JSDF Overseas Dispatches

These are overseas dispatches (Heisei -JSDF deployments outside of Japan) of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF). Japan sought active international cooperation beyond the framework of previous activities due to the alleviation of tensions after the end of the Cold War in 1989 and the Gulf War that broke out at the beginning of 1991. This began the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces in the Persian Gulf.


This is the underlying law that triggered the formation. 2006 (Heisei 18) In accordance with the revised Self-Defense Forces Act (Article 3-2 ), which was enacted on December 15, etc., overseas dispatching was upgraded from an incidental mission to an original mission.

  • September 1990 - Iran–Iraq War
  • 1991 (Heisei 3) January - Gulf War
  • December 1991 (Heisei 3) - Dissolution of the Soviet Union.
  • 1992 (Heisei 4) -The United Nations Peace Act (International Peace Cooperation Act / PKO Cooperation Act) was enacted. Law on the dispatch of international emergency relief teams (International Emergency Relief Team) .
  • 1993 (Heisei 5) - North Korea withdrew from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Rodong-1 quasi-Medium-range ballistic missile test (North Korea nuclear issue).
  • 1994 (Heisei 6) - The revised Self-Defense Forces Act was enacted.
  • March 1996 (Heisei 8) -Taiwan Strait Crisis due to the inauguration of President Lee Teng-hui in Taiwan, large-scale exercises of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.
  • June 1998 (Heisei 10) -The revised PKO cooperation law was enacted.
  • 1998 (Heisei 10) - North Korea shoots Taepodong-1 missile.
  • March 1999 - Suspicious ship incident off Noto Peninsula
  • May 1999 - Enactment of laws on measures to ensure peace and security in Japan in the event of a circumstance (Neighboring Situation Law) and Defense Guidelines Act (Japan-US New Guideline Law) .
  • October 2001 (Heisei 13) - War on Terror (War in Afghanistan (2001–present)) begins.
  • 2001 (Heisei 13) -The special measures law against terrorism was enacted.
  • December 2001 (Heisei 13) - Battle of Amami-Ōshima
  • 2003 (2003) March - Iraq War
  • July 2003 - Established the Special Measures Act (Iraq Reconstruction Special Measures Act) concerning the implementation of humanitarian recovery support activities and safety support activities in Iraq .
  • July 2006 (Heisei 18) - North Korea, Taepodong-2 and other 7 missile launch experiments.
  • 2006 (2006) 10 May - North Korea, again conducted a nuclear test.
  • 2006 (2006) 12 May - the Japanese Defense Agency was promoted to the Ministry of Defense (Japan), to the original mission overseas dispatch amendment with the Ministry of Defense Establishment Law, Self-Defense Forces Law established.
  • 2007 (2007) January - Defense Agency becomes the Ministry of Defense.
  • 2007 (2007) 11 May - Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law is revoked.
  • January 16, 2008 - The Special Measures Law (New Terrorism Special Measures Law) concerning the implementation of supply support activities for anti-terrorism maritime prevention activities was enacted, and supply activities were resumed.
  • June 19, 2009 (Heisei 21) - The law on the punishment of piracy and the coping with piracy (the Piracy Action Law) was enacted.
  • 2009 (2009) July - Iraq Special Measures Law is revoked.
  • January 16, 2010 (Heisei 22) - New Terrorism Special Measures Law expires.
  • 2013 (January 2013) - In Amenas hostage crisis
  • November 15, 2013 - The revised Self-Defense Forces Act was enacted.
  • September 30, 2015 - Enactment of a law (International Peace Support Act) on cooperation support activities for foreign armies, etc. implemented by Japan for the joint international peace coping project . The revised PKO cooperation law was enacted. The revised Peripheral Situation Law (Important Impact Situation Law) was enacted. The revised Self-Defense Force Law was enacted. (2015 Japanese military legislation)

JSDF Overseas DispatchesEdit

C-130 Iraq dispatch version
Light armored combat vehicle for dispatch to Iraq
JSDF engineering equipment transported to East Timor
JGSDF develops community roads in South Sudan (April 2013, Nabari district, Juba City)
A light armored vehicle in South Sudan's main road
JSDF members conduct cultural exchanges with Haitians
JSDF officers work at Tacloban Air Force Base to support the Philippines during Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
Support in the Indian Ocean 2001-2010 (JMSDF supply ship Tokiwa fueling to USS Decatur)

Since 1991, the Japan Self-Defense Forces have conducted international activities to provide support for peacekeeping missions and disaster relief efforts as well as to help prevent conflict and terrorism.[1]

