Japan may send Ground Self-Defense Force engineers to assist South Sudan
Boutros Hussein and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The new nation of South Sudan may witness Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) engineers to this newly declared nation state. This move would be welcomed by South Sudan and would be a step in the right direction for the government of Japan. After all, it is clear that China is intent on mere exploitation of resources in Africa and it is in the interest of Japan to show this continent that they have genuine concerns and are willing to help at the highest level.
If Prime Minister Noda approves this it will greatly assist the United Nations peacekeeping operation and show the clear hand of friendship to political leaders in Juba. South Sudan needs outside nations and agencies to assist this new nation state which faces an uphill struggle in many areas.
In the past the Khartoum Arab-Islamic dominated regime was responsible for millions of Africans being killed in southern Sudan. At the same time the brutal Khartoum regime turned against African Muslims in Darfur. The leadership in South Sudan is greatly influenced by the binding force of Christianity but all southern Sudanese are pulling together in political circles irrespective of religion. Animism also remains strong in South Sudan and this new nation state is multi-religious and multi-ethnic.
PM Noda will likely announce that GSDF will help the United Nations in South Sudan during his visit to New York this week. If, like expected, PM Noda does announce this noble act then it will show the international community that Japan is serious about helping nations which badly need support.
Japan clearly needs to step up its effort internationally because the “quietist policy” of the past did not serve this nation. Historical constraints must be brushed aside because Japan is democratic and a responsible nation state which gives economic assistance to nations throughout the world.
The Information Minister of South Sudan, Benjamin Marial, welcomed the news because he and other political leaders in this new nation need the support of the international community because the region remains volatile. This assistance would help to build the infrastructure and also highlight that Japan is a friend of South Sudan.
The professionalism, techniques, and skills of the GSDF would help South Sudan and show the political leadership that major powers throughout the world are concerned about this nation state. Therefore, it is a win-win situation for all concerned parties.
Some divisions remain because of instability in the region and logistical factors which may hinder the operations of the GSDF. However, the Foreign Ministry in Japan believes that the venture is extremely important and it will highlight the new leader of Japan being serious about international affairs.
http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/english/index.html ABOUT JGSDF