Monthly archive January, 2012

News Flash: Japan-DPRK Secret Talks, Koizumi Still Most Popular PM since 2000

A selection of the news of the day: Japan and North Korea hold (not so) secret talks over abduction issue, the opportunities for Japan-India ties, Gemba hunts for energy security, and polls on the best and worst recent PMs

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Japanese Air Force One/Two

Japanese Air Force One/Two

One of the two dedicated government aircraft taking off from Haneda

One of the two dedicated government aircraft taking off from Haneda (Source: Anon/2ch)

The ASDF's seal adorned the inside of the 747's door

The ASDF's seal adorned the inside of the 747's door (Source: Interceptor)

On my way to Hokkaido for the annual New Year family festivities, I happened to spot one of Japan’s dedicated government aircraft, better described (perhaps) by their callsigns, Japanese Air Force One/Two, or their colloquial name, the “Flying Kantei”. I presume it was Prime Minister Noda heading to India (as I spotted the jet on TV later that day), but it was a nice surprise for the usual drudge of flying through Haneda.

The jets, two Boeing 747-400s (registered as JA8091/JA8092), are operated by the 701st Squadron of the Air Self-Defense Force’s Special Airlift Group, based out of Chitose, Hokkaido. Interestingly, the unit relies on the civilian ground support of Japan Airlines. At the rear of the craft, it has ASDF signage, and there is a huge crest of the ASDF on the back of the door.

Read more about the aircraft over at Wikipedia.

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Branching Out: Asia Security Watch

Japan Security Watch branches out into Asia over at Asia Security Watch. Read the official announcement here for more details.

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Jeffery W. Hornung on the Futenma Impasse (Link)

As the US turns to Asia, Jeffrey W. Hornung of CSIS presses on the need to fix the realignment plan and push ahead in the context of US strategy:

A resolution [to the Futenma realignment problem] is required because as the United States pivots to the Asia-Pacific region, it is imperative to know what the U.S. force posture is going to look like and how Japan fits in this strategy, and then work to implement it. Excess focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. Marine presence in Okinawa diverts attention away from the sizable role to be played by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force at Yokosuka and Kadena in the event of a regional contingency. The region is rapidly changing, and the quicker the problems of realignment are settled, the quicker the United States and Japan can adapt to meet those changes.

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N Korean Documentary for Kim Jong-Un’s Birthday Emphasizes Military Strength (Link)

Perhaps seeking to show his affinity with those best equipped to overthrow him, North Korean TV aired a documentary emphasizing the young leader role as a military leader, the Asahi’s Asia & Japan Watch reports:

The documentary, which aired on what is believed to be Kim Jong Un’s birthday, is the second in a week to show Kim with military units, and underlines his pledge to carry out his father’s “military first” policy. A week ago, footage showed Kim paying a New Year’s Day visit to a premier tank division with strong historical and family ties.

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[H/T @shilkytouch]

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News Flash: Ichikawa Gone, Tokiwa on Fire, SDF to South Sudan

News Flash: Ichikawa Gone, Tokiwa on Fire, SDF to South Sudan

A selection of the news of the day: Defense Minister Ichikawa will be replaced, JS Tokiwa catches fire, and the advance party to South Sudan holds their leaving ceremony.

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Asia Security Watch links 1/6/12

  * CFR: The Pentagon Pivots to Asia * Japan, India “Asia’s Natural Born-Allies” * Chinese, Burmese ships attacked on Mekong River * Kidnappings of locals, foreigners in Philippines reflect collapse of law and order *  Antiterrorism training in Vladivostok

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Asia Security Watch: The PLA on Afghanistan

Asia Security Watch: The PLA on Afghanistan

As the Iraq war concludes, there have been plenty of debate in the United States about what specific lessons can be learned from the conflict and the ongoing counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan. Curious about what the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) made of the whole enterprise? Andrew Scobell, David Lai, and Roy Kamphausen have edited...

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Asia Security Watch Links 1/2/12

* Former F-14 aviator, Libya air ops head picked to head U.S. PACOM * Report: China may overtake U.S. mil power by 2050 * Feng: The year that was and the year that is coming for the PLAAF * Profile of supreme commander of Thai military, Thanasak Patimaprakorn * Australia, struggling to fill ranks, seeks laid-off...

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