Events Japan’s Strides in Women, Peace and Security: Insights from the WPS Parliamentarians’ Network Japan

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Japan’s Strides in Women, Peace and Security: Insights from the WPS Parliamentarians’ Network Japan

May 2, 2024 @ 8:00 am - 9:30 am

Hon. Miki Yamada

Ms. Shanti Shoji

On Thursday, May 2, Sasakawa USA convened a SWAN roundtable featuring remarks by Hon. Miki Yamada, member of the House of Representatives of Japan and chief secretary for the WPS Parliamentarians’ Network Japan, and Ms. Shanti Shoji, director of Programs at Sasakawa USA. The discussion served as an opportunity for participants to learn about the progress that has been made in Japan on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and the work that the WPS Parliamentarians’ Network Japan has undertaken to support these achievements.

Ms. Shoji set the stage for the discussion with regard to recent developments within the U.S.-Japan alliance, most notably Prime Minister Kishida’s visit to Washington, DC, which resulted in WPS being formally addressed for the first time as an issue of critical importance for the U.S. and Japan to jointly collaborate as seen in the Joint Leaders’ Statement.

Hon. Yamada began her remarks by providing background on the launch of the Parliamentarians’ Network, noting that its membership has grown to over fifty members, with equal participation by women and men Diet members. She elaborated on the Parliamentarians’ Network’s activities to promote the objectives that have been laid out in Japan’s Third National Action Plan (NAP) that was released in April 2023. Notably, their focus has been on four areas: to follow in the U.S. WPS Caucus’ footsteps and enact comprehensive WPS legislation in the form of a WPS Act; deepen WPS coordination with partners in the Indo-Pacific region; create ministry positions in charge of WPS; and to allocate budgets across key ministries for personnel and training.

In addition, Hon. Yamada spoke to the successes and challenges in Japan’s implementation of the WPS agenda in the Noto region following the earthquake that occurred on January 1, 2024. While many women affected by the disaster have found it helpful to have women JSDF officers sent to the disaster areas, there still seem to be many areas of improvement on the ground. Furthermore, Hon. Yamada provided an extensive overview of the various initiatives that the ministries and government agencies mandated by the NAP—Ministry of Defense (MOD), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)—have taken to further promote the inclusion of gender perspectives and WPS policies and practices in their work.

SWAN attendees at the roundtable on May 2, 2024, at The Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington, DC.

Following Hon. Yamada’s remarks, the attendees engaged in a Q&A discussion to further explore how the U.S. and Japan can find areas of mutual learning and collaboration on WPS implementation.


May 2, 2024
8:00 am - 9:30 am
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