NIRA Research Report No. 20000005
Japan's Proactive Peace and Security Strategies
--Including the Question of "Nuclear Umbrella"
Looking toward the 21st century, we Japanese need to make efforts to establish our identities as "Japanese living in the globally village," based on the recognition that the existence of Japan is inevitably linked with other parts of the world. Undeniably, Japan's traditional peace and security strategies after the end of World War II, in which we declared, "not to become an aggressor," "not to possess nuclear weapons" and "not to export weapons," have contributed to world peace in no small measure. However, in the future, it is desirable to develop "proactive peace and security strategies," where "Japan will proactively do something for world peace," in addition to the traditional reactive peace and security strategies.
From the viewpoint mentioned above, this study report presents specific recommendations in five areas in which the Japanese government and citizens could make further efforts. All these areas taken up in this report are not necessarily new. Recommendations are more in the domain of feasible policies in immediate future. Proactive efforts in the areas recommended in this report will help clarifying Japan's identity as a nation that contributes actively to global peace and stability.
This study report was drafted through eighteen meetings of Core Study Group, which consisted of ten experts including Chairman Mitsuro Donowaki, Research Advisor for the National Institute for Research Advancement (NIRA). These meetings were held from June 1999 to December 2000. In order to make this report firmly based on public awareness in Japan as well, NIRA conducted an opinion survey with 2,000 Japanese citizens chosen randomly from all over the country in the fall of 1999. For the purpose of comparison, the same questionnaire was sent to Japanese and overseas informed people. Furthermore, NIRA commissioned five well-known overseas experts as Non-resident Advisors to comment and advise on the summaries of Core Study Group meetings on a regular basis. In addition, in October 2000, NIRA sponsored a "Roundtable" (a joint session) for the purpose of in-depth discussions by Core Study Group members, Non-resident Advisors, and special participants.
The Summaries of the Core Study Group Meetings and Comments from Non-resident Advisors, the Roundtable Proceedings, and the Opinion Survey Results have high values as reference materials, therefore they are attached to this report as "Reference Materials."
2. Purpose of this Report, Based on Opinion Survey Results (Chapter 1)
As the areas suitable for the Japanese government and public to pursue "proactive peace and security strategies," this report takes up five specific areas: the promotion of nuclear disarmament, the assistance to nuclear weapons destruction in Russia and in other newly independent states (NIS), the reinforcement of an Asian security framework, the participation in peace-keeping operations, and the activities in peace-building with the participation of civil society. As a result of the opinion survey, it was clear that Japanese people regarded the promotion of nuclear disarmament as the highest priority area for Japan in contributing to world peace. Meanwhile, when the Japanese government strongly protested against the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan in 1998, Japan was criticized as "being hypocritical and contradictory for making such protests while protected under the US nuclear umbrella." Therefore, the survey went into some details on the views held by Japanese people, such as those on the counter-criticisms mentioned above, on the effectiveness of the US nuclear umbrella, on the possibility of total elimination of nuclear weapons, and on the efforts for nuclear disarmament being made by the Japanese government.
The opinion survey revealed that about 70% of the Japanese general public regarded that both the US nuclear umbrella and the US-Japan Security Treaty were useful for Japan's peace and security. In the meantime, while around 70% of the Japanese coolly replied that "Regardless of how much time passes, the total elimination of nuclear weapons is not possible," again over 70% believed that the Japanese government should make greater efforts for nuclear weapons disarmament and elimination. On the above-mentioned criticism against Japan as "being hypocritical and contradictory for making such protests while protected under the US nuclear umbrella," about 50% answered that it was "Self-contradictory, yet [Japan] should protest [such tests], and about 20% replied that it was "Not self-contradictory, hence [Japan] should protest."
In the areas other than nuclear weapons disarmament, around 40% of the general public favored more active participation of Japan in Peace-keeping Operations, while another 40% favored maintaining the current level of participation, showing a near-even split.
3. "Nuclear Umbrella" and Nuclear Disarmament (Chapter 2)
As was mentioned above, it may appear inconsistent for the Japanese people to consider that the "nuclear umbrella" is useful for Japan's security, while at the same time maintaining that their government should promote nuclear weapons disarmament more actively. Upon a closer look, however, it is one thing for Japan to pursue its national aspiration of nuclear weapons elimination, and it is another to look for the best possible option, namely a "US nuclear umbrella," for the sake of its own security. Therefore, it is only healthy and natural for the Japanese to seek for both goals.
