Japan Ministry of Defense

 

NO.8
 
HOME > Japan Defense Focus > NO.8 NEWS FLASHES
 
NEWS FLASHES

New Year's Greeting from the Defense Minister

New Year's Greeting from the Defense Minister

Happy New Year to you all! It is a great honor for me to be able to greet the New Year here with you, on this occasion, and I have rediscovered the significance of my responsibility as the Minister of Defense.
    As you are aware, in January last year the Defense Agency was turned into the Ministry of Defense, having taken its fresh steps as a true policy-making organization. During the year, while maintaining the independence and peace of Japan, the Ministry of Defense and Self-Defense Forces have engaged in activities to fulfill Japan's international responsibilities, including air transport in Iraq and replenishment operations in the Indian Ocean. I believe a great fruit of these activities was the wide appreciation they received from the countries of the world. At the same time, I believe we must not forget the endeavors of the personnel who have carried out their missions, never with complaint, under harsh and dangerous conditions, including severe weather and the uncertainty of not knowing where and when they might come under an attack.
    Also the other day, the Replenishment Support Special Measures Law was passed and enacted at the National Diet. With regard to the Maritime Self-Defense Force's activities in the Indian Ocean, which had to be halted when the old Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law expired, two vessels have already been dispatched, and they are scheduled to resume operations. The Ministry of Defense intends to resume the replenishment operations by the MSDF at the earliest possible date, and to continue to engage in the fight against terrorism proactively and on our own initiative, so as to fulfill our nation’s responsibilities to the international community.
    In the meantime, I believe last year was also a year when the Ministry of Defense drew a variety of reproaches and criticisms, and a question arose as to what our organization should be. With full recognition that our organization is intimately related to the nation's independence and world peace, I intend to devote my utmost efforts to making this year the year of a rebirth of the Ministry of Defense and to going steadily forward to deal with various challenges.
    Finally, I will close my New Year’s greeting with a heartfelt prayer that this year be a highly fruitful year for all of you.

January 2008
Shigeru Ishiba