Japan Ministry of Defense


 
Relief activities for the flood disaster in Chugoku and north Kyushu

Japan Defense Focus No.16

Medical officers of the medical assistance team in Kudu Ganting, Indonesia.

 

TOPICS 001

Dispatch of International Disaster Relief Team for Sumatra Padang Earthquake

Medical officers of the medical assistance team in Kudu Ganting, Indonesia.
Medical officers of the medical assistance team in Kudu Ganting, Indonesia.

On September 30, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake occurred offshore of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, affecting the area of Padang. It was a major disaster with more than a thousand dead and missing persons due to collapsed buildings and landslides. On the night of October 2, the Indonesian government made a request to Japan for the assistance of the Self Defense Forces. After consulting with the Foreign Minister, on the morning of the 3rd, Defense Minister Kitazawa instructed Chief of Joint Staff Oriki and other senior officers to prepare a dispatch of an international disaster relief team and, on the afternoon of the same day, an investigation team of about 30 persons, including about 10 medical personnel, left Narita Airport bound for Sumatra.


On the 5th, an order to conduct medical aid activities was issued based on a report by the investigation team. The team set up a integrated coordination office for coordination with relevant local organizations, and a medical assistance team of about 10 medical personnel was formed. On the same day, the medical team entered Kudu Ganting village on the outskirts of Pariaman City, about 70km north-east of Padang City, set up a temporary clinic and started their first aid treatment. On the 10th and 11th, the medical officers were sent to another village about 2km away. The medical team treated a total of 919 people by the 17th.


On 16th October, since the need for emergency medical treatment in areas affected by the earthquake had decreased and some countries' militaries had terminated emergency assistance activities, Defense Minister Kitazawa ordered the termination of the activities of the Disaster Relief Team. The medical assistance team and the staff of the consolidated coordination office ended their activities on the 17th. On the 20th, they arrived back at Narita Airport.

TOPICS 002

2009 memorial service for SDF members who died on duty

Over 300 persons attended to pray for the souls of the 1,804  persons who died on duty since the time of the National Police Reserve.
Over 300 persons attended to pray for the souls of the 1,804 persons who died on duty since the time of the National Police Reserve.

On October 24, 2009, a memorial service for the SDF members who died on duty was held in front of the cenotaph at the Ministry of Defense. Over 300 people gathered for the ceremony, including the bereaved families, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano, Defense Minister Kitazawa, the former ministers, current and former senior personnel of the Ministry of Defense and the Self Defense Forces and the members of the cooperative organizations. They prayed for the souls of the 1804 members who have died on duty since the time of the National Police Reserve.


After the national anthem was sung, the names of 6 personnel who died on duty between September 1, 2008, and August 31, 2009, were read out, and Defense Minister Kitazawa placed the list of their names in the center of the altar. The attendees prayed silently, while the Ground Self-Defense Force Drill Team presented arms, and played "Solace." Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano read a memorial message of condolence from Prime Minister Hatoyama, followed by a memorial speech by Defense Minister Kitazawa. After this, Chief Cabinet Secretary and other attendees placed, in turn, white chrysanthemums on the flower shelf before the cenotaph.


Representing the bereaved families, Mr. Kazumasa Shoji, the father of Lieutenant Colonel Masahiro Shoji (a former lecturer in war history at the Ground Self-Defense Force's Fuji School) gave a speech of greeting, expressing his feelings. He said “We can not express in words our grief of suddenly losing a precious, irreplaceable member of our family, even considering their noble mission. But we need to overcome this deep grief and live with strength in order to honor the souls of who sacrificed themselves to their calling.

TOPICS 003

Successful flight test of a Standard Missile-3 by the MSDF's Destroyer Myoko

Flight test of a SM-3 by JMSDF Aegis-equipped destroyer Myoko succeeded in the interception of the target.
Flight test of a SM-3 by JMSDF Aegis-equipped destroyer Myoko succeeded in the interception of the target. Flight test of a SM-3

On October 27, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Aegis-equipped destroyer Myoko (7,250 tons, Captain Yuji Shimamura), which was modified in the United State to carry the surface-to-air Standard Missile-3 (SM-3), conducted a flight test of an SM3 off Kaua’i Island in Hawaii and successfully intercepted the target. With the successful flight test, the Myoko became the third JMSDF vessel to carry SM-3s, following the Kongo and the Chokai. The flight test took place at about 6 p.m. on Oct. 27 (about 1 p.m. Japan time on Oct. 28). A simulated ballistic missile target was launched from the United States Navy missile range facility on Kaua’i Island. The Aegis system of the cruising Myoko detected and tracked the target, and an SM-3 was launched vertically from her foredeck. Approximately three minutes later, the SM-3 intercepted the target in outer space.


RADM Tomohisa Takei, Director General of Operations and Planning, the Office of Maritime Staff, JMSDF, and persons concerned, watched the flight test from inside the U.S. facility, and confirmed the success of the ballistic missile defense interceptor flight test.

The new unit relieved the 5th Maritime Replenishment Support Unit aboard the destroyer Akebono and the replenishment vessel Tokiwa which had been engaging in replenishment support activities since April.

 
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