Suga Addresses Graduates of National Defense Academy


Yokosuka, Kanagawa Pref., March 21 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Sunday called on graduates of the National Defense Academy to "actively take on new challenges and adapt to changes in the future with a strong will" as they are set to become members of the Self-Defense Forces.

In an address at the graduation ceremony of the school in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, Suga noted that new tasks, such as those for U.N.-sponsored peacekeeping operations abroad, have been added to the SDF. "Your predecessors have admirably adapted to a number of new missions that nobody were able to imagine 30 years ago," the prime minister told the graduates.

"I think that the SDF will be tasked to perform additional new missions (in the next 30 years) as new challenges and threats emerge," he said.

"With the security situation increasingly complicated, no country can protect peace and security of its citizens on its own," Suga said, stressing his intention to further enhance the Japan-U.S. alliance through his planned visit to the United States in April for his first in-person meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden.

A total of 488 students are set to graduate from the National Defense Academy in fiscal 2020, which ends on March 31. Of them, 28 students, down by seven from fiscal 2019, will not join the SDF after graduation, due to reasons such as starting to work at private-sector companies.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press