Japan’s position on Legal Reform After the Arab Spring
The civil uprisings and social revolutions that have become to be called the Arab Spring, had first started in the late 2010 and the early 2011.(1) The civil uprisings had started due in the nation of Tunisia when a man, Bouazizi, had first set himself on fire as a last resort action in order to call attention towards the issues of state repression, corruption, and the autocratic rule. Due to the actions done by Bouazizi, many of the Arab nations, such as Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Yemen had been influenced by his actions not by committing physical harm, but by a mass surge of civil resistance and campaigns in order to help their government improve as well. Tunisia, the nation of where the first uprisings had started is currently under critical transition period since the nation is undergoing a process where a new constitution will include; more democratic and will help the nation emerge as a pluralistic society. (2) During this critical transition, the interim government of Tunisia had improved the military justice system by first investigating the crimes made during the social revolution and helping compensate the families who had a loss, but even so, the nation of Tunisia is still in need of help in regards to political and social aspects. Egypt is another nation who is in a similar situation like Tunisia, in that Egypt is under political turmoil as well; however, in recent months UN Human Rights Council has voiced their opinions in regards to the rising tensions during the protests about the new draft constitution, and even so there is a lack of participation within main actors in the Egyptian government. (3) The draft constitution consisted of some positive elements that included the limitation of the presidency to two four-year terms and the inclusion of the right to establish associations and civil institutions. There are also negative aspects as well since in the draft constitution, there is minimal recognition about human rights which was one of the most important changes that Egypt’s population was looking for and was even one of the main causes of the social uprisings and revolts. Syria, another nation that has had political uprisings and demonstrations, has already made limited reforms; however (4), there is still severe security forces that suppress the civilians opposition and even more so there is still no freedom of expression for the people. The nation of Syria has a variety of ethnic and religious groups which makes it even more difficult for reform seeing as how changes will have to be made that will appease the ethnic and religious groups. (5) There still is ongoing violence in Syria and legal reform is necessary in order to make the nation more pluralistic and less corrupt.
Japans History with the Legal Reform in the Arab Springs
When the social and political uprisings, which came to be known as the Arab Springs, first started on the 18th of December 2010, Japan has been of utmost help by not only offering humanitarian aid to the critical nations that were being impoverished by the protests going on, but also helped with the governmental aspects within these nations. As the first step of helping the legal reform, Japan had pledged $12 million dollars over a 3 year period to the MENA the transitional fund of the Arab Spring. (9) The MENA (Middle East/North Africa) Transition Fund was established by the World Bank and was set to help the governments after the ruler or democracy of the people’s choice was granted and when all turmoil within the country was fully gone. (10) Japan has paid fully to the MENA and plans to donate more in the future. Secondly, Japan has also had humanitarian aid going to many of the nations who have had the social revolutions, with Syria being the most prevalent nation.(11) One of the humanitarian missions that Japan has done was a mission to the main Syrian conflict