White Paper on Development Cooperation 2019

White Paper on Development Cooperation 2019

Regional and internal conflicts arising from ethnic, religious, and historical differences continue to pose challenges for the international community. Such conflicts generate a great number of refugees and displaced persons, resulting in humanitarian crises. These conflicts also undermine the progress in development achieved through long-term efforts, and cause massive economic losses. Therefore, it is important for the entire international community to engage in “peacebuilding” for the establishment of foundations for development in order to prevent conflicts, avoid their recurrence, and consolidate sustainable peace.

Peacebuilding efforts through ODA

●Japan’s Efforts

Discussions on consistent support from the resolution of conflicts to recovery, reconstruction, and nation-building have been held in fora such as the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC),* which was established in 2005. Japan has served as a member of the PBC Organizational Committee since its establishment, and has been pursuing intensive efforts from the standpoint of proactive contribution to peace, based on the principle of international cooperation. Japan also actively contributes to the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF)* that was established in 2006. To date, Japan has contributed a total of $52.5 million, and supports the prevention of conflict recurrence, conflict prevention, and sustainable peace in countries in Africa and other areas as the sixth highest major donor. In February 2018, the “Secretary-General Report on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace” was published, and a variety of recommendations were made, aiming at strengthening financing for peacebuilding and other activities. In April of the same year, the “High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace” was held, and Japan pledged to support the initiatives of the Secretary-General in the area of peacebuilding.

Moreover, Japan provides various types of support for refugees and displaced persons affected by conflict, such as food assistance, and electoral assistance for political peace processes. In addition, after a conflict is resolved, Japan has assisted in Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants in order to rebuild the national security sector to ensure domestic stability and security, and promote the consolidation of peace. Japan also extends support for the reconstruction of affected countries in such areas as the repatriation and resettlement of refugees and displaced persons, and the rebuilding of basic infrastructure (socio-economic infrastructure). Further, in order to consolidate sustainable peace and ensure that conflicts do not reoccur, Japan works to strengthen the administrative, judicial, and policing functions of the country in question, while supporting the development of economic infrastructure and institutions, and pursuing efforts in the social sectors of healthcare and education. In such undertakings, Japan is giving maximum consideration to the importance of the roles that women can play in peacebuilding. In order to provide these supports in a seamless manner, Japan takes an approach that combines assistance through international organizations, grant aid, technical cooperation, and ODA loans.

Furthermore, the Development Cooperation Charter outlines that Japan will strengthen coordination between development cooperation and international peace cooperation activities such as UN peacekeeping operations (PKOs). In the fields where UN PKOs are deployed, many initiatives are underway which contribute to efforts for protecting refugees, women, and children affected by conflict and developing basic infrastructure. To maximize the effects of such efforts, it remains important for Japan to promote such forms of cooperation.

In addition, Japan dispatched 172 instructors from the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF) and other government entities to conduct training on the operation of heavy engineering equipment for 277 engineering personnel in eight (Note15) countries in Africa, under the framework of the United Nations Triangular Partnership Project, where three parties, namely the United Nations, Supporting Member States and Troop Contributing Countries, cooperate to enhance the capacity of uniformed personnel to be dispatched to PKO missions through provision of training and equipment. This project expanded its scope to Asia and its surrounding regions. Japan dispatched 40 JGSDF personnel and government officials to train 36 engineering personnel from nine (Note16) Asian countries at the trial training in 2018 and the first training in 2019 convened in Viet Nam. Furthermore, in October 2019, Japan started life-saving training in the field of medical care, which has become an important issue for UN PKOs.

