The Japan Coast Guard’s New Challenge for Global Cooperation Among Coast Guard Agencies/ Functions
by Yasuhiro Okamoto
The Japan Coast Guard (herein after called “JCG”) has supported various countries’ coast guard organizations with their capacity enhancement since 1969, aiding over 81 countries and 3 regions. In addition, JCG has also played an important role in the establishment of the international cooperation framework in the region to facilitate further cooperation among coast guard agencies in Asia and the North Pacific. In this article, I would like to introduce JCG’s new challenge in creating an international framework for the Coast Guard Global Summit.
The 1st Coast Guard Global Summit (hereinafter called as “CGGS”) was held in September 2017 and was co-hosted by the Nippon Foundation. The aim of this meeting was to enhance dialogue and cooperation beyond the existing regional framework, and to focus the experience and knowledge of the participants to resolve common issues that every country had faced. Although it was the inaugural meeting, representatives from 34 countries, 1 regional, and 3 international organizations visited Japan to attend. In this meeting there was recognition of the rarity for coast guard’s to gather and discuss the creation of global frameworks, the importance of doing so, and of the necessity to consider human resource development systems and the best forms of inter-regional and international cooperation.
With continued interest by participants to further facilitate global cooperation among coast guard agencies, the 1st working level meeting of CGGS took place in November 2018 with the participation of 66 countries and international/ regional organizations. In this working level meeting, the following three agenda points were mainly discussed:
Meeting guidelines for smooth future meetings
Global human resource development
According to the meeting summary of the CGGS working level meeting, during the discussion on global human resource development, various advanced and unique programs were shared. Furthermore, there was broad support when JCG proposed to form the voluntary core member group for intensive study and discussion of this matter.
It has already been decided that the 2nd CGGS will be held in Tokyo in November 2019. JCG’s new challenge has just started, and it’s not difficult to imagine that they will have additional obstacles that will need to be solved. For example, in comparison with their past cooperative activities, the JCG is unexperienced with organizing an international meeting of this size, with an increase in the number of participation confirmed as compared to the last two meetings. To plan and execute such an enormous event on a regular basis also must create budgetary and operational issues. Furthermore, there is the obvious struggle for JCG to convince participating agencies of the necessity of a global framework.
As for the meeting agenda, it seems that human resource development will be a key topic. Unlike other regional cooperation frameworks, a global framework would require consideration of each regions unique issues and/or features. The first challenge for agencies from different regions is to try and cooperate for a unified goal, and to clarify ways to develop human resources in each region. I would like to closely observe the activities, discussion, and results of the 2nd CGGS to know the answer to this question, and I really hope this framework will bring great benefits to coast guard activities across the entire world.
Image courtesy of the Japan Coast Guard