disaster relief
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.

Read more...
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?

Read more...
Recent SDF Deployments News

Recent SDF Deployments News

There have been three notable pieces of news regarding SDF deployments in the past week: Tornado Relief A tornado struck the city of Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, as well as other locations in Ibaraki and Tochigi on Sunday May 6th, damaging around 2000 buildings with surprisingly only one death (a 14 year old boy) and over...

Read more...

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.

Read more...
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.

Read more...

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.

GD Star Rating
loading...
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.

Read more...

News Flash: Tanaka Replaces Private Secretary, F15 Parts Lost 115 Times Since 2007, Shiga Requests SDF Snow Aid

There are a series of very important small pieces of news in the press today:

Defense Minister Tanaka Replaces Private Secretary

After several gaffes by the new defense minister, see Shisaku for an excellent list, Naoki Tanaka has replaced his private secretary and reinstated former Defense Minister Kitazawa’s secretary in hopes of releasing some of the incredible pressure he is under at the Diet.

An experienced defense policy professional, Manabu Mannami stepped down today after two years as private secretary, and Takahiro Yoshida returns to Ichigaya from the Ministry’s Defense Planning Bureau. Tanaka blames Mannami’s ineptitude for his poor Diet performance, and stated that he wanted to be prepared to deal with the current Budgetary Committee deliberations.  The Asahi states that officials at the ministry believe the change came at his wife’s requestMakiko Tanaka was Koizumi’s Foreign Minister and is a powerful Ozawa supporter.

 

F15 Parts Lost on 115 Occasions Since 2007

The Asahi reports that since 2007, there have been 115 incidents of parts falling from ASDF F15s mid-flight – of which only nine were reported to the local government, and only six were officially announced to the press. The ASDF says that small parts frequently drop off with little chance of damage, but local authorities complain that this information should be passed on regardless.

The study, made by the ASDF Staff Office, covers incidents spanning from April 2007 to December 2011. Most of the incidents involve bolts or screws dropping from the plane. By base, the figures are as follows:

  • Hyakuri (Ibaraki): 29 incidents
  • Nyutabara (Miyazaki): 22 incidents
  • Tsuiki (Fukuoka): 20 incidents
  • Komatsu (Ishikawa): 16 incidents
  • Chitose (Hokkaido): 14 incidents
  • Naha (Okinawa): 10 incidents
  • Gifu (Gifu): 2 incidents

 

SDF Deployed to Handle Shiga Snow

For the first time in 31 years, the SDF were requested to aid Shiga Prefecture with the record snowfall. The SDF were requested by Shiga and Kyoto Prefecutures following a record 87 centimeters of snow (as recorded in Maizuru, Kyoto). The snow has left 21 households and 56 people isolated in the town of Makino in Takashima, Shiga.

The SDF can be called into action by local authorities to deal with disaster situations, and they are frequently requested for help against heavy snow. For information on the involvement of the SDF in local snow operations, see my post from last year.

GD Star Rating
loading...
A Quick and Cheap Power Projection Alternative for Japan

A Quick and Cheap Power Projection Alternative for Japan

Over at the USNI Blog, Galrahn posted a link to a marketing article by the shipping company Maersk Line. Galrahn calls it “A Potential Plan B for Seabasing“. The article discusses converting Maersk commercial container ships into Afloat Forward Staging Bases, complete with everything from a 14 V-22 Osprey-capable flight deck to the ability to...

Read more...
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.

Read more...

Japan Echo Web: Behind the Scenes of Operation Tomodachi

Japan Echo Web translated an eye-opening interview with representatives of the GSDF and USMC covering the decision-making and background to the US relief mission following the Tohoku Earthquake.

Read more...
Natchan High-Speed Ferry: The SDF and the Use of Civilian Transportation

Natchan High-Speed Ferry: The SDF and the Use of Civilian Transportation

The movement of GSDF vehicles from Hokkaido to Kyushu demonstrates the utility of chartering civilian assets for military logistics, an issue very much in debate among Japan's defense experts

Read more...