Monthly archive July, 2010

Japan sending observers to U.S. – ROK exercises

A little nugget from Xinhua: TOKYO, July 23 (Xinhua) — Japan will send Self-Defense Forces ( SDF) staff to observe a joint military drill between the United States and South Korea slated for Sunday through Wednesday in the Sea of Japan, the Defense Ministry said Friday. Japan will not dispatch any vessel to the drill...

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SDF recruiting center in Tokyo

This article’s a few years old but still interesting. Curzon from ComingAnarchy.com recounts a visit of his to a Self Defense Forces recruiting center in Tokyo. Specifically, in Shibuya, by the Bic Camera. (If you’ve seen the film Lost in Translation and remember the dinosaur scene, this place would be about a block from there.)...

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More F-2 fighters?

A article from MSN Japan seems to be saying that the Ministry of Defense is considering buying another 18-23 F-2 fighter aircraft. I won’t repost it, but you can read it here in the original Japanese or here translated to English. The article appears to make the case that Japan is doing so because of China’s...

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Time Machine: The Chinese War Machine and Japan, 1979

Published in 1979, despite the alarmist title The Chinese War Machine was probably the single best volume on the Chinese government and military forces available to civilians. Written by a number of defense experts at the time (including Bill Sweetman–how old is he, anyway?), it analyzed everything from the Central Military Committee to China’s “green...

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New plan to beef up Ryukyus unveiled

The Ministry of Defense is now looking at garrisoning troops in the Ryukyu islands chain, including Yonaguni Island,  Miyakojima and other major islands. In response to such factors as activity by Chinese naval vessels, the ministry is eyeing reinforcing surveillance along Japan’s western border. The Self-Defense Forces have only a sparse presence in areas to...

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U.S.- Japan extend bilateral agreement on relief supplies

Japan and the United States will now, in the event of disaster, share relief supplies. TOKYO: The Japanese Defense Ministry has decided to extend a bilateral agreement with the US military on providing goods and services to each other to cooperate in international emergency relief operations, according to sources. By submitting a bill for amending...

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Does this count as a drone strike?

Man hit, killed by remote-controlled helicopter while farming. From the Mainichi Daily News: The worker, 52-year-old Masatake Kudo, was struck by the helicopter at about 10:55 a.m. on July 19, and died from traumatic shock. Witnesses said that the helicopter suddenly plunged from a height of about 3 meters and the main rotor blade hit...

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Meet RIMPAC’s OPFOR

An interesting article at the Honolulu Advertiser about the aircraft and pilots who fly contracted to fly OPposing FORce missions against the RIMPAC flotilla, simulating enemy planes and missiles. At least some of the planes–in this case L-29 trainers–were brought by ship to Hawaii on the deck of USS Bonhomme Richard. The British-made Hunter jet...

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Flash drives + P2P software = career-enders

A MSDF officer apparently brought the wrong kind of work home and is facing disciplinary action. The officer, a lieutenant commander in his 30s, is in charge of aircraft maintenance at the MSDF’s Atsugi Air Station in Kanagawa Prefecture. He had copied the document onto a personal USB flash memory device and stored it on...

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Japan extendeds Somali piracy mission by one year

The Self-Defense Forces anti-piracy mission to the Gulf of Aden, which normally consists of two destroyers, a fleet oiler, two P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, and a special forces boarding party, has been extended for a period of one year. The mission was set to end July 23rd. The antipiracy law, which took effect in...

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Yonaguni island: we *want* the $DF here

Yonaguni island, that tiny island of 1,800 Japanese citizens and the westernmost of all Japanese islands (only 110 kilometers from Taiwan) is entirely undefended. That’s right, aside from a police force, there is zero military presence on the island. Yonaguni wants to change all of that, though. “We’ve constantly asked the national government to deploy...

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More WW2-era explosives found on Okinawa

More than 900 pieces of unexploded ordinance were found in Okinawa this week buried underneath a restaurant. Construction workers on a road expansion project detected the explosives with a metal detector and notified police Wednesday morning, Kiyotaka Maedomari, a senior police official in Itoman city, told AFP. An army bomb disposal squad discovered the total...

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