International Peace Cooperation Assignment in East Timor


Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
(Gained independence from the Republic of Indonesia in 2002)


On October 25, 1999, the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor ( UNTAET ) was established on the basis of Security Council Resolution 1272. UNTAET was given overall responsibility for governing East Timor and empowered to exercise all legislative, executive, and judicial functions.

 UNTAET 's mission ended with the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste on May 20, 2002, and its place was taken by the UN Mission of Support in East Timor ( UNMISET ), which was set up on the basis of Security Council Resolution 1410 to ensure the new state's security and provide assistance to core administrative structures critical to its viability and political stability.

Starting in February 2002 Japan dispatched a total of 2,300 staff officers and engineer unit personnel, first to UNTAET 's Military Liaison Component and then to UNMISET 's Military Component. This represented an active contribution to the efforts of the East Timorese people and the international community toward East Timor's independence and nation building. It was also Japan's largest commitment of personnel to UN peacekeeping operations.

Staff Officers

Prime Minister Jun'ichiro Koizumi offers words of encouragement(img)

Prime Minister Jun'ichiro
Koizumi offers words of

Japan sent a group of 10 staff officers to the headquarters of UNTAET and UNMISET from February 2002 to May 2003, and it sent a second group of 7 staff officers from April 2003 to June 2004. Stationed in the headquarters in Dili, the capital of East Timor, the personnel were involved in planning and coordination for the maintenance and repair of roads and bridges and other logistic support.

Engineer Units

A staff member coordinating with a colleague(img)

A staff member coordinating
with a colleague

Engineers engaged in shoreline strengthening(img)

Engineers engaged in shoreline

From March 2002 to June 2004, four engineer units with a maximum of 680 personnel at one time were successively sent to East Timor. With their headquarters in Dili, the engineers were billeted in four locations: Dili, Maliana, Oecusse, and Suai. They engaged in logistic support for UNMISET , including maintaining and repairing roads and bridges and maintaining and overseeing water supply points, and they also took part in civilian support projects, such as landscaping the grounds of elementary schools.

The SDF personnel in these engineer units included women, who were dispatched for the first time because, as has been observed in UN and other forums, the role of women in peacekeeping operations needs to be expanded.

Liaison and Coordination Personnel

A liaison and coordination office was set up in Dili and staffed with several liaison and coordination personnel from the Cabinet Office. Their job was to provide liaison and coordination between Japanese staff officers and units and relevant organizations so that the staff officers and units could perform their duties smoothly and effectively.

Maritime and Air Self-Defense Force Support

Loading a C-130H transport plane with supplies(img)

Loading a C-130H transport
plane with supplies

To assist the engineer units and staff officers dispatched to East Timor starting from February 2002, the Maritime Self-Defense Force transport shipOsumiand escort shipMineyukiand six Air Self-Defense Force C-130H transport planes transported engineer units and some of their equipment. About twice a year, C-130H transport planes flew in food supplies for the engineers and staff officers.

Outline of UNMISET Military ComponentOutline of UNMISET Military Component HQ

Deployment of Engineer Companies and Other Personnel

Distribution of Civilian Police(img)