Today, the Japan Times publish a Kyodo report on news that circulated a few days ago: GSDF Lt. General Eiji Kimizuka has been appointed as the new GSDF Chief of Staff. Kimizuka headed up the Self-Defense Force’s first ever tri-service operation in its response to the Tohoku Earthquake. JSW translated an Sankei interview with him a few months back: Sankei sits down with Commander of Joint Disaster Response Taskforce. Kimizuka will be a fine staff officer, bringing a recognizable face to the Joint Staff Office in Ichigaya. He takes over the position from August 5th.
Kimizuka, fresh from quake relief duty, to become head of GSDF
Eiji Kimizuka, the regional commanding general who oversaw the ground troops mobilized for disaster relief operations after the March 11 disaster, has been appointed head of the Ground Self-Defense Force.
The appointment of Kimizuka, 59, will take effect Aug. 5. Kimizuka is currently the commander of the GSDF’s Northeastern Army. He will succeed Yoshifumi Hibako, who is set to retire.
Kimizuka received praise for his handling of the quake relief operations and built a relationship of trust with Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa.
A former contributor to World Intelligence (Japan Military Review), James Simpson joined Japan Security Watch in 2011, migrating with his blog Defending Japan. He has a Masters in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and is currently living in Kawasaki, Japan.
His primary interests include the so-called 'normalization' of Japanese security (i.e. militarization), and the political impact of the abduction issue with North Korea.
James Simpson has 254 post(s) on Japan Security Watch