Regarding nuclear disarmament, the Japanese government has been submitting to the UN General Assembly a resolution on the Ultimate Elimination of Nuclear Weapons annually and has actively taken various initiatives in pursuit of a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty (CTBT). About 70% of the Japanese general public asserted that the government should make even more efforts in this field. In order to comply with such wishes, it is advisable for the government of Japan to take concreted steps with the member countries of the New Agenda Coalition (NAC: which consists of Brazil, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden and Slovenia, who later withdrew; NAC published a joint declaration entitled "Towards A Nuclear Weapons Free World: The Need for a New Agenda" in 1998), according with the contents of the group's proposals. Nevertheless, the government should avoid confrontation simply for the sake of confrontation with the nuclear weapon states and make "honest efforts" for real progress in nuclear disarmament. As to the substantial agenda items for nuclear disarmament such as the early ratification of the CTBT, the expediting o the negotiations for the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, the early ratification of the START II Treaty and its complete implementation, and so forth, it is indispensable for Japan to keep up its efforts being made in these areas, and to make even greater efforts.
If Japan is to pursue proactive peace and security strategies, it is also essential to promote nuclear disarmament by way of gradually reducing its reliance on the "nuclear umbrella" and by reducing the salience of nuclear weapons. However, the option for Japan to discard the "US nuclear umbrella" is unrealistic, given the prevailing international political and security realities. The opinion survey shows similar reactions of the general public in Japan. On the other hand, if nuclear weapon states were to make a no first use commitment among each other, the reliance on nuclear deterrence and the salience of nuclear weapons would be reduced significantly, and nuclear disarmament would make further advances. Although it is unlikely that the five nuclear weapon states would make such a commitment in the near future, the government of Japan is recommended at least to consider the policy of welcoming the conclusion of a no first use agreement between the US and China.
Likewise, there is a noteworthy discussion centered around what is known as "core deterrence," which argues that since the only utility of nuclear weapons in today's world is to deter the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, nuclear weapon states should clarify their position that they would not use nuclear weapons to deter attacks or threat of attacks by conventional weapons including chemical/biological weapons. The government of Japan is recommended to initiate a study on necessary steps to be taken in relation to "core deterrence," in view of the fact that the possibility for NATO to review its nuclear strategy cannot be ruled out.
4. Assistance for Nuclear Weapons Destruction in Russia and in other NIS (Newly Independent States) (Chapter 3)
Among the five areas covered in this report as the areas Japan should make further efforts to promote pro-active peace and security strategies, the least known in Japan may be the assistance activities for nuclear weapons destruction in Russia and other states of the former Soviet Union.
Without the strict management and disposal of the surplus weapons-grade fissile materials in Russia, the danger of nuclear proliferation will only increase, and the goal of the elimination of nuclear weapons will not be achievable.
On the question of the support for the conversion of the Russian surplus plutonium into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel, the Japanese government is recommended to continue to cooperate with G8 nations and other interested nations in working out an efficient framework. It would be desirable for such a framework to be based on the combination of technology and funds in such a manner that would facilitate cooperation from non-governmental sectors, including private-sector funding and the use of privately-owned nuclear reactors. On the question of Japan's support for the nuclear weapons destruction, the Japanese government should continue to provide support to the ongoing activities related to Material protection, Control & Accounting (MPC&A). In particular, the government should give higher priority to the cooperation in the dismantling of the Russian nuclear submarines based in the Far East.
Besides, though it is related to the issue of overall nuclear disarmament, which was dealt with in the previous section, the lack of transparency on the part of nuclear weapon states, including Russia, with respect to the amount and types of weapons-grade fissile materials, as well as the manner of possession and storage of such materials, is a serious problem. The Japanese government should ask all the nuclear weapon states to publicize the amount of surplus fissile materials they possess and place them under the control of appropriate international safeguards, thus enhancing "transparency" and securing "irreversibility" of such materials.
5. Asian Security Framework and Japan's Position (Chapter 4)
In Europe, NATO, while maintaining its function as a mechanism for collective self-defense, is gradually embracing new missions for regional peace and stability. Also, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), originally established as a mechanism for dialogue between the Eastern and Western camps, started to function as a cooperative security mechanism for "dialogue," it was only recently that ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) was established as a forum for "consultation."
