News

Video: Type-10 Tank Initiation Ceremony

From Jiji on January 10th, we have this wonderful video of the initiation ceremony of the first mass production model of the Type-10 tank into the GSDF’s armor training unit at the GSDF Fuji School in Shizuoka Prefecture, whose open day I attended last year.

Until this point, the Type-10s in use at the school have been experimental production models. The mass production model now entering service with the school is the product of several changes and upgrades on the experimental models.

Once the school has received its complement of tanks, expect to see their use extending into the GSDF’s armored units for general service, bringing a much-needed modern light-weight battle tank to fill the gaps caused by the restrictions of the use of the Type-90 outside Hokkaido.

[H/T to Corey Wallace]

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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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News Flash: Japan-DPRK Secret Talks, Koizumi Still Most Popular PM since 2000

A selection of the news of the day: Japan and North Korea hold (not so) secret talks over abduction issue, the opportunities for Japan-India ties, Gemba hunts for energy security, and polls on the best and worst recent PMs

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N Korean Documentary for Kim Jong-Un’s Birthday Emphasizes Military Strength (Link)

Perhaps seeking to show his affinity with those best equipped to overthrow him, North Korean TV aired a documentary emphasizing the young leader role as a military leader, the Asahi’s Asia & Japan Watch reports:

The documentary, which aired on what is believed to be Kim Jong Un’s birthday, is the second in a week to show Kim with military units, and underlines his pledge to carry out his father’s “military first” policy. A week ago, footage showed Kim paying a New Year’s Day visit to a premier tank division with strong historical and family ties.

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[H/T @shilkytouch]

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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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Is F-35 the Right Choice for Japan?

Is F-35 the Right Choice for Japan?

Examining some of the perspectives that grew out of international media coverage of Japan's decision to purchase the F-35 as a replacement to its aging fleet of F-4 Phantoms.

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F-35 Officially Selected as F-X Fighter

F-35 Officially Selected as F-X Fighter

It comes as no surprise, but the F-35 will be Japan's next-generation fighter, beating out the F/A-18 Super Hornet and the Eurofighter Typhoon in a contentious decision that seems to favor the technology over time constraints.

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F-15 Goes Off-Road in Okinawa As News of Kim Jong-il's Death Breaks

F-15 Goes Off-Road in Okinawa As News of Kim Jong-il's Death Breaks

As the world hears of the death of Kim Jong-il, the ASDF scrambles an F-15 from Naha Air Base which subsequently rides off the runway. The timing raises suspicion, but the real news is in the disruption it caused to the civilian airport it shares a runway with.

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Official F-35 Announcement Delayed?

Following the news earlier in the week that the F-X program was all but decided in favor of the F-35, defense watchers have been waiting for the official announcement due tomorrow, Friday 16th December. According to the Shingetsu News Agency (@ShingetsuNews), this announcement has been postponed until next week pending other government business.

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F-X Selection Heading Towards F-35

F-X Selection Heading Towards F-35

Both Yomiuri and Kyodo are suggesting that the F-X selection has been whittled down to the F-35 ahead of an official announcement.

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F-X Fighter Decision Delay: English Language Troubles?

The Sankei reports on the Ministry of Defense's struggle to understand the English language proposals submitted for the F-X program

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Discussion: North Korean Mobile ICBMs - Implications for Japan

Discussion: North Korean Mobile ICBMs – Implications for Japan

JSW readers discuss the implications of news that North Korea is developing road-mobile ICBMs capable of reaching Japan.

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