[PRAJ] Uchiyama Elected Secretary-General by General Assembly of the Peacebuilding Research Association (01/03/2014)

 On 1 March 2014, the General Assembly of the Peacebuilding Research Association held at Hosei University adopted its constitution and elected Mr. Yasuki Uchiyama as its new Secretary General. The General Assembly also elected five members of the Board of Directors, Mr. Katsumi Ishizuka, Mr. Satoru Kurosawa, Ms. Chika Saito, Mr. Sukehiro Hasegawa and Mr. Takaaki Mizuno. Professor Sukehiro Hasegawa was voted to continue as the President of the Association.


[PBSG] Former Ambassador Ishikawa Speaks About the Complexity of Peacebuilding in Egypt (23/11/2013)

 Mr Kaoru Ishikawa, former Ambassador to Egypt and currently Senior Executive Director/ Director of Research of the Japan Forum on International Relations, made a stimulating speech on the situation in Egypt as seen in various perspectives and understandings of its historical developments. The lecture delivered under the theme of “A Nation Building in the Globalized World,” focused on the causes and implications of the current political crisis of Egypt. He attached a high value to the independent way of observing and thinking about what has been happening, noting the importance of thinking always about the ‘other side of the coin’ of what we hear or learn. He pointed that ignorance on Egyptian multi-layered societies intertwined with historical facts and traditions might have led to some missteps by foreign powers in dealing with the crisis. Following his lecture, two commentators, Professor Takaaki Mizuno of the Kanda University of International Studies and Professor Miki Honda of the Waseda University made remarks on the aforementioned topic. Joined by other participants, extensive and lively discussions followed over such issues as national sovereignty, the Westphalia system’s non-universal reality, and election. (Ikeda)


[PBSG] Applicability of Rule of Law for International Disputes (14/09/2013)

 The Peacebuilding Study Group held on 14 September a seminar on the applicability of rule of law in settling international disputes. It centered on the presentations made by two guest speakers, Professors Yozo Yokota and Yasushi Higashizawa and comments by Professor Hideaki Shinoda and Mr. Shinpei Yamamoto. Introduced in the presentations were the relationship between domestic and international laws as explained in “Rule of Law – A Guide for politicians” by Professor Higashizawa of Meiji Gakuin University, and the legal issues arising out of the territorial disputes of the Senkaku Islands between Japan and China by President Yokota of the Japan Association on United Nations Studies. (Drafted by Jason Pratt)


[PBSG] Captain Hideki Hayashi Explains “Collateral Damage” (13/07/2013)

 At the fourth seminar of peacebuilding research group, Captain Hideki Hayashi of the Ministry of Defense explained the nature of “collateral damage” and how it happens by citing three examples. When the Nation State exercises its state military based on its sovereign right to “use of Force” , the aforementioned “use of Force” “jus in bello” shall be applied and covered by the “Law of war”; such as “law of Armed conflicts”, “rules of war” and “international humanitarian laws”. (Jason Pratt and Asami Ikeda)


[PBSG] Representative Vincent Nicod Explains How ICRC Protects Civilians in Conflict (08/06/2013)

 Mr. Vincent Nicod, the Head of the Mission of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Tokyo, delivered on June 8 a lecture on the relevance of “Responsibility to Protect” and “Protection of Civilians” in field operation and explained the implications of the concepts for ICRC in their application in practice. The ICRC is the only institution explicitly named under international humanitarian law as an authority responsible for protecting civilians in conflict. The legal mandate of the ICRC stems from the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, as well as its own Statues. ICRC is an impartial, neutral and independent organization with its humanitarian mission to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance to sustain their life. In his presentation, Nicod introduced how the notion of the law that regulates the conduct of armed conflicts had developed by mentioning two historical laws: the Law of Hague and the Law of Geneva. Nicod further touched upon the 1977 Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions. These additional protocols extended and strengthened the mandate for civilian protection in international and non-international armed conflict, for example by introducing the prohibition of direct attacks against civilians. A “civilian” is defined as “any person not belonging to the armed forces,” including non-nationals and refugees. Four principles were said to be essential for protecting civilians. First, the principle of distinction, which protects civilian persons and civilian objects from military personnel and operations. Second, the principle of proportionality, which requires attacks on military objects must not cause loss of civilian life considered excessive in relation to the direct military advantage anticipated. Within this second principle, every feasible precaution must be taken by commanders to avoid civilian causalities. Third, the principle of humane treatment, which requires that civilians are treated humanely at all time. Fourth, the principle of non-discrimination, which requires that all protected persons should be treated with the same consideration by parties to the conflict, without distinction. During the discussion that followed Nicod’s presentation, it was noted that the distinction and the proportionality contained several aspects to be considered including “collateral damage”. (Asami Ikeda)


