The National Bureau of Asian Research published on 7 January 2014 a brief commentary titled "UN Operations in Africa Provide a Mechanism for Japan's Military Normalization Agenda" by PhD candidates Jeremy Taylor and Michael Edward Walsh.
They cite the decision in 2009 by Japan to commit military assets to counter piracy off the coast of Somalia and the subsequent decision to establish a $40 million base in Djibouti for Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force. Finally, Japan deployed peacekeepers to South Sudan with the UN mission. These developments provide arguments for Japanese leaders to push forward with military normalization.
The authors conclude that Japanese security operations in East Africa have enabled incremental changes that have moved Japan closer to collective defense in peacekeeping and the adoption of broader rules of engagement in military operations overseas.