(3) Major Missile Defense Exercises

Cooperation with the U.S. is essential for efficient and effective operation of ballistic missile defense (BMD) systems.

The three SDF services and the U.S. Forces have conducted integrated air defense and BMD exercises. These events have served to maintain and improve Japan-U.S. combined operational capabilities as well as JSDF’s joint operational capabilities.

To strengthen Japan-U.S.-South Korea cooperation, the three countries have conducted BMD information sharing training since 2016.

JASDF has also carried out training for mobile deployment of its BMD asset, PAC-3 (Patriot Advanced Capability Three). Venues for the training include civil areas and facilities such as public parks, in addition to JSDF and U.S. Forces installations. These training events have served to improve JASDF’s BMD capability as well as to provide reassurance to the Japanese public.

1. Japan-U.S. Integrated Air and Missile Defense Exercise

Feb 2021

Photo by Korean Central News Agency

In 2017, JSDF began conducting “Japan-U.S. Integrated Air and Missile Defense Exercise” as a joint exercise, which was previously called “special BMD exercises” and conducted between vessels of JMSDF and U.S. Forces.

The exercise was expanded to include all three JSDF services and USFJ since 2018, involving simulation training including defensive counter air and ballistic missile defense exercises.

Through simulation training such as defensive counter air and BMD exercises, JSDF maintains and improves JSDF’s joint operational capabilities and Japan-U.S. combined operational capabilities.

2. Japan-U.S.-ROK Ballistic Missile Information Sharing Exercise

  • In order to strengthen cooperation between Japan, US and ROK, the three nations have conducted trilateral ballistic missile information sharing exercises since 2016.

Past events

Date Location JPN ship
2016.6.28 Hawaii DDG Chokai
2016.11.9-10 Japan DDG Chokai
2017.1.20-22 Japan DDG Kirishima
2017.3.14 Japan DDG Kirishima
2017.10.24-25 Japan DDG Kirishima, DDG Myoko
2017.12.11-12 Japan DDG Chokai
  • In the Japan-U.S. -ROK Ministerial Meeting held in 2016, the three nations of concurred to conduct the first ballistic missile warning exercise.
  • Based on this, Japan, U.S. and ROK have conducted trilateral information sharing exercises related to ballistic missile warning since 2016. These exercises aim at strengthening not only Japan-U.S. alliance capabilities to deter and respond but also enhancing the cooperation between the three nations.

3. PAC-3 Maneuver Deployment Training

Deployment in public areas

Oct 2019

Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park

Nov 2019

Aichi Prefectural Korogi Sports Park

Deployment at USFJ facilities

Mar 2021

Kadena Air Base

  • JASDF continuously conducts maneuver and deployment training of PAC-3, a key component of ballistic missile defense, and deploys PAC-3 to civil areas and facilities such as public parks, in addition to JSDF and U.S. Forces installations.
  • Through training for movement of the PAC-3 from its position to the deployment area and confirming a series of procedures from deployment to withdrawal of instruments, JSDF improves its BMD capability, which provides simultaneously reassurance to the Japanese public.