Vice Admiral (Ret’d) Otsuka Umio

Distinguished Fellow

Vice Admiral (Ret’d) Otsuka Umio was a RUSI Distinguished Fellow.

Vice Admiral (Ret’d) Otsuka Umio (meaning ‘Man of the Sea’ in Japanese) was born in 1960 in Tokyo, Japan. He graduated from the National Defense Academy, majoring in Mechanical Engineering, and was commissioned in 1984 as a surface warfare officer in the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF).

His command tours at sea include: Commanding Officer of Frigate JS TONE (DE234) and Commodore of Escort Division 21. His shore duties were mostly in the area of Naval Diplomacy, Education and Intelligence. He was Agenda Coordinator for the 8th Western Pacific Naval Symposium hosted by JMSDF in 2002 and was then appointed Japanese Senior National Representative to the U.S. Central Command from 2002 to 2003.

As Flag Officer, he was Vice President of the Maritime Command and Staff College (MCSC), Commander of Escort Flotilla TWO, Commander of the Training Squadron deployed to the Western Hemisphere for the Overseas Training Cruise 2011, Director General of C4I at Maritime Staff Office, Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of Self Defense Fleet and President of MCSC, where he took the initiative of establishing the Institute for Future Warfare Studies. His final post, before retirement on 20 December 2019, was as Director General of Defense Intelligence Headquarters at the Ministry of Defense.

He graduated from Staff Course at MCSC and Command and Staff Course at the Joint Staff College. He was awarded a Master’s in International Public Policy from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University in 1997.

His personal awards from foreign military include Legion of Merit (three times) from the United States of America and l’Ordre National du Merite (Chevalier) from the French Republic.