In Wake of F-22 Ban, Japan Forging Ties with Europe (With a Warning to America)

In Wake of F-22 Ban, Japan Forging Ties with Europe (With a Warning to America)

For more than forty years, as part of an alliance with the United States, Japan was allowed access to some of the very best fighters in the world. A string of American fighters, starting with the F-86 Sabre, then the F-104 Starfighter, F-4 Phantom and finally the F-15 provided the...

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Coast Guard to pick up retiring Hatsuyuki-class destroyers?

Coast Guard to pick up retiring Hatsuyuki-class destroyers?

The MSDF and Japan Coast Guard are in talks to push retiring Hatsuyuki-class destroyers into service patrolling the Senkaku islands to cover a shortage of mid-term vessel numbers.

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New Minister and a Change of Pace at Ichigaya

New Minister and a Change of Pace at Ichigaya

Incoming Defense Minister Onodera's foreign policy background and Ichigaya's new breeze of life over the New Year.

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MSDF Ships Visit Yokohama's Minato Mirai

MSDF Ships Visit Yokohama’s Minato Mirai

MSDF vessels put into Yokohama for a public open-day event. JSW's James Simpson was on the scene, unprepared but eager to serve.

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GSDF Chief of Staff Kimizuka Visits USS Bonhomme Richard

GSDF Chief of Staff Kimizuka Visits USS Bonhomme Richard

As the GSDF's 15th Brigade trains alongside the USMC, Gen. Eiji Kimizuka (GSDF Chief of Staff) visits the USS Bonhomme Richard to discuss the future of SDF-USMC interoperability.

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The Likely Contents of Abe's Collective Self-Defense Panel Report

The Likely Contents of Abe’s Collective Self-Defense Panel Report

The Advisory Panel on the Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security (「安全保障の法的基盤の再構築に関する懇談会」; hereafter the “Panel” or kondankai) will deliver their report within the next few days. This is after putting it off for three months out of consideration for the difficulties Abe was having with convincing the New Komeito to roll over on their 50...

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Unofficially Official: The U.S. Rebalance to Asia-Pacific and  the U.S.-Japan-Taiwan alliance

Unofficially Official: The U.S. Rebalance to Asia-Pacific and the U.S.-Japan-Taiwan alliance

Co-author: Misato Matsuoka* There is a lot of buzz about U.S. rebalancing policy, but at the end of the day it is not a massive policy change from the U.S. perspective and neither is it one from the perspective of U.S. allies and partners, old and emerging ones, in the region. The increase of a...

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Japanese Companies to Manufacture 10 percent of each of Japan's F-35As

Japanese Companies to Manufacture 10 percent of each of Japan’s F-35As

According to the August 22 Asahi Shimbun, it has been confirmed that Japanese companies Mitsubishi Electric and IHI will manufacture 24 components of the F-35 related to the engine and radar. These components normally would account for an estimated 10 percent of the total cost of an F-35A unit. As the manufacturing of these components...

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Does the Izumo Represent Japan Crossing the "Offensive" Rubicon?

Does the Izumo Represent Japan Crossing the “Offensive” Rubicon?

This is part two of the five-part series on Japan’s security policy as it stands in 2013.  Part one focused on constitutional issues regarding the interpretation of “war potential.” On August 6 last week the JMSDF unveiled its new helicopter “destroyer,” the Izumo (22DDH).[1] While much media and diplomatic fuss has been made about this...

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SDF Capabilities and War Potential

SDF Capabilities and War Potential

Introduction This is part one of a five-part series on pressing issues related to Japan’s security policy in 2013. The first issue that needs to be clarified given various media misunderstandings also provides essential background for the discussion of the subsequent three posts on helicopter “carriers,” amphibious capabilities, and preemptive strike capabilities. War Potential: Constitutional...

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The End of the Twisted Diet: Japanese Security Policy and the Controversies to Come?

The End of the Twisted Diet: Japanese Security Policy and the Controversies to Come?

Over the last two months a significant amount of media coverage on Japan’s security policy evolution has dominated the online sphere. Concerns have been raised about Japan having “offensive aircraft carriers,” developing amphibious capabilities, planning to acquire preemptive strike capabilities, and engaging in debate about Japan exercising its right to collective self-defense. To be sure...

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Medium: This War Game is a Warning to China

Medium: This War Game is a Warning to China

My second article at Medium, “This War Game is a Warning to China“, is now up. Have at it. Apologies for the late posting, I was on vacation in the Midwest.

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Medium: Japan: Flat-Tops or Not?

Medium: Japan: Flat-Tops or Not?

  My first article at Medium is out, on Japan’s recent history of naval aviation and future prospects for aircraft carriers. You’ll find it here.

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Dawn Blitz 2013: First Glance

This the first post on Dawn Blitz; I’ll do a second at the conclusion of the exercises, or if something really interesting comes up.  – KM I made a conscious decision to not attend Dawn Blitz 2013. I’ve covered a U.S. – Japanese exercise at Camp Pendleton before, and I had been frustrated by the...

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Australian Warship to 'Embed' with the Seventh Fleet

Australian Warship to ‘Embed’ with the Seventh Fleet

Very much under the radar comes the news that the Adelaide-class guided-missile frigate HMAS Sydney (FFG 03) is about to join the US Seventh Fleet, where it will be  ”embedded” with a US carrier strike group operating out of Yokosuka. Launched in 1980, the warship is only one of four guided-missile frigates operated by the RAN, and...

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WPR Global Insider: Military Dimensions of Japan-Vietnam Cooperation on the Rise

WPR Global Insider: Military Dimensions of Japan-Vietnam Cooperation on the Rise

Shameless Self Promotion Alert: I would like to direct readers to World Politics Review where I participated in an email interview on Japan-Vietnam security cooperation. This is a topic I could have gone into more depth on, and will at a later date, as it is an interesting and quietly taking place development.

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Japan and AirSea Battle

I recently finished listening to T.X. Hammes on the Midrats podcast for the second time. If you don’t listen to Midrats you should, particularly when they address Asia/Pacific. I think Sal gets Asia wrong at times, but he and Eagle1 ask good questions. They have good guests, and they let their guests talk (sometimes on and on...

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