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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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Robert Kelly: “What if Ron Paul Won”–Japan and South Korea

JSW pal Robert Kelly, assistant professor at Pusan National University and CNN contributor, has a series of posts at Asian Security Blog speculating on how a Ron Paul presidency would affect U.S. relations with a variety of its neighbors and traditional allies. Regarding Japan, Robert says in part: The real reason for [U.S. Forces Japan]...

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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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Japan's MSDF to make a Port Call in Manila amid Tensions

Japan’s MSDF to make a Port Call in Manila amid Tensions

When? Next week it would seem. Hot on the heels of a promise to supply a number of JCG vessels to the Philippines, Japan is now also sending three JMSDF naval training ships to Manila for a four-day port call from 28 May to 31 May. The ships are reported to be the JS Kashima (TV-3505),...

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Alliance Diversification Watch: Japan and the Philippines

Alliance Diversification Watch: Japan and the Philippines

Is Japan about to enter the South China Sea dispute in a concrete way and provide up to 10 Japanese Coast Guard  Ships to the Philippines? I guess the timing could not be better for the Philippines given the current tensions surrounding the Scarborough Shoal standoff. However the news is not yet official as the...

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Japanese Cameras Catch Chinese Naval UAV Again

Japanese Cameras Catch Chinese Naval UAV Again

The Japanese MSDF once more catches a Chinese UAV in flight, but with shots of the deck, might we also learn more of the capacity of the ships carrying them?

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Japanese Light Aircraft Carrier Design: A Critique

Japanese Light Aircraft Carrier Design: A Critique

  ChinaSMACK has a post up on Chinese netizens’ reaction to a Japanese magazine article. The article in question included an artist’s impression of the ATD-X/Shinshin/F-3 fighter downing a Chinese J-20 fighter. Netizen reactions ranged from nationalistic to bemused. Of more interest however is the article the image was taken from, which depicts an indigenous...

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Japan's Strategic Geography, 1983

Japan’s Strategic Geography, 1983

Published in 1983, Strategic Atlas was one of several atlases published during the 1980s that blended world maps with political, economic and military figures and trends. It was the kind of well done set of infographics that really isn’t done anymore, particularly now that nobody wants to pay for content. I’ll be featuring maps from...

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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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Motohiro Tsuchiya: Patriotic Geeks Wanted to Counter a Cyber Militia

The Association of Japanese Institutes of Strategic Studies published a commentary by Keio Prof. Motohiro Tsuchiya examining the need of the Japanese government strengthen its defense against cyber-warfare, no doubt in consideration of the recent hacking scandals that rocked Japan at the end of last year:

Japan was one of the first countries to introduce cyber security measures, having set up the National Information Security Center (NISC) under the Cabinet Secretariat in 2005. The initial concerns were primarily technical issues, exhibiting little awareness that cyber security has to do with national security and crisis management. However, since major cyber-attacks were carried out against the US and South Korea in July 2009, Japan has been making preparations on the assumption that it could be the next target. The government drew up a special national plan titled “Information Security Strategy to Protect Japanese Nationals” in May 2010.

The real challenge of such a strategy is whether the government can secure good experts to counter militias and mercenaries. The rewards that the government can offer would be too small for competent geeks. Even if the government succeeds in employing them, it would be vulnerable unless it keeps them committed long enough – think about the risk of them being hired by adversary forces after their stint in the government! Success hinges on whether the government can secure patriotic geeks.

Read more at the AJISS Commentary site

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Nippon.com: Japan’s Diplomatic Agenda for the Asia-Pacific

Jiji Press commentator Yoshikatsu Suzuki discusses the way ahead for Japanese diplomacy in 2012, focusing relevantly enough on the Philippines, which recently offered the US a chance at a new base – an offer the US has turned down, and the Indian Ocean, in whose ports Suzuki sees Japan needing to gain a presence. It makes for an interesting look at some of the contemporary issues affecting Japanese foreign policy.

The year 2012 marks the start of efforts to build a new order in the Asia-Pacific region. The world faces a number of difficult issues and situations whose outcome is in doubt: the Arab Spring, the European crisis, Iran’s nuclear program, and the outlook for North Korea after the death of Kim Jong-il. Now is the time for writing new rules and formulating new frameworks for an era of change. Things are already beginning to stir on the political stage, with changes of government, scheduled or otherwise, likely in a number of countries in the near future.

Read more at Nippon.com.

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Asia Security Watch: The PLA on Afghanistan

Asia Security Watch: The PLA on Afghanistan

As the Iraq war concludes, there have been plenty of debate in the United States about what specific lessons can be learned from the conflict and the ongoing counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan. Curious about what the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) made of the whole enterprise? Andrew Scobell, David Lai, and Roy Kamphausen have edited...

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