Support for Refugees and Displaced Persons
Staff of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Bangladesh office listening to female displaced persons at a camp in Cox’s Bazar District, which faces a humanitarian crisis due to the large influx of displaced persons in August 2017 (Photo: UNFPA Bangladesh)

Staff of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Bangladesh office listening to female displaced persons at a camp in Cox’s Bazar District, which faces a humanitarian crisis due to the large influx of displaced persons in August 2017 (Photo: UNFPA Bangladesh) (see also “Stories from the Field”)

Given the situations in Syria, Myanmar, and other countries, the number of forcibly displaced populations including refugees and displaced persons worldwide at the end of 2018 reached its highest level since the end of World War II, and humanitarian situations are becoming increasingly severe. From the viewpoint of human security, Japan is providing humanitarian assistance, including assistance for refugees, displaced persons and others, in order to ensure the life, dignity, and security of the people in the most vulnerable positions, and to support the realization of self-reliant development, wherein each person is capable of getting back on their own feet.

In particular, Japan works with international organizations, mainly the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to provide refugees, displaced persons, and others around the world with assistance by distributing shelter, food, and basic supplies necessary to live. Furthermore, through cooperation with the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and other international organizations, Japan is providing assistance for refugees, displaced persons, and others, even in locations with security concerns, by utilizing their expertise and delivering capabilities.

Upon providing this kind of assistance for refugees, displaced persons, and others through international organizations, Japan places importance on a visible cooperation through collaboration with Japanese entities such as JICA, Japan’s development cooperation implementing agency, as well as private companies. For example, in the case of refugee assistance by UNHCR, Japan works in collaboration with JICA to implement a program combining emergency and reconstruction assistance. In addition, Japan Platform (JPF), an emergency humanitarian aid organization, established in 2000 in cooperation with NGOs, the Government, and the business communities, is providing assistance for refugees, displaced persons, and others (see also “B. Cooperation with Japanese NGOs”)

Japan is also promoting “development cooperation” to help countries to stand on their own from the medium to long-term perspective, in parallel with urgently required “humanitarian assistance,” from the initial phases after a humanitarian crisis arises (humanitarian-development nexus). This is extremely important for preventing refugees, displaced persons, and others from descending once again into a situation that will require humanitarian support. Furthermore, in addressing prolonged and escalating humanitarian crises, in addition to the above mentioned “humanitarian-development nexus,” it is necessary to drastically strengthen measures for addressing the root causes of the conflict. In order to realize this, Japan continues to place importance on the idea of “humanitarian, development and peace nexus,” and is seamlessly extending “support for peacebuilding and the prevention of the recurrence of conflicts,” and “support for poverty reduction and economic development,” in countries and regions where humanitarian crises due to the conflicts have arisen.

Specific Example: Humanitarian Assistance for Displaced Persons in Rakhine State, Myanmar

Food being delivered to displaced persons through Japan’s emergency grant aid (Photo: WFP Bangladesh)

Food being delivered to displaced persons through Japan’s emergency grant aid (Photo: WFP Bangladesh)

In northern Rakhine state, Myanmar, the attack on the Myanmar security forces by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) in August 2017, the operations by the Myanmar security forces and the subsequent destabilization resulted in over approximately 700,000 displaced persons evacuating to the southeastern part of Bangladesh. The humanitarian situation among the displaced persons living in camps in the region is severe, and is greatly impacting the living environment of the surrounding host communities (regions that accept displaced persons).

Given the situation, Japan has been providing support in Bangladesh through Japanese NGOs since October 2017, by distributing essential supplies for living, improving the hygiene environment, providing medical treatment and protecting women and children through Japan Platform (JPF). Moreover, in January 2019, in collaboration with WFP, Japan decided to implement a grant aid program to provide food aid for the displaced persons, and to support the improvement of livelihoods among small-scale farmers in Bangladesh, including the host communities. Furthermore, in February 2019, Japan decided to provide assistance for improving the living environments of displaced persons and host communities in terms of water and sanitation, health and medical care, education, and others through international organizations and NGOs.

In Myanmar (Rakhine State), Japan is providing support for internally displaced persons and local residents with food and nutrition, water and sanitation, education, small-scale infrastructure development, and other areas through international organizations, in order to create an environment conducive to the return of displaced persons as well as for humanitarian assistance. Japan is also conducting cooperation in maintaining power lines, road pavement, school construction, and water supply facilities in Rakhine State through JICA.

