Japan's role in peacebuilding in Asia

Toshiya Hoshino, PhD; Professor, Osaka University
Former Minister-Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations

ADI, NIAS and the Embassy of Japan have the pleasure of inviting to an open guest lecture with Professor Toshiya Hoshino.

Professor Hoshino is a specialist in international politics and in theories of international security treaties, particularly specializing in foreign policies towards the US, security cooperation in the Asia Pacific region, and the United Nations system. 

Japan's role in peacebuilding in Asia

Supporting peacebuilding processes for countries emerging from conflict is now one of the key priority areas of Japanese foreign policy. By combining its political, financial, and human resources, Japan has actively embarked on these noble but highly complex tasks, both bilaterally and multilaterally, from Cambodia and Timor Leste to Sudan's Darfur as well as from Sri Lanka to Sierra Leone.

At the United Nations, Tokyo recently headed the newly founded Peacebuilding Commission as the Chair in its second year (2007-08) and made efforts to promote high-level mobilization of support and resources among the local stakeholders, both governmental and civil society, the UN bodies, regional organizations and the Bretton Woods institutions. Bilaterally, Japan has employed its ODA and the participation in the UN Peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions in selected cases. But more can be done. Three additional steps for peacebuilding support can be explored particularly in Japan's home ground, Asia.

  • One is more fully incorporating a "human security" perspective, a bottom-up and human-centered approach that Japan advocates, in international peacebuilding support activities.
  • Two is encouraging the involvement of private sector (business among others) in this multi-stakeholder processes.
  • And three is promoting south-south peacebuilding cooperation, for example, ASEAN members supporting post-conflict countries in and outside of the region.

The speaker introduces his experience of joint Indonesia-Japan collaboration in the context of UN Peacebuilding Commission to preliminary explore these initiatives. Moreover, he believes that both Japan and the European countries, including Denmark, are in the position to jointly promote these innovative efforts by exchanging more regular and concrete policy-oriented talks. On the part of Japan, with its own transformational history to peace and prosperity from the ashes of war and devastation, the speaker considers it should continue to be involved in international peacebuilding support endeavors proactively for those who wish to break the chain of conflict and despair.

All are welcome!