Monthly archive April, 2011
Ministry of Defense to scale back MSDF, ASDF Earthquake Efforts

Ministry of Defense to scale back MSDF, ASDF Earthquake Efforts

Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said today that the MoD is planning on reducing the presence of the Air and Maritime Self Defense Forces in the earthquake-affected area. “The MSDF and ASDF will have to return to their original roles in intelligence-gathering and surveillance as the need for them to transport supplies and rescue people is...

Read more...
Homeward Bound, Japanese, Chinese Destroyers Visit Singapore

Homeward Bound, Japanese, Chinese Destroyers Visit Singapore

MSDF destroyers JS Yudachi and JS Kirisame, the seventh pair of MSDF destroyers deployed to the Horn of Africa anti-piracy mission, are coming home to Japan. The two missed the March 11th Great Tohoku Earthquake and the massive MSDF fleet sortie that followed, and are making their way back to Maizuru. The ships were in Colombo, Sri...

Read more...
A Heavy Toll

A Heavy Toll

Last week, an enlisted man in the MSDF tried to avoid a second deployment to the Tohoku disaster area by exposing himself in a video store. This is just one example of the psychological price of the SDF’s disaster relief efforts. As 25,000 troops head to the region in a surge designed to locate and...

Read more...

MSDF P.O. Claims Disaster Stress, Refuses Second Tour

A Petty Officer Third Class assigned to the submarine rescue vessel JS Chiyoda apparently had a mental breakdown after being ordered to the Tohoku disaster zone for a second tour. Kyodo says: A 31-year-old Maritime Self-Defense Force member was arrested Wednesday after exposing himself in public at a rental video shop in Yokohama’s Konan Ward, in...

Read more...
GSDF, US Army on the "Soul Train"

GSDF, US Army on the “Soul Train”

The GSDF, along with the U.S. Army Japan, has launched an operation to clear debris from the tracks and stations of the JR Senseki Line in Miyagi prefecture. East Japan Railway Co. has been removing debris and restoring damaged railway tracks on the Senseki Line, which connects Aoba Dori Station in Sendai and Ishinomaki Station....

Read more...

Tsunami-Damaged F-2 Fighter Trainers to be Restored

The Sankei Shimbun reports that the 18 F-2s damaged during the March 11th tsunami at Matsushima Sub-Base are undergoing repairs. The aircraft, which were parked on the tarmac at Matsushima, were unable to be evacuated in time to escape the waves. All were inundated with seawater and at least one collided with the control tower...

Read more...
Asian Security Blog: What the Japan Tsunami Tells Us about International Politics

Asian Security Blog: What the Japan Tsunami Tells Us about International Politics

[Here's a guest post from Robert E. Kelly, Associate Professor at Busan National University. Robert blogs at the very fine Asian Security Blog. The post, written shortly after the quake, contains a few dated facts but Bob's points still stand.] For as awful as natural disasters are, they also act as lightning flashes to illuminate the...

Read more...
The Harlequin Man of JS Hyuga

The Harlequin Man of JS Hyuga

Flight operations on the helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga after the Tohoku Earthquake.

Read more...
Second "Helicopter Destroyer" Commissioned into MSDF

Second “Helicopter Destroyer” Commissioned into MSDF

  JS Ise, the second and last of the Hyuga-class helicopter destroyers, has officially joined the fleet. Ise was commissioned into the Maritime Self Defense Forces on March 16th, 2011, five days after the Tohoku Earthquake. Ise was built by IHI at the Yokohama Shipyard and launched in August 2009. At 18,000 tons fully loaded, Hyuga...

Read more...
Rising to the Challenge

Rising to the Challenge

Alex Martin at The Japan Times has an interesting article on the psychological and societal strains and benefits of Self-Defense Force operations in the Tohoku disaster. For an organization that is constitutionally-illegitimate, socially unappreciated, yet essential to Japanese security, disaster relief operations have always been a welcome chance to show the SDF’s worth. This time,...

Read more...
Book Plug: Quakebook

Book Plug: Quakebook

For those not already aware, blogger Our Man in Abiko and his team of editors have put together a book of personal accounts from the March 11th Tohoku Earthquake. Called Quakebook, the entries were largely submitted from the English-speaking Japan Twitter community. The book was assembled in one week and released a month and a...

Read more...
F-X Program Kicks Into High Gear

F-X Program Kicks Into High Gear

According to The Dew Line, Japan has officially sent Requests for Proposals to three fighter manufacturers to provide fighters under the long-delayed F-X program. Lockheed Martin got the nod for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Boeing for the F-18 E/F fighter, and a U.K. rep “picked up the RFP for a possible bid by the...

Read more...