Japan Ministry of Defense


 

Japan Defense Focus No.17

 

DEFENSE POLICY

Anti-Piracy Measures off the Coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden

The Destroyer “Oonami” of the 4th Surface Unit departed from Yokosuka Base for off the
coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. The Destroyer “Oonami” of the 4th Surface Unit departed from Yokosuka Base for off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden.

100 Escort Operations Achieved


On January 24, the surface unit of the Maritime Self Defense Force completed its 100th escort operation for its anti-piracy measures.

The destroyers of the 1st surface unit “Sazanami” and “Samidare”, began escort activities as the Maritime Security Operation under the article 82 of the Self-Defense Forces Law on March 30, 2009, and escorted 121 vessels in 41 operations. The destroyers of the 2nd surface unit, “Harusame” and “Amagiri”, escorted 248 vessels in 34 operations under the Anti-Piracy Measures Law which enabled MSDF to provide escort to every civil vessel regardless of nationalities. The 3rd surface unit, destroyers “Takanami” and “Hamagiri” escorted 193 vessels in 25 operations. As a result, a total of 562 vessels were escorted in 100 operations.

Minister of Defense Kitazawa spoke to the commander of the unit, Captain Yasuki Nakahata, by videophone, encouraging him by saying “I am proud of the high evaluation of Japan’s contribution by your efforts.”

Mr. Koji Miyahara, the president of the Japanese Shipowners’ Association, delivered a message to Ministry of Defense as follows: “Nothing can be more encouraging to the commercial ships in this area than the escort activities carried out by the Maritime Self Defense Force. We would like to express our deep gratitude to the Maritime Self Defense Force personnel and Japan Coast Guard Officers who engaged in their duties under conditions of high temperature and stress. We pray that you may safely complete your duties.”

Replacement by The 3rd Air Unit


The 2nd air unit which performed flight operations was taken over by the 3rd air unit.

The 3rd air unit, commanded by Commander Masahiko Shimizu, Vice Commander, 2nd Air Patrol Squadron, 2nd Fleet Air Wing, composed of about 100 members of the Maritime Self Defense Force, and about 50 personnel mainly from Central Readiness Force Regiment, Ground Self Defense Force. The 3rd air unit began its mission on February 9.

Replacement by The 4th Surface Unit


The 3rd surface unit engaged in anti-piracy measures was replaced by the 4th surface unit commanded by Captain Takanobu Minami, the commander of the 6th Escort Division.

A sending-off ceremony for the 4th surface unit destroyer “Oonami” (Commanding Officer: Commander Yukihiko Okubo) was held on January 29 at Yokosuka Base. And another sending off ceremony for another 4th surface unit destroyer “Sawagiri” (Commanding Officer, Commander Kimio Shibata), also took place on January 30 at Sasebo Base. The two destroyers sailed to their destination together.

The 4th surface unit began the 110th (the 69th under the Anti-Piracy Measures Law) escort operation on February 25.


Escort Operarions Performed by Surface Unit


· December
  1. 1. Number of Escort Operations: 9 (84th -92nd escort operation)
  2. 2. Number of escorted vessels: 70 (Accumulated total of 380 escort vessels since the start of operations under the Anti-Piracy Measures Law)
Breakdown
Japanese registered ships:
1 (Accumulated total of 3 escort vessels under the Anti-Piracy Measures Law)
Foreign ships operated by Japanese shipping companies:
14 (Accumulated total of 122 escort vessels under the Anti-Piracy Measures Law)
Foreign ships other than above:
55(Accumulated total of 255 escort vessels under the Anti-Piracy Measures Law)
· January
  1. 1. Number of Escort Operations: 10 (93rd - 102nd escort operation)
  2. 2.Number of escorted vessels: 82 (Accumulated total of 462 escort vessels under the Anti-Piracy Measures Law)
Breakdown
Japanese registered ships:
1 (Accumulated total of 4 escort vessels under Japan’s Anti-Piracy Measures Law)
Foreign ships operated by Japanese shipping companies:
18(Accumulated total of 140 escort vessels under the Anti-Piracy Measures Law)
Foreign ships other than above:
63(Accumulated total of 318 escort vessels under the Anti-Piracy Measures Law)
· February
  1. 1. Number of Escort Operations: 9 (103rd - 111th escort operation)
  2. 2. Number of escorted vessels: 90 (Accumulated total of 552 escort vessels under the Anti-Piracy Measures Law)
Breakdown
Japanese registered ships:
0 (Accumulated total of 4 escort vessels under the Anti-Piracy Measures Law)
Foreign ships operated by Japanese shipping companies:
19 (Accumulated total of 159 escort vessels under the Anti-Piracy Measures Law)
Foreign ships other than above:
71(Accumulated total of 389 escort vessels under the Anti-Piracy Measures Law)
  1. 3. Instances of provision of information from MSDF destroyers to other nations’ warships and/or commercial ships

