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Cablegate: Japan's Plans for Maritime Security Assistance For

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PP RUEHCHI RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHDT #0095/01 0870948
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P R 270948Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY DILI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3950
INFO RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0851
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1153
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RHHMUNA/USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RULSJGA/USCG HQ WASHDC
RUEHDT/AMEMBASSY DILI 3379

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DILI 000095

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR DAS SCOT MARCIEL,EAP/MTS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC
SUBJECT: JAPAN'S PLANS FOR MARITIME SECURITY ASSISTANCE FOR
TIMOR-LESTE

DILI 00000095 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) Summary. A visiting Japan ministry of foreign
affairs official briefed us on Japan's plans for providing
maritime security assistance to Timor-Leste, possibly in
partnership with Australia and the United States. A full
government of Japan interagency assessment team will visit Dili
in April to evaluate whether Japan should dispatch up to four
representatives of its Maritime Safety Agency (JMSA, the
Japanese Coast Guard equivalent) to the UN mission in
Timor-Leste to assist the Timorese national police's maritime
component. Separately, the Japanese ambassador repeated his
concern that the JMSA will take a very cautious approach towards
a possible mission in Timor-Leste, despite the ambassador's
belief that the agency has more than adequate resources to
support such assistance. Together with Japan, we will
coordinate among key donors in Dili, to include Australia and
Portugal, to assess current and planned activities in the
maritime security area. End summary.

2. (SBU) Deputy Director Itou of the International Peace
Cooperation Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA),
reviewed with us on March 26 Japan's current thinking regarding
maritime security assistance for Timor-Leste. Japan's tentative
plans center on the dispatch of four officials from Japan's
Maritime Safety Agency (JMSA -- roughly equivalent to the U.S.
Coast Guard) to the UN Integrated Mission to Timor-Leste (UNMIT)
to assist the Timor National Police's (PNTL) maritime
operations. The PNTL currently has forty officers assigned to a
maritime police unit near Atabae, west of Dili. The JMSA
objective would be to provide training and improve PNTL's
management of its maritime police unit. The four Japanese
officials would include a Special Advisor to the PNTL
Commissioner, an assistant to this advisor (both to be assigned
to UNMIT headquarters in Dili), and two operational advisors to
be located at the PNTL unit in Atabae. In addition, Japan is
considering the donation of equipment, including small patrol
boats. The next step will be the dispatch to Dili of an
interagency assessment team to include representatives of MOFA,
JMSA and the Prime Minister's Office, likely to take place in
late-April 2008.

3. (SBU) Itou also met with Australian embassy officials
during his visit to Dili, as well as UNMIT, and noted the
possibility that Japan's assistance in this area could be part
of a trilateral U.S.-Australia-Japan cooperation effort. He
highlighted Japan's Law for International Peace Cooperation that
restricts Japanese civilian police officers from providing
maritime security sector advice unless deployed on a United
Nations peacekeeping mission. Hence, UNMIT's role. Further,
Japanese advisors are excluded from participating in law
enforcement activities such as arrests, searches, seizures, and
patrol operations.

4. (SBU) Japan's ambassador to Timor-Leste explained that
Japan also is legally bound from providing support to foreign
militaries. Currently, both the PNTL and the Timorese defense
force (F-FDTL) have maritime units. The Timorese government
proposed in August 2007 that all maritime responsibilities be
consolidated in the military. Since then, however, senior
government officials have suggested the creation of a hybrid or
joint PNTL/F-FDTL maritime command. Potentially, either could
pose serious legal constraints on Japanese assistance to
Timorese coast guard-type operations. Ambassador Shimizu told
us today that he hopes that the negotiation of a tripartite
Japan-UNMIT-GOTL memorandum of understanding would provide
adequate legal support for Japanese assistance.

5. (SBU) Ambassador Shimizu again expressed caution regarding
JMSA's eagerness to contribute to a Timor assistance program,
noting that JMSA headquarters tended to be very conservative in
taking on new international responsibilities. JMSA cites
resource constraints as the basis for their cautiousness,
although Shimizu described them as well endowed with material
resources, just lacking in initiative. He noted that there is
significant political momentum in Tokyo behind the dispatch of
JMSA personnel to Timor-Leste given its geographic location, the
large UN presence and the political void created when the
Japanese national police pulled its two officers out of UNMIT's

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peacekeeping operations in February 2008.

6. (SBU) In order to tighten donor coordination, Shimizu
agreed to join us in an effort to share information on current
or planned assistance to Timorese maritime authorities with
Australia and Portugal - the two other key bilateral players in
the security sector. We will seek to convene a meeting at the
ambassadorial level well before the arrival of Japan's
assessment team in April. We will also continue to liaise with
UNMIT, PNTL and F-FDTL, and support as appropriate the
interagency GOJ assessment mission to Dili next month.
KLEMM

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