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MSDF

An F/A-18 fighter jet takes off from the deck of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier during a three-day maritime exercise between the U.S. and Japan in the Philippine Sea, between Okinawa and Taiwan, on Wednesday.
JAPAN
Feb 1, 2024
U.S. and Japan conduct joint naval drills
U.S. Rear Adm. Carlos Sardiello called the joint exercises "a great rehearsal opportunity for us."
Runa Kurosawa, 20, a soldier with the Ground Self-Defense Force's Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade, takes part in military training inside the Maritime Self-Defense Force's amphibious transport ship JS Osumi in waters near Okinawa Prefecture on Nov. 14.
JAPAN
Jan 21, 2024
The female marines Japan is training for war
The Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade — meant to lead assaults from the sea in a possible future war — has about 40 women in its 2,400 strong unit.
The INS Kadmatt makes a goodwill visit to a port near Manila in October 2017.
JAPAN
Dec 3, 2023
Indian warship visits MSDF's Yokosuka base
Japan and India are working to strengthen their relations through "the Quad" framework, which also includes the United States and Australia.
The Self-Defense Forces face numerous obstacles in meeting their recruitment targets: Demographics, private-sector competition and image and morale issues.
EDITORIALS
Nov 3, 2023
The SDF has a big problem: Filling its ranks
The Japanese government needs to take steps to address SDF recruitment challenges that put the nation's security at risk.
Maritime Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Ryo Sakai speaks during a news conference Tuesday at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo.
JAPAN / Politics
Oct 31, 2023
Defense chief condemns ‘outrageous’ response in SDF harassment case
A male perpetrator of sexual assault was forced to apologize directly to the female victim despite her wishes not to see him.
The Philippine military says it’s escalating maritime surveillance after detecting a "resurgence” of Chinese vessels around the West Philippine Sea.
JAPAN
Sep 17, 2023
Philippines says Japan and Australia keen on joint naval patrols
The Philippine military says it’s escalating maritime surveillance after detecting a "resurgence” of Chinese vessels around the West Philippine Sea.
The Maritime Self-Defense Force's Aegis-equipped destroyer Maya in Yokohama in March 2020. Japan plans to introduce two new Aegis-equipped vessels that are expected to be bigger than the 8,200-ton Maya-class Aegis ships.
JAPAN
Sep 4, 2023
Japan's costs ballooning for new Aegis vessel plan
Overall costs will reach ¥900 billion if the amount already spent to purchase large radar and weapons systems is included.
The HMAS Canberra sails to the main harbor in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in March 2019. The vessel participated in a bilateral exercise between Australia's navy and the Maritime Self-Defense Force on the way to the Philippines, an Australian defense spokesperson said Wednesday.
JAPAN
Aug 24, 2023
Australian navy holds exercise with MSDF en route to Philippines
There was no indication of a hotly anticipated trilateral drill in the South China Sea that had been expected the same day.
U.S. President Joe Biden (left) participates in a 'Quad' leaders meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (center left), in May in Hiroshima.
JAPAN / Politics
Aug 11, 2023
'Quad' nations begin joint naval exercise in Sydney
The joint maritime and air defense drills involve some 2,000 personnel taking part, including around 170 Japanese.
An Air Self-Defense Force Kawasaki C-2 military transport aircraft is put on display at the Dubai Air Show in November 2019.
JAPAN
Aug 6, 2023
Japan mulls mounting long-range missiles on C-2 transporters
The missiles could be used for operations to attack enemy bases such as missile launch sites in counterstrike operations.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jul 6, 2023
Defense engagement between Japan and Italy picks up pace
The developments come as Tokyo is broadening its network of partners to counterbalance China"s growing military ambitions.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jun 23, 2023
MSDF and coast guard hold joint drill under defense minister control scenario
Under the Self-Defense Forces Law, the defense minister can take control of the nonmilitary coast guard in case of a contingency.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 29, 2023
MSDF ship flying controversial Rising Sun flag arrives in South Korea
Seoul"s tacit acceptance of the port call by the MSDF ship bearing the flag, viewed by critics as a symbol of Japan"s wartime militarism, suggests a shift in its thinking.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 26, 2023
Japanese naval ship to fly Rising Sun flag at drill in South Korea
In recent months, bilateral relations have been improving under the administration of South Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol, with leaders of the two countries making reciprocal visits.
Japan Times
JAPAN
May 4, 2023
MSDF chief calls for closer naval cooperation amid growing security challenges
Ensuring free and open seas is becoming increasingly “indispensable” for many countries, MSDF Chief of Staff Adm. Ryo Sakai Sakai said Thursday during a panel discussion.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / ANALYSIS
May 4, 2023
Drones becoming indispensable for Indo-Pacific navies
Systems come in all shapes and sizes and can be used on land, in the air and at sea, particularly in inhospitable or dangerous environments.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / Japan
Apr 21, 2023
Memorializing those lost in the GSDF helicopter crash
All 10 SDF members on board a helicopter that crashed in the Miyako Island group are believed to have died in the crash.
Japan Times
JAPAN / Politics
Apr 4, 2023
U.S., South Korea, Japan hold joint naval drills amid North Korean nuclear threat
The two-day anti-submarine and rescue exercises started Monday off South Korea’s Jeju Island and included vessels from the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier group.
Japan Times
JAPAN / FOCUS
Mar 7, 2023
New warship to help Japan tackle manpower issues amid growing security threats
The MSDF launched a new frigate Tuesday that is not only cheaper to build than the larger, general-purpose destroyers, it can also be operated with half as many crew members.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Jan 18, 2023
MSDF chief apologizes for destroyer navigation incident
The MSDF will investigate whether there were human errors in operations, including recognizing shallow water and setting the destroyer"s route.

Longform

At the Akan International Crane Center, just north of the city of Kushiro proper, visitors can see the majestic red-crowned crane — a symbol of Hokkaido.
Faces of the north: A Hokkaido town grapples with depopulation