analysis
SDF to Straits of Hormuz?

SDF to Straits of Hormuz?

The Japanese government is considering the possibility of an MSDF dispatch to the Straits of Hormuz, but it seems unlikely that they will agree to a deployment putting them up against Iran's navy.

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Motohiro Tsuchiya: Patriotic Geeks Wanted to Counter a Cyber Militia

The Association of Japanese Institutes of Strategic Studies published a commentary by Keio Prof. Motohiro Tsuchiya examining the need of the Japanese government strengthen its defense against cyber-warfare, no doubt in consideration of the recent hacking scandals that rocked Japan at the end of last year:

Japan was one of the first countries to introduce cyber security measures, having set up the National Information Security Center (NISC) under the Cabinet Secretariat in 2005. The initial concerns were primarily technical issues, exhibiting little awareness that cyber security has to do with national security and crisis management. However, since major cyber-attacks were carried out against the US and South Korea in July 2009, Japan has been making preparations on the assumption that it could be the next target. The government drew up a special national plan titled “Information Security Strategy to Protect Japanese Nationals” in May 2010.

The real challenge of such a strategy is whether the government can secure good experts to counter militias and mercenaries. The rewards that the government can offer would be too small for competent geeks. Even if the government succeeds in employing them, it would be vulnerable unless it keeps them committed long enough – think about the risk of them being hired by adversary forces after their stint in the government! Success hinges on whether the government can secure patriotic geeks.

Read more at the AJISS Commentary site

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Hajime Funada (LDP): Increasing Public Bond with the Self-Defense Force

Hajime Funada (LDP): Increasing Public Bond with the Self-Defense Force

Hajime Funada, an LDP politician, writes on the SDF's surge of goodwill following the Tohoku Earthquake.

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The Death of Kim Jong-il and Japanese Intelligence

The Death of Kim Jong-il and Japanese Intelligence

The Shukan Bunshun covers the poor handling of the death of Kim Jong-il by Japanese intelligence and, more seriously, Japanese politicians.

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Nippon.com: A Review of the Three Principles on Arms Exports

Great little reader over at Nippon.com today:

Late 2011 saw the third review of the Three Principles on Arms Exports since their creation in 1967. How does the latest phase of review differ from the past two? Defense specialist Murayama Yūzō looks at the history of the reviews and what direction future policy should take.

Read more at Nippon.com

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Nippon.com: Japan’s Diplomatic Agenda for the Asia-Pacific

Jiji Press commentator Yoshikatsu Suzuki discusses the way ahead for Japanese diplomacy in 2012, focusing relevantly enough on the Philippines, which recently offered the US a chance at a new base – an offer the US has turned down, and the Indian Ocean, in whose ports Suzuki sees Japan needing to gain a presence. It makes for an interesting look at some of the contemporary issues affecting Japanese foreign policy.

The year 2012 marks the start of efforts to build a new order in the Asia-Pacific region. The world faces a number of difficult issues and situations whose outcome is in doubt: the Arab Spring, the European crisis, Iran’s nuclear program, and the outlook for North Korea after the death of Kim Jong-il. Now is the time for writing new rules and formulating new frameworks for an era of change. Things are already beginning to stir on the political stage, with changes of government, scheduled or otherwise, likely in a number of countries in the near future.

Read more at Nippon.com.

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Monday Morning Reading for 01/16

Monday Morning Reading for 01/16

Start your week with JSW's Monday Morning Reading, with some of the more in-depth articles we came across to keep you going throughout your working week.

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Ichikawa Gone, Tanaka In

Ichikawa Gone, Tanaka In

Prime Minister Noda selects Naoki Tanaka as the next Minister of Defense, but is he the right man for the job?

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Jeffery W. Hornung on the Futenma Impasse (Link)

As the US turns to Asia, Jeffrey W. Hornung of CSIS presses on the need to fix the realignment plan and push ahead in the context of US strategy:

A resolution [to the Futenma realignment problem] is required because as the United States pivots to the Asia-Pacific region, it is imperative to know what the U.S. force posture is going to look like and how Japan fits in this strategy, and then work to implement it. Excess focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. Marine presence in Okinawa diverts attention away from the sizable role to be played by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force at Yokosuka and Kadena in the event of a regional contingency. The region is rapidly changing, and the quicker the problems of realignment are settled, the quicker the United States and Japan can adapt to meet those changes.

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2011 and Japan: Highlighting the Positive Role of the SDF

2011 and Japan: Highlighting the Positive Role of the SDF

JSW contributor James Simpson offers his take on the most important security development for Japan and its neighborhood over the past year: better societal-military relations in Japan.

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Is F-35 the Right Choice for Japan?

Is F-35 the Right Choice for Japan?

Examining some of the perspectives that grew out of international media coverage of Japan's decision to purchase the F-35 as a replacement to its aging fleet of F-4 Phantoms.

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Discussion: North Korean Mobile ICBMs - Implications for Japan

Discussion: North Korean Mobile ICBMs – Implications for Japan

JSW readers discuss the implications of news that North Korea is developing road-mobile ICBMs capable of reaching Japan.

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