Monthly archive May, 2010

Hatoyama, Obama to have phone chat

Hmm. Last week it was the Secretary of State visiting Tokyo, this week it’s the Japanese Defense Minister at the Pentagon, and now apparently Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and President Barack Obama will be having a phone conversation sometime later this week. The article at the Japan Times is short, so I’ll just reproduce the...

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Defense Minister Kitazawa in D.C. for talks

Minister of Defense Toshimi Kitazawa held talks today with U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at the Pentagon. Reuters mentioned North Korea in the headline and the bulk of the article, with the Chinese Navy’s recent activity in the Miyakojima Strait and Futenma tying for second place. The Mainichi Daily News concentrates on the Futenma...

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Futenma

Well, the debate and diplomacy seem to be over. Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has stated that he will accept the 2006 agreement after all. And so ends a depressing episode and lesson in global security realities and good intentions gone awry. There’s enough blame to go around for everyone. On the Japanese side, Hatoyama...

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Kuruma – Carina Star collision

Here’s an interesting web page on the collision between JDS Kuruma, a MSDF helicopter destroyer, and MV Carina Star, a South Korean container ship. The accident occurred October 27th, 2009, in the Kanmon Strait between the Japanese islands of Kyushu and Honshu. I had just been through–or rather under–the Kanmon Strait a week earlier, taking the...

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Housekeeping note: comments

I’ve just discovered that all many recent comments have been dumped in the spam bin. I’m not sure why, but if you’ve commented here and it hasn’t shown up on the site, that’s what happened. The spam filter would accept some comments from certain people and dump others, including from myself. The problem may have...

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Japanese lawmaker wants Japanese Marine Corps

I was rather surprised to see this in the feed this morning. Liberal Democratic Party policy chief Shigeru Ishiba (and former Defense Minister under Junichiro Koizumi) has floated the idea that Japan should create its own version of the U.S. Marine Corps. “Isn’t there anything Japan can do at a time when it has made...

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SDF General Measures Law proposal

Corey Wallace at Sigma1 has an excellent post on something that has not been really covered in the English-speaking media (which is why I’ve totally missed it.) The LDP is proposing a permanent law, superseding previous stop-gap laws, governing Self Defense Force deployments overseas. Dispatch of SDF forces would be acceptable under these circumstances: (1)  When...

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China to have 5th generation fighter by 2018?

The U.S. National Air and Space Intelligence Center is predicting that China will field a 5th generation fighter”in the ballpark” of the U.S. F-22 around 2018. As a neighbor and potential adversary, this has serious implications for Japan. Or does it? The date cited for the expected deployment is years ahead of previous Pentagon public...

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MSDF to rendezvous with U.S. Navy for Pacific Partnership 2010

Pacific Partnership 2010, the U.S. Navy’s annual soft power cruise through the South Pacific and Southeast Asia, is now five years old. Begun in the aftermath of the 2005 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Pacific Partnership annually sends a U.S. Navy vessel loaded with doctors, dentists, veterinarians, and engineers to remote locations to assist local communities on...

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Japan’s economy picking up

Well, this is certainly welcome news. 4.9% GDP growth in the first quarter of 2010. That exceeds growth during the same period in both the U.S. and Europe. Robust sales of Japanese products in emerging countries are beginning to set off a cycle of sustainable growth in Japan. As stronger exports shore up earnings, Japanese...

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Hatoyama condemns North Korean role in Cheonan sinking

Not much to say about this, the headline pretty much says it all. “Our country strongly supports South Korea,” Hatoyama said in a written statement. “North Korea’s action is inexcusable and, along with the international community, we strongly condemn it.” (Link) That’s great and everything, but exactly why should North Korea care what Japan thinks?...

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YouTube Fridays: JDS Hyuga

According to my blog stats, one of the biggest draws to this site are the MSDF’s new “helicopter destroyers”. People are very interested in them. There’s not a lot of good information on them in the English language press, but there is a lot on YouTube. Even though most of it is in Japanese, it...

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