Toshimi Kitazawa
Japan's 'Three Principles of Arms Exports' about to enter a new phase

Japan’s ‘Three Principles of Arms Exports’ about to enter a new phase

At today’s meeting of the Japanese Security Council (安全保障会議) the proposal to relax Japan’s ‘Three Principles of Arms Exports’ (武器輸出三原則 – hereafter, the ‘Three Principles’) will be tabled and agreed to. The information will be publicly promulgated by way of a Chief Cabinet Secretary Statement (官房長官談話). That this is finally happening is not much of...

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Fuji Firepower Review 2011

Fuji Firepower Review 2011

On Sunday, August 28th 2011, the GSDF held its extravagant annual public review at the Higashi Fuji Maneuver Area near Gotemba, Shizuoka. The live-fire spectacle costs a few hundred million yen, an incredible amount of taxpayer's money that this blogger was able to see being put to 'work'.

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Prime Minister Noda and Yasuo Ichikawa, his man at Ichigaya

Prime Minister Noda and Yasuo Ichikawa, his man at Ichigaya

Prime Minister Noda, son of a GSDF paratrooper, appoints an 'amateur' as Minister of Defense, reverses on expectations and disappoints security watchers.

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Protests as MSDF Aegis destroyer stops by civilian port in Okinawa

Protests as MSDF Aegis destroyer stops by civilian port in Okinawa

One official at the protest asked, "Is the shared use of civilian ports by military and civilians not the first step towards ports exclusively for the military?"

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Kitazawa: Bring Them In and Send Them Abroad!

Kitazawa: Bring Them In and Send Them Abroad!

Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa announced plans to equip the SDF with robots for use against nuclear accidents as part of its international relief capability.

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Kitazawa: Bring in the Drones!

Kitazawa: Bring in the Drones!

Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa: It's ironic that US-made robots were initially used to deal with the nuclear disaster, even though Japan is a world leader in robot technology.

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SDF Leadership Unhappy about Proceeding with Military Air Review

SDF Leadership Unhappy about Proceeding with Military Air Review

Sankei Shimbun: Uniformed leadership within the Ministry of Defense are unhappy that plans for the Military Air Review are continuing, drawing funds from the post-disaster restoration efforts.

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Japan and US to Establish Joint Disaster Support Center in Okinawa

Japan and US to Establish Joint Disaster Support Center in Okinawa

TV Asahi: Building on the cooperative efforts following the Tohoku Earthquake, the US and Japan are establishing a disaster support center in Okinawa, aiming for joint active international disaster relief capabilities tied to regional stabilization efforts.

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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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Weekend Update: Jan 16 2011

Weekend Update: Jan 16 2011

#1: US-China arms race? US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was in Beijing to discuss improving military ties between the US and China. On his arrival, the PLAAF tested their new J-20 fighter, apparently without telling President Hu Jintao. The test signalled “the military’s opposition to Gates’s trip and to U.S. efforts to improve military connections...

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Defense Minister Kitazawa Talks to WaPo

After meeting with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa found that time to sit down and talk with the Washington Post about China’s new toys, Japanese military development, and ties with the US: POST: In terms of Japan increasing its capabilities, the secretary of defense, when he was in China,...

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