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Does the Izumo Represent Japan Crossing the "Offensive" Rubicon?

Does the Izumo Represent Japan Crossing the “Offensive” Rubicon?

This is part two of the five-part series on Japan’s security policy as it stands in 2013.  Part one focused on constitutional issues regarding the interpretation of “war potential.” On August 6 last week the JMSDF unveiled its new helicopter “destroyer,” the Izumo (22DDH).[1] While much media and diplomatic fuss has been made about this...

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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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The End of the Twisted Diet: Japanese Security Policy and the Controversies to Come?

The End of the Twisted Diet: Japanese Security Policy and the Controversies to Come?

Over the last two months a significant amount of media coverage on Japan’s security policy evolution has dominated the online sphere. Concerns have been raised about Japan having “offensive aircraft carriers,” developing amphibious capabilities, planning to acquire preemptive strike capabilities, and engaging in debate about Japan exercising its right to collective self-defense. To be sure...

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Medium: Japan: Flat-Tops or Not?

Medium: Japan: Flat-Tops or Not?

  My first article at Medium is out, on Japan’s recent history of naval aviation and future prospects for aircraft carriers. You’ll find it here.

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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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NY Times: "Japan Shifting Further Away From Pacifism"

NY Times: “Japan Shifting Further Away From Pacifism”

To be sure, the article itself is solid and talks to all the right people, including Professor Richard Samuels and Associate Professor Michishita Narushige who are both outstanding scholars of Japan’s security strategy. Ultimately, despite appearances below, the article doesn’t bother me all that much. But it provides a good opportunity to reflect on a few...

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The Japanese Election, the LDP's Manifesto, and Defense

The Japanese Election, the LDP’s Manifesto, and Defense

The Liberal Democratic Party, the party likely to gain the most seats in the upcoming election, has put out an election manifesto with two not particularly new but nonetheless interesting proposals. 1) For Japan to embrace exercising its right to collective self-defense (集団的自衛権行使) if necessary, either by constitutional change or constitutional reinterpretation if necessary. 2)...

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The Atlantic — Japan and the U.S: It’s Time to Rethink Your Relationship

I have an article up at The Atlantic on the U.S. – Japan alliance titled, “Japan and the U.S. It’s Time to Rethink Your Relationship.” Give it a read and have a great weekend.  

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The Kageura Survey: Japan, the U.S., Nukes, Missiles, and Women

JASDF Colonel Seiki Kageura, an international fellow at Brookings, wrote a paper on how think tankers and the media view Japan entitled, “Japan’s Defense Policy: The View From Washington D.C.” (PDF). The survey — and the responses by think tankers to the survey — stirred up some things I’d been thinking about for some time....

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Japanese Think Tank Fellow on American Think Tanks Thinking About Japan

Japan Air Self Defense Colonel Seiki Kageura, a 2012 International Security Fellow at Brookings, conducted a survey of American think tankers and what they think about Japan. You can read it here (PDF). Why think tankers? During this research, the author focused on American think tanks because they are home to many of the experts...

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Japan's Regional Security Environment and Possibilities for Conflict

Japan’s Regional Security Environment and Possibilities for Conflict

The next 5 months could be one of high drama and tension in East Asia geopolitics due to various leadership transitions and elections. In South Korea we have already seen election year sensitivities coming to have real life policy consequences with the last-minute cancellation of the ACSA/GSOMIA military accords between Japan and the ROK. With the presidential...

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The New Japanese Defense Minister and the Japanese Media Response

The New Japanese Defense Minister and the Japanese Media Response

Much like with the previous two defense ministers, the Japanese media has not let the selection of Professor Morimoto go without comment, albeit for quite different reasons this time around. One narrative was that of the selection potentially leading to improved relations between the Noda administration and the Obama administration. The US Department of Defense...

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