A senior officials meeting and forum on capacity building for maritime law enforcement in neighboring States of Somalia was held in Tokyo from Oct 30th- Nov 1st 2012. The meeting was organized by the Ocean Policy Research Foundation in cooperation with the Japan Coast Guard, and was held at the Nippon Foundation headquarters. Representatives from Djibouti, Kenya, Oman, Somalia, Tanzania and Yemen attended the meeting, as well as representatives from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (RECAAP).
The meeting was timely, since piracy attacks still affect the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden. The representative of Somalia first gave an overview of the current situations in his country, highlighting that the situation has improved in the last years. The representatives of the other attending countries then summarized the efforts that have been made to address piracy in the region.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) trainees, including myself, also had the opportunity to attend the meeting, gaining invaluable insights on this particular issue of maritime security.