Senkakus
Japanese destroyer to visit China: Thawing Sino-Japanese relations (again)

Japanese destroyer to visit China: Thawing Sino-Japanese relations (again)

It has been announced that the JMSDF will be sending a destroyer on a good will visit to China next week. Why is this so significant? What are some implications?

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The Mainichi Rides Along with Japan's Senkaku Patrol

The Mainichi Rides Along with Japan's Senkaku Patrol

A reporter with the Mainichi Daily News goes on a ride-along on a MSDF P-3C Orion as it patrols the Senkaku archipelago. On this day, Oct. 13, I have been given the chance to come along with highly trained members of the MSDF’s 5th Aviation Group on a training flight over the East China Sea...

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ASDF Scrambles Against China Tripled On Last Year

ASDF Scrambles Against China Tripled On Last Year

The first half of FY2011, as Japan dealt with the aftermath of the Tohoku Earthquake, the ASDF was scrambled a record number of times in response to Chinese flights - triple the amount of scrambles over the same period in 2010.

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The First Step Towards a Protection of Secrets Law?

The First Step Towards a Protection of Secrets Law?

Following the Senkaku Islands incident last year, is it any wonder that the government is working hard on producing a Protection of Secrets Law?

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Where Are They Now? Chinese Skipper in Senkaku Brouhaha Growing Fat, Banned from Fishing

Where Are They Now? Chinese Skipper in Senkaku Brouhaha Growing Fat, Banned from Fishing

A year after his arrest by the Japan Coast Guard for fishing in Japanese territorial waters, Chinese fishing captain and “Hero of the Chinese People” Tan Qi Xiong is stuck on land, unable to go to sea. A reporter from the Mainichi Japan went to visit him at his home on the Taiwan Strait. Just...

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China, Korea, and Noda

China, Korea, and Noda

The temperature was turned up a little in diplomatic relations between China, Korea and Japan on the election of new Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko earlier this week, with both Chinese and Korean media and government sources questioning the suitability of Noda’s thoughts on historical issues. The first thing that needs to be said is that...

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JSDF Troops May Have to "Hitch a Ride" to Defend Their Own Country

JSDF Troops May Have to “Hitch a Ride” to Defend Their Own Country

SDF troops may need to "hitch a ride" with commercial transportation or U.S. military forces to get to remote Japanese territory. It's a bad idea.

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The GSDF's Nansei Garrisons: What Will They Look Like?

The GSDF’s Nansei Garrisons: What Will They Look Like?

Kyodo has a report on plans to install ground troops on the Nansei islands, and how such garrisons may resemble existing GSDF garrisons for Tsushima and northern Hokkaido. The ministry is eyeing reinforcing surveillance around Japan’s western border as the Self-Defense Forces is only sparsely dispatched in areas to the west of Okinawa’s main island,...

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News of the Obvious: Japan to Defend Itself if Invaded

News of the Obvious: Japan to Defend Itself if Invaded

Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano has stated that Japan will defend the Senkaku islands if they are invaded.

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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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China rocks the boat

China rocks the boat

It was a disturbing week for China-watchers. March 2nd saw the Chinese causing trouble with their neighbours: two Y-8 planes headed to the Senkaku islands causing the Japanese ASDF to scramble into action, illegal fishing inside Korean waters, and the harassment of Philippine vessels near the Spratly Islands. Add the other concerning news that there...

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ASDF scrambles to intercept Chinese planes in East China Sea

ASDF scrambles to intercept Chinese planes in East China Sea

At noon on March 2nd, two Chinese Y-8 naval airplanes were detected 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of the Senkaku islands, the closest ever approach by Chinese airplanes to the islands, according to the Ministry of Defense’s Joint Staff Office. The Air Self-Defense Force scrambled F-15J fighters to intercept the two Chinese planes, an “intelligence...

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