In their geological status, it was, and

In
conclusion, we can trace Somali piracy being influenced by a number of factors:
1) The collapse of government institutions including banking and coastal
monitoring systems in and after 1991; 2) Continuing civil war leading to a
worsening economic situation; 3) Foreign vessels illegally fishing in Somali
waters thus leading to a decline in fish stocks thus affecting the amount of
fish caught by Somali fishermen which impacted their ability to sell their
product; and 4) dumping of toxic and nuclear waste leading to health issues of
the local population. However, if my hypothesis is correct in that this
socio-political “coast guard” veil has been lifted then we can add a fifth factor
which is ‘greed’. I propose this because it seems unlikely that operating
outside the Gulf of Aden, or perhaps even Somalia’s Exclusive Economic Zone
(EEZ) granted by UNCLOS, can garner the same justifications of ‘dumping’ and
‘illegal fishing’ and thus these attacks outside of this zone are strictly for
greed.

 

In
order to tackle the issue of piracy in Somalia the international community
responded with various initiatives such as international aid but primarily
relying upon offensive/defensive military operations operating at sea. For its
turn, the Japanese government decided to act within the legal limits set by its
constitution in order to provide for the security of its merchant vessels which
are seen as vital to the Japanese economy and people. Although piracy does not
represent an existential threat to the security or economy of the territorial Japanese
State, because of their geological status, it was, and remains imperative that Japan
take action in order to secure its maritime operations. To this regard,
although Japan and the international community as a whole has spent a
significant amount of treasure on aid and naval missions to the region more
needs to be done in order to see permanent gains vis-à-vis the pirates.

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History
shows that piracy itself will not go away, but certain actions must still be
taken by a State, or group of States in order to mitigate the threat of piracy.
As the Roman General Pompeii calculated, maritime operations must be
complimented by terrestrial operations in order to see success. Any Gulf of
Aden operations must tackle the root causes of piracy in Somalia – the never-ending
civil war, economic disparity, and illegal fishing and dumping – which means operations
do not end on the shoreline of Somalia. Even if the international community
remains hesitant to insert combat forces, the current Somali government (TFG)
will need both UN advisors-led training and assistance to more adequately
conduct anti-piracy operations. This would mean the lifting, or targeting
lifting of UNRES 733 and 1844 which would allow at least advisors into the
country. Secondly, kinetic operations must be complimented by economic strategies
which offer locals and fishermen opportunities to acquire money legally through
local/regional job prospects, training, or employment in a legitimate,
government operated Coast Guard. Third, illegal fishing and dumping should be
monitored first by the international community and then transferred to a TFG
Coast Guard (this process must be conducted legally – i.e. through treaty). In
this regard, illegal fishers and their respective companies must be held
accountable and in a way that is visible to the people of Somalia. It is one
thing to say that you will hold illegal fishers accountable and another to
prove to the people that you indeed held them accountable. Fourth, residual
health issues due to dumping must be considered and constructively dealt with
through medical assistance. These are long-term, overarching and far-reaching
goals but touch on, and resolve, the main drivers for piracy. A stable Somalia
governed under the rule of law (domestic and international) will allow for
stability in not only in Somalia but in surrounding States which will lead to a
safer world in general.

 

Simply
because Japan is legally constrained in putting boots on the ground in conflict
areas does not mean that its operations should be limited to the Gulf of Aden
or Djibouti. Japan could assist any UN mission by providing monetary assistance
for the training of a coast guard, or the creation of a local economy or local initiatives.
Furthermore, as Japan has a robust legal system it can assist Somalia in the
creation of legal mechanisms in order to put pirates or illegal fishers on
trial. Japan can also, as it has done in the case of Djibouti, provide naval
vessels to any newly created Somali Coast Guard. Lastly, Japan can assist in
the medical recovery of local economies through direct medical assistance
(medicine etc.) or through monetary support. Therefore, Japan, and the
international community, must take a more robust and comprehensive approach in
tackling the threat of piracy and not limit their actions strictly to maritime
and kinetic operations if gains are to be had. Without a doubt, even as General
Nakatani praised current initiatives and success, he noted that the root causes
for the continuous JMSDF naval presence remain unaddressed: “in light of the
fact that the fundamental factors that foster piracy, such as poverty in
Somalia, have not been resolved, the threat of piracy still continues. If the
international community lets up on the effort, piracy activity may grow again.”
(Gady, 2016).

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