Undergraduate and

Ocean Science and Engineering Graduate Programs

Japan's Defense Academy in Yokusuka, south of Tokyo, trains officers for all three military services: Ground, Maritime, and Air. The program is strongly focused on Engineering with 14 major programs, but with 2 Social Science majors given at the undergraduate level. A Post-graduate Master's degree program was started in 1962 and includes aerospace engineering, applied physics, geoscience engineering, materials engineering and operations research. Ocean engineering programs are placed in both the Mechanical Engineering and Geoscience Engineering programs. This report focuses on the Ocean Sciences program. The research facilities are being modernized and expanded with several new flumes and test tanks for coastal engineering and ship hydrodynamic studies just completed. Computer image processing facilities have been developed to support research in air-sea interactions particularly during sea-ice conditions recently have been improved. Underwater acoustics can be studied using three high pressure specially designed chambers.

by Pat Wilde


As of 15 August 1992, the Japanese government has authorized the use of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces as part of the peace keeping operations of the United Nations, initially in Cambodia. This is a controversial break with the tradition, anchored in the post World War II Japanese Constitution, of military non-interference in the affairs of other nations. This policy was part of the down-grading of the military of Japan and its influence in the government after their defeat in World War II. The Japanese government was criticized during the Gulf War of 1990-91 for not taking a more active role on the Allied side, that is sending combat troops; particularly as Japan had vital energy supplies and interests in the Gulf. Also, Japan would like to play a more important role internationally, commensurate with its global economic power, perhaps even gaining a seat on the United Nations Security Council. With these criticisms and goals in mind, the Japanese government has decided to take the unpopular step of sending troops outside Japan and risk the charge of reinstituting militarism. Thus the role of the Self-Defense Forces will change in the post Cold War world and the training of its officers will come under increasing scrutiny. The following is a brief glance at the formal officer training Academy and reflects pre-Peace Keeping role of the Self Defense forces.

The Japanese National Defense Academy is the combined service academy of Japan training cadets to become officers in the Ground, Maritime and Air Self Defense Forces. The campus is on 160 acres on the Obara-dai plateau by the shores of Tokyo Bay just south of the American Naval base at Yokusuka. Originally the location was part of the harbor defense system for Tokyo Bay. After World War II it was used as a U.S. artillery base until reversion back to the Japanese government. The Academy, initially called the National Safety Academy, admitted its first class in April 1953 with 400 cadets. In 1953 the authorized strength was increased to 530 to accommodate cadets for the newly formed Air Defense Force. Initially the curriculum was only in Engineering, however in 1974 Social Sciences courses were added. Post-Graduate education with a Master's degree program was started in 1962. This curriculum includes aerospace engineering, applied physics, electronic engineering, geoscience engineering, materials engineering, and operations research. In the spring of 1992 the first women cadets were enrolled. Thus the Academy is an amalgam of West Point, Annapolis, and Colorado Springs, plus a bit of the Naval Post-Graduate School at Monterey. Unlike the American military academies, there is no service commitment after graduations. In recent years, up to 20 percent of the class have declined commissions. This is understandable, considering the strong anti-military feelings in Japan after its defeat in World War II.



Academic Department are Liberal Arts, Social Sciences, Foreign Languages, Physical Education, Mathematics and Physics, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Applied Physics, Aerospace Engineering, Computer Sciences, Material Science and Engineering, Ground Defense Science, Maritime Defense Science, and Air Defense Science.

Majors are assigned upon instruction from the National Defense Agency and the present distribution is shown below

Major Ground Maritime Air

Force Force Force Total



Math and Phys. 11 4 5 20

Geoscience 8 3 4 15

Electrical Eng. 18 7 8 33

Electronics 18 7 8 33

Communicat. Eng. 18 7 8 33

Mech. Eng. 20 8 5 33

Precision Eng. 20 8 5 33

Mechanical Sys. 20 8 5 33

Civil Eng. 30 0 3 33

Applied Chem. 23 5 5 33

Applied Phys. 17 6 10 33

Aerospace Eng. 12 15 35 62

Computer Sci. 19 6 8 33

Material & Eng. 19 6 8 33


Management Sci. 24 5 6 35

Internat. Rel. 23 5 7 35




Post Graduate Studies

In 1962, a Postgraduate program in Science and Engineering was started. It was open to National Defense Academy graduates and civilian officials in the National Defense Agency with a bachelor's degree. About 90 students are selected each year through an entrance examination. The program is for two years and is intended to be the equivalent of a master's program. Candidates are expected to complete 32 credits, write a thesis, and pass a examination for graduation. Departments with Major areas of study are as follows:

Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace Vehicle Dynamics

High Speed Aerodynamics

Propulsion Engineering

Guidance and Control


Helicopter Engineering I

Helicopter Engineering 11

Applied Physics

Solid-State Physics for Electronics

Underwater Acoustics

Ballistics & Fire Control

Applied Electromagnetics

Materials Science

Combustion Science

Electronic Engineering

Signal Transmission

Communications Theory

Electronic Circuits

Electronic Materials

Electronic Computation


Precision Measurements

Space Communications

Geoscientific Engineering

Structural Engineering

Structural Dynamics

Soils Engineering



Ocean Engineering

Materials Engineering

Rocket Propellants



Organic Materials

Radiation Measurements

Mechanical Engineering

Material Science of Iron and Steel

Prime Mover

Automatic Control

Precision Mechanics

Land Vehicle

Naval Hydrodynamics

Ship Structure and Design

Strength & Fracture of Material

Machining and Forming

Operations Research

Operations Analysis

Applied Probability

Systems Engineering

Planning & Control

Programs in Ocean Science and Engineering are divided among several departments: Applied Physics (Underwater Acoustics); Mechanical Engineering (Naval Hydrodynamics and Ship Structure and Design) and Geoscientific Engineering (Meteorology, Ocean Engineering).


