FY 2013 Capacity Building Project in Mongolia
(Civil Engineering field)

The MOD plans to implement the Capacity Building Project for the Mongolian Armed Forces in terms the civil engineering filed, and is currently undergoing preparation for the program launch in FY 2013.

From July 31 to August 6, the MOD visited the Mongolian Ministry of Defense, National Defense University Mongolia, and the Tavan Tolgoi PKO Center as part of the second onsite investigation for the Capacity Building Project in Mongolia.

The visit involved meetings and discussions with the Mongolian Armed Forces and visits to the filed units, through which the delegation shared the expertise of GSDF in terms of civil engineering capability, and assessed the needs for the implementation of the Capacity Building Project.

Onsite investigation
Onsite investigation

Concept of FY2014 Budget Request

The 2014 budget will be requested based on the discussions conducted by the Defense Posture Review Commission on the National Defense Program Guidelines which is scheduled to be revised by the end of this year.

Japan will improve its defensive power, focusing on the priority issues listed in the “Defense Posture Review Interim Report” in order to strengthen our defense posture in the current security environment, including the southwest region of Japan. Current issues are: strengthening ISR capabilities; responding to attacks on remote islets; responding to ballistic missile and guerilla/special force attacks; responding to cyber attacks; large-scale natural disaster response; strengthening joint operations; strengthening intelligence capabilities, and; promoting use of outer space.

In light of the current fiscal austerity, Japan will promote efficient equipment acquisition efforts.

Ministry of Defense Reform Report

Reforms are being undertaken at the MOD, not only from the perspective of preventing scandals before they occur, but more importantly from the perspective of more actively and efficiently utilizing the SDF and personnel, while maintaining civilian control, in the challenging security environment that surrounds Japan. These reforms were started during the LDP-NKP coalition government and following the change in administrations that took place in December 2012, a review was conducted by the MOD Reform Exploratory Committee chaired by the Vice Minister of Defense. The results of this review were reported and made public at the Defense Conference on August 30, 2013 with a focus on the direction of Defense Ministry reforms.

As a result, fundamental reforms will be pursued based on the following directions given the issues pointed out in reviews performed to date as well as changes in political environment, including the seriousness of the security environment surrounding Japan, the lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake, comprehensive nonconforming measures such as the three principles on arms exports, and the establishment of the NSC, as well as:

  • -Eliminate barriers between civilian officials and uniform officials
  • -Move from partial optimization to full optimization (build defense capabilities)
  • -Speed up accurate decision making (joint operations)
  • -Make further improvements to policy planning and information dissemination functions

JSDF collaboration with ODA

Japanese organizations such as JICA and NGOs are also operating in South Sudan. The JSDF has been working closely with these organizations and collaborating with Japanese ODA in some projects to implement international peace cooperation activities efficiently and effectively. An ongoing work at Na Bari Community Road is a typical example. The JSDF is repairing the community road and developing a ditch by using materials procured through the Government of Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots and Human Security. Prior to this activity, it is also cleaning the working site in cooperation with local residents. We call this kind of project as “All Japan Project” and it is highly appreciated by local residents and UN.

UNMISS Staff Interview<These articles were edited by a group of interns>

Lieutenant Colonel Masaki Mochida, who is currently working at the command center of the GSDF Central Readiness Force, was dispatched as a Commander of the 3rd Engineer Unit from late November 2012 to late June 2013. The unit led by Lt. Col. Mochida took part in infrastructure development and CIMIC activities in and around Juba, the capital of South Sudan, under the instruction of UNMISS.

Lt. Col. Mochida said that local residents appreciated the infrastructure such as roads repaired and developed by the SDF, thanks to its durability. In addition, the SDF camp is neatly maintained and the official vehicles are orderly arranged as well. They result from the SDF’s high discipline, morale, unity and technological capabilities instilled in each staff gained through daily education and training, which often attracted visiting officers from various countries.

There has been no casualities among the SDF personnel dispatched to PKO activities over the past 20 years. His unit was also able to accomplish its mission, conducting various infrastructure development activities including through collaborating with other Japanese organizations by utilizing ODA for the nationbuilding of South Sudan. At the same time, he ensured safety of his unit, returning home safely after the mission. He said it was his objective, as a Commander following the footsteps of SDF’s PKO activities with history of more than 20 years, to complete the mission and bring everyone home safely.

Major Yuichiro Koma was dispatched to the UNMISS Military Command Center as a Logistics Staff Officer, fulfilling his long-awaited dream.

Major Koma’s responsibilities there encompassed assessing materials and equipment required for dispatched troops and military liaison officer, and requesting for replenishment of supplies to prevent any shortages and inconvenience to the activities on the ground. As it was a rainy season during the period of his dispatch, the roads were flooded sometimes, and also he was quite busy trying to arrange unscheduled helicopters for access. As this example shows, the work on the ground often required flexibility to respond to the situation.

Since he was dispatched as an individual rather than as a member of the SDF, he had an opportunity to view objectively the SDF dispatched contingent. The SDF contingent was highly evaluated in the command center for its punctuality as well as detailed work. The quality of the road completed by the SDF contingent has been appreciated by local residents, making him feel a sense of pride as the same Japanese. While working there, Major Koma was always fully aware of the name “JAPAN” embroidered on the right chest of his uniform.

In closing his interview, Major Koma commented, “If I have another opportunity for an overseas deployment, I would definitely like to participate to contribute to the development countries around the world.”

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