.

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