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Shigeru Ishiba Appointed Minister of Defense

New Defense Minister Ishiba reviews the SDF Special Guard of Honor
New Defense Minister Ishiba reviews the SDF Special Guard of Honor

On September 26, Shigeru Ishiba, a member of the House of Representatives and the former minister of state for defense of the Defense Agency, was appointed minister of defense, replacing former Defense Minister Masahiko Koumura.
    In the address he delivered at the ceremony marking his assumption of office, Defence Minister Ishiba noted that he felt deep emotion at returning to this spot three years after stepping down as minister of state for defense of the Defense Agency, and he declared his renewed awareness that it is our responsibility to conduct thorough discussion of what the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) can do in terms of the legal framework, equipment, and operations to maintain deterrence, and to do our utmost for the sake of Japan's independence and peace and of international peace and security—never becoming an aggressor state. He also reported that he had received instructions from Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to work for the further strengthening of the Japan-U.S. security arrangements, including steady progress in the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, to strive for the continuation of the activities of the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) in the Indian Ocean under the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law, and to actively undertake international peace cooperation activities and other forms of international contributions.
    In addition, Minister Ishiba stated his conviction that the continuation of activities related to the fight against terrorism, in which many countries are taking part at the cost of great sacrifices, is in Japan's national interest and is Japan's responsibility to the international community; he declared that he would devote himself wholeheartedly to the continuation of these activities.
    Minister Ishiba also quoted from the SDF members' oath to "serve the people by stepping forward bravely to fulfill my responsibilities at any risk to myself, and I will respond to the trust of the people," stating his conviction that understanding of this will solidify Japan's security.