Research at the Defense Academy is of two types: (1) long-term programs essentially equivalent to that done under professorial supervision at US Universities and (2) short term student projects. With only a master's program the student projects must be doable in the short two year period allotted each graduate student. Accordingly, the Defense Academy's graduate program is very similar to that of the Monterey Naval Post Graduate School.

Applied Physics: Underwater acoustics - Prof. Toshimitsu Kikuchi. Facilities include a high pressure chamber (3000 meters) for testing transducer materials at 100 kHz and 300 khZ, and two sound scattering pattern chambers.

Geoscientific Engineering: Meteorology - Prof. Genichi Naito (Dept. of Mathematics and Physics) Research is in three areas:

1. Atmospheric boundary layer physics- a. Turbulent characteristics of wind velocity, heat and moisture above ocean; b. Momentum and heat transfers between lower atmosphere and sea surface; and c. Strong wind in severe storms for design of big structures. 2. Oceanography- a. Sea ice dynamics; b. Wind waves. 3. Image data analysis on various kinds of earth science phenomena using by an image processing facilities/ computers. Real data is taken at a site at the northern tip of Hokkaido. Much of the sea ice studies is done from information collected from periodic photo flights near the research data station.

To handle and processes these photographs and other graphic sources, the Academy has a new (1991) Image processing facility center based on the R-VAX/7100 system. The system consists of three parts, i) high-speed, powerful image processor, nexus, ii) system-control computer, VAX4OOO, iii) four engineering workstations for displaying and analyzing image data. All computers are communicated with each other through a network. Various peripherals attached to VAX4OOO, including laser writers and magnetic tape drivers, are reachable from any computers in the system. Image displaying and analyzing softwares installed in VAX4OOO are also accessible under VAX/VMS Operating System from engineering workstations in our system. The image processor, nexus, adopts a 32-bit parallel cpu, T414 (Inmos Corporation), as a display processor and is especially suited for image processing. The nexus supports various styles of image data input/output. The NTSC/PAL camera, digital camera (CCD camera), and image scanner are prepared for data input, and the 35mm and polaroid camera are available for the representation of the results of image data analysis. Software for image data analysis also is installed.

Current research is on turbulent structure of wind flow over sea ice (in co-operation with Dr. Y. Sasaki of Japan Marine Science and Technology Center and Dr. H. Nakamura at the National Research Institute of Earth Sciences and Disaster Prevention) and sea ice image processed data on roughness, areal coverage and other properties derived from air photographs.

Geoscientific Engineering: Ocean Engineering- Prof. Toshiyuki Shigemura, Prof. Kenjirou Hayashi, and Prof. Kouji Fujima (Dept. of Civil Engineering). Research is done in a combination of Coastal Engineering field studies and experimental activities due in the Academy's newly constructed test tanks. Prof. Shigemura is conducting long-term studies on the shoreline profile of the island of Iwo Jima. This active volcanic island is rising while its shape is continuously being modified by coastal erosion and depositional processes. The site of the famous battle in World War II, the landing field on the island presently is being used by pilots both of the U.S. and Japanese armed forces for training exercises. Prof. Hayashi has two research projects. (1) Wave forces acting-on a cylinder in waves and its vibration looking at (a) characteristics of flow around a vertical circular cylinder in waves; (b) lift forces on a rigid vertical cylinder in waves; (c) vortex-excited vibration of a vertical cylinder in waves; and (d) forces acting on a vortex-excited vibrating cylinder in planar oscillatory flow. (2) Flow resistance in open channel specifically flow induced vibration of a tree in a open channel. The amplification of drag force and lift force acting on vibrating cylinder were evaluated. These experiments are being conducted in the newly constructed 40 meter open channel flume with both wave and currents being potentially generated by computer controlled system. Prof. Fujima is working on modelling the interaction of wind and waves with the long term goal of wave prediction. In addition to the wave tank, the Ocean Engineering staff has available a recently constructed model basin where various scale model harbor facilities, etc. can be tested

Mechanical Engineering: Two laboratories are doing research on Naval Architecture. The Structural Laboratory is using for student themes, the Stealth Submarine (Prof. Kawabe) and the design of training sailing ships (Prof. Mirigushio). The Ship Hydrodynamics laboratory, housed in the same building as the Civil Engineering test tanks and the acoustic test chambers has a major theme of the study of high-speed boats. Prof. Bessho is doing the theoretical work and Prof. Suzuki is doing the experimental studies. Experiments are now being done in the new (March 1991) High-speed circulating water channel. The channel is 5 meters long, 1.8 meters wide and 1.0 meter deep with a designed maximum speed of 2.8 meters per second. Prof. Suzuki has developed a special dynamometer to measure ship resistance modifying the work of Prof. Ikeda at Osaka University. The experimental dynamometer measures horizontal force, trim angle and center of gravity rise but is not affected by the water level rise with changes in speed. Tests are now underway with the ship model with a set trim but free to heave.


The Japanese Defense Academy will be entering a new phase of operations now that Japanese forces will be involved in United Nations peace keeping roles. However prior to that decision in the Summer of 1992, the facilities and particularly the graduate research facilities were being modernized. This upgrade and the free tuition plus the new status given the military may attract a wider variety of qualified student to seek a military career in the context of obtaining an excellent Engineering and Research background.