The Commanders Respond: Admiral Masahiko Sugimoto - Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

With regard to the security environment, we are facing challenges such as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism at sea, piracy, and large-scale natural disasters that make security issues more internationalized and diverse through the maritime domain or beyond borders. Notably, the threats of destructive activities by nonstate actors are becoming refined and the scope of their activities is expanding, even into cyberspace.

It is estimated that this trend will continue for the next decade and security environments will become more complex. Because of Japan’s role as one of the most important U.S. allies, there is an increased need for cooperative efforts between Japan and America. Specifically, many countries expect the Japan-U.S. alliance to represent and provide not only regional security and stability, but also global security and stability. These extra-regional commitments in global maritime security initiatives are of elevated significance.

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) has engaged in overseas duties for the past several years ranging from the Persian Gulf to Indonesia. To continue to work toward and contribute to global peace and stability, the JMSDF embraces the following two points that promote this extra-regional commitment.

First, the JMSDF strongly supports the initiative for the development of the naval network. We intend to broaden our interoperability with each naval partner through the bilateral and multilateral exercises and counter-terrorism exercises, which have been cultivated by the JMSDF and the U.S. Navy, and to share the lessons learned.

Second, the JMSDF will contribute to the structure of an information-sharing network by developing the domestic maritime domain awareness (MDA) network and contributing to the regional MDA and global maritime partnership.

We now can conduct overseas missions more proactively because of new National Defense Program Guidelines approved last year. The JMSDF will demonstrate its close cooperation with the U.S. Navy in responding to the changing security environment. It also will promote multilateral partnerships with navies that share common peacetime challenges, and contribute to maintaining and strengthening a free and open maritime order.

 

 
 

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