For the time being, the security framework in Asia will have to be based on the "deterrence" mechanism based on bilateral alliances such as Japan-US Security Treaty, while at the same time promoting politico-security "dialogue" within the mechanism offered for this purpose by the ARF. Such dialogue naturally should be supplemented by confidence-building measures such as the on-going bilateral, trilateral, and quadrilateral governmental dialogues, as well as track two security dialogues. All of the above, combined, are expected to foster a multi-layered security framework in the Asia-Pacific region. As to the existing mechanism of the ARF, it needs to be further strengthened. For instance, the Chair might be empowered to issue politically binding statements even without the consent of a particular member state concerned, and this could be established as a practice.
Eventually, sub-regional mechanisms independent from or supplement to the ARF will have to be established, particularly in the case of Northeast Asia.
6. Peace-keeping Operations in the 21st Century and Japan's Role (Chapter 5)
If Japan is to pursue pro-active peace and security strategies and to work for the betterment of the world, Japan will have to participate more actively in the peace-keeping operations (PKO) of the United Nations. Efforts have already been made in this direction through the 1992 enactment of "the International Peace Cooperation Law" and its revision in 1998. However, an early "de-freezing" of the so-called core activities of PKO by the units of the Self-Defense Forces is much to be desired. Also, even before the "de-freezing," the dispatch of personnel to peace-keeping operations in addition to the current participation in the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) should be considered.
What is required after the "de-freezing" of core activities is the review of the so-called Japan's five principles on PKO. With the increase of intra-state conflicts after the end of the Cold War, it is becoming harder to identify the parties to armed conflicts. Therefore, such principles as the prior existence of cease-fire agreements among the parties to a conflict and the prior consent of the parties to a peace-keeping operation. With regard to the use of weapons by peace-keeping personnel, although this is a question that involves the interpretation of the Constitution, efforts will have to be made to coordinate Japan's practices with UN practices. Furthermore, there is a need for some administrative reforms that would make governmental organs in charge of peace-keeping activities more streamlined and the budget for such activities more independent.
In the "post-modern (or complex)" peace-keeping operations, which often deal with civil war type conflicts, not only the core activities of PKO, such as the observation of cease-fire agreements and the demobilization of troops, but also the re-building of collapsed governments, particularly of the security systems, is becoming a pressing issue in order to ensure peace and security of the local people. Therefore, there is a need to secure personnel for this purpose, and offer them basic education and training on the tasks of international civilian police, and also on the need for cooperative relationships between peace-keeping personnel and civilian volunteers and NGOs from Japan and other countries. For these reasons, it would be desirable to establish a peace-keeping training center focused on the education and training of peace-keeping personnel.
7. Peace-building with the Participation of Civil Society and Japan's Role (Chapter 6)
The increasing number of regional conflicts, particularly of the intra-state conflicts, in the post-Cold War era is a matter of paramount concern to the international community. These are the types of conflicts states and international organizations including the UN often find it difficult to deal with, while civil societies including NGOs have been expanding their activities in dealing with such conflicts. The latter have not only been engaged in humanitarian relief activities in the regions of conflicts, but are now becoming more engaged in conflict prevention / resolution activities. The so-called "peace-building activities" aim to resolve root causes of conflicts through the promotion of reconciliation and cooperation among conflicting parties, respect for the rights of minorities, fair distribution of wealth and opportunities, and the establishment of security systems and support for democratization for example. It is in these activities at grass-root levels that civil societies including NGOs have come to play a significant role, along with states and international organizations.
If Japan is to pursue pro-active peace and security strategies looking toward the 21st century, there will be a need to greatly encourage civil society's participation in peace-building activities mentioned above. It would be advisable, for example, to increase the percentage share of the ODA budget disbursed through NGOs from the current 2.4 percent to 10 percent, which is the average level among advanced nations, during the course of the next few years. In selecting candidate NGOs for governmental subsidies for this purpose, the Japanese government would need to establish certain standards or guidelines. For the moment, those Japanese NGOs which have already been involved in democratization assistance activities such as election monitoring, or those which have been involved in humanitarian relief activities with established reputation internationally will have to be given priorities.
Also, the government will have to take appropriate measures to nurture and encourage new NGOs with an entrepreneurial spirit, who are trying to establish themselves in this field of activities. Moreover, efforts will have to be made to develop a system in Japan as a whole, in which highly talented people can choose to enter in this field of activities. For this purpose, the government will have to encourage research, training, and awareness campaign activities. Furthermore, the introduction of tax concession measures will have to be explored, because, in addition to governmental support, NGOs engaged in peace-building activities need to receive funding from the general public.
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