arms control
Two Large Steps for the Australia-Japan Relationship on the Horizon?

Two Large Steps for the Australia-Japan Relationship on the Horizon?

Two very interesting pieces of news have surfaced in the last two days regarding the Australia-Japan relationship. On Wednesday morning (日) in New York, Japan and Australia, on the heels of the recent two-plus-two dialogue in Sydney, agreed to further deepening of the strategic partnership, and explicitly committed themselves to making a breakthrough on the Economic Partnership Agreement...

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The F-35 and long-term implications for the US-Japan alliance

The F-35 and long-term implications for the US-Japan alliance

Credit where credit is due, Professor Hornung has written a very timely and useful piece on whether the F-35 selection by Japan could end up doing damage to the US-Japan alliance relationship. He straightforwardly details the difficult situation Japan will be in if cost and delivery delays increase. He ends with the very appropriate question:...

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The Chief Cabinet Secretary's Statement on Arms Exports

The Chief Cabinet Secretary’s Statement on Arms Exports

A summary of the Noda Cabinet’s decision on Japan’s arms’ export policy has been circulating through the media and appearing in various online editions. I have just downloaded the official document that was distributed to the media at the reporters meeting with Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura, which represents the actual changes to the policy. This...

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Japan's 'Three Principles of Arms Exports' about to enter a new phase

Japan’s ‘Three Principles of Arms Exports’ about to enter a new phase

At today’s meeting of the Japanese Security Council (安全保障会議) the proposal to relax Japan’s ‘Three Principles of Arms Exports’ (武器輸出三原則 – hereafter, the ‘Three Principles’) will be tabled and agreed to. The information will be publicly promulgated by way of a Chief Cabinet Secretary Statement (官房長官談話). That this is finally happening is not much of...

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Japan's Arms Export "Ban" Up for Discussion Again

Japan’s Arms Export “Ban” Up for Discussion Again

A Ministry of Defense committee of experts (Defense Manufacturing and Technology Base Research Committee  [防衛生産・技術基盤研究会]), chaired by the well-known Japanese IR analyst Takashi Shiraishi of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, announced in an interim report that Japan should look again at reviewing the collective ban/restrictions on arms exports.1 The main justification put forward for this...

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Asian Security Blog: Japan’s Defense Future

JSW pal Robert Kelly at Asian Security Blog recently asked me to do a guest post on Japan's defense future. It turned into a two-parter.

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UAVs and Beyond: The Significance of This Year's Miyakojima Run

UAVs and Beyond: The Significance of This Year’s Miyakojima Run

The recent sighting of a shipborne Chinese UAV only partly explains the importance of this year's training exercise: it was a display of China's growing naval capabilities and technological development.

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Japan bends arms export rules

Japan bends arms export rules

The biggest piece of news concerning the Self-Defense Forces this week is Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa’s announcement that Japan will sell used propellors from the MSDF’s US-1A flying boats. The propellors will be used to supply the Afghan military with some refurbished transport planes. The US approached Japan secretly in August 2010 to ask for...

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Cost disparity between Japanese and US military hardware

Cost disparity between Japanese and US military hardware

With Japan scaling back its defense budget, it is important to understand how the country spends its money. One of the areas often forgotten by general observers is the sheer cost at which Japan purchases its hardware. Japan pursues an informal policy of building whatever it can within the country, either through domestic research and...

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Japan’s cluster munitions inventory: 14,011

    This blog has been following Japan’s status as signatory to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The short version: Japan agreed to do away with all cluster munitions in its inventory, and must be rid of them entirely within 8 years. But how many does Japan have? Well, now we know the answer: 14,011....

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