territorial disputes
Unofficially Official: The U.S. Rebalance to Asia-Pacific and  the U.S.-Japan-Taiwan alliance

Unofficially Official: The U.S. Rebalance to Asia-Pacific and the U.S.-Japan-Taiwan alliance

Co-author: Misato Matsuoka* There is a lot of buzz about U.S. rebalancing policy, but at the end of the day it is not a massive policy change from the U.S. perspective and neither is it one from the perspective of U.S. allies and partners, old and emerging ones, in the region. The increase of a...

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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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Australian Warship to 'Embed' with the Seventh Fleet

Australian Warship to ‘Embed’ with the Seventh Fleet

Very much under the radar comes the news that the Adelaide-class guided-missile frigate HMAS Sydney (FFG 03) is about to join the US Seventh Fleet, where it will be  ”embedded” with a US carrier strike group operating out of Yokosuka. Launched in 1980, the warship is only one of four guided-missile frigates operated by the RAN, and...

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Shukan Bunshun: Former U.S. State Dept. Japan Hand: Let Us Fight Together!

(Weekly magazine “Shukan Bunshun“; February 21, 2013; By Satoshi Tomizaka. Translation, as always, by a trusty pal.)  Kevin Maher, Former State Department Japan Country Director: “Japan, Let us fight together!” Former State Department Japan Country Director, Kevin Maher stated, “Lighting up the Fire-Control (FC) radar and lock-on is equivalent to an actual attack, and can...

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Japanese Media: Taiwan-Japan Fishing Deal Strategically Significant

Following on from Michal Thim’s ASW post, which contains the details of the deal, the Japanese media reaction has been illuminating, and it appears to be the number one story alongside North Korean missiles on most Japanese news sites. Something appeared to be stirring in late March when it was reported in the Japanese media...

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Senkaku Breakthrough: Taiwan and Japan agree on fishing rights

Japan and Taiwan have signed a ground-breaking agreement on fishing rights that leaves China isolated in the territorial dispute over Senkaku/Diaoyutai islands. According to Taipei Times, major elements of the agreement are: intervention-free fishing zone for Taiwanese fishing boats in waters between 27° north latitude and the Sakishima Islands, Okinawa Prefecture; furthermore, Taiwan is given...

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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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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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Tekken At Sea: Japanese Destroyer vs. Chinese Frigate

Tekken At Sea: Japanese Destroyer vs. Chinese Frigate

Last week a Chinese Jiangwei-II (Type 053H3) class frigate locked its fire control radar on a Japanese destroyer. The name of the Chinese frigate was not mentioned, but the Japanese destroyer involved in the incident was JS Yudachi (DD-103), of the Murasame class. After being lit up by the Chinese radar, Yudachi took evasive action....

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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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PRC in 1950: "Senkaku Islands" as Part of Okinawa?

PRC in 1950: “Senkaku Islands” as Part of Okinawa?

Jiji Press in Japan went big yesterday (日) on an exclusive revolving around historical PRC government documents related to PRC awareness of the territorial dispute over the islands, publishing a number of articles and commentaries in rapid fire succession. The Japanese government’s position has been that the PRC, at least, only made a claim to the islands after...

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Senkakus/Diaoyu Islands Standoff De-Escalates

When China describes something as a “core interest”, it’s time to sit up and pay attention. A core interest is exactly what it sounds like — something that China views as essential to China’s economy and security. Perhaps more importantly the core interest label tends to denote something that China believes is not open to...

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