The Japanese Parliamentary Committee for World Federation (JPCWF), composed of bipartisan members of the Japanese Diet, was held on May 15, 2019 in the Conference Room of the House of Councilors. Mr. Seishirō ETO, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee, gave opening remarks and briefings for the General Assembly, and Ms. Kuniko INOGUCHI, the standing member of the Parliamentary Committee, acted as a moderator. Major political parties were represented by senior members who included Mr. Bunmei IBUKI of the Liberal Democratic Party and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Tetsuro FUKUYAMA, Secretary-General of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, Mr. Yuichiro TAMAKI, the Leader of the Democratic Party for the People (DPFP), Mr. Masahiko INOUE, Vice President of the Komeito, Mr. Akira SAKAI, Japanese Communist Party Policy Chairman, and Ms. Mizuho FUKUSHIMA, Social Democratic Party Policy Chairperson. Mr. Masahiko SHIBAYAMA, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology provided his comments. The Japan Committee on Global Governance (JCG) was then established, and former United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative Sukehiro Hasegawa was appointed its chairman.
Achim Wennmann, Researcher at the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP) at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and Executive Coordinator of the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform made a presentation on the future of peacebuilding at the JICA, Global Plaza on Friday the 19th of April, followed by a lively discussion amongst the participants.
Yamazaki suggests three shifts in the Japanese co-operation approach: (1) provision of advisory policy services to meet emerging needs of middle income countries (MICs); (2) an integrated approach to new MICs which are still Least Developed Countries (LDCs), recognizing that their development gains are still fragile and vulnerable to shocks; and (3) sharing of Japanese experience with countries still in the “demographic bonus” period to prepare for a future graying population, all with an aim to institutionalizing their social policy, laws and practices.
Some participants found positive and encouraging signs while others remained skeptical about the possibility for South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and his major adversary, the former vice-president and opposition leader Riek Machar and other tribal leaders to translate the agreement reached in September 2018 into the formation of a stable government. A summary report of discussion will follow.
A year-end party was held at the French restaurant, Les Cristalline in Aoyama, Tokyo. In addition to the memories of the events that took place this year, the participants talked about how to move forward next year in the meeting of the Board of Directors on February 9.
Mr. Yasushi Akashi looked at how the UN peace operations had evolved over the years in Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa and pointed out the need to ascertain how Japan can contribute to the UN peace operations in the future. Mr. Akashi served as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Cambodia and in the former Yugoslavia.
2018 Tokyo Peacebuilding Forum was held at JICA Ichigaya Building on December 8, 2018. It was opened by former Under-Secretary-General and Special Representatives of the Secretary-General Mr. Yasushi Akashi and keynote speech was delivered by Ambassador Fumio Iwai, Secretary-General of the Secretariat of the International Peace Cooperation Headquarters of the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan. Please find the program with pictures of meetings and participants.
Key points made during the discussion included the importance for UNDEF to sustain universal value, efficiency in execution of its programs and activities; to assist the institution building; to encourage local, national and regional ownership in democratization process. There was a consensus that Japan should support financially and technically the democratization process and sustaining democratic principles of governance.
Ambassador in charge of International Cooperation for Countering Terrorism and International Organized Crime, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Eiji YAMAMOTO, explained the incidents of international terrorism has reached its highest frequency in OECD countries, while it declined in Southeast Asia.
The first meeting of the GPAJ Executive Committee was held on June 13 at Le Gourmand Bistro in Ebisu in preparation for the 2018 Annual Research Convention to be held on December 8 at JICA Research Institute at Ichigaya. Nine members commenced their work to be coordinated by Professor Kurosawa as Executive Chairman. (Kenji Nakazawa)
At the 30th Seminar held on Saturday, 26 May 2018 at Tokyo University Komaba Campus, GPAJ members asked the Ambassador how Slovenia gained independence from ex-Yugoslavia and how Slovenia is deal with the mass inflow of refugees and migrants.
Timorese Embassy Counselor Nuno ALVES made a detailed presentation on the political and economic developments since 2008, followed by Daisuke Nihei of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan who provided an analysis of votes received by respective political parties on May 12, 2018. (Report filed by Denishi Joshi)
Oshima found significant Secretary-General António Guterres` assessment that the UN suffered from “Fragmented structures, Byzantine procedures, Endless red tape.”
Former Ambassador to South Sudan and currently Deputy Director-General for African Masahiko KIYA will make presentation on “Japan’s Support for Peacebuilding in South Sudan: A Perspective from the Ground” on 28 January 2018 at Tokyo University Komaba Campus.
Higashi identified challenges caused by POC, Hisamura presented field perspective, Takazawa theorized the crossroads between Protection of Civilians (POC) mandates and R2P, and Tsuyada explained MOFA`s assistance in capacity building of peacekeeping personnel, while Miwa revealed the dilemma in mandate formulation and implementation.
Graduate students who participated in the annual meeting of the Global Peacebuilding of Japan found the presentation made by Professor Takayuki Mizuno of Kanda University of International Relations best in terms of its content and clarity of presentation.
“Peacebuilding: Roles of International Community and Japan”(2017/12/02 10:00-18:00 @Collaboration Room 4, Building 18 Floor 4, Komaba Campus, the University of Tokyo)
Graduate Program on Human Security of the University of Tokyo and Global Peace Association of Japan (GPAJ) held a seminar on the extent of reconciliation achieved in Rwanda with Dr. Kazuyuki Sasaki of Protestant Institute of Arts and Social Sciences.
Ambassador Yoshifumi Okamura, Representative of the Government of Japan for the International Peace and Stability, will deliver the keynote speech on “New Challenges for Peace Operations in Africa”.