Interview with Mr. Shigeru Ishiba, ① by S.Kiyotani

Interview with Mr. Shigeru Ishiba, Minister of State for Defense
from “just being JSDF” to “functioning JSDF”.
2004年6月、月刊サイゾーの石破長官のインタヴューを元に独軍事誌、Military Technology誌用に英語で再構成したものです。これは防衛庁内局広報のチェックを受ける前の文章です。次回は内局のオーソライズした記事を掲載します。MT誌に掲載されたのはかなりオミットされたものでしたので、これを原文を公開します。これは日本の防衛庁長官がはじめて外国の専門誌に掲載されたインタヴューです。是非、外国のお友達に紹介してください。

Mr. Ishiba, who is most radical Minister of State for Defense in reform JDA (Japan Defense Agency) and JSDF (Japan Self Defense Forces) in history.
He have it that, “JSDF (Japan Self Defense Force) must be changed form Being JSDF to functioning JSDF”.
Koizumi Cabinet had many and unexampled restructuring for national security, such as emergency defense legislation. And there has been many changes in particular JDA and JSDF. The first Minister of State for Defense from retirement lieutenant (of JGSDF (Japan Ground Self Defense Force)) was Mr. Nakatani. Mr. Ishiba succeeded the position from the second Koizumi Cabinet. (JDA belongs to the Cabinet Office. Japan has not MoD. JDA belongs to Cabinet Office.)

- Mr. minister, under Koizumi Cabinet, JDA and JSDF has done a lot of changes and reforms, for example, JSDF has changed Joint Staff Council to Joint Chiefs Staff
(Present Joint Staff Council has only adjustment function for tri-sevices. New Joint Chiefs Staff has integrated command for tri-services like other countries.). You declared defense of the small islands that has been ignored long time, for this task, JGSDF set up new regiment in west region which has the ranger unit.
The defense attaché came to be able to send informations directly to JDA or Staff Councils of JSDFs (Japanese defense attaches temporary transfer, to Ministry of Foreign Affairs on this task, thus all information must checked ambassador, also through Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Also JSDF set up special forces (MSDF’s SBU (Special Boarding Unit in 2001. GSDF’s SOG (Special Operation Group) in this year). You decided reform of GSDF by reducing approximately one third of tanks and heavy artilleries, and on other hand, improvement on urban combat capability and anti terrorism skills. Thus, you made facilities for this purposes. You made decision to purchase two used Boeing 767 as additional government aircraft. (ASDF had purchased only brand-new aircraft so far. The 767 will be the first used aircraft for ASDF) etc....

ISHIBA- That’s right. We have done many works in short period dramatically.
-But, do you think people and media are still less concerned about JSDF?.
ISHIBA- I am not discouraged about that. In terms of public opinion, It should not be a matter that people realize after reforms are done. However, if public opinion’s backing is too much for defense matters, that would lead reforms too far. Being unmarked, it shall be better circumstance for me to make reform.







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