security
Coast Guard to pick up retiring Hatsuyuki-class destroyers?

Coast Guard to pick up retiring Hatsuyuki-class destroyers?

The MSDF and Japan Coast Guard are in talks to push retiring Hatsuyuki-class destroyers into service patrolling the Senkaku islands to cover a shortage of mid-term vessel numbers.

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Chinese Navy Tests Land Attack Cruise Missiles: Implications for Asia-Pacific

Deployment of the DH-10 land attack cruise missile (LACM), similar in design to the American BGM-109 Tomahawk and Russian KH-55, on Chinese warships could bring new meaning to gunboat diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific.

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Military Pact Between South Korean and Japan Sidelined by Election Year Shenanigans

Military Pact Between South Korean and Japan Sidelined by Election Year Shenanigans

South Korea has shelved a pact with Japan that would have increased military cooperation and sharing of intelligence data

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U.S. Military Conducts Naval Drills with Japan & South Korea and Live-fire Exercise with ROKN

U.S. Military Conducts Naval Drills with Japan & South Korea and Live-fire Exercise with ROKN

It's a busy week for ever emerging East Asian Alliances....

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Japan's New Defense Minister: Morimoto Satoshi

Japan’s New Defense Minister: Morimoto Satoshi

As mentioned by James Noda has selected Takushoku Professor Morimoto Satoshi to replace Tanaka Naoki as Defense Minister. While he is an academic and Japan’s first non-politician (民間人) Defense Minister/JDA Chief since the establishment of the JDA in 1954, he is certainly not short on experience and knowledge of both defense issues and the political system....

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Post-Disaster Opinion: China and the SDF

James Simpson takes a look at the Cabinet Office's recent survey on public attitudes toward the SDF, as well as a brief look at a small poll on Sino-Japanese opinion.

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Problems piling up for the Japanese F-35 dream

Problems piling up for the Japanese F-35 dream

The Yomiuri has published (j) a report worrying about the British Sunday Times’ revelation that BAE Systems internal network may have been hacked by Chinese spies and critical information on the F-35 fighter may have been lost. Both the UK and the US were targets of the attack. In particular there is concern that the advanced...

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NBR on the Anniversary of the Tohoku Earthquake

Two very interesting interviews out of National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) looking at Japan one year on from the Tohoku Earthquake.

The first interview entitled ‘Policy Change in a Post-Crisis Japan’ has Richard J Samuels looking at national security through his own research, best seen in his 2007 book Securing Japan:

But there is debate about the lessons of their success for policy going forward. Those who say “put it in gear” have written a “wake-up call” narrative about March 11. They say, “Yes, the efficacy of the SDF and the alliance were demonstrated, but the real threat is not natural disaster. If we start thinking of the SDF merely as a humanitarian-assistance disaster-relief (HA/DR) operation, then we will be taking our eyes off the real threat. The real threats are China and North Korea, and we have to do more to deter them.”

The stay-the-course group offers a “proof of concept” narrative. They say, “What the self-defense forces and the alliance achieved is what we have been telling everyone that they could achieve for decades.” They insist that the effectiveness of the SDF demonstrated that the nation has something it should value and reward with better treatment.

The third group says that the successful deployment of the self-defense forces for rescue and relief after March 11 taught Japan that the SDF is best and most legitimate when it is carrying shovels, not guns. This group argues Japan should return to the true meaning of Article 9, and not be focused on armaments, but on the creation of a global disaster-relief function for the Japanese military.

Read the full interview at NBR

The second interview, ‘Fukushima One Year Later’, has Daniel Aldrich addressing the nuclear and civil society issues following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis:

While the physical landscape in towns like Rikuzentakata, Ofunato, and Minami Sanriku better resembles normalcy, the recovery process is only just beginning. A number of larger issues, such as the balance between the central government’s fiscal control over the recovery process and the desire of local governments to have more autonomy to pursue creative rebuilding efforts, remain unresolved. Other local-level concerns for Tohoku residents, such as issues of radioactive decontamination, counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder, and the long-term economic viability of these coastal communities, which often depend on fishing and canning industries, must be addressed through intergovernmental consultation. Some larger issues, such as the length of time for which evacuated villages will remain empty, and the creation of new no-build zones adjacent to low-lying, vulnerable areas will take considerable political will to tackle.

Read the full interview at NBR

These are part of a much broader retrospective running through the media both here and abroad, and we will be adding out voice here at JSW this weekend. In the meantime, what other excellent articles or documentaries have you seen addressing the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear issues? Let us know in the comments.

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SDF to Straits of Hormuz?

SDF to Straits of Hormuz?

The Japanese government is considering the possibility of an MSDF dispatch to the Straits of Hormuz, but it seems unlikely that they will agree to a deployment putting them up against Iran's navy.

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Monday Morning Reading for 01/16

Monday Morning Reading for 01/16

Start your week with JSW's Monday Morning Reading, with some of the more in-depth articles we came across to keep you going throughout your working week.

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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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Asia Security Watch: The "People" in People's War - Improving China's Infantryman

Asia Security Watch: The "People" in People's War – Improving China's Infantryman

Putting aside all the fancy toys China is getting, the People's Liberation Army's investment in improving its infantry is itself a demonstration of the nation's intense military modernisation.

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