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Gen Iwasaki Statement

UNRELEASED | March 11, 2012









One year has passed since last year’s March 11th. Many lives were lost and many still remain missing. I would like to extend my deepest condolences and sincerely wish for those missing to be returning their family as well as an early reconstruction of the affected areas.

Japan Self Defense Forces (JSDF) conducted disaster relief activities for 10 months since the disaster occurred. It was a continuous struggle, however, I believe JSDF created three bonds through these activities.

The first one is the bond of joint military operation. This bond was born under close cooperation among three services in total of 100,000 self-defense force soldiers, sailors and airmen who worked together to fight against an unprecedented calamity, and we gained many lessons of joint operation as a precious outcome.

The second bond is with the United States. The U.S. forces started their assistance response immediately after the earthquake. The series of disaster relief and assistance operation called "Operation Tomodachi" become a symbol of Japan-U.S. cooperation, and we mutually reassured our credibility as partners.

But needless to say, the most important bond is with our fellow people of Japan. Your trust, support and confidence to JSDF is our supreme pride that gives us the strength and courage to move forward.

We will continue our endeavor for the security of Japan and the safety of our people with wisdom, indomitable spirit and swiftness as we hold these three bonds in our hearts.

General Shigeru Iwasaki

Chief of Joint Staff,

Japan Self Defense Force