Going forward, Japan will continue to provide support in both countries, in order to improve the humanitarian situation, and to create an environment conducive to safe, voluntary and dignified repatriation of the displaced persons.

Protection and Participation of the Socially Vulnerable

Although socially vulnerable people including persons with disabilities affected by conflict or landmines, orphans, widows, ex-combatants including child soldiers, and displaced persons are susceptible to the impact of a conflict, the reality remains that the socially vulnerable often receive delayed assistance in post-conflict recovery, and find it difficult to access the benefits of peace and reconstruction.

From this perspective, as one of the programs to support displaced persons, the Government of Japan supported the independence of displaced persons and others as well as the promotion of regional stability and social development through contributing to the job training and provision of equipment for refugees from South Sudan and residents of the host community in Adjumani District, Uganda, which is implemented by Terra Renaissance, a Japanese NGO. Furthermore, for the social reintegration of child soldiers and protection and empowerment of children, who are the most vulnerable in conflict-affected areas, Japan has been providing support through UNICEF. For example, in the Central African Republic, Japan provides support for the social reintegration of former child soldiers and comprehensive humanitarian assistance to children who were victims of sexual violence and internally-displaced persons, through UNICEF.

Reconstruction of Social and Human Capital

Japan supports the reconstruction of social capital and restoration of human capital who participate in economic activities in the countries affected by conflict. This support is aimed at preventing new conflicts from emerging, and eliminating factors that could cause new conflicts in the course of reconstruction or nation-building.

In regards to the reconstruction of social capital, Japan is putting particular effort in the following five areas: (i) development of social infrastructure, (ii) development of transportation, power grids, and telecommunications networks, (iii) improvement of health and medical system functions, (iv) improvement of education system functions, and (v) food security. As for the restoration of human capital, while combining assistance aimed at medium to long-term economic development as much as possible, Japan seeks to help develop an economic environment as well as improve livelihoods and increase job opportunities with a focus on preventing social instability caused by rising unemployment and other factors.


Humanitarian Assistance Program for People Fleeing Myanmar
Japan Platform (JPF) (October 2017 – (ongoing))

In August 2017, people from Myanmar fled to Bangladesh to escape violence in northern Rakhine State in Myanmar. Thus, approximately 900,000 people including people from Myanmar who had previously evacuated to Bangladesh currently live in the camps of Cox’s Bazarin Bangladesh*.

Japan Platform (see “Japan Platform (JPF)”), which was established to carry out emergency humanitarian aid through tripartite cooperation among NGOs, the government, and civil society and private sector in Japan, launched the “Humanitarian Assistance Program for People Fleeing Myanmar”. Since October 2017, after the mass influx of displaced people into Bangladesh, a total of 11 Japanese NGOs have provided assistance to displaced persons in a wide range of sectors under this program. The sectors of humanitarian assistance include water and sanitation, food and non-food item distributions, shelter construction, health and medical care, and protection of women and children. Eight of these NGOs are still working in the field.

Under this program, Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan), is supporting the improvement of the water sanitation environment by installing toilets, bathing spaces, and wells in the refugee camp, and approximately 4,700 households are using these facilities. AAR Japan also operates shelters where women and children can spend their time and interact in a safe environment. As of August 2019, there were approximately 200 women and 200 children using these shelters.

Japan Agency for Development and Emergency (JADE) provided support to improve the sanitation conditions of displaced women and increase their dignity, through distributing sanitary kits and providing health education sessions. The assistance was provided to 4,300 female beneficiaries.

When natural disasters and conflicts occur around the world, Japan will continue to provide effective and efficient emergency humanitarian assistance that matches local needs, by utilizing the strengths of Japanese NGOs.

