Participation in PSI Air Interdiction Exercise “Pacific Shield 12”

Along with terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and their related components such as parts and raw materials has been a matter of concern in the international community. It has been feared that countries and organizations which had not been able to possess “weapons of mass destruction” may do so through the transfer of relevant technology and so on.

PSI is an endeavor to consider and implement measures which participating countries are able to take together such as control of transportation and transfer of alleged materials in order to prevent the proliferation of WMDs and their related components such as parts and raw materials in accordance with existing domestic and international laws.

PSI Activities Hosted by Japan

MSDF personnel conducting on-site inspection training
Scene of Japan-hosted PSI Maritime Interdiction Exercise in October 2007
Scene of Japan-hosted PSI Maritime Interdiction Exercise
in October 2007

Each country had previously taken measures such as domestic control and export control within its own territory; however, PSI requests each participating country to prevent the proliferation of WMDs not only within its territory, but also in the areas beyond its territory in cooperation with other participating countries.

PSI is based on the concept that although what each country can do unilaterally is limited, global efforts could enhance the effect of the prevention of the proliferation of WMDs.

As of July 2012, the PSI has developed into an international endeavor endorsed by 100 countries including Japan.

In order to improve the capabilities to prevent the proliferation of WMDs and others, efforts including various interdiction exercises in worldwide areas and meetings to discuss political and legal challenges have been underway.

The MOD and the SDF regard the engagement in the PSI as necessary to make efficient use of the capabilities of the SDF while working in harmony with the relevant organizations and countries. For this purpose, the MOD has dispatched defense officials including uniformed SDF personnel to various meetings since the participation in the third Paris plenary meeting in 2003, as well as observers to the PSI interdiction exercises overseas in order to collect necessary information. The participation in such exercises by the SDF has continued since 2004.

Up to the present, the MOD and the SDF have twice held a Japan-hosted “PSI Maritime Interdiction Exercise” and once “PSI Air Interdiction Exercise”(details are described later) together with the relevant ministries and agencies such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Police Agency, the Ministry of Finance and the Japan Coast Guard.

Record of Participation in PSI Interdiction Exercises by the MOD and the SDF (FY2009 and beyond)
Date Exercises Location Participation by MOD and SDF
October 2009 PSI Maritime Interdiction Exercise hosted by Singapore Singapore One destroyer and two patrol aircraft (P-3C) participated
September 2010 PSI Air Interdiction Exercise hosted by Australia Australia Observers dispatched
October 2010 PSI Maritime Interdiction Exercise hosted by ROK ROK Two destroyers participated
July 2012 PSI Air Interdiction Exercise hosted by Japan New Chitose Airport, Chitose Airbase and Sapporo City in Japan Multi-purpose support aircraft (U-4) etc. participated

Considering the cases of the proliferation of WMDs and others in the areas surrounding Japan, the MOD considers it necessary to regard the PSI as a security challenge and to commit itself in the prevention of WMDs in peacetime.

Given this situation, the MOD is continuously participating in and/or hosting various exercises and meetings from the viewpoint of enhancing the response capabilities of the SDF, and working toward strengthening the non-proliferation schemes including the PSI.

From July 3 to July 5, 2012, a Japan-hosted PSI air interdiction exercise “Pacific Shield 12” was held, and 20 countries, such as Australia, Korea and Singapore, participated in the event.
This was the first-ever air interdiction exercise hosted by Japan, and the purpose of this exercise is to train with regard to procedures to respond to the aircraft which allegedly have materials that may lead to the development of WMDs onboard.
From the MOD, units from the ASDF Air Defense Command and the GSDF Northern Army among others participated in this exercise, and Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister of Defense, Shu Watanabe inspected it in the field.

Air Interdiction Exercise “Pacific Shield 12”

Air Interdiction Exercise “Pacific Shield 12”
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