ACTIVITIES

FY2013 Maritime Self-Defense Force Overseas Training Cruise

The Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) Overseas Training Cruise is implemented for junior officers who have graduated from the general officer candidate course at the Maritime Officer Candidate School. The MSDF Overseas Training Cruise is aimed at allowing students to exercise the knowledge and skills they have acquired at school in the field, helping students become accustomed to the sea, and developing the qualities that are required in SDF officers.

In addition, visiting other countries as part of the training not only contributes to the cultivation of an international sensibility among the dispatched officers, but also contributes to the promotion of friendly relations with other countries.

The MSDF Overseas Training Cruise has been carried out every year since 1957, with FY2013 marking the 57th time.

Period 162 days from May 22 to October 30
Dispatched vessels Training vessel “Kashima”, Training vessel “Shirayuki” and Destroyer “Isoyuki”
Personnel 730
Officer trainees 180
Total distance about 55,000km
Countries with scheduled ports of call United States (Pearl Harbor), Mexico, Panama, United States (Newport), Canada, United Kingdom, Finland, Russia, Poland, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Djibouti, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam (in order)
Training vessel “Kashima”
Training vessel “Kashima”
Personnel were sent off by the Defense Minister and other high ranking officials
Personnel were sent off by
the Defense Minister and other high ranking officials

4th Coordination Center personnel and
4th engineer unit dispatched for South Sudan PKO

The fourth Coordination Center consisting of 20 personnel left Japan on May 19 and June 5 for the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS).

In addition, it was decided to dispatch the 4th engineer unit of about 330 personnel, including Lieutenant Colonel Tetsuo Umemoto (commanding officer). The advance team of about 40 members left Japan on May 26, followed by the 1st main body of about 150 members on June 2 and the 2nd main body of about 140 members on June 16.

African Festa 2013 in Yokohama

The JSDF took part in African Festa 2013 in Yokohama, an international cooperation event sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the Secretariat of the International Peace Cooperation Headquarters, Cabinet Office on May 11 and 12 in Yokohama’s Naka Ward (Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse).

The JSDF’s booth showcased photographs of its PKO activities with a focus on its current mission in South Sudan. Camouflage uniforms were also on display, while PR pamphlets were handed out to visitors. This helped the JSDF booth to attract a large number of visitors on both days of the event.

The JSDF’s booth displayed photographs and camouflage uniforms, while PR pamphlets were handed out to visitors
The JSDF’s booth displayed photographs and camouflage
uniforms, while PR pamphlets were handed out to visitors
The JSDF’s booth displayed photographs and camouflage uniforms, while PR pamphlets were handed out to visitors
The JSDF’s booth displayed photographs and camouflage
uniforms, while PR pamphlets were handed out to visitors

Expansion of South Sudan PKO activity area

Since January 2012, Japan has dispatched the JSDF engineer unit as part of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS). This unit has been engaged in engineering activities in the capital, Juba, and its surrounding areas.

For some time, UNMISS has requested that Japan expand its activity area. Japan has collected information on local needs and security situation through on-site field surveys, and also coordinated with the U.N.

These efforts found there are engineering needs for the development of major arterial roads, runway repairs and the maintenance of U.N. facilities. Japan also confirmed there are no major problems related to the security, deployment or logistics of its personnel on the ground. With that in mind, Japan verified that it would be possible to expand the scope of the JSDF’s engineering activities in the country. As a result, Japan is planning to begin preparations after June 2013 in either the states of Eastern Equatoria or Western Equatoria in addition to the activities in and around Juba, for the purpose of contributing to nation building in South Sudan and to cooperate further with UNMISS.

Preparing a playground for an orphanage in Juba (UNMISS)

Performing groundwork at orphanage in Juba
Performing groundwork at orphanage in Juba

From May 13 to 23, the JSDF engineer unit of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), along with an Indian infantry unit of UNMISS conducted a maintenance of a playground for an orphanage in Juba at the request of UNMISS.

Hereafter, the JSDF engineer unit and Indian infantry unit plan to play sports with the children as volunteers on this grounds.

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