accident
Japan's Regional Security Environment and Possibilities for Conflict

Japan’s Regional Security Environment and Possibilities for Conflict

The next 5 months could be one of high drama and tension in East Asia geopolitics due to various leadership transitions and elections. In South Korea we have already seen election year sensitivities coming to have real life policy consequences with the last-minute cancellation of the ACSA/GSOMIA military accords between Japan and the ROK. With the presidential...

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MSDF Helicopter Crashes into Sea, Pilot Missing

MSDF Helicopter Crashes into Sea, Pilot Missing

MSDF Seahawk goes down in Mutsu Bay, Aomori, after hitting the port-side of the Matsuyuki. Pilot is missing and the vehicle is lost.

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Two Fuels Tanks Drop Off F-2 Fighter

ASDF F-2 Fighter with three fuel tanks - one mounted on each wing, and one attached to the fuselage

ASDF F-2 Fighter with three fuel tanks - one mounted on each wing, and one attached to the fuselage (Source: Mariana)

While accidents involving parts falling off the F-15 have proven quite common recently, it is the F-2 that is making headlines with this latest incident near Guam.

According to NHK, who have a video report accompanying their article, on Feb. 16th, while conducting joint training with US forces (presumably Exercise COPE NORTH) over the Pacific, two fuel tanks fell from an ASDF F-2 fighter. According to the ASDF, the tanks were both seen falling into the sea and there are no reports of any damage as a result of the accident.

The tanks are 6 meters long with a diameter of 80 cm and a weight of 170 kg a piece when empty.

The ASDF is currently investigating the incident and searching for the tanks, so if you spot two floating torpedo-shaped objects in the Pacific near Guam this week, be sure to contact someone at Andersen Air Force Base where the ASDF are housed during COPE NORTH.

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News Flash: Tanaka Replaces Private Secretary, F15 Parts Lost 115 Times Since 2007, Shiga Requests SDF Snow Aid

There are a series of very important small pieces of news in the press today:

Defense Minister Tanaka Replaces Private Secretary

After several gaffes by the new defense minister, see Shisaku for an excellent list, Naoki Tanaka has replaced his private secretary and reinstated former Defense Minister Kitazawa’s secretary in hopes of releasing some of the incredible pressure he is under at the Diet.

An experienced defense policy professional, Manabu Mannami stepped down today after two years as private secretary, and Takahiro Yoshida returns to Ichigaya from the Ministry’s Defense Planning Bureau. Tanaka blames Mannami’s ineptitude for his poor Diet performance, and stated that he wanted to be prepared to deal with the current Budgetary Committee deliberations.  The Asahi states that officials at the ministry believe the change came at his wife’s requestMakiko Tanaka was Koizumi’s Foreign Minister and is a powerful Ozawa supporter.

 

F15 Parts Lost on 115 Occasions Since 2007

The Asahi reports that since 2007, there have been 115 incidents of parts falling from ASDF F15s mid-flight – of which only nine were reported to the local government, and only six were officially announced to the press. The ASDF says that small parts frequently drop off with little chance of damage, but local authorities complain that this information should be passed on regardless.

The study, made by the ASDF Staff Office, covers incidents spanning from April 2007 to December 2011. Most of the incidents involve bolts or screws dropping from the plane. By base, the figures are as follows:

  • Hyakuri (Ibaraki): 29 incidents
  • Nyutabara (Miyazaki): 22 incidents
  • Tsuiki (Fukuoka): 20 incidents
  • Komatsu (Ishikawa): 16 incidents
  • Chitose (Hokkaido): 14 incidents
  • Naha (Okinawa): 10 incidents
  • Gifu (Gifu): 2 incidents

 

SDF Deployed to Handle Shiga Snow

For the first time in 31 years, the SDF were requested to aid Shiga Prefecture with the record snowfall. The SDF were requested by Shiga and Kyoto Prefecutures following a record 87 centimeters of snow (as recorded in Maizuru, Kyoto). The snow has left 21 households and 56 people isolated in the town of Makino in Takashima, Shiga.

The SDF can be called into action by local authorities to deal with disaster situations, and they are frequently requested for help against heavy snow. For information on the involvement of the SDF in local snow operations, see my post from last year.

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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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F-15 loses part mid-flight on the day after F-15s returned to the air

F-15 loses part mid-flight on the day after F-15s returned to the air

Only one day on from being ordered back into the air, an ASDF F-15 out of Nyutabaru Air Base lost an aluminum component from its wing during a training flight. What is happening to Japan's F-15 fleet?

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YouTube Fridays: Japan's Spherical UAV

Via Akihabara News, an article about Japan’s latest robot, developed by the Ministry of Defense. “Because the exterior is round, this machine can land in all kinds of attitudes, and move along the ground. It can also keep in contact with a wall while flying. Because it’s round, it can just roll along the ground,...

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Twelve Tsunami-Damaged JASDF Fighters To Be Written Off

Twelve Tsunami-Damaged JASDF Fighters To Be Written Off

Twelve of the eighteen fighters damaged when a tsunami inundated Matsushima Air Base are to be written off as unsalvageable. Worth approximately $1.3 billion USD, the planes were too badly damaged to be repaired. Twelve Mitsubishi F-2 fighters used by the Air Self-Defense Force were damaged beyond repair by the March 11 tsunami and will...

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Kevin Maher: US Offered Unmanned Helicopters, Japan Concerned About Compensation

Kevin Maher: US Offered Unmanned Helicopters, Japan Concerned About Compensation

Kevin Maher's book, "The Japan that Can't Decide," describes a 2-week interrogation of the US by Japan over the list of equipment it could provide to help the relief effort - was the Japanese government overly concerned with the cost? Is this PM Kan's fault? The Sankei Shimbun says yes.

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Boosting SDF's Nuclear Accident Response Capabilities

Boosting SDF’s Nuclear Accident Response Capabilities

Yomiuri: The SDF plans to better incorporate operations SDF personnel conducted under highly radioactive conditions. This is expected to include improving response capabilities by beefing up equipment, enhancing cooperation, and holding exercises.

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JASDF F-15 Crashed in East China Sea, Pilot Missing

JASDF F-15 Crashed in East China Sea, Pilot Missing

A F-15J from the ASDF's 203rd Squadron based at Naha, Okinawa has been confirmed crashed. Pilot unaccounted for.

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MSDF Minesweeper collides with fishing boat

MSDF Minesweeper collides with fishing boat

Sankei: MSDF minesweeper JS Kuroshima made contact with the Sumiyoshi Maru, a fishing boat. There no injuries and no oil leaked.

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