Japanese-OSCE Cooperation Celebrates 30 Years

PeopleOther ♦ Published: July 24, 2022; 21:55 ♦ (Vindobona)

An OSCE Asian Partners for Co-operation Group discussion was held on Friday in Vienna to commemorate the 30th anniversary of OSCE-Japan cooperation. In addition, a reception was held a day prior at the Ambassador's residence to mark the "30th Anniversary of Cooperation between Japan and the OSCE", attended by some 180 guests, including Austrian government officials and numerous diplomats from various countries.

In the OSCE Asian Partners for Co-operation Group discussion on the occasion of 30 years of cooperation, officials from Japan and the OSCE highlighted the importance of the OSCE-Asia cooperation. / Picture: © OSCE / Micky Kroell (CC BY-ND 4.0)

Japan as the first Asian country as a "Partner for Co-operation", participates actively in the activities of OSCE. Usually, the Japanese Ambassador to Vienna, as well as his staff, attend the Permanent Council meetings, which are held weekly in Vienna, while the Meetings of Heads of State and Government and the Ministerial Council meetings are usually attended by ministers or high-ranking officials from Japan.

Japan was the first Asian country to be invited to a Commission on security and cooperation in Europe (CSCE) meeting in 1992. Since then other countries from Asia like South Korea (1994), Thailand (2000), Afghanistan (2003) and Australia (2009) started their cooperation with the OSCE.

From the perspective of strengthening cooperation with the OSCE, Japan dispatches electoral observers, experts and other personnel to election observation missions, regional missions, and various workshops. Additionally, Japan contributes financially to OSCE projects.

In the OSCE Asian Partners for Co-operation Group discussion on the occasion of 30 years of cooperation, officials from Japan and the OSCE highlighted the importance of the OSCE-Asia cooperation.

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Japan to the OSCE, Akira Mizutani highlighted, “Since participation as a Partner, Japan has actively contributed to OSCE discussions at Hofburg and in activities of field operations. I am glad to look back at what we have achieved so far and look forward to further cooperation in the future."

According to Helga Maria Schmid, OSCE Secretary General, Japan has been a committed Partner for Cooperation from the start, "showing the value of Partner states contributing to various OSCE projects and activities.”

A video message from Japanese Foreign Minister, Takako Suzuki, was included in the meeting organized by the Swedish Chair of the Group. “We will continue to make every effort to realize peacebuilding in the international community also through this solidarity,” the Japanese Foreign Minister said.

According to the OSCE, as a peacebuilding approach, participants explored opportunities for cooperation among OSCE participating states and Asian Partners for Cooperation.

As Poland's Permanent Representative to the OSCE and Chair of the OSCE Permanent Council, Adam Hałaciński noted Japan's commitment to, and observance of, high standards of human rights and international law through its active contributions to the OSCE Asian Partnership. According to Hałaciński the values of humanity and multilateralism are "as important as ever" due to the unprovoked Russian Invasion of Ukraine.

In the big discussion round on the occasion of 30 years of cooperation, important topics were discussed and some guests were invited. Human security was discussed as a strategy for peacebuilding in the following thematic discussion. Among the panelists at the event were OSCE Co-ordinator of Activities to Address Transnational Threats, Alena Kupchyna, United Nations Representative in Belgrade, Mari Yamashita, and OSCE Border Management Staff College director, Richard C. Niebusch.

Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, cooperation between Europe and Asia is putting the spotlight on the importance of strengthening partnerships, active cooperation, and engagement.

Japanese Embassy

OSCE Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe