Seminar on Japan's Self-Defence Forces

Members of the public have a rare opportunity to learn more about the changing international role of Japan's self-defence forces at a seminar hosted by Glasgow University next week.

Since the early 1990s, Japan's Self-Defence Forces (SDF) have been sent overseas to fulfil various roles, including participating in United Nations' Peacekeeping Operations in Cambodia, Mozambique, East Timor and Golan Heights. They have also provided emergency relief operations in Indonesia and provided reconstruction work in Iraq. In addtion, as a result of the latest UN resolution of North Korea, SDF will be involved in its effective implementation. These new international roles, together with the future of the SDF, are one of the major issues in Japan and East Asia.

Mr Kyoji Komachi, Japanese Ambassador to The Netherlands has extensive knowledge of the Self-Defence Force's new international roles through his previous post as Director-General, International Peace Cooperation Headquarters within Japan's cabinet office who are responsible for sending SDF to the UN's Peacekeeping Operations. He has been the Japanese Ambassador to The Netherlands since November 2004.

Mr Komachi is looking forward to returning to the University of Glasgow where he was Senior Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Russian and East European Studies.

The seminar will be chaired by Sir Muir Russell, Principal of the University of Glasgow takes place in Yudowitz (Seminar Room 1), Wolfson Medical School, from 3pm - 5pm on Friday 24 November and all are welcome to attend.

Further information: Louise O'Neill, Research & Enterprise 0141 330 2730

Martin Shannon (

First published: 15 November 2006