The Japanese Special Operations Group is the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force’s counter-terrorist unit established by the former Japanese Defense Agency to counter terrorist activities and deter guerrilla-style attacks on Japanese land and to conduct military operations against guerrillas or enemy commandos.
The Japanese Special Operations Group has been referred to as Japan’s Delta Force. This is because of their specialised role in the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force. Delta Force personnel had been responsible for assisting the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force
in raising the Special Operations Group’s foundations prior to its establishment.
The Japanese Defense Agency, in 1998, had proposed the formation of a unit in the JGSDF that would handle tasks such as Counter-terrorism with a selected group of JGSDF soldiers from the 1st Airborne Brigade sent to the United States to be trained by Delta Force operators. At the same time, two platoons were created from the brigade as a means of creating the unit’s foundations. These consist of the G Platoon (Formation Unit) and the S Platoon (Research Unit).
The establishment of unit’s framework was completed in 2003, after 3 years of training and organisation.
On March 27, 2004, the Japanese Defense Agency had activated the unit as the Special Operations Group with the mandate under the Japanese Special Operations Group as its Counter-terrorist unit.
In 2005, the Special Operations Group had deployed four of its operators to serve as bodyguards for the Japanese commander of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force’s contingent in Iraq under the Japanese Iraq Reconstruction and Support Group.
On March 28, 2007, the Special Operations Group had merged with the 1st Airborne Brigade, the 1st Helicopter Brigade and the 101st NBC Protection Unit to create the Central Readiness Force.
The unit had changed its name on March 26, 2008 from Special Operations Group to Special Forces Group.
As part of regulating and protecting the identities of the various soldiers serving in the Special Forces Group, their faces are hidden in balaclavas and cannot be revealed except with authorization from their commanding officers. It is said that personnel cannot enter certain areas of their Narashino camp, such as the Special Forces Group barracks, unless they have the proper identification with them.