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The Advantages of Norwegian-Japanese Cooperation in Combating Piracy

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The Advantages of Norwegian-Japanese Cooperation in Combating Piracy

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  1. Knowledge / Kunnskap The NTNU Japan Program The Advantages of Norwegian-Japanese Cooperation in Combating Piracy By Paul Midford ISS, NTNU

  2. Norway’s Anti-piracy Contribution • Although not a member, Norway joined the EU anti-piracy operation Atalanta and broader UN endorsed international mission, by deciding in February 2009 to dispatch a Nansen Class Aegis frigate (one of 5 in Norway’s inventory) • Norway thus joined EU members Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Spain in contributing to EU NAVFOR Somalia • Up to 12 ships and a number of patrol craft operate under EU NAVFOR at any one time

  3. Norwegian Navy Operations off-Somalia • The Fridtjof Nansen (flag ship of its class) was dispatched to the Gulf of Aden in August 2009 • It had already become involved in a fire-fight with pirates by November 2009

  4. What did Norway choose the EU over NATO? • Norway chose to contribute to the EU anti-piracy force, even though it is not a member, by-passing the possibility of contributing to NATO’s force off-Somalia, despite the fact that Norway is a NATO member • Perhaps reflects coalition politics in the left-of-center Stoltenberg cabinet • There are potentially important parallels with coalition politics in the current DPJ Kan cabinet in Japan

  5. Japan, Sailing Alone? • Besides NATO and the EU, other naval contributions from Japan, South Korea, India, Russia, China and even Iran essentially sail alone • However, all navies involved in anti-piracy operations share a basic ad hoc “deconfliction board” that tries to ensure ships’ patrol areas aren’t overlapping and that all ships in an area do not respond to the same distress call • Nonetheless, this is a very basic and undeveloped form of cooperation

  6. Japan’s Contribution and Orientation toward use-of-force • Japan has made a relatively large contribution to anti-piracy operations off Somalia • Dispatches two MSDF destroyers per rotation plus, more recently, highly capable P-3C patrol planes • Japan appears to want to avoid involvement in combat/use of force operations • Reflect strong public and elite skepticism about the utility of using military force beyond homeland defense and alliance fatigue vis-à-vis the US • The P-3C deployment allows Japan to make a significant contribution to the broader coalition and can potentially help ensure that MSDF ships stay away from pirates & combat

  7. Area of Japan’s Ship Escort Mission

  8. Norway, as a Crucial Link between Japan and the EU • Norway is the first and only non-EU power to join the EU Counter-piracy mission • EU NAVFOR says it includes cooperating non-EU navies such as Norway: • “Contributions from third countries such as Norway are participating as well” • In this case Norway’s non-EU status has actually been an advantage by creating an opening and stepping stone for other non-EU members to join operation Atalanta and EU NAVFOR • Norway’s participation therefore creates a precedent for Japan to join as well • This in turn could create a precedent for encouraging South Korea to join, and possibly others (India?) to join EU NAVFOR’s operation Atalanta

  9. EU-Japan Relations, Counter-piracy and Norway • 2001 EU-Japan Ten Year Joint Action Plan, calling for security cooperation between the two sides, but very little achieved to date • New action plan is currently being negotiated and attempts are being made to identify concrete opportunities for security cooperation • E.g. Military to military cooperation in aiding non-combat reconstruction operations in Afghanistan and distributing Japan’s recent pledge of $5 billion in aid to that country

  10. Why the EU is an especially good partner for Japan now • Alliance fatigue • Former Prime Minister Koizumi attempted to involve Japan in overseas US military operations by building a narrow conservative coalition to support this domestically • When this coalition collapsed, so did support for out of area cooperation with the US • These points are made in my forthcoming book, Rethinking Japanese Public Opinion and Security (Stanford University Press, February 2011). • New left of center Hatoyama government includes the Social Democrats, the New People’s Party, and some on the left of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) who oppose out of area security cooperation with the US, and hence almost all distant deployments of the SDF

  11. Advantages of EU-Japan Cooperation in Counter-piracy and elsewhere • EU asset: The EU is boring in Japan, • At least it is not the political lightening rod that the US is • EU is a politically diverse organization that can appeal to the full spectrum of Japanese politics, including the Social Democrats and others on the left • Easier for European Social Democrats to convince their Japanese colleagues of common values

  12. Advantages of EU-Japan Cooperation in Counter-piracy and elsewhere II • Gives Japan experience working with a multilateral naval coalition • And experience working with a non-US centered coalition • Learn closer cooperation with foreign navies • Learn multilateral military cooperation mechanisms • Adopting EU’s rules of engagement might be more politically defensible than say NATO’s (although NATO recently adopted the EU’s ROEs) • Means that Japan will no longer be free floating with unlike minded state navies such as China, Russia, and Iran

  13. Advantages of Norway-Japan Cooperation • Can form a caucus of two non-EU nations within the EU NAVFOR • Although not EU members, Norway and Japan are nonetheless likeminded with the EU in terms of basic values, etc. • Can help bring in other like minded democracies such as South Korea • Offers Norway a chance to work closely with a non-European and non-North American navy • Norway’s left of center government can play a big role in helping Japan’s left of center government expand cooperation with other navies in the counter-piracy fight • Norwegian socialists convincing Japanese socialists...