Overview of the JSDF’s International Peace Cooperation Assignments
In order to play a more active role for international peace, Japan enacted the Act on Cooperation for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations and Other Operations (International Peace Cooperation Act or PKO Act) in June 1992. Ever since then, it has been making personnel and in-kind contributions to assist efforts led by the UN and other organizations.
Specifically, the law sets out four pillars of Japan’s participation and contribution in international peace cooperation: 1. UN Peacekeeping Operations, 2. Internationally Coordinated Operations for Peace and Security, 3. International Humanitarian Relief Operations and 4. International Election Observation Operations. Upon implementations the law stipulates that these operations shall be carried out in accordance with the five principles for participation*.
*Created by editing the Road to Peace (the Cabinet Office)
International Peace Cooperation Activities Conducted by the SDF
The Ministry of Defense (MOD)/Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) has been promoting international peace cooperation activities in various regions, including Cambodia, the Golan Heights, Timor-Leste, Nepal, and South Sudan for more than 25 years, and the results of these activities have been highly praised both inside and outside Japan.
As part of international peace cooperation activities, personnel dispatches to the UNMISS headquarters are continuing and four Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) members currently carry out duties at the UNMISS headquarters, such as procuring and transporting goods needed in UNMISS activities, collecting and compiling information, planning and proposing UNMISS engineering activities, and assisting in operation of aircraft run by UNMISS. Additionally, one liaison staff member has been dispatched to the liaison office in South Sudan to support these JGSDF members of UNMISS.
Further, as the MOD/JSDF is able to participate in Internationally Coordinated Operations for Peace and Security along with the enforcement of the Legislation for Peace and Security, it has dispatched staff officers to the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) since April 2019.
As stated in the National Defense Program Guidelines, in line with the Legislation for Peace and Security, the MOD/JSDF will actively promote international peace cooperation activities including international peace cooperation assignments, while giving comprehensive consideration to such factors as purposes of missions, situations in host countries, and political and economic relations between Japan and host countries. While making good use of past experiences to develop human resources, Japan will actively contribute through such efforts as sending embedded personnel to mission headquarters and so on.