Security issues in the Gulf are critically important in securing the energy supply to Japan from the region. Furthermore, interest is growing at the international level in security for the coastal waters of Somalia. Yet, the understanding of Middle East security is not always adequate among scholars in Japan, hence there is need for cooperation between regional experts to conduct research into security issues in the Middle East region. The aim of this project is to deepen understanding of Middle East security in Japan through research meetings at which experts in the relevant field can discuss maritime security in the Gulf and security in the Somalian coastal waters.
In the first year of the three-year project, the following activities will be carried out.
- Meetings of experts in Gulf security
- Research meetings (six times per year, Tokyo)
At these meetings, relevant issues regarding security in the Gulf will be identified and analyzed. Participants will include the following individuals: Masashi Nishihara/President of the Research Institute for Peace and Security, Osamu Miyata /Associate Professor, University of Shizuoka, Takahiro Honda/Advisor, The Japan Steel Works, LTD.
- International conference (30 participants, Dubai)
Following the discussions at the research meetings, an international conference will be held for security experts and politicians from Japan, the US and the Gulf. The conference will give participants opportunities to announce research results and debate pertinent issues. The conference will be closed to the public.
- Presentation of research results
Relevant work in (1)-(3) will be outsourced to the Research Institute for Peace and Security.
- Research into the Somalian problem and security in the Red Sea and Arabian Sea
- Research meetings (2): Issues and problems surrounding maritime security for the Somalian coast, Red Sea and Arabian Sea will be identified at the two research meetings.
- Field studies/information gathering/network building: Comprehensive analysis will be performed of local information, including that in the Arabian language.
- Workshop (1): An open workshop will be held in the interests of deepening understanding in general society about maritime issues in the Middle East.
- Publication of the working paper
Relevant work in (1)-(4) will be outsourced to the JIME CENTER-The Institute of Energy Economics Japan.
- Research into maritime security in the Middle East and other issues: Necessary information will be collected on maritime security in the Middle East.
Under this project, research was conducted in Japan regarding maritime security in the Persian Gulf and off the coast of Somalia, an important issue for international stability. The goal of the project is to share those findings at an international symposium on maritime security bringing together experts from Japan and Middle Eastern countries. In fiscal 2010, as regards ensuring security in the Persian Gulf, a research meeting was held in Tokyo for specialists and practitioners working in the maritime security field. Meanwhile, in Abu Dhabi an international symposium titled “Japan’s Role in the Gulf Region” was held, attended by security specialists from Japan, the U.S., Europe, and the Gulf region. In Tokyo, the first workshop concerning efforts to ensure maritime security of the coast of Somalia was held.