JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.80

ACTIVITIES

Fuji Firepower Review 2016

Fuji Firepower Review 2016

On August 28th, the annual Fuji Firepower Review was held in the Hataoka District of the East Fuji Maneuver Area located in Gotemba City, Shizuoka Prefecture. The Head of the GSDF Fuji School, LTG Hidehisa Tokuda, served as the officer in charge of the exercise; and the Head of the Fuji School Brigade, MG Kazuo Komori, served as the commanding officer of the training corps. Defense Minister Tomomi Inada; Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense Takayuki Kobayashi; Chief of Joint Staff, ADM Katsutoshi Kawano; GSDF Chief of Staff, GEN Toshiya Okabe; MSDF Chief of Staff, ADM Tomohisa Takei; ASDF Chief of Staff, GEN Yoshiyuki Sugiyama; and officials from the U.S. Forces made an inspection of the exercise. Approximately 27,000 people visited the maneuver area to observe the exercise.

Fuji Firepower Review 2016
Fuji Firepower Review 2016

Approximately 2,400 personnel from various units participated in the exercise, with 80 armored vehicles and tanks, 60 artilleries, 20 aircraft, and around 700 other types of vehicles. Some 36 tons of live munitions (costing around 390 million yen in total) were used for the exercise.

The exercise consisted of two parts. In the first part, live shooting was demonstrated to introduce the SDF’s main equipment. In the second part, under the scenario of recapturing remote occupied islands, the exercise was carried out in three stages: troop deployment, maneuver, and recapture.

Fuji Firepower Review is the only live fire exercise shown by the GSDF to the public. This year marks the 58th exercise since 1961.

Fuji Firepower Review 2016
Fuji Firepower Review 2016
Fuji Firepower Review 2016
Fuji Firepower Review 2016

Defense of Japan 2016 Issued

Defense of Japan 2016 Issued

The Defense White Paper for FY2016, “Defense of Japan 2016,” was distributed at the Cabinet Meeting on August 2nd. The MOD publishes white papers every summer to promote public understanding of Japan’s defense policy. This year marks 42nd issue.

“Defense of Japan 2016” comprises three parts the same as “Defense of Japan 2015.” What is written in each part is below.

Part I covers the security environment in the Asia-Pacific region, which has been increasingly severe, focusing on North Korea’s further progress of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles development as well as China’s active maritime expansion. Part I also describes challenges in global security environment with focus on intensification and expansion of activities of international terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Russia’s and China’s attempt to change the status quo.

Part II describes the FY2016 build-up of defense capabilities and improvement of the human resources, along with significance and summary of the Legislation for Peace and Security. It also covers the new Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation and strengthening of the Japan-U.S. Alliance including impact mitigation of Okinawa.

Part III refers to efficient deterrence and response to a variety of situations as well as proactive promotion of security cooperation such as defense cooperation and exchange with other countries, along with policies on defense equipment and technology.

In addition to a printed copy, the Defense White Paper is available in digital book as well as a digest version for smartphones in order to provide greater access.

SDF Competitors in the Rio Summer Olympic Games

SDF Competitors in the Rio Summer Olympic Games

Nine SDF personnel from the SDF Physical Training School took part in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games which was held from August 5th to 21st; MAJ Toshikazu Yamashita, shooting (rifle); 2LT Eita Mori, shooting (rapid fire pistol); 1LT Daisuke Narimatsu, boxing (light weight); 2LT Hiroaki Takao, weightlifting (56kg); SFC Naito Ehara, swimming; SGT Tomoya Miguchi and SGT Shohei Iwamoto, modern pentathlon; 2LT Hirooki Arai and 2LT Takayuki Tanii, athletics (50km Race Walk).

In the Swimming, SFC Ehara won the bronze medal in Men’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay. The Japanese team had a time of 7:03.50. Also, 2LT Arai won the bronze medal in Men’s 50km Race Walk. His record was 3:41:24.

You can see the results of the other competitions on the MOD website. Thank you very much for supporting our Olympic athletes!

SDF Competitors in the Rio Summer Olympic Games

Pacific Partnership 2016 – Activities in Palau

Pacific Partnership 2016 ? Activities in Palau

Pacific Partnership 2016’s activity in Palau has begun from July 29th through August 15th under the leadership of the JSDF.

The Pacific Partnership, which started in 2007, is an activity organized by the U.S. Forces. Naval vessels mainly from the U.S. Navy visit countries in the Asia-Pacific region to provide medical assistance, to conduct civil engineering business, and to engage in cultural exchanges as well as to strengthen collaboration with the participating countries and facilitate international disaster relief activities through cooperation with the government, military, international organizations, and NGOs in each of those countries.

In 2016, the Japan MOD/SDF participated in Pacific Partnership activities in Timor-Leste, Vietnam, Palau, and Indonesia. After completing activities in Vietnam, the MSDF Shimokita (LST-4002) called on the Port of Koror on August 4th where it commenced activities (advanced units began activities on July 29th).

Pacific Partnership 2016 ? Activities in Palau

In Palau, personnel visited Koror Island and Peleliu Island to carry out medical assistance activities involving teams from the U.S., U.K. and Australian armed forces under the leadership of the JSDF. Personnel also took part in facility renovations and cultural exchange activities. Medical assistance activities involved four NGOs from Japan (Noguchi Medical Research Institute, IEMS-Japan, South Pacific Ophthalmological Cooperation Association, Health and Global Policy Institute), which provided medical services to local patients at Belau National Hospital and Palau Community College. Also, cataract surgeries were conducted on board the Shimokita. There are no ophthalmologists in Palau, so local people were very pleased and grateful to be able to receive treatment for cataracts. An NGO provided a Vision Van, a fully equipped vehicle for ophthalmological exams, and this van was transported aboard the Shimokita to Palau where it was used to conduct eye exams. Patients who complied with conditions received cataract surgery. The local people who had their vision restored were extremely grateful and respectful for Japan’s advanced medical technologies.

Pacific Partnership 2016 ? Activities in Palau

The Shimokita transported from Japan 110 tatami mats for judo and 50 judo uniforms for children in order to conduct judo exhibitions as part of cultural exchange activities. Judo is currently a popular sport in Palau, but the country lacks judo equipment. Therefore, an NPO called SOLIDARITY of International Judo Education (headed by Los Angeles Olympics judo gold medal winner Yasuhiro Yamashita) donated judo equipment that was transported to Palau aboard the Shimokita. On August 10th, a ceremony was held to officially donate this equipment in which Commander Takeshi Okada of Landing Ship Division 1 presented the Palau side with the donation. The transport activities of the SDF aligned with the goal of the Sports for Tomorrow activities being implemented by the Japan Sports Agency as part of its international contribution projects through sports, so these SDF activities received official designation as a Sports for Tomorrow project. Sports for Tomorrow activities intend to convey the value of sports to international society and spread the Olympics/Paralympics movement to all generations ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games. The MOD has become a consortium member through its activities in Palau.

Pacific Partnership 2016 ? Activities in Palau

On August 12th, a joint Japan-U.S. War Memorial Event was held on Peleliu Island. Some of the most intense fighting of World War II took place on this island, which was visited by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan last year. More than 8,500 U.S. troops and more than 12,000 Japanese soldiers lost their lives here. With both the Japanese and American ambassadors in attendance honored those fallen.

The people of Palau, which was once ruled by Japan, were very cooperative and expressed warm welcome toward the SDF’s Pacific Partnership activities on this occasion, which marked the first time the SDF visited Palau for these activities. It is the hope of the MOD/SDF that these grassroots level activities will help to foster trust and contribute to an ongoing friendly relationship between Japan and Palau.

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