Monthly archive July, 2010

Report: new call for Japanese Marine Corps

Buried deep in an article by China’s Global Times is a single, curious line about the soon-to-be released defense report. The article quotes DPJ Parliamentary Vice Minister for Defense Akihisa Nagashima, commenting on the report. Nagashima listed five core aspects of the new outline (including) transforming some of the Ground Self Defense Force into marines…(Link)...

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Japan defense panel: reinforce the outer islands

The government panel that was convened last year to study Japan’s defense posture has written its report, and one of the many interesting conclusions it has come to is that the outer islands, scene of so much drama last Spring, need to be defended. Earlier this year, Japanese warships followed Chinese naval flotillas, including submarines,...

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More on M. Star tanker incident

The Christian Science Monitor has a very good roundup of the latest information on Wednesday’s incident in which a Mitsui Lines tanker bound for Chiba mysteriously sustained damage. Read it here. - Calm seas, good visibility. - Crew saw a flash. - Damage sustained 4 meters above water line. - Damage not consistent with HEAT...

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About that cluster bomb ban that took effect…

Spencer Ackerman at Danger Room posted earlier this week about the Convention on Cluster Munitions–essentially a ban on munitions that dispense “cluster” bomblets. As Spencer points out, the ban has hit the magic number of 30 countries ratifying the accord, and so the ban will go into effect August 1st. Article 1 of the convention...

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Second Japanese anti-Superman drone crashes

A second Japanese TACOM unmanned aerial vehicle has crashed. The first drone crashed in February. TACOM, a UAV that resembles subsonic cruise missiles and is capable of being launched from fighters, has cost $250 million USD so far to develop. The ministry’s Technical Research and Development Institute said the engine of the drone, developed as a...

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Somalia anti-piracy refueling mission again on the table

As reported here last month, the idea has been floated of replacing the cancelled Indian Ocean refueling mission with a similar mission to refuel ships involved in the anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia. The idea got a boost earlier this week as it was revealed several nations explicitly requested MSDF tanker support. The...

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BREAKING: incident involving Japanese tanker in Strait of Hormuz

A Mitsui Lines-owned supertanker sustained damage Wednesday while passing through the Strait of Hormuz. The tanker, M. Star, sustained structural damage but was able to divert under its own power to a UAE port. Officials in the UAE are blaming a rogue wave, but Mitsui has hired a military expert to investigate whether or not...

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Separated at birth?

100410-N-7282P-070YOKOSUKA, Japan (April 10, 2010) Capt. David A. Lausman, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), explains the operations and function of flight deck control to Japan Minister for Foreign Affairs Katsuya Okada. George Washington is in a selective restricted availability at Fleet Activities Yokosuka. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication...

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Japan, Vietnam in Security Talks

Foreign Minister Okada visited Hanoi, Vietnam Sunday, meeting with his counterpart Pham Ga Khiem and agreeing to future sessions of what Japan calls “2+2 Talks”, where the Japanese Foreign and Defense Ministers meet with their counterparts in another country. Japan has recently done the 2+2 with other countries, most notably India. The Japanese Foreign Ministry...

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Japan to increase military space presence

Also from the Chosun Ilbo, an article about Japan’s expanded empire in orbit. The Japanese government could launch an early warning satellite that can detect missile launches abroad by 2013. It also wants to increase the number of reconnaissance satellites from the current three to four. The Strategic Headquarters for Space Policy of the Japanese...

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Japan increasing size of submarine fleet

Japan has announced it will increase the size of its submarine fleet, from 18 patrol submarines and two trainers to “more than 20″, according to this article. Japan is to increase its submarine fleet for the first time in 36 years, the Sankei Shimbun reported Sunday. The plan apparently aims to counter China’s naval build-up...

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Still Tasty? The Shelf Lives of Japanese Prime Ministers, 2000-2010

In the past ten years, Japan has gone through approximately seven prime ministers. Most of them have lasted a year, or less. Some foods have a longer shelf life. The question is inevitable: if each of these prime ministers were food, what kind of food would they be? I used the statistics at Stilltasty.com to...

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