analysis

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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Tekken At Sea: Japanese Destroyer vs. Chinese Frigate

Tekken At Sea: Japanese Destroyer vs. Chinese Frigate

Last week a Chinese Jiangwei-II (Type 053H3) class frigate locked its fire control radar on a Japanese destroyer. The name of the Chinese frigate was not mentioned, but the Japanese destroyer involved in the incident was JS Yudachi (DD-103), of the Murasame class. After being lit up by the Chinese radar, Yudachi took evasive action....

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On the Misuse of the Reconstruction Budget

On the Misuse of the Reconstruction Budget

James Simpson takes issue with the reporting of misuse of reconstruction budget funds by the Ministry of Defense.

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Time For a Reform of the SDF Reserves?

Time For a Reform of the SDF Reserves?

Only 17.1% of reservists were able to be called-up following the March 11th Earthquake. With the Finance Ministry looking to cut the fat, is it time to take another look at the Reserves?

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Tanaka Out, Morimoto In: Noda's 3rd Defense Minister

Tanaka Out, Morimoto In: Noda’s 3rd Defense Minister

After 5 months of ineptitude, not all of it his own fault, Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka - censured in the Diet - is replaced by Satoshi Morimoto. Is there a brighter future for Ichigaya?

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Japanese Cameras Catch Chinese Naval UAV Again

Japanese Cameras Catch Chinese Naval UAV Again

The Japanese MSDF once more catches a Chinese UAV in flight, but with shots of the deck, might we also learn more of the capacity of the ships carrying them?

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Japanese Light Aircraft Carrier Design: A Critique

Japanese Light Aircraft Carrier Design: A Critique

  ChinaSMACK has a post up on Chinese netizens’ reaction to a Japanese magazine article. The article in question included an artist’s impression of the ATD-X/Shinshin/F-3 fighter downing a Chinese J-20 fighter. Netizen reactions ranged from nationalistic to bemused. Of more interest however is the article the image was taken from, which depicts an indigenous...

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Thin Pinstriped Line on Anglo-Japanese Defense Industry Cooperation

For a better analysis of what the recent news on the possibility of Japan and Britain developing defense industry ties, check out the following post by British blogger “Sir Humphrey”:
That said, it is important to be realistic about how much can really be achieved by the signing of this accord. This authors strictly personal view is that it is going to be unlikely to see Japan shifting allegiance to the Eurofighter, and ditching its F35 buy. Indeed, the likelihood of Japan purchasing Eurofighter was always slim, when one considers that the near entirety of the Japanese military is either sourced from US derived designs, or designed to operate with the US.

Even so, there is the possibility of lower level co-operation which could lead to mutual projects of interest, but again it is unlikely to see the Japanese buying into the T26 design. The Japanese have their own national ship design capabilities that they would wish to protect, and its unlikely that their government would willingly sacrifice this hard won capability in order to buy into the T26. What is more likely is the possibility of co-operation in either weapons or ancillary materials – for instance engines or propulsion systems.

Read more over at Thin Pinstriped Line

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UK and Japan to Discuss Defense Industry Cooperation

UK and Japan to Discuss Defense Industry Cooperation

British PM Cameron will discuss UK-Japan defense technology sharing with PM Noda in his upcoming visit to Japan, Mainichi reports

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Post-Disaster Opinion: China and the SDF

James Simpson takes a look at the Cabinet Office's recent survey on public attitudes toward the SDF, as well as a brief look at a small poll on Sino-Japanese opinion.

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A Tohoku Earthquake Retrospective...

A Tohoku Earthquake Retrospective…

One year on, James Simpson remembers the Tohoku Earthquake and considers the challenges its has posed, and those that continue to lie ahead.

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NBR on the Anniversary of the Tohoku Earthquake

Two very interesting interviews out of National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) looking at Japan one year on from the Tohoku Earthquake.

The first interview entitled ‘Policy Change in a Post-Crisis Japan’ has Richard J Samuels looking at national security through his own research, best seen in his 2007 book Securing Japan:

But there is debate about the lessons of their success for policy going forward. Those who say “put it in gear” have written a “wake-up call” narrative about March 11. They say, “Yes, the efficacy of the SDF and the alliance were demonstrated, but the real threat is not natural disaster. If we start thinking of the SDF merely as a humanitarian-assistance disaster-relief (HA/DR) operation, then we will be taking our eyes off the real threat. The real threats are China and North Korea, and we have to do more to deter them.”

The stay-the-course group offers a “proof of concept” narrative. They say, “What the self-defense forces and the alliance achieved is what we have been telling everyone that they could achieve for decades.” They insist that the effectiveness of the SDF demonstrated that the nation has something it should value and reward with better treatment.

The third group says that the successful deployment of the self-defense forces for rescue and relief after March 11 taught Japan that the SDF is best and most legitimate when it is carrying shovels, not guns. This group argues Japan should return to the true meaning of Article 9, and not be focused on armaments, but on the creation of a global disaster-relief function for the Japanese military.

Read the full interview at NBR

The second interview, ‘Fukushima One Year Later’, has Daniel Aldrich addressing the nuclear and civil society issues following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis:

While the physical landscape in towns like Rikuzentakata, Ofunato, and Minami Sanriku better resembles normalcy, the recovery process is only just beginning. A number of larger issues, such as the balance between the central government’s fiscal control over the recovery process and the desire of local governments to have more autonomy to pursue creative rebuilding efforts, remain unresolved. Other local-level concerns for Tohoku residents, such as issues of radioactive decontamination, counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder, and the long-term economic viability of these coastal communities, which often depend on fishing and canning industries, must be addressed through intergovernmental consultation. Some larger issues, such as the length of time for which evacuated villages will remain empty, and the creation of new no-build zones adjacent to low-lying, vulnerable areas will take considerable political will to tackle.

Read the full interview at NBR

These are part of a much broader retrospective running through the media both here and abroad, and we will be adding out voice here at JSW this weekend. In the meantime, what other excellent articles or documentaries have you seen addressing the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear issues? Let us know in the comments.

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