Organization and Structure of the Contemporary Ground Self-Defense Force



The Defense Agency Establishment Law (Bōeichō Secchihō) and the companion Self-Defense Forces Law (Jieitaihō) of June 9, 1954, established the framework for the modern defense establishment which Japan, with some revisions along the way, still uses today.1 The mission of the Defense Agency (Bōeichō), which became the Ministry of Defense (MOD; Bōeishō) on January 9, 2007, was (and is) “to preserve the peace and independence and to maintain the security of our nation. For this purpose, it shall control and operate the Ground Self-Defense Forces, the Maritime Self-Defense Forces, and the Air Self-Defense Forces … and to perform functions related thereto.”2 Administratively, the Minister of Defense (Bōei Daijin), formerly the Director General of the Defense Agency (Bōeichō Chōkan), is responsible for the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) on a daily basis, but operationally the Prime Minister has the authority to be commander in chief (saikō shikikanken) as per Article 7 of the SDF Law.3 His orders are given through the Defense Minister.


Marine Corps Liaison Officer Fukuoka Prefecture Defense Agency Defense Minister 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for International Policy StudiesTokyoJapan

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