The Japan Times has an article about Northrop Grumman exhibiting a 1:1 model of the Global Hawk UAV in Tokyo, the final leg of an Asia tour designed to drum up sales of the long-legged unmanned aerial vehicle.

A good fit? Before last weekend I would have said “maybe”. Last weekend, however, the Chinese Navy showed up off Okinawa and had itself an unannounced parade. A Global Hawk UAV in the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance role would be useful for keeping track of foreign fleets near Japanese waters.

Not everyone agrees, though.

A professor at Waseda thinks it’s a bad idea.

“I think there is a concern, not just in Asia but wherever the spy planes might be sold, of increased tensions if exports are given the go-ahead,” said Takehiko Yamamoto, a professor of international relations at Waseda University in Tokyo.

“China, Russia and others would perceive it as a potentially offensive capability. For Japan, I think it is a bad idea.”

He has a point, to an extent–ask Eisenhower how spy planes can affect international relations and cause incidents. Otherwise, the professor should keep in mind that good, reliable information helps people make good decisions. Surveillance flights by the same U-2 spy planes that provoked the “U-2 Incident” also helped prove that the “bomber gap” with the Soviet Union did not exist, reducing tensions and helping the U.S. avoid spending unnecessary billions on bombers it did not need.

GD Star Rating

Related posts:

A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 596 post(s) on Japan Security Watch