The JMSDF (Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force)


JMSDF (Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force)

Japan is an island country surrounded by
water. This means that the threat to Japan always comes from the sea. Japan
also relies heavily on other countries for the supply of natural resources
that are indispensable to national existence. Over 90 percent of
imports are transported through sea routes. Taking into account the factors
of geographical and economic features, the main mission of Japanese Maritime

Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) is to defend the island country from a maritime
invasion and to secure the safety of maritime traffic around Japan.

In order to defend Japan from the maritime
invasion and to secure the safety of maritime traffic around Japan, the

JMSDF conducts various kinds of operations. Operations include: patrol,
escort, and defense of key ports and straits, with its 130 ships and 200
aircraft. The self-defense Fleet takes charge of overall maritime operations
around Japan, and each Regional District force conducts maritime operations
and logistic support, in each assigned area in close cooperation with the
self-defense Fleet. Amphibious assault, missile attack by submarines or
aircraft, laying mines and attack by surface ships can be considered a
direct attack against Japan and the interference of its maritime traffic,
the JMSDF executes Anti Submarine, Anti Air, Anti Surface, Mine Laying
and other operations depending on the threat.

A series of operations that range from
searching to sinking submarines is called Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW).

The modern submarinesí improved capabilities in performances, quietness,
offensiveness, as well as detecting nuclear submarines, which are semi-permanently
submergible, bring further threat to the security of maritime traffic to

Japan. To cope with these circumstances, the JMSDF has steadily focused
on modernizing its weaponry and improving the skills of crew involved in

ASW, engaging in its mission with full morale.

The object of Anti Air Warfare (AAW) is
defending surface groups and ships against an attack from the air. Flight
performances and offensive capability of aircraft have remarkably improved
in recent years, and most of the surface ships and submarines of the Japanese
defense force mount Anti Surface missiles. In todayís world, a threat from
the air against surface ships has become extremely dangerous and complicated.

Accordingly, in terms of AAW, it is necessary
to form the multi-layered air defense system composed of the guns and missiles
as well as to avoid missile attack through electronic counter measures.

To improve these AAW capabilities, the JMSDF has embarked on introduction
of the new Aegis (guided missile frigates) type escort ships since 1988.

Recently, surface ships have tended to
mount long range SSMs (Surface to Surface Missile), and shipís tactics
are shifting from exchanging fire by guns to launching SSMs from a distance.

Offensive capabilities against the surface forces are vital to attack hostile
ships that intend to assault Japan, to defend our vessels from the attack
of enemy ships mounting SSM, and to secure the safety of maritime traffic
around Japan.

Mine Warfare is divided into Mine Countermeasure

Operation; which aims at removing mines laid by enemies, and Mining Operation;
which aims at laying mines to protect Japan from an enemy\'s landing invasion
and coastal defense. The JMSDF\'s capability of Mine Countermeasure Operation
is highly ranked among the leading countries as a result of its actual
disposing mines at the end of the Pacific War, and still more making efforts
to improve its capability coping with the highly advanced mines. The Overseas

Minesweeper Force, dispatched to the Persian Gulf in 1991, achieved brilliant
success under the harsh natural environment, and was highly evaluated at
home and abroad. In order to deter landing inroad and passing through the
channel by enemy forces, the mining operation is also conducted on the
occasion of making minefields on the shore or key channel where enemy landing
invasions will be expected.

The JMSDF has removed numerous mines laid
in Japanese waters and ports during the World War II and is still engaged
in minesweeping operations which are active to this very day.

Electronic Warfare is defined as operations
to detect and make reverse use of the enemy\'s magnetic waves while detecting
the enemy and securing Japanís effective use of magnetic waves for itself.

In Electronic Warfare, there are three measures. First is electronic support
measure (ESM), which are ships equipped with the ability of electronic
detection and missile alarm systems. The second measure is that of electronic
counter measure (ECM), which are ships equipped with electronic jamming
and chaff rocket launcher systems. The third measure is electronic counter-counter
measure (ECCM), which are surface ships equipped with various radar equipment
capable of avoiding the enemy\'s own electronic countermeasure.