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GSDF 2013 National Defense Program Guidance

The Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) is making efforts to achieve a truly grand reform in order to build a Dynamic Joint Defense Force based on the 2013 NDPG. The aim is to respond fl exibly to the increasingly severe security environment, and establish a ground defense force that can respond to situations seamlessly and dynamically.

In order to realize this, the GSDF particularly puts weight on response to attacks on remote islands, which is comprised of the following three levels: regular “deployment of units”; “rapid deployment” of units necessary to interdict any invasion; and “recapturing” in case any remote islands are invaded. The “deployment of units” is to deploy coast observation units and area security units in the southwestern region; “rapid deployment” is to transform about half of the divisions and brigades deployed across Japan into rapid deployment divisions and brigades that are furnished with advanced mobility and ISR capabilities; and for “recapturing,” new establishment of an amphibious rapid deployment brigade that is able to conduct suffi cient amphibious operations. Mobile combat vehicles (MCVs), amphibious vehicles, Osprey (V-22), and other equipment will be introduced for the operation of these units.

For the purpose of carrying out swift and  exible nationwide operations of basic GSDF units under the joint operations, the GSDF will establish the Ground Central Command. As part of such efforts the Central Readiness Force will be disbanded and its subsidiary units will be integrated into the Ground Central Command. In order to respond swiftly to an attack on remote islands and various other situations, the GSDF will transform two divisions and two brigades into two rapid deployment divisions and two rapid deployment brigades. In addition, by establishing a coast observation unit and area security units, the defense posture of the remote islands in the southwest region will be strengthened. In order to enable the SDF to land, recapture and secure without delay any remote islands that might be invaded, an amphibious rapid deployment brigade will be established.

From the perspective of thoroughly facilitating efficiencies and rationalization of preparations for full-scale invasions, and swift and  exible operations, the GSDF will deploy mobile combat vehicles and remove tanks deployed in basic operational units stationed in locations other than Hokkaido and Kyushu. In addition, howitzers deployed in basic operational units stationed in locations other than Hokkaido will be concentrated into  eld artillery units to be newly organized under the direct command of the respective regional armies.

Moreover, with a view to integrating the operation of GSDF units across Japan, and improving joint operation with the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) and Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) as well as the effectiveness of Japan-U.S. joint training with U.S. Forces, the Ground Central Command will be established as a new integrated headquarters that controls the operation of the fi ve regional armies of the GSDF (The headquarters of the Ground Central Command will be newly established in JGSDF Camp Asaka in FY2017). In addition, education, training, and research functions will be unifi ed, and a system to integrate these three functions swiftly in an inter-related manner to enable continuous reform into the future will be established.

Unprecedentedly large-scale transfers of GSDF personnel across Japan will be necessary to realize these efforts. As a whole, this major reform is so grand and extensive that it not only includes organizational and institutional reforms but also a reform of the mentality of each GSDF personnel, including the personal preparedness of each member. As such, the GSDF is making concerted efforts as a whole to realize the largest reform since its establishment.




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