Tokyo (dpa) – The Japanese constitution was written under the US occupation government in post-World War II Japan and is unchanged since its adoption in 1947. It renounces war and “the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.”
The constitution declares Japan to be a pacifist country, calling the military a Self-Defence Force.
Japan does have a network of diplomatic and defence ties with many major powers and participates in multilateral operations, peace-building, humanitarian assistance and election monitoring.
For its first UN missions, Japan sent minesweepers to the Gulf in 1991 and supported UN peacekeeping operations in Cambodia in 1992.
Japan’s armed forces have been sent to 36 projects during the past 24 years, including aid missions.
The forces’ Navy also refueled allies’ warships in the Indian Ocean fighting terrorist targets after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
In 2004, then-premier Junichiro Koizumi faced strong public opposition when he dispatched hundreds of non-combat troops to Iraq to help rebuild the war-torn country. It was the first time Japan had sent troops to a combat zone since the end of World War II.
Japan is the second-largest contributor to UN budgets, providing 12.5 per cent of the income the organization receives from member states, following the United States at 22 per cent, and ahead of France at 8 per cent.
Japan has contributed forces and police to UN peace building missions in the following locations:
– Golan Heights, since 1996
– Sudan, since 2008
– Mozambique, 1993-1995
– Nepal 2007-2011
– Cambodia 1992-1993
– Haiti, since 2010
– East Timor, intermittently since 1999
Japan has contributed humanitarian relief to UN missions in the following locations:
– Rwanda, 1994
– Iraq, 2003
– Afghanistan, 2001.
Japan currently provides a total of 272 troops to the UN’s international peacekeeping operations.