Saturday, January 12, 2008

JSDF Out to Africa

After the tragic comedy of the "terror bill", Japan's ruling coalition forced its law through parliament to revive an international U.S. led anti-terrorism mission in the Indian Ocean. Done. Now what does it mean for other engagement of Japan's defense on mini scale and expeditionary cute missions overseas? Well, simple, a Japanese military specialist said: "Chinese sent troops for PKO in recent missions", they did it, then the Japanese did it too and they will follow Beijing's mood again. "士馬 tel le Samouraï chevauchant son noble destrier."

Absolutely true, nationalisme oblige "China joined the UN PKO both in East Timor and in Cambodia" as Professor Edward Friedman wrote, "China has launched a major effort to train Chinese PKO forces and has brought trainees to China from all over Asia." Remember the early 90's, when JSDF did a deployment for PKO to Cambodia, helped by France defense personal, and, to Mozambique * in addition to Middle East? The Japanese armed forces specialist continues: "So, Japanese will do it again, as Chinese do", and this time following the mood of the time, to Africa too because things changed there.

This China Japan watching each other moves is an "interesting element", fact of major importance, a fresh update, in substance, according to political scientist Dr. Richard J Samuels, author of "Securing Japan: Tokyo's Grand Strategy and the Future of East Asia" (Cornell Studies). "Japan is more rational than we think", Dr. Samuels said to an informal group of Japan watchers recently in Tokyo.

Indeed Japan is "considering sending members of its Self-Defense Forces to a peacekeeping training facility in Africa as instructors, this is according to government sources on Thursday. The first dispatch is intended to highlight Japan's international contribution, as it often faces difficulty sending peacekeeping troops to Africa due to stringent domestic rules according to sources.

In Africa, instructors from European and other countries' forces are training military personnel and other experts at facilities such as the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center in Ghana and the Peacekeeping School in Mali.

Tokyo has recently rejected a request from Burundi to send an SDF helicopter unit to help airlift its soldiers to take part in the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur, Sudan, and a similar request from Tanzania, citing the lack of a comprehensive peace accord there.

Under the PKO cooperation law enacted in 1992, Japan requires parties of a conflict to have agreed on a cease-fire and accept Japan's participation in a peacekeeping operation in the area, and that Japan remains neutral and withdraws if these conditions are no longer met."

* The law has allowed the SDF to take part in operations in Cambodia, Mozambique and three other countries. SDF troops are participating in the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights to maintain the cease-fire between Israel and Syria, and the U.N. Mission in Nepal under a cease-fire accord between the Nepalese government and Maoist rebels.

One cannot say one day that China is backward and the day after that China is a growing threat thanks to European, Russian, Israel military technologies... Click the title to access to this blog "angrychineseblogger" which describes the contradicting views prominently growing in the "Kick China's butt" sphere.

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