Monthly archive February, 2011
Iron Fist 2011: Photostream

Iron Fist 2011: Photostream

I’m back from Camp Pendleton, California, where I observed a portion of the  U.S. – Japan Iron Fist Exercises. I’m still going over my notes (and battling allergies) but I’ve uploaded a set of photos my photographer (wife) Lisa took during the event. Videos and a writeup to follow. Enjoy! (Link: Flickr photostream)

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Guest Post: "Broken Taboo?"

Guest Post: “Broken Taboo?”

[This guest post was submitted by Hisanori Hirata - an editor and security specialist.] From February 15th to 17th, Sankei Shimbun, one of Japanese five national newspapers, ran a sensational serialization entitled “The Age of Nuclear Domino.” The front page on 15th displayed the results of a survey on Japan’s security issues. It summarized in...

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CSIS on the Japanese Left and the Korean Military Balance

CSIS on the Japanese Left and the Korean Military Balance

Japan Security Watch readers might be interested in the following publications from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). In With a Left Like This, Who Needs the Right?, Jeffery Hornung charts the DPJ’s stance on many issues that were previously the ground of the LDP. He concludes: Along with continued support for the...

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Protecting South Korea's West Sea Islands: Israel's Spike Missiles

Protecting South Korea’s West Sea Islands: Israel’s Spike Missiles

South Korea wants to purchase 50 Spike anti-tank missiles from Israel and would like to deploy them on Yeonpyeong island by mid-2012, Yonhap News reported on Monday. The island, which was hit by North Korean artillery last November, is only 12 km from North Korea’s coast. It is part of a group of islands known...

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"Pursue F-X program to maintain skills" - Japanese industry

“Pursue F-X program to maintain skills” – Japanese industry

While the international defense industries continue to pitch their fifth-generation fighters to Japan, Japanese domestic defense manufacturers (namely Mitsubishi, Fuji, and Kawasaki Heavy Industries) are pressing the government to supply funds to their F-X programs for a domestically-produced fighter (such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industry’s ATD-X [see above and bottom]). With the F-35 seemingly at the...

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CRS on US-Japan Alliance

CRS on US-Japan Alliance

A Congressional Research Service report on the the US-Japan Alliance (released January 18th, 2011) has been the topic of a number of news articles in the English-language Japanese press reprinting a single Kyodo News release focusing on the report’s view that Article 9 is an ‘obstacle’ to greater cooperation, i.e. in Mainichi. The release made it...

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Sapporo Snow Festival

Sapporo Snow Festival

JSW friend Masahiro Taniguchi sent in some pictures from the Sapporo Snow Festival. Just for refreshment like “Bambi and GSDF,” I’m sending the photos I took today at Sapporo Snow Festival. As you can see it’s a snow statue of anchor of ship and according to the info plate, it was built by US Navy....

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Cope North 2010 Underway

Cope North 2010 Underway

Cope North, an annual joint exercise held between the USAF, US Navy and ASDF kicked off today at Andersen AFB in Yigo, Guam. The 12-day operation provides the backbone of inter-operable readiness for the defense of Japan. Speaking at last year’s exercise, Major Marcelo Morales of the Cope North 2010 staff told the Air Force...

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PanOrient on Japanese-Uzbek relations

PanOrient on Japanese-Uzbek relations

“Uzbekistan […] is geopolitically a very important country to Japan, and at the same time it is a strategically important partner from the viewpoint of energy and resources. I hope that [President Karimov's] visit will be an opportunity to elevate bilateral ties to a higher level.” - Prime Minister Naoto Kan, February 9th, 2011 Hungry...

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Fallout from the North-South Military Talks?

Fallout from the North-South Military Talks?

As expected, the North Koreans walked out on the military talks they begged to have with the South after being told that they would have to apologise for the attack on the Cheonan destroyer and strike against Yeonpyeong. North Korea’s mouthpiece, the Korean Central News Agency, released a scathing tirade against the ‘traitors’ in the south...

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38 North on Wikileaks and the Korean Peninsula

38 North on Wikileaks and the Korean Peninsula

Wikileaks has given the world insight into the immense volume of diplomatic traffic that passes between Washington and its embassies, even if it hasn’t been entirely significant. One of the State Department’s biggest victims of the whole debacle is the embassy in Seoul which has seen a large amount of its cables posted online. Japan...

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Why is Russia in a mad scramble to fortify the Kurils?

Why is Russia in a mad scramble to fortify the Kurils?

Itar-Tass reported Tuesday that Russia plans to use the first two of the Mistral amphibious assault ships it is purchasing from France “to protect the south Kurile Islands.” Russia is planning on buying at least three of the ships, the first two of which will be built in France. There’s been a lot of speculation...

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