Deployment Start date End date JSDF numbers Description
Persian Gulf April 26, 1991 October 1991 JMSDF 6 minesweeper vessels 6 JMSDF minesweepers removed 34 sea mines in the Persian Gulf to improve the safety of ships.[1]
Cambodia August 19, 1992 September, 1993 JGSDF 1200 JGSDF truce observers and an engineer unit helped repair damaged bridges and roads in Cambodia. The JASDF transported water and fuel to other peacekeeping units.[1]
Mozambique May 1993 January 1995 JSDF unit This was the SDF's second peacekeeping operations. Headquarters staff and a transportation unit were sent to participate in the United Nations Operation in Mozambique.[1]
Rwanda September 1994 December 1994 JSDF unit and liaison/coordination personnel This was the first humanitarian relief activity of the JSDF. A JSDF unit and liaison/coordination personnel were dispatched to Zaire (currently Congo) and Kenya for relief operations (supplies, medical, sanitation and water) to Rwandan refugees from the civil war.[1]
Israel Syria Golan Heights February 1996 Present JSDF unit and liaison/coordination personnel JSDF sent staff and a transport unit to the UN Disengagement Observer Force to promote peace in the Golan Heights. Activities include transporting supplies, road repair and snow removal.[1]
Honduras November 1998 December 1998 JSDF unit and liaison/coordination personnel After a devastating hurricane, JGSDF units and medical officers provided disaster relief with medical care to prevent epidemics and the JASDF transported equipment from Japan and the United States to Honduras.[1]
Turkey September 1999 November 1999 JMSDF Three vessels After a major earthquake, the JSDF dispatched three vessels, including a transport ship, minesweeper tender and a replenishment ship. It included 500 temporary houses as emergency relief supply for earthquake victims.[1]
Timor-Leste September 1999 February 2000 JASDF Cargo plane A large inflow of refugees into West Timor were caused by political unrest in East Timor. At the request of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) the JASDF dispatched a large cargo plane to transport relief supplies from Surabaya, Indonesia to Kuban.[1]
India February 2001 February 2001 JGSDF unit and JASDF squadron A JGSDF relief supply unit and JASDF emergency relief air transport squadron transported blankets and tents to areas in Western India that were damaged in a major earthquake. They also instructed local staff on how to use it.[1]
Afghanistan October 2001 October 2001 JASDF squadron The JSDF provided tents, blankets, water supply containers and mats to refugees in Islamabad, Afghanistan as part of anti-terrorism activities. These were transported by an JASDF squadron by air.[1]
Indian Ocean November 2001 November 2007 JMSDF vessels JMSDF vessels were dispatched to the Indian Ocean under the former Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law enacted after the terrorism attacks in the United States. The JMSDF vessels provided assistance by supplying fuel and water to foreign naval ships engaged in anti-terrorism activities. The JASDF transported supplies to the United States military forces.[1]
Haiti 2010 2010 JGSDF contingent of troops The JSDF assisted the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti with a contingent of troops (engineers, bulldozers, heavy machinery). They conducted peacekeeping, reconstructed roads, buildings and removed rubble.[2]
East Timor February 2002 June 2004 JGSDF 680 The JSDF dispatched personnel and an engineer unit of 680 men and women to the headquarters of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor. They helped repair and maintain roads, bridges and water supply units for local residents.[1]
Iraq July 2003 August 2003 JASDF cargo plane The JASDF provided assistance to victims of the War in Iraq by transporting 140 tons of relief supplies between Italy and Jordan with a large cargo plane. This was a request of the World Food Programme (WFP).[1]
Iran December 2003 January 2004 JASDF 2 cargo planes After a major earthquake struck Southeast Iran, the JASDF used two large cargo planes to transport 12 tons of emergency relief supplies provided by JICA to Kerman Province.[1]
Iraq January 4, 2004 2006 JGSDF 9,600 Deployment of 9,600 Ground JSDF personnel to Iraq. The focus was on humanitarian and reconstruction assistance.[3][4][5]
Iraq December 2003 February 2009 JGSDF and JASDF In order to provide humanitarian and reconstruction assistance and help ensure the stability of Iraq, the JGSDF provided water, medical assistance, school, road repairs and general construction. The JASDF transported supplies between Kuwait and Iraq and played a vital role in the international reconstruction effort.[1]
Thailand December 2004 January 2005 JMSDF unit An JMSDF unit helped search for victims after a tsunami struck Thailand following the Sumatra earthquake. The JMSDF transported international emergency aid teams and equipment by air and recovered victims’ bodies from the ocean.[1]
Indonesia January 2005 March 2005 JGSDF, JMSDF and JASDF Units from the JGSDF, JMSDF and JASDF were dispatched to Sumatra after a major earthquake and tsunami. This marked the first time that JSDF helicopters were dispatched for international disaster relief activities.[1]
