On the surface, this makes a lot of sense:
Under the deal — only the second for officially pacifist Japan after the one signed with key ally the United States — Japan and Australia will provide food, fuel and other logistical support to each other during peacekeeping operations, disaster-relief missions and other activities, Nikkei said.
On the surface. Fuel is fuel, and Japan and Australia also share the same kinds of naval systems, including weapons and probably radar, fire control, etc. They both fly the same helicopters. So, there’s probably a lot of room for interoperability there.
Now, food. I’m not sure that Australian forces would really enjoy Japanese rations. I mean, the Australians didn’t even like Dutch food in Afghanistan. You can imagine how wakame, seasoned bamboo shoots, crab fried rice, and takuan pickles are all going to go down. Even the hamburg listed in the rations above is more like a ground beef meatloaf rather than a hamburger patty. It’s seasoned to a Japanese palette and not necessarily something a foreigner might take to right away. It may sound like hamburger, but it’s Japanese food.
As for the Japanese, I’m sure they’d enjoy Australian food, but it won’t be long before someone is moaning for his rice. I know how that sounds, but it’s true. I would probably miss rice if I didn’t have it for weeks or months.
Maybe Japan and Australia should put their heads together and work this part out before someone has to try another country’s food. Or maybe scratch food off of the agreement together. It’s just a suggestion.
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