JDF JapanDefenseFocus No.97

ACTIVITIES ACTIVITIES

Status of Scrambles through the First Three Quarters of FY2017

Status of Scrambles through the First Three Quarters of FY2017

The JASDF scrambled 736 times through the first three quarters of FY2017, which marked a decrease of 147 times compared to the same period of the previous year. The breakdown of scrambles by countries and regions was about 54% against Chinese aircraft, about 45% against Russian aircraft, and 1% against other aircraft although the countries and regions include supposition.

Characteristics of Responses through the First Three Quarters of FY2017

The JASDF scrambled 395 times against Chinese aircraft in total, a decrease of 249 times compared to the same period of the previous year. During the first three quarters of FY2017, the MOD publicized 23 cases of unusual flights, including Chinese fighters flying past Tsushima Strait for the first time on flights over the East China Sea and Sea of Japan (an increase of 12 compared to the same period last year).

The JASDF scrambled 328 times against Russian aircraft in total, an increase of 97 times compared to the same period of the previous year. During the first three quarters of FY2017, the MOD publicized 4 cases as unusual flights.

Scrambles against Chinese fighter aircraft and Russian intelligence gathering aircraft were outstanding in frequency compared to other types of aircraft of each country, although this includes estimation.

The period of this data is from April 1st, 2017 to December 31st, 2017.

Measures against Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden through the Third Quarter of FY2017

Following data shows the records of the measures against piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden from October through December, 2017.

Aerial Activities of P-3C Patrol Aircraft off the Coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden
Record of Mission (October through December, 2017)

1. Number of flights: 60 flights (Accumulated Total(AT): 1,951 flights)

2. Flight hours: approx. 430 hours (AT: approx. 14,910 hours)

3. Number of visually confirmed commercial ships: approx. 5,200 ships (AT: approx. 162,000 ships)

4. Number of times of information sharing to Japanese destroyers, foreign warships, and/or commercial ships: approx. 190 times (AT: approx. 13,160 times)

Measures against Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden through the Third Quarter of FY2017

Escort Operations Performed by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Units in the Same Area
Record of Mission (October through December, 2017)

1. Number of escort operations: 10 times (The 762th – 771th escort operation under Japan’s Anti-Piracy Measures Law)

2. Number of escorted vessels: 17 vessels (AT 3,826 of escorted vessels since the start of operations under Japan’s Anti-Piracy Measures Law)

[Breakdown]

Japanese-registered ships: 0 (AT: 18 )

Foreign ships operated by Japanese shipping companies: 3 (AT: 677)

Foreign ships other than above: 14 (AT: 3,131)

*The above record does not include the 1st - 41st escort operation performed as Maritime Security Activities.

Zone Defense performed in the same area
Record of Mission (October through December, 2017)

1. Number of days: 68 (AT: 1,147 days)

2. Number of commercial vessels confirmed: approx. 440 (AT: 15,040 vessels)

Minister Onodera Visits Hawaii

Minister Onodera Visits Hawaii

On January 10th, Minister Onodera visited Hawaii and held a meeting with Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr., Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command.

At the meeting, they exchanged views on the situation of North Korea and reaffirmed to maintain firm cooperation between Japan and the U.S., and Japan, the U.S. and the Republic of Korea in order to create a situation that makes North Korea change its policy by increasing pressure on it to the maximum level.

Minister Onodera Visits Hawaii

On January 11th, Minister Onodera visited the Aegis Ashore test facility at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. He also held a discussion with Lt. Gen. Samuel A. Greaves, Director of the Missile Defense Agency, and both parties agreed that relevant bureaus and departments of Japan and the U.S. will closely cooperate in order to introduce the Aegis Ashore at an early time.

Handover Ceremony for the Returned Land of the Northern Training Area in Okinawa

The handover of the major portion of the Northern Training Area (approx. 4,000 ha) returned by the U.S. Forces in December 2016 to the landowners was realized on December 25th, 2017. Handover Ceremony for the returned land was held on the same day as obstacle removal measures such as soil contamination surveys by the MOD were completed.

It is expected that the early handover of the returned lands will contribute to the local efforts for the realization of the inclusion of this land in a national park and the registration of the land to World Heritage as a natural site.

Handover Ceremony for the Returned Land of the Northern Training Area in Okinawa

F-2

F-2

In this edition, we will take a closer look at the F-2 fighter. The F-2 is a fighter with superior technology, derived from F-16 and developed jointly by Japan and the U.S. The F-2’s main improvements over the F-16 include larger main wing, lighter weight, increased engine thrust, and cutting-edge avionics such as the latest radar. The F-2 is used for a broad range of missions in the seas and airspaces surrounding Japan.

Specifications:
  • ►Length: approx. 15.5 m
  • ►Wingspan: approx. 11.1 m
  • ►Max speed: Mach 2.0
  • ►Weapons: 20 mm machine gun, air-to-air missiles, and air-to-ship missiles
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