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Upon the Launch of Japan Defense Focus

Fukushiro Nukaga
Fukushiro Nukaga

The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States demonstrated that, in addition to such traditional problems as interstate military confrontations, nonstate actors, such as international terrorist organizations, have emerged as a dire threat in today's security environment. The international community is facing diverse contingencies and urgent new threats to peace and security, including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles as well as international terrorist activities.
    In this new security environment, Japan's Self-Defense Forces (SDF), on the basis of the plans articulated in the new National Defense Program Guidelines drawn up at the end of 2004, are putting in place structures to enable them to respond effectively to new threats and diverse contingencies, including ballistic-missile attacks, attacks by guerrillas and special-operation forces, and large-scale and special disasters, while preparing to deal with fullscale invasion. At the same time, from the viewpoint of a peace-supporting nation valuing cooperation with the international community and striving to improve the security environment, the SDF are engaging proactively and on their own initiative in international peace cooperation activities. Moreover, at the end of March this year the SDF will switch to a new joint operations system in order to respond more swiftly and effectively to the new threats and diverse contingencies mentioned above.
    At this time of major change for the SDF, we have decided to publish Japan Defense Focus quarterly in order to enhance understanding overseas of Japan's defense policy and of the SDF's diversifying activities both at home and abroad. We also believe that this is highly significant in terms of heightening the transparency of Japan’s defense policy and deepening other countries' understanding of and trust in Japan. We hope that Japan Defense Focus will enjoy a large and growing readership.

Fukushiro Nukaga
Minister of State for Defense