Ministerial Succession Ceremony

Defense Minister Morimoto receiving a formal salute
Defense Minister Morimoto receiving a formal salute

On June 4, Mr. Satoshi Morimoto assumed office as the 11th Minister of Defense. On this occasion, Prime Minister Noda instructed the newly appointed Minister Morimoto to work on, under civilian control, securing peace and security for Japan, establishing a dynamic defense force based on the National Defense Program Guidelines for FY 2011 and beyond and the Mid-Term Defense Program(FY2011-FY2015), deepening and developing the Japan – U.S. Alliance, cooperating with other relevant Ministers to reduce the burden of the military basis in Okinawa, taking active initiatives in areas such as PKO activities, and taking appropriate crisis management measures.

The appointment ceremony was held at auditorium in the Ministry of Defense on June 5. The newly appointed Minister Morimoto touched on the security environment surrounding Japan, including North Korea, China, and Russia, and stated his commitment toward developing defense forces based on the National Defense Program Guidelines and the Mid-term Defense Program, as well as working closely with the United States to secure greater safety for Japan and take initiatives toward the achievement of regional stability. At the same time, the minister emphasized that Japan could not afford to take an indifferent stance in the international community today, where various unstable factors exist in the area of safety and security. Thus, in addition to promoting defense cooperation and exchanges, he stressed the importance of continuing to conduct activities which the Self-Defense Forces could harness its strength in such as PKO.

Defense Minister Morimoto addressing Defense personnel at the appointment ceremony
Defense Minister Morimoto addressing Defense personnel at the appointment ceremony

Furthermore, he encouraged the personnel and hoped to see them strive further in the wide range of missions that the Ministry of Defense and Self-Defense Forces are engaged in, in order to meet the people’s high expectations and trust upon them.

On the same day, a farewell ceremony for outgoing Minister Tanaka was also held at auditorium of the Ministry of Defense. Mr. Tanaka stated the cases and issues that arose during his term, and said that although much of the efforts may not be visible to the people, the Self-Defense Forces have become an organization that is perceived in a positive impression by more than 90% of the population. He asked the personnel to continue being aware of their responsibility and the significance of the mission they bear, and to serve in their roles with pride.

Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister Shu Watanabe, Parliamentary Vice-Minister Mitsu Shimojo, and Parliamentary Vice-Minister Hideo Jinpu remained in their respective posts.

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