Katsutoshi Kawano

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Katsutoshi Kawano
Katsutoshi Kawano cropped 2 Phillip G Sawyer and Katsutoshi Kawano 20111013.jpg
in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture
on October 13, 2011
Born (1954-11-28) November 28, 1954 (age 62)
Kanagawa, Japan
Allegiance  Japan
Service/branch  Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
Years of service Since 1977 (Since 1977)
(39–40 years ago)
Rank JMSDF Admiral insignia (b).svg Admiral
Awards Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud

Katsutoshi Kawano (河野 克俊 Kawano Katsutoshi?, born November 28, 1954)[1] is a Japanese admiral who has served as the 5th Chief of Staff and the highest-ranking officer of the Japan Self-Defense Forces since 15 October 2014.[2] Prior to his appointment, he was the 31st Chief of Staff of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, the de facto navy of Japan.[3][4][5]


Kawano was born and raised in Kanagawa Prefecture. He attended the National Defense Academy of Japan, graduating in 1977 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He then joined the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, serving in a number of command and staff positions.

In 1991, then-Commander Kawano took command of the JS Oyodo, DE-231. In 1999, then-Captain Kawano took command of MSDF Escort Flotilla 3. In 2004, then-Rear Admiral Kawano took command of the MSDF Sasebo District. In 2008, Kawano took command of the Mine Warfare Force. His career was temporarily in jeopardy when a ship under his command, the JDS Atago (DDG-177), collided with a fishing boat and caused two fishermen to go missing.[6] In 2010, then-Vice Admiral Kawano became the Vice Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff Council. One year later, in 2011, he became Commander in Chief of the Self Defense Fleet.[7]

On 26 July 2012, Kawano was promoted to full Admiral and became Chief of Staff of the MSDF, replacing outgoing admiral Masahiko Sugimoto.[8] As MSDF Chief of Staff, he was deeply involved in the ongoing Senkaku Islands dispute.[9]

Awards and honors[edit]


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Military offices
Preceded by
Shigeru Iwasaki
Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff
Japan Self-Defense Forces

Preceded by
Masahiko Sugimoto
Chief of Staff
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

Succeeded by
Tomohisa Takei