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Inauguration of Joint Staff Office

The Joint Staff Office (JSO), in charge of joint operations of the Ground, Maritime, and Air Self-Defense Forces (SDF), was inaugurated on March 27, thus completing the shift to a joint operations system providing a unified chain of command for all three services of the SDF. At the inauguration ceremony that morning, JSO Chief of Staff Hajime Massaki told those assembled, "I want you to aspire to the kind of highquality joint operations typical of-indeed, unique to-the SDF, reflecting the SDF's 50 years of history, tradition, and culture."

The inauguration ceremony
The inauguration ceremony
JSO Chief of Staff Massaki (right)
JSO Chief of Staff Massaki (right)

Dispatch of Tenth Iraq Contingent

Handing over the unit flag
Handing over the unit flag
Japan Defense Agency Parliamentary Secretary for Defense Jiro Aichi handed over the unit flag to Colonel Toshihiro Yamanaka, commander of the tenth Ground Self-Defense Force contingent to engage in reconstruction assistance in Iraq, at a ceremony at Camp Somagahara, Gunma Prefecture, on May 6. At a press conference Colonel Yamanaka said, "We will carry out reconstruction assistance activities with sincerity as Japanese, viewing things through the eyes of the Iraqi people just as earlier contingents have done." The tenth contingent departed on May 7 and is commencing activities in Samawah incrementally.

Camp Samawah
Camp Samawah
Chiefs of the ninth and tenth contingents
Chiefs of the ninth and tenth contingents

Letter Thanking Pakistan Army Officer for Help after Pakistan Earthquake

On April 18 Ground Staff Office Chief of Staff Tsutomu Mori delivered a letter of thanks to Lieutenant Colonel Abdul Naiem Bhatti of the Pakistan Army for his help in rescuing a Japanese woman after the devastating earthquake in Pakistan last October.
    As aftershocks continued, Lieutenant Colonel Bhatti oversaw the removal of rubble from a collapsed building in Islamabad, the capital. He helped rescue a Japanese woman from the ruins.

Lt. Col. Bhatti (left) being commended
Lt. Col. Bhatti (left) being commended
Bhatti (right) with the letter of thanks
Bhatti (right) with the letter of thanks