Human security as an influence on Japan’s contemporary Africa policy: principles, patterns and implications.

Van Wyk, Heste (2007-12)

Thesis MA (Political Science. International Studies))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.

Thesis

The end of the Cold War, marked by the shift from a bipolar to multipolar security order, prompted a significant change in Japan’s relations with Africa. New political and economic challenges, which are accelerated by the process of globalisation, have forced Japan to adjust its foreign policies accordingly- especially in the African context. The primary goal of this study is to analyse how the concept of human security has influenced Japan’s foreign policy towards Africa since 1998. This research question focuses on Official Development Assistance (ODA) and peacekeeping through the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Africa. The methodological nature of this study is qualitative. Secondary sources are mainly used. This study makes use of the two contending theoretical perspectives in the security paradigm, namely Neo- Realism and the Human Security Approach. An important part of the analysis is Japan’s middlepowership and why it has chosen human security as its niche diplomacy in the new security order. The findings of this study suggest that the reasons for this are, firstly that Japan has had to justify its continuing ODA cuts to Africa over the last decade, as well as its pacifist stance on peacekeeping, which sees it refraining from directly intervening in conflict situations. Other key findings of this study are that Japan’s motives for providing ODA to Africa prior to 1989 were mainly economic in nature and that diplomatic relations were limited. What also emerged from this study is that Japan’s most prominent foreign policy goals include a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, establishing itself as a prominent global player both in political and economic realms, and securing favourable relations with states whose resources are vital to its expanding economy. Japan’s more recent relations with Africa can also be characterised by its multilateral approach, particularly through organisations such as the United Nations and the African Union. Important initiatives such as the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) have also played an important role in promoting African development. However, its future success will depend on coordinating TICAD and The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) policies, with human security as a common goal. The implications of the findings of this study are that Japan will have to formulate a more coherent foreign policy on security, especially towards Africa. Secondly, since Japan is no longer the ODA giant that it used to be, it will have to find new ways of defining its relationship with Africa, particularly in terms of TICAD and the G8. Future research could expand the analysis to an investigation of Japan’s ODA disbursements to all Africa countries. Additional attention should also be given to Japan’s foreign policy in terms of peacebuilding, and how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is formulating these policies. Lastly, more research can be conducted on human security in general, and other aspects of it that are promoted through Japan’s foreign policy.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/2054
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