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Special Security Team
Active (Kansai Airport Marine Guard) 1985 - 1996
(Special Security Team) 1996 - Present
Country Japan Japan
Branch Japan Coast Guard
Type Special Forces
Role Domestic Counter-Terrorism and Law Enforcement
Size 60 operators
Part of Directly under control of the Japan Coast Guard
Garrison/HQ Osaka Special Security Station, Kobe, Japan
Nickname(s) SST
Motto(s) Tsune ni sonaeyo (Always be ready)
Engagements Various anti-crime operations, Anti-North Korean spy ship skirmishes (1999-early 2002)
Coast Guard Captain (Name Unknown)
Small Japan flag on patch, Japan Coast Guard written in kanji and English on rear of tactical vest

The Special Security Team (特殊警備隊 Tokushu Keibitai?) is the official counter-terrorist unit of the Japanese Coast Guard. Formerly known as the Kansai International Airport Marine Guard, it was renamed after a period of reorganization. It is tasked with the rapid response to domestic terrorist and hijacking incidents against any ships in Japanese waters.

The SST is currently based at the Osaka Special Security Station of the 5th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters at Kobe.[1]


The origins of the SST is tracked back to the former Kansai International Airport Marine Guard in 1985. The former Marine Guard was formerly trained by US Navy SEALs[1] and the Japanese 1st Airborne Brigade.[2]

In 1989, KAMG operatives were involved in storming a Panama-registered vessel after receiving requests via radio for assistance in the East China Sea near Okinawan waters after British officers were attacked by Filipino crewmembers during a riot. All of the arrested crew members were then taken into custody. In 1992, the KAMG was deployed to guard ships carrying nuclear waste from France all the way to Japan, protecting them from any sort of staged attacks from any radical anti-nuclear activist groups.

After a period of reorganization, the KAMG changed its name to the Special Security Team[1] in 1996.[3]

The SST has seen action in engaging suspected North Korean infiltration ships intruding Japanese waters in Japanese and foreign news from 1999-2002.[2][4][5]

An SST has participated in several Proliferation Security Initiative exercises recently in Australia.[6]

The SST was also responsible for apprehending Sea Shepherd protesters in 2008 after they were confronted by crewmembers of the Nisshin Maru.[7]


The following ranks are observed from within the SST:[7]

  • Chief of Osaka Special Security Station (Rank - Coast Guard Captain)
  • Company leader (Rank - Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander)
  • 1st Special Security Team (8 Persons. Rank of Leader - Coast Guard Lieutenant)
  • 2nd - 7th Special Security Team (Organization similar to the 1st Special Security Team.)


Assault Rifles

Submachine Guns



Support Items

  • Pro-Tec helmet
  • PASGT helmet
  • Assault Goggles
  • Flashbang
  • Night Vision Goggles
  • Dräger diving equipment

See also



  1. The PM-9 was not adopted by the SST due to problems with the SMG for unspecified reasons; it is only used for training exercises.

External links

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