The Defense Agency's Transition to the Ministry of Defense
Minister of State for Defense Fumio Kyuma expressing his thanks after the passage of the bill by the House of Councillors (on the panel to the left, the top number is the total number of votes cast, the second number those in favor, and the third number those opposed) (Photo courtesy of Secretariat of the House of Councillors)
A bill related to the transition of the Japan Defense Agency to the Ministry of Defense was passed by the House of Councillors and became law on December 15, 2006. On January 9, 2007, 53 years after the establishment of the Defense Agency in 1954, the Ministry of Defense was born.
With this transition, the Minister of State for Defense (also known as the Director General of the Defense Agency) has become the Minister of Defense and has been empowered to react more rapidly and accurately to diverse emergency situations as the exclusive minister in charge of national defense. This has strengthened Japan's crisis management system. In addition, international peace cooperation activities have been upgraded to primary missions of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), and the SDF's international peace cooperation activities and responses to situations in areas surrounding Japan have been added to the matters to be handled in consultation with the Security Council of Japan. It has also been decided to integrate the Defense Facilities Administrative Agency into the Ministry of Defense in fiscal 2007 (April 2007-March 2008).
An aerial view of the Ministry of Defense