United Nations Peace-keeping Operations

A Guide to Japanese Policies

Akiho Shibata, L. William Heinrich, Jr., Yoshihide Soeya
Release Date: April 1, 1999

Why is participation in UN peace-keeping and humanitarian operations such a sensitive issue for Japanese policymakers? Although Japan is among the United Nations’ most enthusiastic supporters, it has only recently begun to send its Self-Defense Forces to assist UN peace operations.

In this book, three experts unravel the political and legal complexities that bedevil Japanese officials in their attempts to cooperate with these missions. A comprehensive historical overview of Japan’s peace-keeping policy provides readers with background to understand this contentious issue. The following two sections offer a detailed look at Japanese participation in recent UN peace operations and at the complex decisionmaking process that preceded this. The longest section is devoted to in-depth analysis of the legal aspects of Japan’s peace-keeping policy, particularly the constraints under which policymakers operate. The final section details Japanese and civilian participation in UN peace operations.