Kamchatka Peninsula August 2005 August 2005 4 JMSDF vessels Four JMSDF vessels, including a submarine rescue ship, were dispatched to rescue the crew of a Russian Navy submarine that could not reach the surface near the Kamchatka peninsula. The submarine's crew was rescued by a Royal Navy submarine rescue ship. The Russian government also lauded the rapid response of the JMSDF.[1]
Pakistan October 2005 December 2005 JASDF cargo plane, 6 JGSDF helicopters The JASDF used a large cargo plane to transport six JGSDF helicopters to a major earthquake zone in Pakistan. The helicopters transported 824 victims and 131 tons of relief supplies, including medicines and tents.[1]
Indonesia June 2006 June 2006 Squadron and other personnel When Yogyakarta was struck by a major earthquake off the coast of Java, the JSDF sent an international emergency medical aid air transport squadron with personnel such as JGSDF medical officers. They provided local medical assistance, medical exams and vaccinations to 5,400 people.[1]
Nepal March 2007 January 2011 JGSDF personnel JSDF personnel were dispatched to the United Nations Mission in Nepal as military observers in order to maintain stability in the region after a peace accord that ended armed conflict between the Nepalese Army and Maoist forces. JSDF personnel observed the management of weapons, soldiers in camps and barracks.[1]
Indian Ocean January 2008 January 2010 JMSDF The JMSDF mission included supplying water and helicopter and ship fuel to foreign naval ships engaged in anti-terrorism activities in the Indian Ocean. This was permitted after the passing of the Replenishment Support Special Measures Law.[1]
Somalia March 2009 Present JGSDF unit and JASDF unit A JSDF surface and air unit were dispatched to the Gulf of Aden to ensure the safe passage of private-sector vessels. Numerous piracy incidents occurred there. It included a P-3C patrol plane used for warning and surveillance activities and two destroyers to protect civilian commercial ships. JGSDF personnel also provided security for the air unit's facility in Djibouti.[1]
Indonesia October 2009 October 2009 JSDF unit After a major earthquake that off Padang Indonesia that caused more than 1,000 deaths, the JSDF sent a medical assistance unit to the area. The three medical officers and other personnel provided emergency medical care to 919 patients.[1]
Haiti January 2010 February 2010 JGSDF unit After a major earthquake struck Haiti that killed more than 300,000 people, an JASDF transport plane was dispatched to help transport aid personnel and victims of the disaster. A medical assistance unit from the JGSDF provided disaster relief such as local medical care to 2954 people.[1]
Haiti February 2010 Present JGSDF engineer unit The JSDF dispatched a JGSDF engineer unit for post-quake reconstruction efforts in Haiti. They brought heavy machinery and other equipment to clear rubble, repair roads, perform simple engineering and construction work.[1]
Pakistan August 2010 October 2010 JSDF unit Pakistan suffered major flood damage caused by torrential rains. At the request of local Pakistani governments, a joint JSDF rescue unit was dispatched. It consisted of personnel from the JGSDF, JMSDF and JASDF. An JMSDF transport ship, JASDF C130H transport plane and six JGSDF helicopters helped transport 260 tons of relief supplies and 49 aid officials.[1]
Timor-Leste September 2010 Present JSDF personnel At the request of the UN, two JSDF personnel were dispatched as military liaison officers for the United Nations Integrated Mission in East Timor. The JSDF personnel collected information to monitor civic order throughout East Timor to ensure that ceasefire was adhered.[1]
New Zealand February 2011 March 2011 JSDF unit Following a major earthquake near Christchurch, the New Zealand government requested help from Japan. The JSDF organized an international disaster relief air transport unit with a rescue team consisting of personnel from the National Police Agency, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency and the Japan Coast Guard. It was one of the first to arrive in the country.[1]
South Sudan 12 December 2016 17 April 2017 JGSDF 12 Ceasefire observers and security 12 personnel participated in peacekeeping operations on the ground in Sudan over the course of two years and 11 months.[6][1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae "Two Decades of International Cooperation: A Look Back on 20 Years of JSDF Activities Abroad". Japan Ministry of Defense. December 24, 2011. Archived from the original on March 27, 2018.
  2. ^ "Haiti Feb 16 Japanese Peacekeepers". YouTube.com. 2010-03-02. Retrieved 2014-08-03.
  3. ^ "For the future of Iraq" (Press release). Japan Defense Agency. 2004-01-16. Archived from the original on February 21, 2006.
  4. ^ Japan: A Liberal, Nationalistic Defense Transformation - Foreign and Defense Policy Archived 2010-03-23 at the Wayback Machine. AEI (2005-11-17). Retrieved on 2013-08-16.
  5. ^ Dolan, Ronald; Robert Worden (1992). "8". Japan : A Country Study. Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. ISBN 0-8444-0731-3. See section 2: "The Self Defense Forces"
  6. ^ "Japanese troops settle into heavily secured camp in South Sudan". 12 December 2016 – via Japan Times Online.