Embassy hosts Japan Self-Defence Forces Day Reception




In the evening of 30 June 2011, Ambassador and Madame Hayashi, Defence Attache Captain (Navy) and Mrs Minami hosted the Japan Self-Defence Forces Day Reception to celebrate the 57th anniversary of the JSDF. This year, the number of guests reached as many as 190, which was even more than last year, including the Rt Hon Andrew Robathan (Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans MoD), MPs, MoD and FCO officials and Defence Attaches from many countries as well as Mr Koji Sekimizu, who had been newly elected as the International Maritime Organisation Secretary-General. The participants took the opportunity not only to celebrate the occasion but to deepen their understanding of Japan's defence policy.


This was a day to mark the birth of the Japan Self-Defence Forces, as the Law to establish the Forces entered into force on 1 July 1954. This year's reception also became a special occasion for us to express our utmost gratitude to the guests for the great sympathy and support extended to Japan in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, which struck on 11th March.

In his speech, Ambassador Keiichi Hayashi expressed his appreciation to the UK and other countries for their great support to Japan after the earthquake. The Ambassador also stated that the disaster relief operation being conducted by members of the Self-Defence Forces had proven their capabilities as front-line disaster-relief units to save lives under most difficult and dangerous conditions. He also referred to the Self-Defence Forces' overseas activities, including peacekeeping and counter-piracy operations as well as Japan's firm commitment to Afghanistan. Mentioning the Japan-UK Treaty of Alliance of 1902, the Ambassador concluded his remarks by stating: "I would certainly hope to see more vigorous interaction and cooperation between our two countries in the defence and security arena - a relationship amounting to a sort of alliance, this time for global peace."