The latest issue of Japan Defense Focus went up last month. It’s a quarterly, so I don’t look very often. I guess now I know to look every January. Link is here (3 MB PDF file.)

Anywho, it’s not terribly interesting. Here’s a roundup.

  • Address by new Minister of Defense. He thanks JSDF for hard work, especially the 36 JSDF overseas on peacekeeping missions (Japan is 85th in contributions to peacekeeping worldwide,) as well as the Japanese icebreaker in Antarctica. Calls the North Korean missile threat “serious”, and mentions Japanese contributions to the Somali anti-piracy patrols. He says reform of the JSDF is needed, but doesn’t say what kind. Finally, he exhorts the JSDF to focus on their missions and tasks at hand.
  • Bob Gates showed up in Shinjuku and told the Ministry of Defense, “let’s stick with the 2006 agreement.”
  • The Minister of Defense met with his Indian counterpart. There was talk of increasing joint training and other forms of cooperation.
  • The Minister of Defense met with his Chinese counterpart. They talked about trust and stuff.
  • The Minister of Defense visited a MSDF naval base, a ASDF air base, and a GSDF army post. He got to see cool stuff and told everyone they were doing important jobs.
  • The 14th Annual Tokyo Defense Forum was held and attended by 23 countries, 22 of which fought Japan in World War II. (Japan was 23rd.)
  • Two paragraphs on the collision between the JDS Kurama and a South Korean container ship. An investigation is underway.
  • The MSDF did a fleet review for the new DPJ government. Hatoyama couldn’t make it as he was at the ASEAN conference.
  • An entire page devoted to the P-3C Orions and destroyers of the MSDF on their anti-piracy missions. A lot of  hard work but very little action for these guys.
  • 10 medical personnel were sent to Sumatra to assist in relief operations after the September 30th earthquake.
  • There was an annual memorial service for JSDF personnel killed on duty. The number was six. (That number is incredibly low–ed.)
  • JDS Myoko successfully fired a SM-3 Anti-ballistic missile. This is the latest stuff from the U.S. and with it the entire Home Island chain could be defended from ballistic missiles with only a handful of ships. (Which is good, because only a handful of ships–3–are capable of carrying it.)
  • There was a JSDF marching band festival. About eight bands made it, plus a few American ones. Hatoyama attended this one. There was singing.
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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 596 post(s) on Japan Security Watch