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SECURITY > Self-Defense Forces

Japan facing a difficult situation in carrying out PKO in South Sudan

  • July 17, 2016
  • , Asahi , p. 4
  • Translation

Relations have remained strained between two forces in Juba, the capital of South Sudan where Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) members have been carrying out UN-sponsored peace-keeping operations (PKO). Reportedly, more than 3,000 people died in July. Japanese people, including members of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), were evacuated. Although the government is determined not to withdraw GSDF troops from South Sudan, due to its belief that Japan’s five principles governing participation in UN PKO are being upheld, it is uncertain whether the GSDF troops can conduct PKO operations there while also ensuring their safety. The government has continued working a precarious tightrope.


Ninety-three people connected to JICA in Juba moved to Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, on July 13. 


For participation in PKO by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF), the PKO five principles must be maintained. In particular, the conclusion of a ceasefire agreement between warring parties is important in relation to Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan.  On July 11, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a meeting with the four cabinet ministers of the National Security Council (NSC). After the meeting, Defense Minister Gen Nakatani told reporters, “We don’t think the conditions for SDF’s participation are undermined.” (Abridged)

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