JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.74

ACTIVITIES

Cope North Guam
- Japan-U.S.-Australia Joint Exercise in Guam -

Cope North Guam - Japan-U.S.-Australia Joint Exercise in Guam -

The ASDF took part in Cope North Guam, the trilateral joint training as well as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) exercise together with the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) from January 26th to March 8th at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.

This exercise seeks to enhance tactical combat skills of the ASDF and the Japan-U.S. joint operations capabilities. It also provides opportunities for the ASDF to improve interoperability with the USAF and RAAF in HA/DR activities.

This trilateral exercise involved 470 personnel and aircraft such as F-15J/DJ, F-2A, U-125A, E-2C, C-130H and KC-767 from the ASDF Air Defense Command and ASDF Air Support Command. For the HA/DR part, ASDF 70 personnel and C-130H participated in the training involving airlift, airdrop of supplies, take-off and landings on uneven surfaces, searching operations, aeromedical evacuations, and the Table Top Exercise.

The ASDF have taken part in the Cope North Guam since 1999, with this year marking the 16th time. The RAAF started participating in the exercise since 2011, marking this the fifth time for the Japan-U.S.-Australia trilateral training of its kind was held.

Cope North Guam - Japan-U.S.-Australia Joint Exercise in Guam -
Cope North Guam - Japan-U.S.-Australia Joint Exercise in Guam -
Cope North Guam - Japan-U.S.-Australia Joint Exercise in Guam -
Cope North Guam - Japan-U.S.-Australia Joint Exercise in Guam -

Escort Flotilla Exercise in the United States - GUAMEX -

Escort Flotilla Exercise in the United States - GUAMEX -

For 30 days starting from January 9th, the MSDF conducted the 1st exercise to dispatch escort flotilla to Guam called GUAMEX 2016 in the sea area and the airspace.

This exercise was carried out around Guam with the assistance of the U.S. Navy to improve the operational capabilities and tactical combat skills of the escort flotilla in the period of training in order to establish a rapid response posture.

The MSDF dispatched approx. 1,500 personnel as well as destroyers Inazuma, Samidare, and Ise to take part in the exercise as the dispatched vessel unit. In addition, the air unit was dispatched including approx. 20 personnel and one UP-3D aircraft.

Escort Flotilla Exercise in the United States - GUAMEX -
Escort Flotilla Exercise in the United States - GUAMEX -
Escort Flotilla Exercise in the United States - GUAMEX -
Escort Flotilla Exercise in the United States - GUAMEX -

Forest Light
- Japan-U.S. Bilateral Training Exercise -

Forest Light - Japan-U.S. Bilateral Training Exercise -

The GSDF carried out the field training exercise called Forest Light with the U.S. Marine Corps from January 26th to February 6th at the Yausubetsu Training Area, the Shikaribetsu Training Area, and the Camp Obihiro located in Hokkaido.

The exercise aims to improve interoperability between the GSDF and the U.S. Marine Corps by practicing procedures which would be necessary when the two forces jointly conduct operations, following each other’s chain of command.

Approx. 400 personnel from the GSDF’s 27th Infantry Regiment, 5th Brigade, and approx. 300 personnel from the U.S. Marine Corps’ 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment participated in the exercise. The Forest Light has been held in Japan since 1981, with this time marking the 57th exercise.

Forest Light - Japan-U.S. Bilateral Training Exercise -
Forest Light - Japan-U.S. Bilateral Training Exercise -
Forest Light - Japan-U.S. Bilateral Training Exercise -
Forest Light - Japan-U.S. Bilateral Training Exercise -

Disaster Relief Dispatch to Provide Water Supply Assistance following Heavy Snowfall

Disaster Relief Dispatch to Provide Water Supply Assistance following Heavy Snowfall
Disaster Relief Dispatch to Provide Water Supply Assistance following Heavy Snowfall

From January 25th to February 1st, the MOD and SDF dispatched personnel for disaster relief activities at the request of eight prefectural governors (Shimane, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Oita, Miyazaki and Kagoshima) in order to provide water supply assistance to communities where an interruption in water service occurred or water supply capacity declined due to frozen or burst pipes as a result of the record-breaking cold spell accompanied by heavy snow that began on January 23rd.

The GSDF and ASDF together dispatched a total of approx. 1,860 personnel as well as approx. 340 one-ton water tank trailers to carry out water supply assistance totaling approx. 1,280 tons during the dispatch period.

United Nations Staff Officers’ Course (UNSOC) Held at the Japan Peacekeeping Training & Research Center

United Nations Staff Officers’ Course (UNSOC) Held at the Japan Peacekeeping Training & Research Center

The Japan Peacekeeping Training and Research Center (JPC) of the Joint Staff College held the United Nations Staff Officers’ Course (UNSOC) from February 8th to 24th, 2016. The UNSOC, which marks the fourth time, focuses on the knowledge and skills needed of mid-level staff officers engaged in peacekeeping operations and the curriculum approved by the United Nations. For this UNSOC, a total of ten personnel from the SDF and MOD, one official of the Cabinet Office, and three military personnel from Australia and Malaysia participated. Minister of Defense Gen Nakatani also observed the course.

