Kenya, Japan Deepen Defence Relations

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Kenya's Chief of the Defence Forces, General Robert Kibochi, on Thursday, November 3, 2022, joined the Ambassador of Japan to Kenya Okaniwa Ken to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) day.

The reception was attended by the Principal Secretary of Defence, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed, Director General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi, Ms. Zainab Hawa Bangura, Senior military officials, members of the diplomatic community, and other dignitaries from both the public and private sectors.

In his remarks, Ambassador Okaniwa expressed deep appreciation for Japan towards the great contribution by Kenya to the peace and stability efforts in East Africa.

"For international peace and stability, it is paramount that countries cooperate to ensure international order based on the rule of law," said Okaniwa.

Kenya has long cooperated with Japan in various sectors, including the military. Notably, Japan has been supporting the International Peace Support Training Centre (IPSTC) in cooperation with the United Nations. JSDF staff provide various lectures at IPSTC, while the Ground Self-Defense Force has implemented training on the operation of heavy machinery at the Humanitarian Peace Support School (HPSS).

Speaking at the reception, General Kibochi noted that the relations between the two countries have continued to broaden and extended to defence cooperation: establishing partnerships in diverse areas focussing on international peace and security. Underscoring the importance of this, Kibochi noted the key role played by Japan in the establishment of the Kenyan-based International Peace Support Training in Nairobi in 2009.
A contribution that transformed the IPSTC into a prominent Peace Support Operations (PSO) training institution in the African continent made Kenya a regional peace and security exporter through the professionalization of PSO.

He added that KDF looks forward to expanding areas of cooperation to include and not limited to Disaster Response Management and Cyber Space, leveraging Japan's unparalleled advancement in the information technology domain.

The JSDF Day is an event to commemorate the foundation of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces whilst appreciating those who defend the country and paying respect to those who lost their lives in service.

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