Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offered prayers at a memorial service for Self-Defense Forces members who died in the line of duty.
The fallen made significant contributions to the nation, Abe said Saturday at the memorial service, which was also attended by Defense Minister Gen Nakatani and some 400 family members.
“We will never waste the sacrifice and will make every effort to protect the lives and peaceful livelihoods of our nationals under any circumstances while contributing to world peace and stability,” Abe said.
A list of 27 SDF personnel who died on duty between September 2014 and August 2015 was dedicated at a cenotaph. Of them, eight were from the Ground Self-Defense Force, 12 from the Maritime Self-Defense Force, six from the Air Self-Defense Force and one from the Okinawa Defense Bureau.
The addition brought the total to 1,878 since 1950, when the SDF’s predecessor, the National Police Reserve, was established.