domestic ops
Coast Guard to pick up retiring Hatsuyuki-class destroyers?

Coast Guard to pick up retiring Hatsuyuki-class destroyers?

The MSDF and Japan Coast Guard are in talks to push retiring Hatsuyuki-class destroyers into service patrolling the Senkaku islands to cover a shortage of mid-term vessel numbers.

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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.

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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?

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MSDF Helicopter Crashes into Sea, Pilot Missing

MSDF Helicopter Crashes into Sea, Pilot Missing

MSDF Seahawk goes down in Mutsu Bay, Aomori, after hitting the port-side of the Matsuyuki. Pilot is missing and the vehicle is lost.

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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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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.

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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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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.

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On the Exercise in Kyushu, Okinawa

On the Exercise in Kyushu, Okinawa

As media reporting on the current SDF exercises gets underway, the significant scale is clear to see as Japan charters private vessels to ferry troops and equipment and engages in exercises across Kyushu and Okinawa.

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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

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T-90s to Leave Higashi-Chitose for Oita Tomorrow Morning

T-90s to Leave Higashi-Chitose for Oita Tomorrow Morning

A local Hokkaido newspaper reports on the very slow journey to be taken by Hokkaido's 7th Division Type-90 tanks and other armored vehicles as they make their way to Kyushu for a major exercise.

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