Displaced children from Myanmar drawing water from a well installed by AAR Japan (Kutupalong refugee camp, March 2018) (Photo: AAR Japan)

Displaced children from Myanmar drawing water from a well installed by AAR Japan (Kutupalong refugee camp, March 2018) (Photo: AAR Japan)

A JADE staff member distributing sanitary kits to a displaced woman (Photo: JPF)

A JADE staff member distributing sanitary kits to a displaced woman (Photo: JPF)

*Source: OCHA “JRP 2019 funding update – 30 September 2019”

Countermeasures Against Antipersonnel Landmines, Unexploded Ordnance, and Illicit Small Arms and
Light Weapons
Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs OMI Asako delivers her speech in the High-Level Session of the Fourth Review Conference of 
the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention held in Norway (November 2019), expressing Japan’s continued commitment to providing support for addressing anti-personnel landmine issues in cooperation with related countries, organizations, and others

Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs OMI Asako delivers her speech in the High-Level Session of the Fourth Review Conference of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention held in Norway (November 2019), expressing Japan’s continued commitment to providing support for addressing anti-personnel landmine issues in cooperation with related countries, organizations, and others

In the countries and regions where there has been conflict, antipersonnel landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) remain to this day, and illicit small arms and light weapons are still widely used. These devices not only harm ordinary civilians and others indiscriminately and hinder reconstruction and development activities, but may also cause the exacerbation of conflict. It is important to cooperate continuously to stabilize communities and ensure security in these countries through such efforts as the disposal of antipersonnel landmines and UXOs, appropriate management of small arms and light weapons, and support and capacity building for landmine victims.

As a state party to the “Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction” and the “Convention on Cluster Munitions,” Japan is steadily implementing international cooperation through preventive efforts such as risk reduction education, in addition to mine clearance and victim assistance, from the perspective of the humanitarian, development, and peace nexus. For example, Japan has supported the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) not only in terms of equipment provision, but also in the establishment of a curriculum and building the foundations for training in landmine clearance. CMAC staff who have taken the training are engaged in efforts to spread the technical expertise on landmine clearance throughout Cambodia and abroad. Furthermore, such support has even achieved South-South cooperation, as CMAC is also functioning as a training center for staff responsible for landmine countermeasures in other countries, such as Colombia (see the column for more details).

In Afghanistan, a non-profit organization, the Association for Aid and Relief, Japan (AAR Japan), provides outreach education to raise awareness on the dangers of landmines, UXOs and other remnants of conflict, and on the proper ways of avoiding them. Since FY2009, through the Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects and JPF, AAR Japan has been conducting Mine Risk Education (MRE) in the country through the development of teaching materials, and conducting training seminars, etc. The organization also trains local people to conduct MRE by themselves. Through such activities, education and awareness-raising activities for the local people are steadily progressing.

Furthermore, in Laos, which has been particularly affected by UXOs, Japan has mainly dispatched UXO experts, provided equipment, and conducted South-South cooperation. Japan has also supported the capacity building of organizations that dispose of UXOs, including through introducing mechanical Bush-cutters to remove shrubs and development of forward outposts in Sekong Province, Salavan Province, and Champasak Province, all of which are poor regions in the country that have endured especially great suffering from UXOs.

In addition to providing bilateral support, Japan is proactively engaged in measures against mines and UXOs through international organizations. In 2019, Japan conducted clearance and risk education against landmines and UXOs through the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, South Sudan, Sudan, and Somalia. Moreover, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Japan has supported the Center for Humanitarian Demining Training in Benin (CPADD) in strengthening landmine disposal training capacity for Central and West African countries. Likewise, Japan has provided support for mine risk education in Palestine, Yemen, the Central African Republic, Chad, South Sudan, Iraq and Ukraine, via UNICEF since 2015. It is also supporting risk reduction education against landmines and the provision of prosthetic legs for people injured by landmines in Afghanistan, Iraq and Jordan, through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Japan also provides support for the collection, disposal, and stockpile management of small arms and light weapons. Furthermore, with a view to security improvement, as well as strengthening the capacity to manage and control the import and export of arms, Japan supports the development of relevant legal systems, capacity building of customs agencies, police forces, and other law enforcement agencies among other initiatives.


