Japan Defense Focus No.77 June 2016



First Drop Drill 2016 of the GSDF 1st Airborne Brigade (YouTube)
On January 10th, the GSDF 1st Airborne Brigade, the only paratroop unit in Japan, conducted its first drop drill of the year at Narashino Training Ground in Chiba Prefecture.
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2016 Kumamoto Earthquake

Around 9:26pm on April 14th, a major earthquake (magnitude 6.5) struck the Kumamoto region of Kumamoto Prefecture.

Assistance for the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake Provided by the U.S. Forces in Japan

Transport assistance using U.S. transport aircraft took place between April 18th and 23rd in which UC-35 transport aircraft, C-130 transport aircraft and MV-22 Osprey of the U.S. Forces were used to carry approx.

Assistance from the Republic of Korea in Response to the Kumamoto Earthquake in 2016

The Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) offered to provide relief goods in response to the recent Kumamoto Earthquake.

Japan-Philippines Defense Ministerial Teleconference

On May 2nd, Minister of Defense Gen Nakatani held a teleconference with his counterpart Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin of the Philippines.

The 15th IISS Asia Security Summit (Shangri-La Dialogue)

Defense Minister Nakatani visited Singapore from June 3rd to 5th where he attended the 15th IISS Asia Security Summit (The Shangri-La Dialogue).

The 4th International Mine Countermeasures Exercise Hosted by the United States

From April 4th to 26th, the MSDF participated in the 4th International Mine Countermeasures Exercise hosted by the U.S., which took place in Bahrain’s surrounding waters around the Arabian Peninsula.

Maiden Flight of the X-2 (Advanced Technology Demonstrator)

On April 22nd, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. reported that its X-2 (Advanced Technology Demonstrator) took to the skies from Prefectural Nagoya Airport and landed at ASDF Gifu Air Base, marking its maiden flight.

The 8th ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on HA/DR

The 8th Meeting of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Experts’ Working Group (HA/DR EWG) under the framework of ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) was held in Narita City, Chiba Prefecture, on May 10th. Japan serves as a co-chair for the HA/DR EWG with Lao PDR from 2014.


Japan has a number of famous flower varieties, including cherry blossoms. Among these varieties, the hydrangea is one of several that truly fascinate Japanese people.

Round Table Talk in Shintomi Town, Miyazaki Prefecture

On May 29th, State Minister of Defense Kenji Wakamiya had a “Round Table Talk” in Shintomi Town, Miyazaki Prefecture, with local residents under the theme of “Forging Trust between the SDF and the Local Communities.” This time marked the sixth meeting of its kind for the MOD.


  • Courtesy call on Defense Minister Nakatani by Mr. Ray Mabus, the U.S. Secretary of the Navy (May 9)
  • Bon Voyage! FY2016 MSDF Overseas Training Commenced (May 20th – Nov. 4th) Since 1957, the MSDF conducts the Overseas Training every year, and it counts 60th this year.




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