Japan’s Coast Guard celebrates its 70th year anniversary by showcasing its bad-assery: blocking terrorists, saving swimmers and cleaning the ocean.

This year is a huge milestone for Japan, in that it’s been 50 whole years since the official Coast Guard of the country was founded. While they’ve already splashed out by collaborating with Sanrio’s superstar Hello Kitty, the group also organized a celebration that requires no collabs or cute characters at all: a set of raw, high-definition video showcases of all the values that the Guard holds dear to its heart.

The videos didn’t make much of a splash, even up until the most recent video first uploaded on June 22, but social media did its job eventually.

“I’m so upset! Why is! No one! Talking about! The amazing promo videos! That the Japan Coast Guard! Worked so hard on!”


The YouTube channel seems fairly young, as its oldest upload was published just two months ago. The most recent video clocks in at an epic 11 minutes (not even the longest video they have!), and is jam-packed with all the things that make the Japan Coast Guard such an inspiring and necessary service.

▼ Make sure to crank it up to HD to enjoy it to the max!

The video breaks down the JCG’s jobs into categories under the broad umbrella of “protecting the ocean ~ because we love it“. The video is scored with some of the most heart-pumping epic rock you’ll ever hear outside of a movie ad, and we’re treated to a whole host of shots of the men and women of the Guard suiting up. Who knew there were so many outfits that Coast Guard employees could wear?

Our narrator helpfully tells us that Japan’s landmass is about 380,000 square kilometers around (about 26120 square miles) – but because of all the islands, inlets and surrounding areas, that means the water under the jurisdiction of the JCG is more like a whopping 4,470,000 kilometers (or 1072410 miles) cubed, meaning that the Guard probably has the largest and most widely spread workplace in all of Japan. They’re attending this massive office 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – though thankfully no one employee takes all those shifts back to back!

But what do these tireless employees do at the Coast Guard? The video answers in good time, don’t worry.

Number One: Protect the Sea!

First we’re shown a typical journey around the perimeters of Japan, complete with surveying equipment and a whole host of employees back at home base to report to. The narration explains that their job is to protect those borders with a cool head, 24/7, and make sure that no disturbances escalate into multinational incidents.

▼ A squad of JCG operatives practice a drill for infiltrating terrorist boats

The face that the Coast Guard presents in Japan is primarily that of a friendly, protective organization – and that doesn’t often translate in the minds of the public to having direct, dangerous confrontations with armed terrorists. The video explains that they practice all manner of scenarios in rigorous training drills, so their operatives are prepared for whatever might crop up.

Number Two: Protect Human Lives!

It’s no secret that the sea is a turbulent, dangerous frontier and you have to be prepared for worst case scenarios at all time. From sudden shipwrecks to the threat of drowning that comes from any body of water, the ocean is vast enough that you can go for hours without aid. So when that aid arrives, they had better be well-prepared!

▼ A trained diver rescues three people from the inside of a capsized Hachijoshima fishing boat

The video runs us through a whole list of video footage, including an airlift rescue from the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. The shots show off members from the guard acrobatically navigating across the ocean or bundling up soaked swimmers into airlift harnesses. There isn’t much margin for error in cases like this, so again we get a glimpse at the dedicated training regimens staff undergo so that success rates stay healthy.

▼ Air rescue training, ho!

Number Three through Five: Learn about the Sea! Prepare for Disasters! Connect the Oceans!

The last segment of the video is dedicated to the more famous aspects of the Japan Coast Guard’s career: when JCG staff appear to give talks at schools it’s usually under the banner of learning more about the environment and promoting health and safety. Even this common ground is refreshed with beautiful images from the many surveillance escapades the JCG takes to various small islands around Japan, and interviews from staff about the differences they make as part of the Guard.

One man enthuses about how he feels like he’s working to make his home a safe place to return to; a woman waxes lyrical about how the starry night sky looks better from out on the ocean than anywhere else.

▼ With views like this, doesn’t it make you want to protect Japan’s ocean too?

The other videos in the channel’s repertoire sport similarly inspiring visuals, with beautiful scores and action-packed scenes that could easily have sprung right out of an action movie. The Internet, having finally noticed the channel, responded with awe and gratitude: “Thank you so much for protecting our waters!” called many a commenter, while others praised the “super awesome music” and “movie-standard filming”.

I have a feeling subscription to the Japan Coast Guard might experience something of a boom in the coming months. After all, it’s summer, and where better to work in the Japanese heat than right by the ocean?  It might even boost your reputation with the ladies if you’re a male applicant!

Featured image: Youtube/海上保安庁
Source: YouTube/海上保安庁 via Hamster Sokuhou