Building peace or following the leader? Japan's peace consolidation diplomacy

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In Japan, debates about the nature of peacekeeping contributions continue alongside questions regarding the relevance of Japan's constitution in the twenty-first century and the political implications of aid disbursement. This article seeks to illustrate how both Official Development Assistance and peacekeeping operations arc being linked through Japan's "peace consolidation diplomacy." For historical reasons, the Japanese government has been unable to play a traditional peacekeeping role. At the same time,japan's position as leading aid donor has received negative feedback from a recession-bound populous that now views key recipient countries as competitors rather than needy neighbours. As a result, issues pertaining to humanitarian intervention, peacekeeping and aid provision frequently overlap, as Japan searches for a means of playing a constructive international role commensurate with. the expectations of the rest of the world and with Japan's own claim for a place on the permanent UN. Security Council. This article examines Japanese debates surrounding the sending of military personnel to crisis areas and the changing provision of aid, against a background of changing concepts of humanitarian intervention, peacekeeping and assistance; It illustrates how the Japanese government utilizes a combined narrative of peacekeeping, humanitarian intervention and aid giving, in order simultaneously to soften the public response to sending peacekeepers and to respond to increasingly targeted international demands for a more substantial Japanese contribution to conflict resolution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-47
Number of pages21
JournalPacific Affairs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


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