On 19 February, a Japanese helicopter which was based on destroyer “Takanami” was engaged in patrol operations when it detected a suspicious boat, heading north, that was located more than ten nautical miles of the 109th escort convoy. The helicopter visually confirmed that the boat was carrying seven people, numerous plastic containers, and a ladder-like thing, and the information was provided to relevant organizations and countries. A foreign ship-based helicopter took over surveillance activities and the Japanese helicopter returned to destroyer “Takanami”.

Activities of P-3C Patrol Aircraft


· December
  1. 1. Number of flights: 20 (Accumulated total:126)
  2. 2. Flight hours: approximately 150 (Accumulated total: approximately 990)
  3. 3. Number of confirmed commercial ships: approximately 1400 (Accumulated total: approximately 8700)
  4. 4. Number of provision of information from P-3Cs to Japanese destroyers, foreign warships, and/or commercial ships: approximately 180(Accumulated total: approximately 820)
  5. 5. Instances of provisions of information from P-3Cs to other nation’s warship and/or commercial ships
    1. (i) On 11 December, a P-3C was engaged in patrol operations when it detected a suspicious small-sized boat with a ladder-like thing. This information was provided to foreign warships and commercial ships sailing nearby, and a Canadian ship-based helicopter and a Portuguese warship that received information rushed to the suspected boat. The P-3C visually confirmed that the ladder had been jettisoned and a cover concealing it was folded.
      * After that, the Portuguese warship conducted an on-board inspection of the boat in question. However, no weapons were found, so the boat was released.
    2. (ii) On 7 December, a P-3C was engaged in patrol operations when it received a report from a German warship that a commercial ship was allegedly being attacked by pirates. The P-3C rushed to the site, but the foreign warship had already been responding to the pirates, so it returned to normal patrol operations.
    3. (iii) On 29 December, a P-3C was engaged in patrol operations when it confirmed a U.K.-registered commercial ship, “ST. JAMES PARK”, had been hijacked by pirates on 28 December. The P-3C provided the information about the hijacked ship to relevant organizations and countries.
· January
  1. 1. Number of flights: 20 (Accumulated total:146)
  2. 2. Flight hours: approximately 160 (Accumulated total: approximately 1150)
  3. 3. Number of confirmed commercial ships: approximately 1300 (Accumulated total: approximately 10000)
  4. 4. Number of provision of information from P-3Cs to Japanese destroyers, and/or commercial ships: approximately 210(Accumulated total: approximately 1030)
  5. 5. Instances of provisions of information from P-3Cs to other nation’s warship and/or commercial ships
    1. (i) On 1 January, a P-3C was engaged in patrol operations when it detected a suspicious ship with a ladder-like thing, towing a small-sized boat. A foreign warship took over surveillance activities and the P-3C returned to normal patrol operations.
    2. (ii) On 5 January, a P-3C was engaged in patrol operations when it received information from relevant organization or country regarding a suspicious ship. The P-3C went to confirm two ships and two boats, but did not find anything particularly suspicious, so reported as such to nearby commercial ships and warships.
    3. (iii) On 16 January, a P-3C was engaged in patrol operations when it received information from relevant organization or country regarding an attempted piracy incident. The P-3C rushed to the site and confirmed a small ship and a Turkish warship pursuing it. Because the Turkish warship had been responding to it, the P-3C returned to normal patrol operations.
      * According to news reports, the Turkish warship conducted a on-board inspection and confiscated weapons.
    4. (iv) On 17 January, a P-3C was engaged in patrol operations when it received information from a commercial ship that the ship was being under the attack by pirates. The P-3C rushed to the site and confirmed a small ship. An Italian ship-based helicopter which also had received the same information from the commercial ship took over surveillance activities and the P-3C returned to normal patrol operations.
· February
  1. 1. Number of flights: 13 (Accumulated total:159)
  2. 2. Flight hours: approximately 100 (Accumulated total: approximately 1250)
  3. 3. Number of confirmed commercial ships: approximately 800 (Accumulated total: approximately 10800)
  4. 4. Number of provision of information from P-3C to Japanese destroyers, foreign warships, and/or commercial ships: approximately 130 (Accumulated total: approximately 1160)
  5. 5. Instances of provisions on information from P-3Cs to other nation’s warship and/or commercial ships
    Nothing particular was reported.
 
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