Japan Ministry of Defense

On July 6,two destroyers “Harusame” and “Amagiri” left Japan for  anti-piracy measures off  the coast of  Somalia and in the  Gulf of Aden.

Japan Defense Focus No.15

Defense Minister Kitazawa reviews the SDF Special Guard of Honor



Toshimi Kitazawa appointed as Defense Minister

Defense Minister Kitazawa makes an address of his instructions to MoD & SDF personnel at the inauguration ceremony.
Defense Minister Kitazawa makes an address of his instructions to MoD & SDF personnel at the inauguration ceremony.

In the launch of the Hatoyama Government on 16 September, Toshimi Kitazawa was appointed as the new Defense Minister. He took office on 17 September, replacing his predecessor Yasukazu Hamada.

After reviewing the SDF Special Guard of Honor, Defense Minister Kitazawa made his inaugural speech which he began by outlining instructions from Prime Minister Hatoyama to "ensure the peace and security of Japan based on the principle of an exclusively defense-oriented policy while retaining civilian control, and to coordinate closely with ministers concerned towards the revision of the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) and the formulation of the new Mid-Term Defense Program".

"Following the instructions from the Prime Minister, I will devote all my power to maintaining the peace and independence of our country, fulfilling our responsibilities and roles expected by the international community, and living up to the mandate of the people of Japan", Defense Minister Kitazawa stated.

In analyzing the current situation, the Minister remarked, "The situation surrounding Japan’s national security is changing so rapidly. The international community today is facing a range of issues including confrontations between nations as well as global issues such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and rampant international terrorism". Meanwhile, on the role of the Ministry of Defense and the Self-Defense Forces, the Minister stated "The missions of the Ministry of Defense and the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) are diversifying in order to meet these challenges. The expectations of the Japanese people towards the Ministry of Defense and the SDF are rising. At the same time, it is extremely important for us not only to consider the future vision of the Ministry & the SDF and the roles they should play — especially with regards to the dispatch of SDF personnel overseas — but also to gain the public's understanding".

The Minister went on to say "The Ministry of Defense and the SDF need to have a strategic perspective of the future of our nation and continue various efforts to ensure the peace and security of Japan. Even in these uncertain times, I believe that each and every individual member of the SDF must be prepared to overcome difficult challenges with creativity and proper actions.

“The Ministry of Defense and the SDF have a role that remains unchanged regardless of the circumstances and the times. That role is to be the last bastion of defense of Japan. The Ministry of Defense and the SDF are entrusted to protect not only the lives and property of the people of Japan, but also its industry, economy, and culture — indeed everything which has been developed and carried on in this country”.

"Therefore, I ask each and every member of the SDF to keep in mind that you are always with the people in fulfilling your mission of ensuring Japan’s national security, and to devote yourselves diligently to your daily duties", the Minister appealed.

“The Ministry of Defense and SDF is a large organization of around 270,000 personnel with a budget amounting to around 4.7 trillion yen, and is tasked with the noble mission of protecting the lives and property of the nation. I am therefore bracing myself for the great responsibility I am about to assume”.

“Therefore, I would like to ask every one of you, who shoulder this great responsibility, once again to fully acknowledge the fact that it is the trust of the people that enable the Ministry and SDF to keep up activities", the Minister remarked, thereby reaffirming the importance of earning the public trust as well as voicing his own feelings.

In closing, the Minister stated, "I believe that your mission of protecting this country is the cumulation of devoted routine efforts. I would like to conclude my inauguration speech by sharing this thought with all of you and pledging that I will fully devote myself to my duties each and every day".


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