Press Releases

Issuance of Order for Operation of the Self-Defense Forces concerning Maritime Security Operations

(Provisional Translation)

March 13, 2009
Ministry of Defense

Upon the Prime Minister’s approval, today the Minister of Defense has issued an order for maritime security operations to the Commander of the Self-Defense Fleet, to respond to piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia. The outline of the order is shown as attached.

(Attachment)

1. Situation
Piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia is a thereat to the international community, including Japan. We must address the issue immediately. For this purpose it is ordered to conduct necessary maritime security operations in accordance with the provisions of Article 82 of the Self-Defense Forces Law (Law No. 165, 1954).

2. The Commander of the Self-Defense Fleet shall protect vessels which are supposed to be guarded by maritime security operations from acts of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia by taking the following actions:

(1) Formation

(a) The Commander shall organize a maritime force comprising two destroyers, including rotary wing aircraft aboard, to be dispatched to respond to piracy.
(b) The Commander shall organize a maritime force comprising four destroyers, including rotary wing aircraft aboard, when replacing the dispatched maritime force with a new one. The replacement procedures and other related matters shall be decided by the Commander.

(2) Other Matter
The force engaging in activities in accordance with an order for operation of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) for implementation of replenishment support activities shall, as necessary, provide fuel and others, to the maritime force described in Section (1) above, insofar as activities under the said order are not disrupted.

3. Period for the dispatch
From March 14, 2009 to the date to be ordered separately.

4. Relations with the Japan Coast Guard
The Commander shall undertake activities in cooperation with the Japan Coast Guard.

5. The following shall provide necessary support to the Commander of the Self-Defense Fleet: Each District Commandants; Commander of Communications Command; Commanding officer of Shore Police Command; Commander of MSDF Maritime Materiel Command; Commander of SDF Command and Communications Unit, and Heads of SDF Central, Oominato, Yokosuka, Maizuru, Kure and Sasebo Hospitals.

6. The Chief of Staff, Joint Staff shall give instructions on details necessary to implement the order.

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