Great East Japan Earthquake: Lessons Learned for Japan's Defense Posture
Experience in the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) by the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) was unprecedented in many ways. In addition to being the largest mobilization in its history, it was the first time that the JSDF operated under the Joint Task Force (JTF); it was also the first time that the JSDF was faced with a complex disaster that included both a large-scale natural disaster and the worst nuclear accident in Japan's history. The JSDF took away a number of “lessons learned” from this experience. These “lessons learned” by and large validate the “dynamic defense force” concept in the December 2010 National Defense Program Guidelines. Whether they can capitalize on the GELE experience and move forward is up to the JSDF and MOD leadership.
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