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Operations ceased under the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law; Enactment of the Replenishment Support Special Measures Law

A Pakistani ship, the last refueled by the SDF
A Pakistani ship, the last refueled by the SDF
With the expiration of the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law on November 1, the Ministry of Defense brought to a halt the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) replenishment operations in the Indian Ocean and the Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) air transport operations conducted for the past six years since November 2001. The MSDF supply ship Tokiwa and escort ship Kirisame returned from their mission at the end of the month.
    Later, the Replenishment Support Special Measures Law passed the National Diet and was enacted on January 11, 2008, after deliberation, and the Defense Minister issued an order to the MSDF in order to dispatch vessels on January 17. The MSDF escort ship Murasame departed from Yokosuka on January 24, and the MSDF supply ship Oumi set sail from Sasebo on January 25. Prior to departure, the Defense Minister offered encouragement to the personnel to be dispatched.

The support ship Oumi departing from Japan
The support ship Oumi departing from Japan

Chinese warship makes first goodwill visit to Japan

China's missile destroyer Shenzhen at Harumi Pier
China's missile destroyer Shenzhen at Harumi Pier
On November 28 the Navy missile destroyer Shenzhen of the Chinese People's Liberation Army entered port at Tokyo's Harumi Pier. The first port call by a Chinese warship took place under an agreement on mutual naval vessel visits reached at a meeting between defense ministers from the two countries in August 2007, and at a ceremony to welcome the vessel, MSDF Chief of Staff Admiral Eiji Yoshikawa said, “It is quite certain that this port visit will be marked commemoratively in the history of defense exchanges between our two countries.”
 

Successful test-firing of SM-3 interceptor and deployment of PAC-3 unit at Narashino

Successful test-firing of SM-3 interceptor and deployment of PAC-3 unit at Narashino
Successful test-firing of SM-3 interceptor and deployment of PAC-3 unit at Narashino
On December 18 (Japan time) the Kongo , first improved to add the function of ballistic missile defense as a Japanese Aegis destroyer, testfired a SM-3 missile off Kauai, Hawaii, successfully intercepting a target ballistic missile outside the earth’s atmosphere. This was the first test-firing of a SM-3 missile to intercept a ballistic missile by a MSDF destroyer.
    In regard to the PAC-3 units, following the deployment at Iruma Air Base (Saitama Prefecture) in March 2007, deployment began at the ASDF's Narashino Subbase (Chiba Prefecture) in late November. Deployment is expected at two more ASDF bases before the end of this fiscal year. The introduction of MOD’s ballistic missile defense system is moving steadily forward.
 

Draft budget for fiscal 2008 approved by Cabinet

Image of an advanced technological demonstrator
Image of an advanced technological demonstrator
The government approved the draft budget for fiscal 2008 (starting April 2008) at the cabinet meeting on December 24, reducing defenserelated expenditures by \38.9 billion (0.8%) from the previous fiscal year to \4,742.6 billion. To modernize defensive capabilities in keeping with the security environment facing Japan, the draft proposes allocating \111.8 billion to introduction of the P-1 next-generation fixed wing patrol aircraft, \77.0 billion to improvement of F-15 fighters, and \7.0 billion to research on an advanced technological demonstrator integrating advanced aviation technologies. In addition, \133.8 billion is set aside for ballistic missile defense.