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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

29 September 2015

Japan’s Defence Policy and Defence Capability Build-up

Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano, Chief of Joint Staff, Japan Self Defence Force gave MILITARY TECHNOLOGY an exclusive statement, to be read in MT #9/2015.

Japan is surrounded by the sea, and has a long coastline, numerous remote islands and a vast Exclusive Economic Zone. Japan is a maritime state and dependent largely on international trade for its supply of food and natural resources. Therefore, securing the safety of maritime and air traffic, through strengthening an “Open and Stable Sea” order based upon such fundamental principles as the rule of law and the freedom of navigation, constitutes the basis of our peace and prosperity.

The Asia-Pacific region including areas surrounding Japan is still seeing a concentration of large scale military power as well as increasing modernisations of forces and activities of military and relevant organisations.

In light of this security situation, the Government of Japan issued the National Security Strategy, the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG), and the Midterm Defense Program in December 2013. Based on them, the MoD/Japan Self Defense Forces (JSDF) is currently promoting and building the Dynamic Joint Defense Force with which we focus on building mobile deployment capabilities in addition to firm main ensuring maritime supremacy and air superiority.

The new NDPG call for the JSDF to selectively strengthen the following functions and capabilities in particular, paying attention to enhance joint functions with interoperability with the US forces, prioritising defence build-up, which enables Japan to maintain maritime supremacy and air superiority, which are prerequisites for effective deterrence and responses to various contingencies- such as strengthening defence posture in the south-western Areas of Japan:
  • ISR Capabilities: Japan will implement extensive and persistent ISR at seas and airspace surrounding it, and adopt a flexible approach to boosting its ISR posture according to the developments of situations.
  • Intelligence Capabilities: Japan will strengthen its system for intelligence collection, processing information, and analysing and sharing the collected information, so that the SDF can promptly detect signs of various situations, and take other actions.
  • Transport Capability: In order to swiftly deploy and move necessary units, the SDF will strengthen its integrated transport capacity, while seeking collaboration with the civilian transport sector on a regular basis.
  • C3I Capabilities: In order to establish a C2 system that can manage units nationwide in a mobile, joint and integrated manner, a new central headquarters to control all regional armies will be established within the GSDF, among other measures. The SDF will also strive to enhance and strengthen its communication infrastructure on remote islands and data link functions among the three services, along with other C3I capabilities.
  • Response to an Attack on Remote Islands: In order to ensure maritime supremacy and air superiority, the SDF will strengthen its ability to deal with attacks by aircraft, naval vessels, and missiles, etc. The SDF will newly develop sufficient amphibious operations capability, which enables the JSDF to land, recapture, and secure without delay in the case of an invasion of any remote islands.
  • Response to Ballistic Missile (BM) Attacks: To counter North Korea’s improved BM capability, Japan will pursue comprehensive improvement of its response capability against ballistic missiles. With regard to the BM Defence system, Japan will enhance readiness, simultaneous engagement capability, and sustainable response capability to strengthen the capability to protect the entire territory.
  • Response in Outer Space and Cyberspace: While strengthening information collection capability using satellites, and reinforcing C2 and telecommunications capabilities, the JSDF will enhance the survivability of satellites through such initiatives as space situational awareness. As for cyberspace, Japan will enhance integrated persistent surveillance and response capabilities as well as continuously strengthen and secure personnel with expertise and the latest equipment.

ShinMaywa's US-2, priced at almost ¥12 billion per aircraft, can take off and land even on rough seas, a standout feature compared to amphibious planes by other manufacturers. 

It is essential for Japan to strengthen cooperation with international partners including European countries and NATO members from peace time in order to deal with global challenges, which are extremely difficult for one country to tackle on its own. Therefore, from the perspective of “proactive contribution to peace” based on the principle of international cooperation, the Japanese people expect the MOD/JSDF, as the final bearer of national security, to strengthen its activities in terms of both quality and quantity.

Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano, Chief of Joint Staff, Japan Self Defence Force

Full statement along with other Chiefs of Defence in MILITARY TECHNOLOGY #09/2015, available at DSEI on booth #S2 165. Please frequently check back for more NEWS FROM THE FLOOR.

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