Prof. Willhelm Vosse, International Christian University Tokyo.
Japan has participated in the counter-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia and the CGPCS from the very beginning in 2009. Although, Japan has since then been among the most active countries in the fight against piracy, flying the highest number of reconnaissance missions and spending the longest time on sea, escorting ships along the IRTC transit corridor, this engagement and Japan’s experience might not always be fully reflected in the proceedings of the Contact Group. Japan has so far only chaired one, the fourth, plenary session in September 2009, and, in the third session, initiated the IMO Djibouti Code Trust Fund, which funds the information sharing center in Kenya, Tanzania and Yemen, as well as a regional Coast Guard training center in Djibouti. Japan helped shaping the latter based on its experience in setting up the Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) Information Sharing Center in Singapore. This paper will analyze Japan’s contribution to the CGPCS, the Trust Fund and regional capacity building, how domestic constitutional and legal constraints limited its activities, and possible issues with the informal corridor negotiation styles or information sharing techniques at the CGPCS plenary and working group sessions. Read the full paper here.