arms exports
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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F-X Delays Bring About End to 55 Straight Years of Domestic Fighter Production

F-X Delays Bring About End to 55 Straight Years of Domestic Fighter Production

Weekly Diamond considers the future of Japanese fighter production with the F-X program and beyond as Japan shuts down its domestic fighter production with the final delivery of the F-2.

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Japan: New Gov't Continuing Arms Export Ban Rethink

Japan: New Gov’t Continuing Arms Export Ban Rethink

Yasuo Ichikawa, Japan's latest Defense Minister, has stated that Japan will continue to look into modifying Japan's unofficial arms export ban.

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Is PM Kan Holding the FX Program Hostage?

Is PM Kan Holding the FX Program Hostage?

Sankei: Pretending to be an expert → becomes increasingly confused → dodges responsibility by retracting his statement. This is the change Kan underwent when faced with the nuclear incident, and now he cannot be excused from this FX selection blunder either.

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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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What did the recent "2+2" talks actually accomplish?

What did the recent “2+2″ talks actually accomplish?

    The East-West Center in one of its Asia Pacific Bulletins has a 2 page report by Stimson’s Yuki Tatsumi that sums up the current situation in the US-Japan alliance as well as any. Tatsumi argues that the long list of “Common Strategic Objectives” that was produced after the 2+2 meeting probably revealed that the...

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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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Nukes, Carriers and Boomers: The Dream of General Tamogami

Nukes, Carriers and Boomers: The Dream of General Tamogami

Tamogami wants Japanese rearmament. He wants a nuclear deterrent for Japan. He wants nuclear propulsion for ships. He wants cruise missiles. He wants aircraft carriers. In short, he wants all of the things many countries already have.

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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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Protecting South Korea's West Sea Islands: Israel's Spike Missiles

Protecting South Korea’s West Sea Islands: Israel’s Spike Missiles

South Korea wants to purchase 50 Spike anti-tank missiles from Israel and would like to deploy them on Yeonpyeong island by mid-2012, Yonhap News reported on Monday. The island, which was hit by North Korean artillery last November, is only 12 km from North Korea’s coast. It is part of a group of islands known...

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"Pursue F-X program to maintain skills" - Japanese industry

“Pursue F-X program to maintain skills” – Japanese industry

While the international defense industries continue to pitch their fifth-generation fighters to Japan, Japanese domestic defense manufacturers (namely Mitsubishi, Fuji, and Kawasaki Heavy Industries) are pressing the government to supply funds to their F-X programs for a domestically-produced fighter (such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industry’s ATD-X [see above and bottom]). With the F-35 seemingly at the...

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