JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.87

  ACTIVITIES

Field Training Exercise in Japan with the U.S. Marines -Forest Light-02-

Field Training Exercise in Japan with the U.S. Marines -Forest Light-02-

From March 6th to 17th, the JGSDF held Forest Light 02, a field training exercise in Japan jointly conducted with the U.S. Marines. For FY2016, this exercise was held at Somagahara Exercise Area (Gunma Prefecture) and Sekiyama Exercise Area (Niigata Prefecture).

The objectives of Forest Light 02 was to practice the collaboration guidelines through practical exercises and enforce the interoperability between the two forces, with following each chain of command.

The JGSDF dispatched about 300 personnel, mainly from 12th Brigade 30th Infantry Regiment, and aircraft (UH-60, CH-47 and AH-1S), while the U.S. Marines sent about 450 personnel, from 2nd Battalion of 4th Marine Regiment, aircraft units and others, and aircraft (MV-22).

The exercises featured heliborne, special unloading, and frontline relief aid training, with the participation of the MV-22 Osprey, which enhanced the tactical capabilities of the JGSDF with MV-22 Osprey deployed. Additionally, shooting, obstacle removal, and command center training were conducted.

Field Training Exercise in Japan with the U.S. Marines -Forest Light-02-
Field Training Exercise in Japan with the U.S. Marines -Forest Light-02-
Field Training Exercise in Japan with the U.S. Marines -Forest Light-02-
Field Training Exercise in Japan with the U.S. Marines -Forest Light-02-

The MOD Symposium
~ Japan-U.S. Alliance: Way Forward ~

The MOD Symposium ~Japan-U.S. Alliance: Way Forward ~

On March 17th, the MOD Symposium in FY2016 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 “Japan-U.S. Alliance: Way Forward ~Security Environment surrounding Japan and Future Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation~,” and State Minister of Defense Wakamiya delivered a welcoming speech. Also, Director General of Bureau of Defense Policy Satoshi Maeda delivered a keynote speech. Professor Midori Miyazaki (Dean, Faculty of Global Studies, Chiba University of Commerce) moderated the panel discussion, and the MOD invited panelists: Hiroyuki Akita (commentator at Editorial Office of the Nikkei Newspaper); Hideshi Tokuchi (Senior Fellow of National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Eiichi Funada (former Commander in Chief, Self-Defense Fleet); Yasushi Watanabe (Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University); Jim Thomas (Principal with the Telemus Group).

Graduation Ceremony of the National Defense Medical College / National Defense Academy

Graduation Ceremony of the National Defense Medical College / National Defense Academy

On March 4th, a graduation ceremony of the National Defense Medical College (NDMC) was held for graduates of the Division of Medicine, NDMC, with attendance of Minister of Defense Inada. Completing their six years of student life, a total of 79 students including 23 female students were awarded degree certificates and diplomas. They recited doctor’s oath to show their resolve and determination as medical practitioner.

On March 19th, a graduation ceremony of the National Defense Academy (NDA) was held for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. NDA is the only academic institution to train Ground, Maritime, and Air SDF cadets as future SDF leaders in Japan. 380 undergraduate students and 76 graduate students received degrees and diplomas. Following the addresses by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Defense Minister Inada and the President of NDA, and a congratulatory speech by a representative of honored guests, undergraduate students departed from NDA with the traditional hat toss at the end of ceremony.

Japan-U.S. Joint Reunion of Honor Ceremony on Island of Iwo-To

Japan-U.S. Joint Reunion of Honor Ceremony on Island of Iwo-To

Japan-U.S. Joint Reunion of Honor Ceremony on Island of Iwo-To

On March 25th, the annual reunion of the honor ceremony was co-hosted by the Iwo-To Association of Japan (ITAJ) and the Iwo Jima Association of America (IJAA). In 1945, Iwo-To became a WWII’s grueling battlefield between Japan and the U.S. From Japan side, government officials including Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense Miyazawa as well as members of the ITAJ attended the service. From the U.S. side, government officials including Lt Gen David Berger, Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific, and members of the IJAA took part in the ceremony.

Iwo-to is a small island located in the Pacific Ocean, approx. 1,280 km south to Tokyo. It belongs to Ogasawara, Tokyo. Most part of the island is flat, spreading out in a fan-like form to the northeast direction from Mt. Suribachi on the southern tip.

The island generates sulfur across the island with high ground heat and active crustal movements.

Currently, the JMSDF air station and JASDF air base are located on the island. Major duties of the JMSDF air station include air traffic control, meteorological observation, standing by for rescue operations in surrounding waters, and disaster relief dispatch. The JASDF air base on the island mainly is engaged in support activities of flight training, logistical support, as well as assistance in training of the other Air Wings at Iwo-to, U.S. field carrier landing practice, and the other Japan-U.S. joint exercises.

Defense Attachés Play Active Roles in the World (Republic of South Africa)

Defense Attachés Play Active Roles in the World (Republic of South Africa)

Defense Attachés Play Active Roles in the World (Republic of South Africa)

Defense Attachés are stationed in Japanese Embassies and other relevant offices abroad and perform tasks such as collecting military intelligence and coordinating defense cooperation with the country where they are stationed.

JDF No.87 features how one of them, Lt. Col. Kenichi Ebina, Defense Attaché to the Embassy of Japan in the Republic of South Africa, plays an active role!

In February and March, Lt. Col. Ebina delivered lectures on the security environment surrounding Japan to students of Political Science and History at Stellenbosch University as well as students at University of the Witwatersrand in the Republic of South Africa. The students expressed considerable interest in the fact that a Defense Attaché from a distant country, Japan, gave lectures as a working-level official in the security field. Following his lectures, many students candidly expressed their opinions and asked questions.

In this manner, there are many SDF personnel who are actively involved in their activities overseas. As of March 31st, 2017, the MOD has a total of 64 Defense Attachés dispatched to 44 Embassies of Japan and two Permanent Missions of Japan.

Pacific Partnership 2017 - Sri Lanka

Pacific Partnership 2017 - Sri Lanka

Pacific Partnership 2017 - Sri Lanka

On March 9th, one of Pacific Partnership 2017’s activities was implemented in Sri Lanka with the participation of Japan.

Pacific Partnership, which started in 2007, is an initiative organized by the U.S. Forces. Naval vessels mainly from the U.S. Navy visit the Asia-Pacific region to provide medical assistance, and facility repairs, as well as to engage in cultural exchanges. Pacific Partnership also strengthens collaboration with the participating countries and facilitates international peace cooperation missions through cooperation with the government, military, international organizations, and NGOs in each of those countries.

On March 9th, MOD held the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) seminar in Sri Lanka. This seminar featured one participant from an NGO representing the private sector. The goal of this seminar was to promote mutual understanding and cooperation with relevant countries as well as promoting cooperation and collaboration with private sector groups by participating in Pacific Partnership 2017 activities in Sri Lanka.

In addition to Sri Lanka, the MOD/SDF has been conducting activities in Malaysia and Vietnam from April 14th to May 18th as part of Pacific Partnership 2017.

Pacific Partnership 2017 - Sri Lanka
Pacific Partnership 2017 - Sri Lanka
  • back
  • next