By Osakabe Yasuo, 374th Airlift Wing public Affairs
/ Published November 28, 2012
The New Sanno Hotel, Japan -- -- U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jan-Marc Jouas, Deputy Commander, United Nations Command, Korea (UNC-K); Deputy Commander, U.S. Forces Korea (USFK); Commander, Air Component Command, Republic of Korea/U.S. Combine Forces Command; and Commander, 7th Air Force, Pacific Air Forces, Osan Air Base, South Korea, traveled to Tokyo as a host and guest speaker at a reception honoring the 67th anniversary of the United Nations held Monday evening at the New Sanno hotel in Tokyo.
General Jouas addressed a group of Japanese and international dignitaries who gathered to honor the founding of the United Nations. Gen. Jouas took time to recognize the unprecedented commitment of the UNC and UNC(R) for almost 60 years in North Asia.
He further stated, "The support from United Nations Command Rear, U.S. Forces Japan, United Nations Command liaison officers located in Tokyo is essential to our mission. So, I thank all of you for your tremendous efforts and teamwork. The importance of our ability to flow United Nations Forces to Japan, as provided under the UN-Japan SOFA, cannot be overstated. It is a critical enabler to our response to crisis. Your gracious hosting of numerous senior level officers elected officials, defense, and foreign minister personnel is equally critical to their understanding of our mission and a critical contingency role of Japan and our U.N. bases."
On October 24, 1945, the United Nations officially came into existence with 51 founding member of states. After World War II engulfed much of the world, those countries pledged to work together to pursue a lasting peace. On June 25, 1950, global news headlined that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) attacked the Republic of Korea (South Korea) the Security Council declared the attack to be a breach of peace and recommended that Member States make forces available to a UN Unified Command under United States.
A month later, on July 24, 1950, Douglas MacArthur, Commander-in-Chief, Far East Command, was ordered to provide whatever assistance needed to repel this invasion. General MacArthur committed the absolute U.S. air and naval forces, and established General Headquarters of United Nations Command (UNC) in Tokyo, Japan.
The UNC supported the Republic of Korea through it Rear Command in Japan. After Japan regained its sovereignty on April 28, 1952, the U.S. and Japan exchanged notes governing Japanese support of U.N. action to provide for logistic support in Japan for the U.N. Forces fighting in Korea became imperative. Seven U.S. bases in Japan: Yokota Air Force Base, Camp Zama, Army Command, Navy Fleet Activities Command, Yokosuka, Navy Fleet Activities Command, Sasebo, Kadena Air Force Base, Marine Corps Air Station, Futenma, and Navy Fleet Activities Command, Okinawa, are designated as United Nation Command bases, under the UNC-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) Decrees.
The purpose of the UNC was to provide the core military and strategic direction for the UN forces involved in the Korean War and continues to support the Korean Armistice Agreement which was signed on July 27, 1953, ending open hostilities. UNC relocated its headquarters to U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, Seoul, Republic of Korea, in 1957.
After UNC headquarters moved to Korea, the United Nations Command-Rear was established to maintain provisions of the US-Japan SOFA at Camp Zama, Japan. Its primary functions as UNC-R are to insure the maintenance in force of the UN Forces - Government of Japan SOFA and to accomplish, in conjunction with military, civilian, and government agencies in Japan, necessary action concerning matters of interest to UNC. UNC-R relocated its headquarters to Yokota Air Base, Japan in 2007.