Why yes Northrop Grumman is one of the conference sponsors. Why do you ask?

If you’re in Kyoto and have $1,400 USD to spare, you might want to check out the Year 2010 Multinational BMD Conference and Exhibition, at the Kyoto International Conference Center. Organized by the American Institute for Aeronautics, the 2010 conference describes itself thusly:

OVERVIEW
Delegates attending this year’s conference will have the opportunity to hear views from various nations on key issues facing the missile defense community, and discuss national policies and operational issues related to defeating ballistic missile threats. Expected attendance includes representatives from government and industry representing more than 20 nations.

EXHIBITION
Thee exhibition will provide delegates with a view of current and future missile defense capabilities. It will feature a display of system and element models, mock-ups, and related multimedia.

Unfortunately, the security clearance requirements probably preclude most people, including bloggers, from attending. The conference requires a NEED TO KNOW, but I think I probably only rate a KIND OF COOL TO KNOW. (As in, “It would be kind of cool to see of that BMD stuff, but I could live without it.”) You also need a TOP SECRET, NATO SECRET, or equivalent U.S. government recognized clearance to attend all events over the entire four days. I like Kyoto, but I’m glad I didn’t pay my own way to attend this–I’d do a lot of grumbling if I paid $1,400 and got kicked out just when it got interesting.

Speaking of interesting, the conference allows participants to register for an in-house wargame. The game scenario features several fictional countries as launch and repel a series of BMD attacks. Participants role play as those countries under attack. It’s BMD LARPing! Yes, I’m actually making a sad face as I type this because that. sounds. so. damn. fun.

Interesting note from conference organizers: “Business Dress (jacket and tie); Military uniforms are STRONGLY discouraged.” (original emphasis) I’m not sure what the organizers are implying here. Kyoto has a pretty large Japan Communist Party representation in local government, but I doubt people would be intentionally rude to non-locals in military uniform. It’s not exactly Berkeley, California.

As for what there is to do in Kyoto…sure, everyone goes to Inari Shrine for the 40,000 toriis, Gion for the maiko spotting, and Shoji for the shopping, but the real fun is in going to Iwatayama Monkey Park, in Arashiyama. It’s a short hop from Kyoto Station.

Blogger with monkeys.

Entrance is only $5.00. And Peter would probably insist that I mention it’s a real butt-kicker of a climb to the top of the park. I forgot to tell him about that.

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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 536 post(s) on Japan Security Watch