Asia Pacific Security Seminar

Chairman’s Summary Study Meeting of the Eleventh Asia-Pacific Security Seminar(APSS)

Held at the National Institute for Defense Studies November 17-23, 2004

  1. The Eleventh APSS was held in Tokyo with the participation of 30 delegates from 21 countries. APSS has been held annually since 1994, and is designed to enhance multilateral security dialogue to foster mutual confidence among participating countries. Its basic objectives share much with those of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Meeting of Heads of Defense Universities/Colleges/ Institutions. The summary of the Tenth APSS was submitted to the meeting held in Singapore last September.
  2. The APSS process has experienced both a deepening and widening of security dialogue since its foundation. It was inaugurated with delegates from 13 countries in 1994, but this year we welcome 21 countries. Most participants were colonel / lieutenant colonel rank officers or equivalent who had much expertise in defense planning and/or related security issues.
  3. The Eleventh APSS study sessions were divided into four sessions: the Introductory Session and Sessions 1-3. In the Introductory Session, there were a keynote speech by Mr. Yasushi Akashi, former UN Under-Secretary, and presentations on Japan Defense Policy and Self Defense Forces (SDF) to give participants a better understanding of our security concerns.
  4. In the Session One, we had extensive discussions on the nonproliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), led by Dr. Shinichi Ogawa’s lecture. In the Session Two, we had discussions on the terrorism, led by Dr. Yoshio Katayama’s lecture.
  5. In each session, participants were divided into three sub-groups to promote further discussion on the following items: the nature of threat, the common threat perception, the measures to deal with the threat, the obstacles for employing these measures, and the agenda for security cooperation. Each sub-group submitted a summary of their discussion and made a presentation in the Session Three, the General Discussion.
  6. On nonproliferation issues, the following discussion agenda were proposed: the future of the non-proliferation regimes, the discrepancy of the non-proliferation regimes, the evaluation on the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), and a combination of inducements and punishments to deal with the issue. Many participants agreed that the non-proliferation regime is essential and should be strengthened, including an enhanced verification mechanism, while respecting each country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  7. Other participants emphasized the need for an improved security environment to prevent proliferation. When compared to the last APSS meeting, PSI is gathering wider support, but recent exercises indicated more need for consultation and development of the agreement. Some participants asked for more information on PSI for broader cooperation. Some participants also expressed concerns over the legality, effectiveness and possible consequences of interdiction measures. The success of combining inducements and punishments depends on the degree of mutual trust among us.
  8. Regarding terrorism issues, the following discussion agenda were proposed: the coordination between the armed forces and law enforcement agencies, the promotion of information sharing, and capability building. Participants agreed that a multilateral approach is needed to combat terrorism due to its transnational nature. Comprehensive coordination among domestic institutions, including the armed forces, is indispensable for countering terrorism. Due to the dispersed network of terrorist, regional and global cooperation among relevant authorities is also crucial. In addition, information sharing makes a significant contribution for preventing terrorist activities. Some participants proposed positive and comprehensive information operations.
  9. In conclusion, participants emphasized the importance of fostering common security perceptions on the nonproliferation and terrorism. Participants agreed that the linkage of WMD with failed state and/or non-state actors was one of the serious threat, and enhanced security cooperation is essential in dealing with it. Participants highly valued ARF as a platform for security dialogue and cooperation, and called for enhanced regional mechanism.
  10. Participants provided active and constructive engagement to the discussion. All agreed to continue to promote security dialogue and share expertise on security concerns among Asia-Pacific countries.
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