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Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)


The Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force is a well-equipped and modern military navy. The the Chief of the Maritime Staff is Katsutoshi Kawano. Its structure consists of five regional district commands:

District Tasks

In each district, it is located a major JMSDF base, and contains one or two regional escort squadrons, composed of two to three destroyers or destroyer escorts (DE). These destroyers are not the newest ones and tend to be of older classes, mainly former escort force ships. The destroyer escorts, on the other hand, tend to be purpose built vessels.

The Self-Defense Fleet, headquartered at Yokosuka, consists of the JMSDF’s military shipping. It is composed of four Escort Flotillas (based in Yokosuka, Sasebo, Maizuru, Ominato and Kure), the Fleet Air Force headquartered at Atsugi, two Submarine Flotillas based at Kure and Yokosuka.

The composition of forces in each escort flotilla has some reminiscences of the old style in the Japanese Imperial Navy. At that time, the fleet was composed by 8 battleships and 8 cruisers. Now they have similar structure as an 8-8 fleet of 8 DD and 8 on-board helicopters.

In addition, in each force the 8 DD are distributed as follows: one helicopter destroyer (DDH) acting as a command ship, two guided-missile destroyers (DDG) and 5 standard or ASW destroyers (DD). Future plans include the reorganization of the Escort Flotillas into a DDH group and DDG group, enabling faster overseas deployments.

As of 2014, the JMSDF operates a total of 124 ships (excluding minor auxiliary vessels), including:


  • 4 helicopter carriers DDH (called helicopter destroyers)
  • 26 destroyers DD
  • 11 small destroyers FDD (or frigates)
  • 6 destroyer escorts DE (or corvettes)
  • 16 attack submarines
  • 29 mine countermeasure vessels
  • 6 patrol vessels
  • 3 landing ship tanks
  • 8 training vessels.

The fleet has a total displacement of approximately 450,000 tonnes (including auxiliary vessels).

On the other hand, this fleet is supported  a naval aviation that maintains a large naval air force,  including 201 fixed-wing aircraft and 145 helicopters. Most of these aircraft are used in anti-submarine warfare operations.

Hierarchical Tree of the JMSDF


JMSDF Chief of Staff / Maritime Staff Office

  • Mobile Flotilla
    • Fleet Escort Force
      • Escort Flotilla 1 (Yokosuka)
        • Escort Squadron 1 (DDG,DDH,DDx2)
        • Escort Squadron 5 (DDG,DDx3)
      • Escort Flotilla 2 (Sasebo)
        • Escort Squadron 2 (DDG,DDH,DDx2)
        • Escort Squadron 6 (DDG,DDx3)
      • Escort Flotilla 3 (Maizuru)
        • Escort Squadron 3 (DDG,DDH,DDx2)
        • Escort Squadron 7 (DDG,DDx3)
      • Escort Flotilla 4 (Kure)
        • Escort Squadron 4 (DDG,DDH,DDx2)
        • Escort Squadron 8 (DDG,DDx3)
      • 1st Replenishment Squadron
      • 1st Transportation Squadron
    • Fleet Submarine Force
      • Submarine Flotilla 1
        • Submarine Squadron 1
        • Submarine Squadron 3
        • Submarine Squadron 5
      • Submarine Flotilla 2
        • Submarine Squadron 2
        • Submarine Squadron 4


Helicopter destroyers DDH


Izumo-class: DDH-183 Izumo, under construction DDH-184 (name to be assigned). On 27th August the DDH-184 (24DDH) was launched and received her name: Kaga

Hyuga-class: The DDH-16 Hyūga and DDH-18 Ise were provisionally named “DDH-16” and “DDH-18” respectively. The numbers derived from the Japanese calendar, specifically the 16th year and 18th year of the Heisei reign (2004 and 2006), when the provisional name were given.

Shirane-class: DDH-143 Shirane was decommissioned on March 2015. the Izumo-class is planned to replace Shirane-class. DDH-144 Kurame is still active.

Tank Landing Ships


Osumi-class: Three units named: LST 4001 ŌsumiLST 4002 ShimokitaLST 4003 Kunisaki

The Japanese MoD is planning to perform a major refit on the Osumi-class to improve their amphibious capabilities

Destroyers – DDG/DD


Atago-class (guided missile destroyer-aegis-):

DDG-177 Atago

DDG-178 Ashigara

Kongo-class (guided missile destroyer-aegis-):

DDG-173 Kongō
DDG-174 Kirishima
DDG-175 Myōkō
DDG-176 Chōkai

Hatakaze-class (guided missile destroyer):

DDG-171 Hatakaze
DDG-172 Shimakaze


DD-115 Akizuki (Autumn Moon)
DD-116 Teruzuki (Bright Moon)
DD-117 Suzutsuki (Clear Moon)
DD-118 Fuyuzuki (Winter Moon)


