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Patriot PAC-3 Missiles Installed at Iruma ASDF Base

A Patriot PAC-3 missile at Iruma Air Base
A Patriot PAC-3 missile at Iruma Air Base
Surface-to-air Patriot PAC-3 ballistic missiles were installed at Iruma Air Self-Defense Force Base, Saitama Prefecture, on March 30 as the first deployment of Japan's ballistic missile defense (BMD) systems. The BMD systems are purely defensive, and besides, have no substitute and thus are the only means of protecting the lives and property of the people of Japan against ballistic-missile attacks. They are also suited to Japan's defense policies, including its pillar, an exclusively defense-oriented policy, which is why the government of Japan has been building up the systems.
    The Ministry of Defense will work toward the early installation of BMD systems, including PAC-3 missiles.
 

First Japan-U.S.-India Maritime Goodwill Exercise

The Japan-U.S.-India goodwill exercise off the Boso Peninsula
The Japan-U.S.-India goodwill exercise off the Boso Peninsula
The Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF), the U.S. Navy, and the Indian Navy conducted a maritime goodwill exercise off the Boso Peninsula on April 16. This was the first such trilateral exercise. Taking part were four MSDF escort ships, two U.S. Navy destroyers, and two destroyers and a supply ship from the Indian Navy. The exercise was conducted based on the joint statement "Towards a Japan-India Strategic and Global Partnership" signed by the Japanese and Indian prime ministers in December 2006.
 

Prime Minister Abe's Visit to SDF Units in the Middle East

On his visit to the United States and the Middle East in late April and early May, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe inspected Maritime Self-Defense Force units on duty in the Indian Ocean in Abu Dhabi on April 29 and Air Self-Defense Force units conducting airlift missions for Iraq reconstruction assistance in Kuwait on May 1, encouraging the personnel. He said, "Your activities have earned extremely high praise internationally. I am filled with pride as your supreme commander." He added, "I trust that you will continue to press ahead with your mission for the reconstruction of Iraq.”

Prime Minister Abe encouraging ASDF airlift support units in Kuwait
Prime Minister Abe encouraging ASDF airlift support units in Kuwait

SDF Personnel Taking Part in UN Mission in Nepal

SDF personnel monitoring weapons as part of military observation activities in Nepal
SDF personnel monitoring weapons as part of military observation activities in Nepal
Eleven Self-Defense Force (SDF) personnel-six military observers and five liaison officials-arrived in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, on March 31 to take part in the United Nations Political Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) and commenced their activities in April. At the ceremony of formal appointment before their departure, Minister of Defense Fumio Kyuma said, "This is the first time personnel are being sent as individuals without a unit dispatch, but we will provide as much support as possible, so I trust that you will achieve the expected objectives as represent-atives of Japan."