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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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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 mainstay of the Air Self...

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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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Senkaku Breakthrough: Taiwan and Japan agree on fishing rights

Japan and Taiwan have signed a ground-breaking agreement on fishing rights that leaves China isolated in the territorial dispute over Senkaku/Diaoyutai islands. According to Taipei Times, major elements of the agreement are: intervention-free fishing zone for Taiwanese fishing boats in waters between 27° north latitude and the Sakishima Islands, Okinawa Prefecture; furthermore, Taiwan is given...

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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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To Counter China, Defense Ministry Considering F-15s at Civilian Airport

Well, this is certainly interesting: Japan is considering using a civil airfield in the Ryukyu islands to base F-15s, because those based on Okinawa are too far away. The planes would be stationed on Shimojijima Island, which is much closer to the Japan-administered Senkakus, which China claims as the Diaoyu, than to Okinawa’s prefectural capital...

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Japan to Sell Subs to Vietnam?

Japan to Sell Subs to Vietnam?

A little late off the mark with this one, but a few interesting pieces of information that might be worth watching out for in 2013. Martin Fackler has written an interesting article over at the New York Times which details Japan’s increasing security influence in Southeast Asia, covered often here at JSW. Some of the...

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Senkakus/Diaoyu Islands Standoff De-Escalates

When China describes something as a “core interest”, it’s time to sit up and pay attention. A core interest is exactly what it sounds like — something that China views as essential to China’s economy and security. Perhaps more importantly the core interest label tends to denote something that China believes is not open to...

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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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Everything You Want to Know About Japan's Marines

Everything You Want to Know About Japan’s Marines

Japan’s burgeoning amphibious warfare capability has been in the news lately, as Japanese troops have been exercising with U.S. Marines on the island of Guam. This is not exactly a new thing, and has been in the works for some time now. In fact, it probably would have been buried again had the exercises, planned...

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Build Your Own Japan Maritime Self Defense Forces

Build Your Own Japan Maritime Self Defense Forces

Since the end of the Cold War, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Forces have slowly been acquiring new roles and missions. Ballistic missile defense, anti-piracy at the Horn of Africa, refueling NATO ships in the Indian Ocean, not to mention dealing with the rise of a belligerent China. The MSDF is facing a more diverse set...

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Japan's New Defense Minister: Morimoto Satoshi

Japan’s New Defense Minister: Morimoto Satoshi

As mentioned by James Noda has selected Takushoku Professor Morimoto Satoshi to replace Tanaka Naoki as Defense Minister. While he is an academic and Japan’s first non-politician (民間人) Defense Minister/JDA Chief since the establishment of the JDA in 1954, he is certainly not short on experience and knowledge of both defense issues and the political system....

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