Monthly archive April, 2010

ASDF recruitment video

The ASDF is all about helping people. See? Don’t forget to lower your landing gear when you grow up!

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2010 Defense Budget

The 2010 Japan Defense Budget is up and on the web, and I decided to print it out and blog commentary on it. It’s really unlike the U.S. defense budget. On one hand, it has interesting details, such as diagrams on how “fire and forget” air-to-air missiles work, as opposed to radar-homing missiles. On the...

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Japanese military mascots

Pretty much everything in Japan has an animated mascot. The Tokyo subway has a penguin mascot. TV networks have mascots, neighborhoods have mascots. Hello Kitty really is the tip of the iceberg. Blog The Adventures of a Foreign Salaryman in Tokyo has a post on Japanese animated mascots for the Self-Defense Forces, including “Pickles” and...

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Japan still to field SM-3 Block IIA

Japan still to field SM-3 Block IIA

Japan is still pressing ahead with plans to procure the SM-3 Standard Block IIA missile system. Apparently Japan has sunk $1 billion dollars into the program so far, which is a fair chunk of change. The missiles are to arm Japan’s Kongo-class destroyers. Two or three destroyers can reportedly protect all of Japan, which makes...

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Helicopter flyover: Japan’s fault

According to the new Chinese ambassador to Japan, the two incidents in the last month of Chinese helicopters flying near Maritime Self Defense Force ships were actually Japan’s fault. According to Kyodo, though China has explained to Japan that the approaches were a “necessary defense measure” in response to Japanese surveillance activities, Foreign Minister Katsuya...

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Japan’s territorial disputes: The Kurils

One of the many Japanese (English) blogs that I follow had a short article on the Kuril Islands, and sentiment in Hokkaido that those Kurils currently held by Russia should be returned to Japan. Walking around Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido (the northernmost prefecture in Japan), we saw several times these signs claiming: “Let’s regain...

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PLAN helicopter “ignored orders”? Behold, “face” in action

The Daily Yomiuri reports that the Defense Ministry believes that the helicopter pilot who flew within 100 meters of a MSDF destroyer in early April was ignoring orders not fly any closer. When the helicopter took off from a guided missile destroyer, it was about 4,000 meters away from the MSDF destroyer Suzunami. As the...

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Malabar 2010 without Japan?

The annual Malabar exercises have kicked off, and so far, unlike past years, there is no sign of Japanese participation. Japan usually sends a couple of destroyers, but this year, nothing. Malabar 2009: 2 Destroyers (link) Malabar 2008: No Japanese participation, but separate exercises with Indian Navy, including visit to India by two destroyers, training...

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Japan to open first postwar overseas base

In Africa, of all places. The 40-million-dollar base expected to be completed by early next year will strengthen international efforts to curb hijackings and vessel attacks by hordes of gunmen from the lawless Somalia. (Link) This article from the Japan Times describes what is being built. Apparently $40 million will pay for a tarmac for...

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Japan and arms exports

Here’s something interesting I came across while doing some research on North Korea: A secret memorandum circulating among defense contractors in 1988 estimated that lifting the export ban (that existed by general interpretation of Article 9 of the constitution) would result in Japan’s capturing 45 percent of the world tank and self-propelled artillery market, 40...

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Another PLAN helicopter incident

Japan is complaining that, again, a PLAN helicopter came close to a Japanese destroyer. This kind of at-sea harassment is one of those things that is just going to happen more often, and Japan needs to just buck up and stop complaining.

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Who free-rides on American power?

Via Greg Grant at Defensetech is this blog post at The Economist‘s Democracy in America blog. The post refutes the notion that European and Asian countries spend too little on defense. Japan gets mentioned once in the actual blog post, many times in comments.

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