Japan and the United Nations peacekeeping efforts

Japan’s Self Defence Forces, abbreviated SDF, is sending two members to a United Nations peacekeeping force – without the command of the U.N. This is the first time ever in the SDF history that this has happened.


Photo credit to: https://asia.nikkei.com

The main reason this is an historic moment for Japan and their SDF is because the SDF is a purely defensive force that does not generally engage in direct confrontation with any adversary unless the United Nations calls for it to do so.


This has been hailed as the first step in Japan taking charge for it’s sovereignty and a show of force that Japan does not need the orders of the U.N. in order to stage it’s own military actions. This may be just for peacekeeping but it wasn’t under U.N. orders.


Another reason why Japan’s SDF is doing this is to show the world that Japan is slowly flexing it’s muscles and slowly increasing it’s military. Recently, Japan brought a new tank into military service called the Type 10 and it’s the world’s first tank to have the same forward speed as well as reverse speed (70 kph).


Also, the SDF introduced the upgraded Kongo-class destroyers, the Atago-class, in an effort to increase defense – for now. Japan is also changing it’s constitution to allow military vessels to carry weapons and use them only when necessary.

This along with the intrusions of China in claiming the Senaku islands has forced Japan to become more independent in terms of it’s military strategy and has also forced them to increase their military power.


The two SDF members who are stationed in Egypt for peacekeeping are a testament to that albeit a small testament but a testament nonetheless.


In late 2018, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe implied that he wanted to increase military spending and change the constitution to allow just that.


Reference: Japan to make 1st SDF dispatch to non-U.N. peacekeeping force in April


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