Yoshihiko Noda
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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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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Tanaka Out, Morimoto In: Noda's 3rd Defense Minister

Tanaka Out, Morimoto In: Noda’s 3rd Defense Minister

After 5 months of ineptitude, not all of it his own fault, Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka - censured in the Diet - is replaced by Satoshi Morimoto. Is there a brighter future for Ichigaya?

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UK and Japan to Discuss Defense Industry Cooperation

UK and Japan to Discuss Defense Industry Cooperation

British PM Cameron will discuss UK-Japan defense technology sharing with PM Noda in his upcoming visit to Japan, Mainichi reports

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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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Meet the new Japanese defense minister, probably worse than the old one.

Meet the new Japanese defense minister, probably worse than the old one.

One of the few genuine improvements that one could have hoped would come out of the most recent cabinet reshuffle in Japan was that the new defense minister would be an improvement over the previous one. The previous defense minister, Ichikawa Yasuo, got off to a stunning start by declaring himself to be an “amateur”...

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Ichikawa Gone, Tanaka In

Ichikawa Gone, Tanaka In

Prime Minister Noda selects Naoki Tanaka as the next Minister of Defense, but is he the right man for the job?

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Japanese Air Force One/Two

Japanese Air Force One/Two

One of the two dedicated government aircraft taking off from Haneda

One of the two dedicated government aircraft taking off from Haneda (Source: Anon/2ch)

The ASDF's seal adorned the inside of the 747's door

The ASDF's seal adorned the inside of the 747's door (Source: Interceptor)

On my way to Hokkaido for the annual New Year family festivities, I happened to spot one of Japan’s dedicated government aircraft, better described (perhaps) by their callsigns, Japanese Air Force One/Two, or their colloquial name, the “Flying Kantei”. I presume it was Prime Minister Noda heading to India (as I spotted the jet on TV later that day), but it was a nice surprise for the usual drudge of flying through Haneda.

The jets, two Boeing 747-400s (registered as JA8091/JA8092), are operated by the 701st Squadron of the Air Self-Defense Force’s Special Airlift Group, based out of Chitose, Hokkaido. Interestingly, the unit relies on the civilian ground support of Japan Airlines. At the rear of the craft, it has ASDF signage, and there is a huge crest of the ASDF on the back of the door.

Read more about the aircraft over at Wikipedia.

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News Flash: Ichikawa Gone, Tokiwa on Fire, SDF to South Sudan

News Flash: Ichikawa Gone, Tokiwa on Fire, SDF to South Sudan

A selection of the news of the day: Defense Minister Ichikawa will be replaced, JS Tokiwa catches fire, and the advance party to South Sudan holds their leaving ceremony.

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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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China Unlikely to Aid in Mitsubishi Heavy Cyber-Attack Investigation

China Unlikely to Aid in Mitsubishi Heavy Cyber-Attack Investigation

Police investigating the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries hacking case have hit a brick wall after China stalls on cooperating with the investigation. Does China have something to hide?

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Will the South Sudan PKO mission push SDF constraints?

Will the South Sudan PKO mission push SDF constraints?

The DPJ is opening the door to discussions on revising the restrictions on the SDF under the current PKO law ahead of it joining the UN mission in South Sudan, where oil interests are at stake.

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