Economic and Social Development Programme (Strengthening the system and capacity for removal of anti-personnel landmines)
Grant Aid (June 2017 – October 2020)

Colombian Humanitarian Demining Brigade and CMAC personnel conducting operational training using CMAC-owned Nikken demining machines (Photo: CMAC)

Colombian Humanitarian Demining Brigade and CMAC personnel conducting operational training using CMAC-owned Nikken demining machines (Photo: CMAC)

In Colombia, the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) reached a peace agreement in 2016 to end a domestic conflict that lasted over half a century. The anti-personnel landmines that were buried during this conflict caused more than 11,000 casualties. It is said that even after reaching the peace agreement, landmines are said to remain buried in the areas that extend over more than half of the cities in the country.

In view of this situation, Japan provided seven demining machines manufactured by Nikken Corporation and a mobile container for storing maintenance and management tools for demining machines. In addition, Nikken, the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) in Cambodia, and the Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Programme (UXO Lao) in Laos implemented joint training on operation and maintenance of demining equipment in Japan, Cambodia, and Laos, for a total of 17 members of the Colombian Humanitarian Demining Brigade, consisting of members from the National Army of Colombia and staff of the Ministry of Defense. This enabled Japan to pass on the technology by transferring it through CMAC and UXO Lao to Colombian government officials, in what can be seen as a concrete example of “triangular cooperation” where Japan and developing countries transcend regions to support other developing countries.

Operational training was also conducted in Colombia for 30 members of the same team. These efforts are expected to strengthen the Colombian government’s anti-personnel mine clearing capabilities and operations. This program will accordingly encourage the return of internally displaced people who had been forced to abandon their land due to the fear of landmines, and enable local residents to use the recovered land for farming. In this way, it is expected to lead to the realization of a society where people can live with peace of mind.

Human Resources Development for Peacebuilding

Activities required in the field of peacebuilding and qualities needed for those engaged in such activities have become increasingly diversified and complex. From FY2007 to FY2014, Japan has implemented the Program for Human Resource Development for Peacebuilding to cultivate Japanese and other countries’ civilian specialists suitable on the ground. Under this program, for those who have the will to build careers in the field of peacebuilding, Japan conducted training in Japan to provide the knowledge and skills necessary on the ground, and also conducted career development support programs to provide the skills and knowledge for obtaining posts and career development in international organizations etc., of which the “Primary Course,” which offers on-the-job training at field offices of international organizations, serves as the main pillar. In FY2015, the program was renewed as the “Program for Global Human Resource Development for Peacebuilding and Development,” and its content has been expanded to include the “Mid-Career Course,” which supports the career advancement of those with a certain degree of practical experience in fields related to peacebuilding and development in addition to the Primary Course. In FY2018, the “Global Career Course” for practitioners seeking a new career in international organizations was also implemented. Many graduates of these courses are currently playing an active role in the fields of peacebuilding and development in countries such as South Sudan, Jordan, and Israel.


*Peacebuilding Commission (PBC)

A United Nations organization established in March 2005. Based on the recognition that it is extremely important to provide appropriate post-conflict support due to the frequent recurrence of regional conflicts and civil wars after they end, the PBC aims to provide advice regarding consistent support from conflict resolution to recovery, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.

*Peacebuilding Fund (PBF)

A fund established in October 2006. The fund is used to respond to urgent threats to peace processes, support peace agreements and political dialogue, strengthen national organizations and national capacity, as well as revitalize economies and establish administrative services, among other purposes.

  1. Note 15: The eight countries are Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.
  2. Note 16: The nine countries are Viet Nam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, Nepal, Timor-Leste, Fiji, Bhutan, and Myanmar.

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