Each of the 14 participants possesses own operational procedures of different organization as well as unique experiences and values based on each country’s culture and traditions. Through UNSOC, participants were able to mutually share and understand their experiences and values as well as learned about the fundamentals of United Nations missions and the knowledge and skills for future staff officers at headquarters that can be immediately applied to United Nations peacekeeping operations.

Participant Lieutenant Colonel Wisham bin Abdul Hadi of the Malaysian Army stated that he was able to master the curricula of this UNSOC thanks to the friendly and diligent commitment of the instructors and staff as well as the convenient and prime location of Tokyo.

Deputy Director Aiko Fujita participating from Secretariat of the International Peace Cooperation Headquarters, Cabinet Office said all of the curricula and exercises of UNSOC, combined with her own experiences at UNMISS, proved to be extremely useful to foster understanding and support for personnel engaging in peacekeeping activities.

As peacekeeping operation missions currently become more integrated and complex, there is growing demand for improving coordination between various actors on the ground, such as military personnel, police officers and civilians, through training courses during the pre-departure stage where those actors can jointly train and conduct exercises. Therefore, JPC continues to make efforts, for example accepting foreign military personnel and staff of related ministries to PKOCCC* and UNSOC, in order to train personnel both in Japan and foreign countries to play an active role in operations for international peace and security, including in United Nations peacekeeping operations that become more integrated.
* PKO Contingent Commanders' Course

United Nations Staff Officers’ Course (UNSOC) Held at the Japan Peacekeeping Training & Research Center
United Nations Staff Officers’ Course (UNSOC) Held at the Japan Peacekeeping Training & Research Center

The MOD Symposium
- “Why?” “Now?” The Legislation for Peace and Security -

The MOD Symposium - “Why?” “Now?” The Legislation for Peace and Security -

On February 29th, the MOD Symposium in FY2015 was held in Tokyo. The MOD holds the symposium aiming at attracting the people’s interests and promoting their understanding regarding the MOD’s important policies by increasing and enhancing opportunities of direct dialogue with the people.

This year, the theme was “Why? Now? the Legislation for Peace and Security - Development of Seamless Legislation for Peace and Security of Japan and the International Community -,” and Defense Minister Gen Nakatani delivered a welcoming speech. Also, Director General of Bureau of Defense Policy Satoshi Maeda delivered a keynote speech. Special Advisor to the Minister of Defense Satoshi Morimoto (Professor at Takushoku University, former Defense Minister) moderated the panel discussion, and the MOD invited panelists: Hiroyuki Akita, editorialist of the Nikkei Newspaper; Ryoichi Oriki, former Chief of Joint Staff (former Special Advisor to the Minister of Defense); Nobushige Takamizawa, Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary; Yuichi Hosoya, Professor of the Faculty of Law at Keio University.

The MOD Symposium - “Why?” “Now?” The Legislation for Peace and Security -
The MOD Symposium - “Why?” “Now?” The Legislation for Peace and Security -

Responses by the MOD and the SDF against the Missile Launch by North Korea

Responses by the MOD and the SDF against the Missile Launch by North Korea

Since the nuclear test conducted by North Korea on January 6th, the MOD had made responses to ensure the safety and security of Japanese citizens in cooperation with relevant ministries and agencies as well as the United States and other countries in order to respond to any situations, as the MOD recognized the possibility cannot be denied that North Korea would conduct any provocations including the launch of its ballistic missiles.

On February 2nd, North Korea notified its plans to launch a ballistic missile purported to be a “satellite.” The MOD accordingly issued “Order concerning the implementation of destruction measures against ballistic missiles,” and made thorough preparation so that Aegis-equipped destroyers, PAC-3 units, units for handling damages, and other units would take necessary measures for the case of any missiles falling within Japanese territory.

North Korea launched the ballistic missile, which it called a “satellite,” at approx. 9:31 a.m. on February 7th. It passed over Okinawa region heading towards the Pacific Ocean. The SDF did not implement destruction measures against the ballistic missiles as stipulated under Article 82-3, Paragraph 3 of the Self-Defense Forces Law. Also, there was no damage within Japanese territory.

However, the launch represents a serious provocation to security that undermines the peace and stability of the region and the international community including Japan. Furthermore, it is a violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions. Japan lodges its serious protest and strongly condemns North Korea.

Although the “Order concerning the implementation of destruction measures against ballistic missiles was terminated on February 8th, the MOD has been working closely with relevant ministries and agencies as well as the United States and other countries in continuing to collect and analyze the necessary information, and carrying out surveillance activity. Including these measures, the MOD and the SDF will make all possible efforts to ensure the safety and security of the Japanese people.

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