Political dynamics in the international arena have changed radically since the end of the Cold War. Both developed and developing countries need to establish a new security framework in order to fulfill their roles as leading members of a peaceful world community.

After the Cold War, the international landscape has been extensively marked by increasing ethnic and religious conflicts, drugs, terrorism, a proliferation in weapons of mass destruction in certain countries, and the prevalence of new diseases. In addition to these global issues, newly tangible phenomena such as pirates, oil spills, the financial crash, cyber terrorism and natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts, floods, forest fires, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, and typhoons as well as the scramble for natural resources can jeopardize peace and stability at anytime, anywhere on the earth.

The year of 2011 made it apparent that the international community has to establish a new world order in order to seek prosperity based on peace and stability. Unexpected people’s movements in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and now Syria have not been finished yet. In addition to these phenomena, the March 11 earthquakes and tsunami with the accompanying nuclear power station accidents have caused tremendous damage to Japan, and its economic and political effects are spreading to the world community. Especially the Fukushima Daiichi event has impacted the energy policy of each nation/state. The Euro-zone crisis at this moment is still very serious, which might change even the European Union itself.

The dawn of 2012 makes us challenge the paradigm shift or even paradigm change from traditional approaches to non-traditional approaches in various fields.

We have learned from the mistakes of US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On the other hand, strained finance and budgetary deficits with an economic slowdown have brought a conceptual change from traditional to non-traditional security, driven by a search for cost effectiveness. Even rising China cannot continue her growth forever and could turn into a country suffering from shortages of water, food, and energy. The North Korean nuclear problems can extend to Iran and even Burma. Needless to say, the fundamental problem of the Middle East - the Israel/Palestine issue - is also getting worse.

In this environment, the challenge to all countries is to consolidate their own identities and influence. In order to do so, it is necessary to use a two-handed policy: one is military preparation and the other is non-military diplomacy. This means a combination of traditional security employing military tools and perspectives, and non-traditional security such as conflict prevention and resolution, promoting regional confidence-building measures, and a range of economic, political, and humanitarian security objectives.

The Tide of History

I would like to point out three elements which indicate where we are and which direction we should go:

1) Transition. We are in a transition period from traditional approaches to new ones across a range of issues, including conflict, war, and peace.

2) The changing nature of security. The focus of security has been evolving since the end of the Cold War from "against" to "with."

During the Cold War, security meant being “against” certain countries. However, the concept of security now should be “with” every nation /state that is a part of each region. This means that we must make efforts to establish trustworthy relations among countries so that peace and stability can be established in the each region on the globe. We must also recognize that security is increasingly complex and multifaceted.

In addition, most of us would agree that the concept of security is being broadened considerably and continuously, to incorporate military, political, economic, societal, and environmental dimensions, and the interlinkages between them. The traditional model of security rests upon military defense of national territory. Yet for many people in the world – perhaps even most – the much greater threats to security come from internal conflicts, disease, hunger, environmental contamination, street crime, or even domestic violence. And for others, a greater threat may come from their own country itself, rather than from an "external" adversary.

We are moving towards a concept of human security which revolves around individual and community welfare.

3) Cooperation. After the terrorist events on September 11, the need for international cooperation that transcends national borders has become more important than before. Even the United States, the sole superpower, cannot function without a coalition of nations/states. In international relations, this is recognized as the post, post-Cold War phenomenon.

As a result, it becomes important to examine where we are in the tide of history. If we are to change the past dependence upon war to resolve disputes, it becomes very important for us to introduce the concept and value of “preventive diplomacy” for all regions of the world. In “preventive diplomacy,” non-violent means of resolving international conflicts should be used whenever possible. However, if those don’t work, it is important to have the capability and strength to step in and enforce peace where necessary.

Non-traditional Security


1.Human security

I would like to quote my speech at the first United Nations Human Rights Council in 2006:

In the promotion of human rights, Japan attaches importance to striking a balance both on the "principle" level and on the "implementation" level. First, at the principle level, Japan endeavors to achieve the promotion and protection of human rights as a universal value and at the same time takes into account the intrinsic situations of each country such as their history and culture. Next, at the implementation level, importance is attached to the "dialogue and cooperation" approach, but a more effective approach will become necessary when this approach does not function, notably for grave violations of human rights. Finally, while in order to balance those two levels Japan deepens mutual understanding through discussions on the one hand, it will implement concrete cooperation policies on the other. Japan will promote this kind of balanced approach.

