Japan’s first WPS NAP was launched in 2015; the latest NAP is for the period 2019-2022. It is not known whether an update is in progress.

Objectives of Japan’s 2019-2022 NAP:

1 Participation: Ensure equal participation of women in all stages in the field of peace and security with the aim of achieving gender mainstreaming in this field.

2 Conflict prevention: Promote women’s participation, leadership and active roles in all processes and decision making of conflict prevention, management, and resolution, and introduce and enhance gender equality perspective.

3 Protection: Prevent various aid-recipients including women and girls from being subjected to human rights violation such as sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian crisis during and after a conflict as well as a natural large-scale disaster. And also provide protection and assistance to those who have been subjected to such violence.

4 Humanitarian relief, recovery and reconstruction assistance: Provide humanitarian relief, recovery and reconstruction assistance with a gender perspective, promote women’s empowerment and ensure women’s equal participation within coordinated manner among aid assistance providers.

5 Framework for monitoring and evaluation, and revision: Develop a framework for effective monitoring and evaluation, and review of implementation status of the NAP at an appropriate time. Revise the NAP regularly.


Japan’s second iteration of its NAP is not substantially different from the first, though this is explained as a deliberate choice due to a “lack of sufficient experience from the implementation of the first edition” (2019 NAP p.7). The NAP writers envisage that more structural changes will be made in a future 3rd edition; at the time of writing there is no news as to when that 3rd edition will be available.

Japan has not been involved in large-scale conflict since the Second World War and only contributes staff officers to peacekeeping missions. The preamble to its NAP on WPS draws attention to domestic efforts to improve gender equality in Japan through legislation, such as the 1999 Basic Act for a Gender Equal Society. The fact remains however that Japan consistently ranks extremely poorly in global studies of gender equality, ranking 125th of 146 nations in the most recent analysis of the global gender gap (Statistica 2023). 

The NAP contains a number of bold statements including the aim to make “the 21st century an era in which women’s human rights are not infringed upon and in which no sexual violence against women exists” (2019 NAP p4).

The Japanese NAP is notable for its discussion of the need to share experiences of natural disasters from a gender sensitive perspective. A pledge to “take the initiative as a major donor country so as to achieve the goal of ensuring allocation of 30% of the UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) to women-related projects/programmes” is also significant.

Civil society involvement in the development of the NAP:

The NAP recognises the importance of dialogue with civil society organisations when implementing the specific measures drafted in the plan and notes the particular effort to cooperate with “women’s groups” in both the first and second iterations. 

UN Peacekeeping  statistics:

As of Sept 2023, Japan contributed four UN peacekeeping personnel, all of staff officer rank, and only one of whom was female.

As of Sept 2023, Japan ranked 105th for peacekeeping contributions.

Women in Peacekeeping:

While Japan is traditionally hesitant to deploy personnel of either gender to serve on active peacekeeping missions, the National Action Plan does call for efforts to assist Japanese women to take up leadership posts in international organisations and the UN to promote peace. Internationally, Japan will use funding to improve women’s participation in peace processes and election monitoring, for example. 

The suggestion of training more women in advanced conflict resolution skills, negotiation, arbitration and mediation at educational institutions in Japan is a particularly unusual but undoubtedly valuable inclusion. 

References and sources:

Japanese National Action Plan (2019) (English translation) Available at: https://www.wpsnaps.org/app/uploads/2022/12/Japan-NAP-2019-2022.pdf 

United Nations Peacekeeping. (2023). Troop and police contributors‌. Available at: https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/troop-and-police-contributors 

Contribution of Uniformed Personnel to UN by Country, Mission, and Personnel Type (Sept 2023) Available at: 05-Missions Detailed By Country

Uniformed Personnel Contributing Countries Ranking 02-Contributions by Country (Ranking)

Statistica 2023 Gender equality in Japan - statistics & facts. Available at: https://www.statista.com/topics/7768/gender-equality-in-japan/#topicOverview 

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