ACTIVITIES

Completion of the development of fixed-wing patrol aircraft P-1 and assignment to MSDF Atsugi Air Base

The MOD possesses fixed-wing patrol aircrafts, which are used mainly for constant wide-area monitoring and patrolling in the sea surrounding Japan. They carry out diverse missions, including disaster deployment and search of vessels in distress. The aircraft are assigned to five bases throughout Japan, such as MSDF Atsugi Air Base in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Since FY2001, the MOD has been developing the next generation fixed-wing patrol aircraft (P-1) in response to the aging of the existing fixed-wing patrol aircraft P-3C, which have been used since FY1981. On March 12, 2013, the development of P-1 was finally completed following the ground tests and test flights.

On March 29, two P-1 aircraft were assigned to MSDF Atsugi Air Base. The location of the base allows for swift deployment to sea areas in all directions from Japan for the execution of various missions, including surveillance operations.

The P-1 has improved detection performance, flight performance, data processing ability, attacking ability and quietness compared to the P-3C. It is expected that the P-1 will more effectively carry out the continuous operations of information collection and surveillance of the sea areas of Japan under peace time and other circumstances.

Fixed-wing patrol aircraft P-1
Fixed-wing patrol aircraft P-1
A delivery ceremony was held in association with the completion of the development of fixed-wing patrol aircraft P-1
A delivery ceremony was held in association with the
completion of the development of fixed-wing patrol aircraft P-1

East Asian Strategic Review 2013

On March 29, the National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS), a research and educational institution of the Ministry of Defense, released the East Asian Strategic Review (EASR) 2013.

This year’s report marks the 17th publication since 1996. Every year, the EASR analyzes the key security issues of the previous year among the countries of East Asia. This year’s report highlights the leadership transitions in East Asia, as well as the security situation that has been severely aggravated in East Asia. The EASR is widely recognized as an annual security report on East Asia and is cited by international research papers. It is also utilized as a textbook at colleges, universities and graduate schools in Japan and overseas.

The views presented in the EASR are solely those of NIDS researchers and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Ministry of Defense.

Printed copies of the EASR in both Japanese and English are available for purchase. The both editions are also available on the NIDS website.

[Contents of EASR 2013]

  • Chapters 1 and 2: Security issues with regional/global significance Security policies of India and Australia
  • Chapters 3-8: Overviews of countries/sub-regions Japan, Korean Peninsula, China, Southeast Asia, Russia, and the United States
  • Columns
    China–ROK security cooperation, “BeiDou” navigation satellite system, U.S. Marine Corps operation concept, etc.

(http://www.nids.go.jp/publication/east-asian/j2013.html)

Return of land areas south of Kadena

On April 5, with attendance of Prime Minister Abe, Japan and the U.S. jointly announced a consolidation plan that the two countries have coordinated for the return of land areas south of Kadena.

For each area the plan details conditions and sequence as well as timelines for return, as part of the realignment of U.S. forces to mitigate their impact on local communities in Okinawa while maintaining deterrence. This was done according to the three categories of returns confirmed in the April 2012 Joint Statement of the Security Consultative Committee (SCC) with regard to the six facilities and areas south of Kadena Air Base, which were to be considered for total or partial return under the May 2006 SCC document entitled, “United States–Japan Roadmap for Realignment Implementation.”

The plan sets forth a specific roadmap for the return of sizable lands (approx. 1,048ha) in densely populated areas.

Measures against piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden

Aerial activities of Japanese P-3C patrol aircraft off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden

Record of Mission (January–March 2013)

  1. Number of flights: 54 flights (Accumulated total: 869 flights)
  2. Flight hours: Approx. 435 hours (Accumulated total: Approx. 6,740 hours)
  3. Number of visually confirmed commercial ships: Approx. 4,710 ships (Accumulated total: 68,500 ships)
  4. Number of times information was provided to Japanese destroyers, foreign warships, and/or commercial ships: Approx. 350 times (Accumulated total: Approx. 7,600 times)

Escort operations performed by Japanese MSDF units in the same area

Record of Mission (January–March 2013)

  1. Number of escort operations: 26 times (The 420th – the 445th escort operation)(The 397th – 404th escort operation under Japan’s Anti-Piracy Measures Law)
  2. Number of escorted vessels: 103 vessels (Accumulated total of 2,912 escorted vessels since the start of operations under Japan’s Anti-Piracy Measures Law; hereinafter the same)

[Breakdown]

  • Japanese-registered ships: 0 (Accumulated total: 15)
  • Foreign ships operated by Japanese shipping companies: 9 (Accumulated total: 550)
    (Out of the 9 foreign ships, a Japanese citizen was on board 1 ships [Out of the 550 foreign ships, a Japanese citizen was on board 36 ships])
  • Foreign ships other than above: 94 (Accumulated total: 2,347)
    (Out of the 94 foreign ships, a Japanese citizen was on board 1 ship [Out of the 2,347 foreign ships, a Japanese citizen was on board 14 ships])

*The above record does not include the 1st – 41st escort operation performed as Maritime Security Activities.

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