In this context, I would like to propose to review the definition of human security, to include "responsibility to protect” not only from violence but also to secure the basic right of human beings as follows.

Security of food. Food security should not be considered merely inside of one country but also regionally. Japan should work together with Asian neighbors with a bird’s eye view. Japan’s agricultural technology, high productivity, irrigation system, and distribution systems can help to construct an Asian food security network to provide mutual support, if something happens. I believe this can be applied to Africa.

Security of water. Japan’s compact water purification systems, desalination facilities, and water treatment systems can be applied to any place where water exists. At the same time Japan can promote afforestation (the establishment of a forest or stand of trees in an area where there was previously no forest) and reforestation, which can prevent desertification in the Middle East, South America, Africa, and China.

Security of energy. The spread of solar and wind power is gaining impetus. However, wave power generation, tidal power generation, geothermal energy, methane/marsh gas, etc., could be developed with using Japan’s high technology, because we have to remember that the globe has very limited fossil fuel reserves. In addition to the above, Japan’s technology can contribute to upgrading nuclear power stations and risk management, if we can learn well from the accident at Fukushima Daiichi.

2. Preventive Diplomacy

In its simplest form, preventive diplomacy can be divided into, and be explained in, four stages: 1) Creation of an environment of trust in the region, 2) Prevention of violent conflict from breaking out, 3) Prevention of conflict from expanding, and 4) Prevention of the resumption of hostilities.

From conflict prevention to the final phases where financial aid is required, Japan should aim to implement a comprehensive approach. Japan should also consider to what degree it could effectively link: 1) Military conflicts, 2) Confrontation, 3) Peace negotiations and ceasefires, 4) Peace keeping, 5) Peacebuilding, 6) Reconstruction, and 7) Preventing the restart of conflicts, as part of a framework that encompasses peacekeeping operations and prevention activities. Budget cuts in UK as well as USA encourage the importance of the concept of preventive diplomacy.

And I strongly believe that disaster prevention should also be highlighted in the concept of Preventive State Theory, as I explained in a book in 2003 entitled Think or Sink; in other words, “Natural Disaster and Human-Induced Disaster Prevention.”

3Human Development on Peacebuilding Preventive Diplomacy Training Centre

As Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs in Japan in 2007 after five years research I launched a program called Human Resource Development in Asia for Peacebuilding. Half of the participants are Japanese and the other half are from Asian nations. The program features three months of lectures at Hiroshima University, a six-month internship in UN-related organizations in conflict zones, with a wrap-up session in Tokyo.

In 2009 we expanded to the Middle East, that is, Western Asia, in collaboration with Prince Hassan of Jordan. From a slightly longer-term perspective, within 15 years or so those who had been trained at the Center would conceivably be working in positions of influence throughout the region. This human network with its seeds sown by Japan would surely prove to be a useful and effective tool to prevent conflict from breaking out and be a base for peace and stability in Asia.

The previous Labour Government in the UK appointed the Prime Minister’s special envoy on peacebuilding and sent him to Japan. And at the end of the Bush administration, the Institute of Peace was established in Washington DC with a Norwegian director, and last autumn the first training course was carried out.

Budget cuts in UK and USA encourage the importance of the concept of preventive diplomacy and peacebuilding, which strengthen the efforts of European nations/states who are working hard in these fields.

I believe that the time has come for us to empower the regionalization of human development on peace and preventive diplomacy to be applied for Africa as well as Middle East in cooperation with the United Nations.

An Age of Balance


The 21st century is the age of balance. This struggle for balance is being waged on an international, State, and individual level, between dichotomies of competing values. These are:

1.    Development vs. Environmental Protection

2.    Globalization vs. Regionalization

3.    High-Tech Information vs. Individual Privacy

4.    Group Orientation vs. Individualism

5.    Work vs. Leisure

6.    Materialism vs. Spiritualism

7.    Male vs. Female

8.    Military Solutions vs. Non-Military Alternatives

And even

9.    National Interests vs. International Interests = Common Interests
I would like to end with a quote from Aristotle, a Greek philosopher who lived more than 2000 years ago: “It is more difficult to organize peace than to win a war; but the fruits of victory will be lost if the peace is not well organized.”

Professor Akiko Yamanaka

Author: Professor Akiko Yamanaka

Former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan

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