Monthly Archives: March 2016

The instruction of Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe at the 49th Ministry of Defense and Self-Defense Forces senior officials meeting (1)

Today, at this board meeting of senior officials who are in charge of core roles for the defense of our nation, I would like to express myself as the Prime Minister who is the commander-in-chief of the Self-Defense Forces.

This year is the 70th anniversary of the end of the Great East Asia War.
Our nation has always been a peaceful nation since the end of the war. However, peace couldn’t have been realized if we’d only preached it. This is a result of our predecessors’ steady efforts that they have adapted to the changes in the times. We couldn’t have achieved it without the Self-Defense Forces.
Our predecessors established the Self-Defense Forces because they had to keep peace in the unstable international situation and of course because they loved peace.
Moreover, they made two more efforts, one of which is a revision of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan, and the other of which is the law on Cooperation in the U.N. Peacekeeping Operations (the PKO law). Our present peace is on the basis of these efforts. At this year of the 70th anniversary after the Great East Asia War, I’d like to digest this significant meaning with you.

However, a peace until yesterday doesn’t mean a peace tomorrow.
It was at the same date of the December 16th 56 years ago that the following sentence was referred to at the Judgment of the Supreme Court, which is the keeper of the Constitution,: “In order to keep the peace and security of our nation and preserve the nation itself, it takes for granted that we take measures for self-defense in need as the exercise of the nation-specific rights,
What are the measures for “self-defense in need” under the unstable international circumstances? It is one of the most responsible duties of our government to beat its brains out about it.

We, living in this time, also firmly must observe changes of international situation and take measures for self-defense in need” by learning lessons from our predecessors. We must lay the firm foundation for children and grandchildren to take over peaceful Japan.
The Japan’s legislation for Peace and Security is the result of my consideration.
There were various discussions over “the risk of self-defense personnel” in the process of the deliberation. You might feel impatient.

You will protect our nation in any circumstance, reduce “a risk of nation” and be willing to take a risk in a severe situation for security. This is your noble ambition as self-defense personnel.

“We will take a risk in any circumstances, devote ourselves to make an effort to complete our own mission and undertake the mandate given by the nation.”
I etch the significance of this oath in my heart as the commander-in-chief.

The missions given to self-defense personnel are as risky as ever. The purpose is only one. All you have to do is protect nation’s lives and peaceful livelihoods. This is unchangeable.
I’d like you to conduct your mission on each your field with your sense of mission and responsibility, making absolutely sure to prepare for all the circumstances.
And also, I’d like you as senior officials to anticipate all the situations and surely make provision for personnel on operation to carry out their new mission properly with their safety being ensured. We cannot ignore this cold fact. You are willing to select the way to carry out this difficult mission.

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The instruction of Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe at the 49th Ministry of Defense and Self-Defense Forces senior officials meeting (2)

The issue of security has been dividing national opinion in two. An irresponsible label like “We will be involved in a war” has prevailed not only at this time of enacting the Japan’s legislation for Peace and Security but also at the time of the campaign against Japan-U.S. Security Treaty revised in 1960 and enactment of the PKO law.
However, the time has changed. The conventional criticism like “the existence of the Self-Defense itself violates the Constitution” is never provoked among people this time. This is because you, self-defense personnel, win people’s trust.

There has always been the Ground Self-Defense Forces toward the lifesaving at the eruption of Mt.Ontake and also at the flood caused by heavy rain in the Kanto and Tohoku area. Marine vessels all over the world depend on the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces on the Gulf of Aden, an important point of transport, which is 12,000km far from Japan. Speaking of the Air Self-Defense Forces, it protects sky over Japan for 24 hours, 365 days, while the frequency of approach to Japanese airspace by planes of unknown nationality has been seven-times increased for these ten years.
These facts are imprinted on Japanese people.

They are not only in Japan. Like Fun Sen, the Prime Minister in Cambodia, where the Self-Defense Force took part in PKO for the first time, and Aquino, the President of the Philippines, where it performed rescue operations for the victims of typhoon, a lot of leaders from all over the world admire you, devoting yourself to save world’s peace and stability and respect your discipline. Moreover, they greatly depend on your sophisticated abilities.
Such global leaders support the Japan’s legislation for Peace and Security. This is also the result of your consistent dedication to the world. This is a proof of people’s credibility and expectation from the world.
Please keep these facts in your minds and set yourself to a new mission. And please always do your best on each site in order to meet their expectation and to prove worthy of their trust.
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The instruction of Japanese Prime Minister Sinzo Abe at the 49th Ministry of Defense and Self-Defense Forces senior officials meeting (3)

I’m ready to hear your own voice from your “field”. It is my great responsibility as the commander-in-chief to propose solutions to the various problems in fields for sure.
Every personnel in a “field” are connected with me through you here. I never forget it, because the strong bond between them in a “field” and me directly leads to the safety of our nation. I believe this.

I consider that the information from fields is more important than anything else. I get reported about various information and operational status of the Self-Defense Force every week from security staffs including Chief-of-Staff. I hold the National Security Council at least twice in a month, discuss different matters and make decisions. The movement information and strategic information provided by the Ministry of Defense and the Self-Defense Forces are vital for holding summit meetings and making the best decision as the Prime Minister.

Now each your daily action is directly linked to the national profit. I would like you to recognize this fact again, keep it in mind and devote yourselves to your duties more. In addition, I hope that you will think dynamically and take action from the global point of view.

I’ve already visited 63 countries and areas. Every time at the summit meeting I almost surely talk about defense cooperation. They need highly skilled cooperation of the Self-Defense Forces and the Defense Ministry in cases of capacity building and cooperation of armament and technology.
I hope you will carry out this cooperation further. Performing such cooperation will make local areas and the world stable and lead to the perfect safety of Japan.

In the relationship of service-to-service, between the grand army of each country and the Grand Self-Defense, or the naval forces and the Maritime Self-Defense or the air forces and the Air Self-Defense, I would like you to promote not only tactical but also strategic cooperation regarding how to contribute to safety and peace in the local areas and the world. This is so to speak “strategic international defense cooperation”.

The more highly the international contribution of the Self-Defense Forces is evaluated, the more Defense cooperation with the Self-Defense Forces is needed. This is a necessary consequence. I would like you to carry out the strategic international defense cooperation dynamically regardless of the conventional idea and to play a part of our strategic diplomacy and national security policy, which I develop in a panoramic perspective of the world map. I’m eager to realize it.

There is no “final goal” in this magnificent duty. Whether we want or not, the world is changing violently. I would like you to continue making efforts with a strong sense of responsibility which beats all the difficulties and deals with an unprecedented circumstance with flexible creativity, observing the changes of time. I greatly expect you, who are senior officials in charge of the core roles for it.

Finally, I’d like to recite a lesson which I introduced here two years ago.
“Pessimism comes from our passions; optimism from the will”.
A proverb of the French philosopher, Alain.
It is always a power of “will” that finds a way out. Please keep strong “will” and conduct your missions, missions of the Self-Defense, in your fields.

I and Japanese nation are always with all 250,000 Self-Defense personnel including you. I hope you will take more diligent efforts for stability and peace of Japan, and the world.

December 16th, 2015
Sinzo Abe
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