The Defense Ministry and two other government entities have suspended Mitsubishi Electric Corp. as a designated contractor because the company has been found to have inflated invoices, the ministry has announced.
The ministry, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center made the announcements and suspended the company Friday for unspecified periods. The ministry added that Mitsubishi contacted it to admit the allegations the same day.
Jiji Press commentator Yoshikatsu Suzuki discusses the way ahead for Japanese diplomacy in 2012, focusing relevantly enough on the Philippines, which recently offered the US a chance at a new base – an offer the US has turned down, and the Indian Ocean, in whose ports Suzuki sees Japan needing to gain a presence. It makes for an interesting look at some of the contemporary issues affecting Japanese foreign policy.
The year 2012 marks the start of efforts to build a new order in the Asia-Pacific region. The world faces a number of difficult issues and situations whose outcome is in doubt: the Arab Spring, the European crisis, Iran’s nuclear program, and the outlook for North Korea after the death of Kim Jong-il. Now is the time for writing new rules and formulating new frameworks for an era of change. Things are already beginning to stir on the political stage, with changes of government, scheduled or otherwise, likely in a number of countries in the near future.
Mitsubishi has produced all of Japan’s domestically-built fighters in continuous production since the first construction began on the F86 Sabre under license in 1956. The break in production is a terrifying prospect for Mitsubishi and IHI (jet engine manufacturer), who fear a loss of skills and construction/development capability. Japan maintains these skills through research platforms such the ATD-X ‘Shinshin’, as well as through securing some measure of assembly and production through the F35 deal with Lockheed Martin.
In January 2010, Nikkei Business wrote a special feature on Japan’s defense aircraft entitled “Last Chance”. That article featured a chart depicting the domestically-developed fighter program, translated and updated below. Note that the F1 is the only fighter on the list that was domestically developed and produced. All the other fighters were produced under license from American companies.Whether this current gap bodes well for the FXX program (seeking the successor to the F15J) or not remains to be seen.
Over at the USNI Blog, Galrahn posted a link to a marketing article by the shipping company Maersk Line. Galrahn calls it “A Potential Plan B for Seabasing“. The article discusses converting Maersk commercial container ships into Afloat Forward Staging Bases, complete with everything from a 14 V-22 Osprey-capable flight deck to the ability to...
Japan’s answer to NASA — JAXA — is slated to add defense and intelligence tasks to its traditionally civilian role. Kyodo explains: A government panel on space program strategy plans to revise a law to allow the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to step outside its current commitment to peaceful projects and become involved in the...
One of the few genuine improvements that one could have hoped would come out of the most recent cabinet reshuffle in Japan was that the new defense minister would be an improvement over the previous one. The previous defense minister, Ichikawa Yasuo, got off to a stunning start by declaring himself to be an “amateur”...
From Jijion January 10th, we have this wonderful video of the initiation ceremony of the first mass production model of the Type-10 tank into the GSDF’s armor training unit at the GSDF Fuji School in Shizuoka Prefecture, whose open day I attended last year.
Until this point, the Type-10s in use at the school have been experimental production models. The mass production model now entering service with the school is the product of several changes and upgrades on the experimental models.
Once the school has received its complement of tanks, expect to see their use extending into the GSDF’s armored units for general service, bringing a much-needed modern light-weight battle tank to fill the gaps caused by the restrictions of the use of the Type-90 outside Hokkaido.
In November 2011, Tiago Mauricio and Rui Faro Saraiva, graduate students of Kyoto and Osaka Universities (respectively), created Japan Foreign Policy Observatory as a means of advancing their studies into Japanese foreign and security policy. The blog is an excellent piece of work covering both current events and theory, and should certainly be added to your daily Japan reading as a counterpoint to our work here at JSW.
We look forward to seeing where JFPO goes, and wish its creators good luck with their studies.