Japan Ministry of Defense

Chief of Staff, the Joint Staff General Ryoichi Oriki

Japan Defense Focus No.14

Chief of Staff, the Joint Staff General Ryoichi Oriki
After graduating from the National Defense Academy, Oriki entered the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) in 1972 and was appointed as the 31st Chief of Staff of the JGSDF in 2007. In 2009, he became the third Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff.



Interview : Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff Ryoichi Oriki

In March of this year, General Ryoichi Oriki became the third Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff. We interviewed General Oriki about what he hoped to do in the position.

— What are the main challenges that you face after your new appointment?

The Joint Staff (JS) was established to conduct the joint operations of Japan's Ground, Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces to carry out missions swiftly and effectively. Since the JS was set up, we have accumulated a broad range of knowledge based on numerous experiences of operation such as responses to major earthquakes. I therefore intend to proceed with our preparations by analyzing this knowledge and taking over our achievements and expertise in order to meet public expectations.

The important thing is that even though we adopt the joint operation of the SDF, the units of Ground, Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces are fundamental elements for operation. It is therefore essential to properly recognize their respective capabilities and characteristics and to build reliable units.

I also believe that the education and training of personnel is becoming an increasingly vital issue given the current situation and trends both in Japan and overseas. For instance, more and more SDF missions are carried out overseas and in cooperation with people from other countries, so it has become necessary for SDF members to acquire an international way of thinking and foreign language skills. Furthermore, I think it is important to deepen our understanding of foreign cultures and traditions.

— What do you think of the SDF’s international contribution through its overseas activities?

Our fundamental duty is the defense of our country. That said, today there is a trend that each country cooperates with other countries to deal with terrorism and major natural disasters in an effort to achieve the global stability. I consider that Japan also needs to cooperate in such efforts within the framework of the law.

Contributing to the global stability is closely connected with to our own development and stability, so our international contribution is for our own national interests.

For example, our mission for anti-piracy measures off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. After the enactment of the new law, we can provide our escort to foreign ships and this has allowed us to make a greater contribution to the international society. This anti-piracy mission is also very significant to Japan's prosperity from the perspective of securing sea lanes.

— What is your vision of the SDF in the future?

My motto is to respond to what happens today and prepare for what will happen tomorrow. I believe that this is our duty and ultimate objective.

The demands of Japanese people for our duties will change as times goes by. It is important to build units which are capable of responding to these changes in a flexible manner.

Therefore, my vision of the SDF is an organization which is capable of responding appropriately to the demands to us, and this is something which won't change in the future. We must respond immediately to what is demanded to us today, and we must also prepare fully for what will be demanded to us tomorrow.

Since we cannot predict what will happen tomorrow, we do not know what will be demanded to us. But we must respond to various situations. This is by no means a easy task. So we undergo various education and training on a daily basis in order to accomplish such task. Ultimately, this is the only thing for which we can make our efforts on our own initiative.


To all those who registered their e-mail adress before December 11, 2009.
Due to a technical problem, we were unable to record your address.
We apologize for the inconvenience, but request that you kindly sign up again.Thank you for your cooperation.

JDF Mail Magazine Subscribe to the JDF e-mail magazine.Sign up