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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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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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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Japanese Media: Taiwan-Japan Fishing Deal Strategically Significant

Following on from Michal Thim’s ASW post, which contains the details of the deal, the Japanese media reaction has been illuminating, and it appears to be the number one story alongside North Korean missiles on most Japanese news sites. Something appeared to be stirring in late March when it was reported in the Japanese media...

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NY Times: "Japan Shifting Further Away From Pacifism"

NY Times: “Japan Shifting Further Away From Pacifism”

To be sure, the article itself is solid and talks to all the right people, including Professor Richard Samuels and Associate Professor Michishita Narushige who are both outstanding scholars of Japan’s security strategy. Ultimately, despite appearances below, the article doesn’t bother me all that much. But it provides a good opportunity to reflect on a few...

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Japanese Media Now Openly Talking about Japan-Australia Soryu Deal

Japanese Media Now Openly Talking about Japan-Australia Soryu Deal

Today the Nikkei featured an article (日) that raised once again the possibility of Japan transferring the technology underpinning the prized Soryu submarine to Australia. The article did not offer much additional detail about how the process from here is likely to unfold, although it did frame the technology transfer as part of a supposedly mutual...

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PRC in 1950: "Senkaku Islands" as Part of Okinawa?

PRC in 1950: “Senkaku Islands” as Part of Okinawa?

Jiji Press in Japan went big yesterday (日) on an exclusive revolving around historical PRC government documents related to PRC awareness of the territorial dispute over the islands, publishing a number of articles and commentaries in rapid fire succession. The Japanese government’s position has been that the PRC, at least, only made a claim to the islands after...

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First Application of Japan's New Arms Exports Principles to a PKO

First Application of Japan’s New Arms Exports Principles to a PKO

One of the many justifications that the Japanese government referred to in revising Japan’s weapons export restrictions was the potential to assist nations being rebuilt after a conflict or humanitarian disaster.  Previously the SDF was unable to leave behind any heavy machinery or other equipment that may have been useful to such nations. Today, the...

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