Japan To Establish Joint Command To Centralize Command Of Three Self-Defense Forces

On December 26, local time, Japanese media reported that the Ministry of Defense of Japan has begun to consider adjusting its organizational structure to establish a “joint command” to centrally command the ground, maritime and air self-defense forces. The purpose of forming a “joint command” is to ensure the rapid deployment of troops in emergencies and to communicate more closely with the US military on operational matters. The National Defense Forces Development Plan, included in three revised security-related documents, outlines the organizational structure of the SDF. The development plan also specifies the establishment of a permanent unified command to enable seamless interregional operations during all phases, from peacetime to contingency. Currently, the Chief of Joint Staff, the top military and police officer of the Self-Defense Forces, and the supporting Joint Staff Office assist the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense and are responsible for executing unit operations on orders from the Prime Minister and others. Going forward, this structure will be reorganized so that the Joint Chiefs of Staff can focus on their functions. The plan is expected to divert force operations to the direction of the Unified Command.

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