Japan Self-Defense Force
The Likely Contents of Abe's Collective Self-Defense Panel Report

The Likely Contents of Abe’s Collective Self-Defense Panel Report

The Advisory Panel on the Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security (「安全保障の法的基盤の再構築に関する懇談会」; hereafter the “Panel” or kondankai) will deliver their report within the next few days. This is after putting it off for three months out of consideration for the difficulties Abe was having with convincing the New Komeito to roll over on their 50...

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Japanese Companies to Manufacture 10 percent of each of Japan's F-35As

Japanese Companies to Manufacture 10 percent of each of Japan’s F-35As

According to the August 22 Asahi Shimbun, it has been confirmed that Japanese companies Mitsubishi Electric and IHI will manufacture 24 components of the F-35 related to the engine and radar. These components normally would account for an estimated 10 percent of the total cost of an F-35A unit. As the manufacturing of these components...

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Does the Izumo Represent Japan Crossing the "Offensive" Rubicon?

Does the Izumo Represent Japan Crossing the “Offensive” Rubicon?

This is part two of the five-part series on Japan’s security policy as it stands in 2013.  Part one focused on constitutional issues regarding the interpretation of “war potential.” On August 6 last week the JMSDF unveiled its new helicopter “destroyer,” the Izumo (22DDH).[1] While much media and diplomatic fuss has been made about this...

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The End of the Twisted Diet: Japanese Security Policy and the Controversies to Come?

The End of the Twisted Diet: Japanese Security Policy and the Controversies to Come?

Over the last two months a significant amount of media coverage on Japan’s security policy evolution has dominated the online sphere. Concerns have been raised about Japan having “offensive aircraft carriers,” developing amphibious capabilities, planning to acquire preemptive strike capabilities, and engaging in debate about Japan exercising its right to collective self-defense. To be sure...

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Medium: Japan: Flat-Tops or Not?

Medium: Japan: Flat-Tops or Not?

  My first article at Medium is out, on Japan’s recent history of naval aviation and future prospects for aircraft carriers. You’ll find it here.

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Dawn Blitz 2013: First Glance

This the first post on Dawn Blitz; I’ll do a second at the conclusion of the exercises, or if something really interesting comes up.  – KM I made a conscious decision to not attend Dawn Blitz 2013. I’ve covered a U.S. – Japanese exercise at Camp Pendleton before, and I had been frustrated by the...

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Japan and AirSea Battle

I recently finished listening to T.X. Hammes on the Midrats podcast for the second time. If you don’t listen to Midrats you should, particularly when they address Asia/Pacific. I think Sal gets Asia wrong at times, but he and Eagle1 ask good questions. They have good guests, and they let their guests talk (sometimes on and on...

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Shukan Bunshun: Who is Responsible for PLAN Radar Lock-On Incident?

From the Japanese weekly magazine “Shukan Bunshun“; February 21, 2013; By Satoshi Tomizaka. Translation by a JSW/ASW pal.  (Regarding this incident here.) Who is responsible for the Chinese Navy’s radiation of Fire Control Radar (FCR)? The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs broke their silence on 8 February and released a statement in countering Japan’s accusation...

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NY Times: "Japan Shifting Further Away From Pacifism"

NY Times: “Japan Shifting Further Away From Pacifism”

To be sure, the article itself is solid and talks to all the right people, including Professor Richard Samuels and Associate Professor Michishita Narushige who are both outstanding scholars of Japan’s security strategy. Ultimately, despite appearances below, the article doesn’t bother me all that much. But it provides a good opportunity to reflect on a few...

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Japanese Media Now Openly Talking about Japan-Australia Soryu Deal

Japanese Media Now Openly Talking about Japan-Australia Soryu Deal

Today the Nikkei featured an article (日) that raised once again the possibility of Japan transferring the technology underpinning the prized Soryu submarine to Australia. The article did not offer much additional detail about how the process from here is likely to unfold, although it did frame the technology transfer as part of a supposedly mutual...

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To Counter China, Defense Ministry Considering F-15s at Civilian Airport

Well, this is certainly interesting: Japan is considering using a civil airfield in the Ryukyu islands to base F-15s, because those based on Okinawa are too far away. The planes would be stationed on Shimojijima Island, which is much closer to the Japan-administered Senkakus, which China claims as the Diaoyu, than to Okinawa’s prefectural capital...

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First Application of Japan's New Arms Exports Principles to a PKO

First Application of Japan’s New Arms Exports Principles to a PKO

One of the many justifications that the Japanese government referred to in revising Japan’s weapons export restrictions was the potential to assist nations being rebuilt after a conflict or humanitarian disaster.  Previously the SDF was unable to leave behind any heavy machinery or other equipment that may have been useful to such nations. Today, the...

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