Shigeru Iwasaki

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Shigeru Iwasaki
SSG Skyler DeBoer of the 58th aircraft maintenance unit briefs General Shigeru Iwasak, Japan Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff on F-35 Lightning II maintenance and training.jpg
Iwasaki, left, being briefed by a member of the United States Air Force
Born (1953-02-03) February 3, 1953 (age 61)
Iwate Prefecture
Allegiance  Japan
Service/branch Japan Air Self-Defense Force
Years of service Since 1975 (Since 1975)
(40 years ago)
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Commands held Air Defense Command

Shigeru Iwasaki (岩崎茂 Shigeru Iwasaki?, born February 3, 1953) is the 4th and current Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff Council of the Japan Self-Defense Forces. A four-star General from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, Iwasaki is the highest-ranking military officer in Japan and ranks third in the overall chain of command (after the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense).[1][2][3]


Iwasaki was born and raised in Iwate Prefecture and attended Morioka Third High School. He attended the National Defense Academy of Japan, graduating into the Japan Air Self-Defense Force in 1975. He is trained to fly the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, Japan's primary jet fighter.[4]

In August 1991, then-Lieutenant Colonel Iwasaki took command of the 201st Tactical Fighter Squadron. In December 1997, then-Colonel Iwasaki took command of the 7th Air Wing. In January 2001, then-Major General Iwasaki took command of the 2nd Air Wing.[5]

In December 2010, General Iwasaki became the 31st Chief of Staff of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. As Chief of Staff, he spearheaded the effort to procure the fifth generation Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.[6][7]

In January 2012, General Iwasaki was promoted to be Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff Council, becoming the highest-ranking official in the Japan Self-Defense Forces.[8] He replaced GSDF General Ryuichi Ariki, and his Vice Chief of Staff is currently Kōichi Isobe. He has presided over a number of significant national security issues, including the renewed Senkaku Islands dispute and the possible revision of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution (following the Liberal Democratic Party's landslide electoral victory in December 2012).


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Military offices
Preceded by
Ryoichi Oriki
Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff Council
Japan Self-Defense Forces

Preceded by
Kenichiro Hokazono
Chief of Staff
Japan Air Self-Defense Force

Succeeded by
Haruhiko Kataoka