Monthly archive September, 2010

Q & A on visiting the Northern Territories

The Mainichi Daily News with a set of frequently asked question and answers on why the Japanese government frowns on Japanese visiting the “Northern Territories”: Japan’s name for the four islands in the Kuril chain that were captured by Russia at the end of World War II and never returned. Q: Is it really such...

Read more...

When your country’s military cannot stop zombies…

…who is the next line of defense? SEGA’s upcoming game in its Yakuza franchise, Yakuza: Of the End will feature Yakuza fighting zombies. It makes sense: besides the SDF and the police, who else in Japan has guns? The Yakuza. Apparently the zombie invasion hit Japan in April 2011 and the Japanese Self Defense Force...

Read more...

Okada out as Foreign Minister, Maehara in.

After defeating Ichiro Ozawa in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan election, Prime Minister Naoto Kan has decided to shuffle the country’s leadership a bit. On the security side, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada is to move from the Foreign Ministry to act as the DPJ’s Secretary General. Toshimi Kitazawa will remain at his post at...

Read more...

Invasion! Part 4: The Great Activist War of 2018

It’s 2018. Several fishing trawlers have landed a force of two hundred “activists” on the small Japanese island of Miyatajima*, several hundred kilometers southwest of Kyushu. Miyatajima is small, with a total area of about 100 square kilometers, and lightly populated, with a total Japanese population of about a thousand. Ownership of Miyatajima is contested...

Read more...

Nightwatch on the Japan-China confrontation

Nightwatch: China-Japan: Today, China postponed a visit to Japan by Li Jianguo, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, because of the maritime confrontation in which a Chinese fishing boat apparently deliberately rammed Japanese patrol boats. Li’s five-day visit was planned to enlarge exchanges between Japan’s lower house and China’s legislature....

Read more...

Invasion! Part 3: Attack of the Proxies

Military actions between states tend to lead to outright war. Actions by proxies on behalf of one state against another, on the other hand, tend to insulate the actor against direct blame, no matter how ill-concealed the control is. Think Pakistan vs. India, for example, and the Mumbai attacks of 2008. What if a foreign...

Read more...

Japan restates claim to Takeshima/Dokdo

Japan has repeated its position that Takeshima — Dokdo to Koreans — is a part of Japan. South Korea voiced “deep regret” on Friday over Japan’s renewed claim to the Dokdo islets in the Sea of Japan. The statement, issued by the South Korean foreign ministry, came in response to the Japanese claim in an...

Read more...

Invasion! Part 2: Islands in the Stream

Senkaku Islands. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, estimates of oil under the East China Sea run from 28 to 213 billion barrels. The U.S. thinks it’s around 28 billion, and the Chinese think it’s 213 billion, although other foreign estimates put the number at around 100 billion. To put that in perspective, Kuwait has...

Read more...

Invasion! Part 1: Between Alcatraz and the Falklands

Note: this is the first of a series of posts that I wrote back in June, and then shelved. In light of recent developments, including the scheduled exercises near the Nansei Islands and the sailing of Taiwanese activists to the Senkaku islands, I’ve decided to post them anyway. This series is not meant to illustrate...

Read more...

Developments in the Japan-China fishing trawler collision

The crew of the Minjinyu 5179 has been released and sent home on an airplane chartered by China. The captain is being held, however, on suspicion that he deliberately crashed into two Japanese Coast Guard ships. China has suspended talks on joint resource development and territorial claims in the Senkakus until the captain of the...

Read more...

SDF expanding anti-piracy patrol zone

The Self Defense Forces are planning on increasing their patrol area off the coast of Somalia by 200 kilometers, in response to an anticipated increase in pirate activity. The extension, which will also affect an area patrolled by the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s P-3C patrol aircraft, is aimed at dealing with an expected increase in piracy...

Read more...

MSDF P-3C engine change in Australia

Via Alert 5: A MSDF P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft underwent an engine change at Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin. (Full set of pictures here.) The Japan-Australia Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), in which both countries agreed to cooperate and share on logistics and training matters, was finalized in May. Both Japan and Australia...

Read more...