Naming and Launch Ceremony for 23MSC “Hatsushima

MV-22 Osprey

The naming and launch ceremony for the Hatsushima was held on December 6, 2013. The Hatsushima is the third Enoshima class minesweeper to be commissioned. The Enoshima class is the first vessel type in the MSDF fleet to have a hull made from fiber reinforced plastic (FRP), which has greatly extended service life compared to conventional wood hull minesweepers. The Enoshima class has one of the largest FRP-constructed minesweepers in the world.

Main Specifications

Length 60.0 meters
Beam 10.1 meters
Displacement 570 tons standard
Engines 2 diesel engines (two shafts)
Speed 14 knots

Approval Request of Public Water Body Reclamation for the Futenma Replacement Facility Construction Project
(Approval of Public Water Body Reclamation)

On December 27, 2013, the Okinawa Defense Bureau received approval from the Okinawa Prefectural Governor Nakaima for the reclamation of public water body related to the Futenma Replacement Facility Construction Project.

As MCAS Futenma is located in the middle of Ginowan City, eliminating risks is the pressing issue and the indefinite use of the MCAS Futenma must be avoided at all costs. The MOD considers it truly a matter of great importance that Okinawa Prefectural Governor Nakaima approved the reclamation of public water body for the replacement facility. The MOD commences the project quickly and attempts to shorten the construction time as much as possible. In this regard, the MOD will continue to exert its best efforts for realization of the earliest possible return of MCAS Futenma.

In order to demonstrate its commitment to mitigate the impact of military bases on Okinawa Prefecture until the return, the MOD will ensure the relocation of the KC-130 squadron from MCAS Futenma to MCAS Iwakuni as well as implementation of the MV-22 Osprey training outside of Okinawa Prefecture. The MOD will exert itself to the utmost to realize mitigating the impacts as much as possible so that the people of Okinawa can actually feel it.

SDF Support for Displaced People and Provision of Ammunition in the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan

The security situation in South Sudan has seriously deteriorated since the first gunshot was confirmed in the city of Juba late on December 5, 2013 (local time).

Amid such situation, it turned out that the ROK engineer unit in Bor, Jonglei State didn’t have enough ammunition to protect themselves and the local people evacuating in the same camp. To help the ROK unit out of this situation, the UN asked the Japanese engineer unit to consider providing some of its bullets it had in stock.

Considering the fact that among the UNMISS units, only Japanese engineer unit possessed the bullets compatible with lacking ones, the Government of Japan concluded that their refusal would risk the lives and limbs of ROK units and the IDPs. For this reason, the government responded to the request from the UN and provided 10,000 bullets to them at no cost.

Given the urgent necessity and high degree of humanitarian aspect of the situation, the chief cabinet secretary of Japan has issued a statement that the Three Principles on Arms Exports do not apply to this case, with the provision of the bullets being implemented under the framework of “Contribution in kind” stipulated in Article 25 of the International Peace Cooperation Law.

On January 16, 2014, the 10,000 bullets were returned to the Japanese engineer unit after the ROK unit replenished their own bullets.

Though Japanese engineer unit (approx.400 personnel) has been suspending its activities outside the camp, it is now conducting activities to support IDPs at the UN facilities located in Juba, based on a request from UNMISS. Specifically, the engineer unit has been engaging in the construction of IDP camps and peripheral fences at the UN House and UN Ton ping area.

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