[PBSG] 2nd Study Meeting on R2P and POC (11/05/2013)

 On 11th May 2013, the 2nd study meeting of the Peacebuilding Study Group was held in a conference room in the 80-nenkan building at Hosei University. In this meeting, three of the eight participants made presentations on the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) and the “Protection of Civilians” (POC), based on the UNU book “Norms of Protection: Responsibility to Protect, Protection of Civilians and Their Interaction.” First, Mr. Taichiro Fujino, who is a graduate student at Hitotsubashi University, made a presentation about the Chapter 1, entitled “Game Change and Regime Change.” He introduced the history of and arguments for and against R2P. Next, Mr. Shogo Yoshida, who is an undergraduate student at Hosei University, discussed Chapter 2, “The Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict: Four Concepts,” and Chapter 3, “The Responsibility to Protect and the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict: Overlap and Contrast.” He explained the four types of POC: Combatant POC, Peacekeeping POC, Security Council POC, and Humanitarian POC. He also compared POC with R2P in terms of their similarities, interactions, and differences. Finally, Mr. Jason Pratt, who is a graduate student at Hosei University, spoke on the conclusion of the book and analyzed R2P and POC as they apply to the modern situation in Afghanistan. (Shogo Yoshida)


Heiwa Kochiku Kenkyuu Kai (H3K) (20/04/2013)

 The inaugural session of the Heiwa Kochiku Kenkyu Kai (H3K – Peacebuilding Research Group) was held at Hosei University on April 20th. The group is led under the direction of Special Advisor to the President of Timor-Leste, Professor Sukehiro Hasegawa, and managed by students and professionals in and around the Tokyo area. Aiming to broaden their own understandings of peacebuilding and share their learning with the wider world, the group has decided to hold both study sessions led by students and seminars with prominent guest speakers. The first session held on 20 April was divided into two subjects. In the first, Professor Yasunobu Sato of Tokyo University’s Graduate School spoke on the issue of human security. Mr. Sato explained the multifaceted nature of the field, which encompasses a vast range of issues from protection from diseases to disasters. Mr. Shogo Yoshida, who serves as the group’s Secretary General, also spoke on the writings of scholars in this important field. In the second session, Mr. Hideki Hayashi of the Japan Peacekeeping Training&Research Center of the Joint Staff College, and Associate Professor Yuji Uesugi of Waseda University shared their perspectives on the protection of civilians within United Nations peacekeeping missions. Both sessions allowed for members to present questions and engage in discussion. (Jason Pratt)


Lunching of Peacebuilding Study Group (02/03/2013)


The organizational meeting for the establishment of a Peacebuilding Study Group (PBSG) was held on 2nd March 2013 at Hosei University. The meeting was attended by eleven persons from Hosei University and other institutions. First, we identified the roles and functions of respective persons. The meeting asked Professor Sukehiro Hasegawa to act as Chairman and took note of Professor Yuji Suzuki`s agreement to act as an Advisor. The meeting then agreed to the following persons to perform respective roles: Mr. Shogo Yoshida, Secretary-General; Messrs. Norimasa Tochibayashi and Taichiro Fujino for planning and organization of the study meetings; Messrs. Kazuo Watanabe and Yusuke Noda for the management of general affairs; Ms. Asami Ikeda, for public relations; Ms. Masumi Asano for liaison with guest speakers; Ms. Saki Sakamoto for liaison with other universities; and Mr. Yasuki Uchiyama for contacting the Faculty of Law, the International Center and other departments within Hosei University. Second, we have conducted the hearing from each member to share their ideas and views concerning the PSG’s purposes and roles, and discussed how to make this organization as an integrated institution so that we can achieve specific outcomes and achievements. Thirdly, we also discussed the process of the forthcoming seminar which will be held on 20th April and 11th May 2013. (Asami Ikeda)