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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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MSDF Ships Visit Yokohama's Minato Mirai

MSDF Ships Visit Yokohama’s Minato Mirai

MSDF vessels put into Yokohama for a public open-day event. JSW's James Simpson was on the scene, unprepared but eager to serve.

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Youtube Friday: The MSDF Fleet to the Sound of Neon Genesis Evangelion

In his discussion of a recent internet survey (with a terribly small sample) among South Koreans regarding the Dokdo/Takeshima dispute, Ampontan posted this nice rundown of the MSDF fleet, in English to the crisis-mode music of the excellent anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. It’s a long one, but a nice reference guide.

I’ll leave the determination of its accuracy to those more knowledge about about naval vessels.

I will say this though, there is nothing quite like writing a blog post to that music!

* * *

EDIT: These extra videos (Courtesy of Gray in the comments) show the fleets of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN):

… and a slightly out-dated video showing the fleet of the South Korean Republic of Korea Navy (RoKN)

Thanks to Gray for digging up these videos and if you appreciate his contribution, please give his comment below a thumbs up.

EDIT 2: Another MSDF video courtesy of Viktor:

Be sure to give him a thumbs up below

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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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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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JSW on Bloomberg (April 10th)

James Simpson on Bloomberg TV

James Simpson on Bloomberg TV

I was invited to give a few comments on Bloomberg’s ON THE MOVE ASIA with Rishaad Salamat to discuss David Cameron’s visit to Japan and the tie-up of British and Japanese defense development. I’d like to thank the staff at Bloomberg’s Asia Offices in Hong Kong for the opportunity. It was a great experience.

 

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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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A Tohoku Earthquake Retrospective...

A Tohoku Earthquake Retrospective…

One year on, James Simpson remembers the Tohoku Earthquake and considers the challenges its has posed, and those that continue to lie ahead.

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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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Mainichi: Japan tells U.S. it may halt F-35 purchase if prices rise

From Mainichi Daily News yesterday:

Japan tells U.S. it may halt F-35 purchase if prices rise

[...] In a letter dated Feb. 13, the ministry expressed its concern to the Pentagon over a rise in the price tag of the F-35, which is being developed by an international consortium led by U.S. aircraft maker Lockheed Martin Corp., the sources said.

The ministry also requested a review of the procurement system under a foreign military sales arrangement that allows the United States to change prices at its discretion, the sources said.

[...]

The letter was sent by Hideshi Tokuchi, chief of the ministry’s bureau of finance and equipment, and addressed to Frank Kendall, acting under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics.

Tokuchi said in the letter that the possibility of canceling the F-35 procurement in the event its price rises cannot be denied. If the price does go up and the matter is deliberated in parliament, it would “invite severe criticism” and “jeopardize” the F-35 procurement plan, he said. [...]

Read more at the Mainichi Daily News site

It will be a great shame if Japan cancels its orders of the F-35 due to a price range, not least because the ASDF could really do with being shot of the F-X program so that it can look ahead to the successor to the F-15Js which seem to be slowly deteriorating.

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Nippon.com: A Review of the Three Principles on Arms Exports

Great little reader over at Nippon.com today:

Late 2011 saw the third review of the Three Principles on Arms Exports since their creation in 1967. How does the latest phase of review differ from the past two? Defense specialist Murayama Yūzō looks at the history of the reviews and what direction future policy should take.

Read more at Nippon.com

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Daily Yomiuri: Mitsubishi Electric hit with suspension for bill padding

The Defense Ministry and two other government entities have suspended Mitsubishi Electric Corp. as a designated contractor because the company has been found to have inflated invoices, the ministry has announced.

The ministry, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center made the announcements and suspended the company Friday for unspecified periods. The ministry added that Mitsubishi contacted it to admit the allegations the same day.

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