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All-Japan Approach to International Peace Operations

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This article discusses the development and features of the All-Japan approach that can be restated as integrated inter-agency/civil-military coordination, which has been placed in Japan’s policy for international peace cooperation (ipc), and has a potential to constitute Japan’s unique contribution to international peace operations. The article provides an overview of Japan’s recent involvement in international peace operations such as in Timor-Leste, Iraq, Haiti and South Sudan, paying special attention to inter-agency/civil-military nexus in each operation both at the strategic/policy level and the operational/field level. It argues that the All-Japan approach can offer a framework for better coordination among Japanese actors on the ground, and thus it can make Japan’s contribution more ‘visible’ to the local community and populations concerned. At the same time, it also seeks to present a warning that such an approach may infringe on the unity of the mission, especially if it is a un peacekeeping operation, and disturb the coherence of multilateral efforts on the ground. Furthermore, the All-Japan approach can jeopardize genuine decision-making of Japanese actors on the ground because of the unspoken pressure from their government to formulate All-Japan activities. In short, the All-Japan approach may become an end itself rather than a means.

Affiliations: 1: School of International Liberal Studies, Waseda University 1-6-1 Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8050, Japan,


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