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Japan Defense Focus No.16

 
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First round of ministerial inspections

The minister Kitazawa trying on a bulletproof vest and helmet (Ground Self-Defense Forces Nerima Base)
The minister Kitazawa trying on a bulletproof vest and helmet (Ground Self-Defense Forces Nerima Base) The minister reviewing  guard of honor on the destroyer Hyuga (Yokosuka Base)
The minister reviewing guard of honor on the destroyer Hyuga (Yokosuka Base) The minister reviewing at Hyakuri Base (Air Self-Defense Forces Hyakuri Base)
The minister reviewing at Hyakuri Base (Air Self-Defense Forces Hyakuri Base) The minister reviewing on board an F15 fighter (Air Self-Defense Forces Hyakuri Base)
The minister reviewing on board an F15 fighter (Air Self-Defense Forces Hyakuri Base) Minister Kitazawa inspecting the Maritime Self-Defense Forces Yokosuka Base
Minister Kitazawa inspecting the Maritime Self-Defense Forces Yokosuka Base The minister reviewing on board Type 74 tank (Ground Self-Defense Forces Nerima Base)
The minister reviewing on board Type 74 tank (Ground Self-Defense Forces Nerima Base)

Minister Toshimi Kitazawa conducted his first formal inspections since assuming the office of Minister of Defense. The Minister inspected three bases of the Self-Defense Forces between October 2 and 16.

· Maritime Self-Defense Force Yokosuka Base

On October 2, Minister Kitazawa conducted his first inspection of the Maritime Self-Defense Forces Yokosuka Base. The Minister was accompanied by MSDF Chief of Staff Keiji Akahoshi and Director General, Minister’s Secretariat Hironori Kanazawa.


Following a welcome from senior staff at the base, the Minister boarded the destroyer Hyuga and reviewed by a guard of honor. This was conducted in the hangar area because of rain. The Minister then visited the bridge and flight deck, and viewed SH-60K patrol helicopters in the hangar. The Minister also boarded the submarine Setoshio and toured the interior of the craft.


After that, the Minister addressed approximately 300 MSDF members at the gymnasium in Yokosuka Base, expressing his admiration for their spirited and courageous efforts. At a press conference following the inspection, the Minister said “I felt the strong sense of morale of MSDF members. I was particularly impressed that crews of submarines were working hard in difficult conditions.”

· Air Self-Defense Forces Hyakuri Base

On October 14, Minister Kitazawa travelled by Ground Self-Defense Forces helicopter together with ASDF Chief of Staff Shoichiro Hokazono and Director General, Minister’s Secretariat Kanazawa to Hyakuri Base to conduct his first inspection of the base.


After reviewing a guard of honor in front of the 7th Air Wing Headquarters, the Minister received a briefing on the status of the base. He then moved through the base inspecting various units and their equipments including F-15 fighters at the 305th Squadron; F-4 fighters at the 302nd Squadron (transferred from Naha Base to Hyakuri Base in March 2009); RF-4E reconnaissance aircraft at the Tactical Reconnaissance Group; and UH-60J rescue helicopters at the Hyakuri Air Rescue Squadron. The Minister also viewed a demonstration of mobile deployment of PAC-3 missiles at the Kasumigaura Sub Base. The Minister then reviewed the troops and presented an address to approximately 1,100 ASDF members. He expressed his admiration for their spirited and courageous working at the frontline of national defense, and reiterated the importance and significance of the Air Self-Defense Forces to Japan. “Your missions such as measure against violation of territorial airspace are essential to the defense of our country,” he stated. “Your activities fulfill a vital role in the protection of lives and properties of Japanese people. I hope that you will continue to uphold the fine tradition and do your utmost to carry out your duties to the very best of your ability in the future.”

· Ground Self-Defense Force Camp Nerima

On October 16, Minister Kitazawa conducted his first inspection of the Ground Self-Defense Forces Camp Nerima together with Director General, Minister’s Secretariat Kanazawa. The Minister was greeted by GSDF Chief of Staff Yoshifumi Hibako and other staff, before reviewing by a guard of honor on the parade ground.


Following a briefing on the status of the camp, the Minister inspected approximately 1,000 troops under the First Division. He described the Ground Self-Defense Forces as not only the last line of defense of our country and citizens in the event of an emergency situation but also an important vehicle for promoting peace and security in the international community through disaster relief and international peacekeeping activities. The Minister stressed the importance of their work and urged the GSDF members to uphold and the tradition and make unified efforts to fulfill their duties. The Minister inspected military equipment including 5.56-mm machine gun, anti-personnel sniper rifle and Type 82 command and communication vehicle, and tried on a bullet-proof vest and helmet. The Minister was then ushered to a rooftop of a barrack to watch an urban area combat training by one infantry platoon with light armored vehicles in a special facility. The Minister also rode on Type 74 and Type 90 tanks.


At a press conference held after the inspection, Minister Kitazawa said “I had opportunities to inspect Maritime, Air and Ground Self-Defense Forces. I fully realized that they are conducting very difficulty missions. I would like to ensure that the morale of SDF members will not be dampened through the budget compilation.”


Information

Publication of 2009 Defense White Paper in English

The English edition of the Defense White Paper, The Defense of Japan 2009, was released and published in November. This year’s Defense White Paper consists of four parts:

Part I: Security Environment Surrounding Japan
Part II: The Basics of Japan’s Defense Policy and Build-up of Defense Capability
Part III: Measures for Defense of Japan
Part IV: Reform of the Ministry of Defense

The English edition of the Defense White Paper is also available on the Ministry of Defense website at:
http://www.mod.go.jp/e/publ/w_paper/2009.html

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