DD-110 Takanami
DD-111 Ōnami
DD-112 Makinami
DD-113 Sazanami
DD-114 Suzunami


DD-101 Murasame
DD-102 Harusame
DD-103 Yudachi
DD-104 Kirisame
DD-105 Inazuma
DD-106 Samidare
DD-107 Ikazuchi
DD-108 Akebono
DD-109 Ariake

Asagiri-class (small DD or frigate):

DD-151 Asagiri Converted to training vessel (TV-3516) on 16 February 2005 re converted to DD-151 on March 2012

DD-152 Yamagiri Converted to training vessel (TV-3515) on 18 March 2004,
re-converted to DD-152 on March 2011
DD-153 Yūgiri
DD-154 Amagiri
DD-155 Hamagiri
DD-156 Setogiri
DD-157 Sawagiri
DD-158 Umigiri

Hatsuyuki-class (small DD or frigate):

DD-129 Yamayuki
DD-130 Matsuyuki
DD-132 Asayuki

The JMSDF uses the official term Destroyers despite some smaller vessels being analogous to frigates by most international classifications

Destroyer escorts – DE


DE-229 Abukuma
DE-230 Jintsu
DE-231 Oyodo
DE-232 Sendai
DE-233 Chikuma
DE-234 Tone


▽ Imperial Japanese Navy – Nihon Kaigun


organization of the imperial japanese navy

Nihon Kaigun organization
The structure and history of the
Imperial Japanese Navy



aircraft carriers of the imperial japanese navy

Aircraft Carriers
The battle and light aircraft carriers
of the Imperial Japanese Navy



battleships of the Imperial Japanese Navy

The Battleships and Battlecruisers of
the Imperial Japanese Navy



heavy cruisers of the imperial japanese navy

Heavy Cruisers
The heavy cruisers of the
Imperial Japanese Navy



light cruisers of the imperial japanese navy

Light Cruisers
The light cruisers
of the Imperial Japanese Navy



destroyers of the imperial japanese navy

The destroyers squadrons of the
Imperial Japanese Navy



submarines of the imperial japanese navy

The submarines fleet
of the Imperial Japanese Navy



auxiliary ships of the imperial japanese navy

Auxiliary Ships
The training, hospital, and other
auxiliary ships in the IJN



timeline of the japanese imperial navy warships

The TimeLine of ships
The design and operations
timeline records of the IJN warships



japanese land-based air groups

Naval Air Groups
The Land-Based Japanese
Navy Air-Groups



Japanese navy landing forces

Naval Landing Forces 1928-1945
Japanese Special Naval Landing Forces (SNLF),
Landing Forces (SNLF) 海軍特別陸戦隊



japanese secret weapons and technologies

Secret Weapons of the IJN
The secret weapons and teachnologies
of the Imperial Japanese Navy



strategic plans and doctrines of the IJN

Strategic Plans of the IJN
The strategic doctrines and
plans of the IJN

▽ Simulations & Wargames

▽ World War II: Pacific Theater


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War in the Pacific: Admiral Edition
A computer-based simulation of
the entire Pacific War with incredible detail.



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The Empire of the Sun (2nd Ed.)
An strategy boardgame for the
Pacific War with solitaire playability.



pacific war boardgame

Pacific War
A fantastic monster game for the
Pacific War with many scenarios.



pacific war 2nd edition boardgame

Pacific War (2nd Ed.)
The 2nd Edition of the masterpiece
Pacific War game is coming soon!

▽Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)


organization of the JMSDF

The organization of the JMSDF
The units and structure of
the Modern Japanese Navy (JMSDF)



districts of the jmsdf

The Regional District Forces
The locations and bases of the
five regional districts of the JMSDF



DDH helicopter destroyers of the jmsdf

Helicopter Destroyers DDH
The modern helicopter destroyers
of the Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force



DDG Guided missile destroyer of the JMSDF

Guided Missile destroyers DDG
The advanced guided missile destroyers
of the Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force



DD destroyers of the JMSDF

Destroyers DD
The destroyers of the
Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force



Landing Tank ships of the jmsdf

Tank Landing Ships LST
The tank lading ships of the
Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force



submarines of the jmsdf

Submarines SS
The submarine fleet of the
Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force



auxiliary ships of the jmsdf

Support and Auxiliary ships
Patrol and other support ships of the
Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force



aviation and helicopter units of the jmsdf

The aviation of the JMSDF
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force aircrafts
and helicopter fleet



naval landing forces of the jmsdf

Naval landing forces of the JMSDF
The naval forces for landings
of the JMSDF



new weapons of the jmsdf

Future projects of the JMSDF
New coming units and future
developments of the JMSDF



strategy of the jmsdf

The strategy of the JMSDF
The current doctrine and
strategy of the JMSDF



strategy of the jmsdf

News & manoeuvres
News and military
exercises of the JMSDF

▽ Simulations & Wargames

▽ World War II: European Theater


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Unconditional Surrender
A boardgame with innovative mechanics
for the entire World War II in European Front.



supreme commander

The Supreme commander
A strategic game at corps/army level
for the World war II in Europe.




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