In Wake of F-22 Ban, Japan Forging Ties with Europe (With a Warning to America)

In Wake of F-22 Ban, Japan Forging Ties with Europe (With a Warning to America)

For more than forty years, as part of an alliance with the United States, Japan was allowed access to some of the very best fighters in the world. A string of American fighters, starting with the F-86 Sabre, then the F-104 Starfighter, F-4 Phantom and finally the F-15 provided the...

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Coast Guard to pick up retiring Hatsuyuki-class destroyers?

Coast Guard to pick up retiring Hatsuyuki-class destroyers?

The MSDF and Japan Coast Guard are in talks to push retiring Hatsuyuki-class destroyers into service patrolling the Senkaku islands to cover a shortage of mid-term vessel numbers.

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New Minister and a Change of Pace at Ichigaya

New Minister and a Change of Pace at Ichigaya

Incoming Defense Minister Onodera's foreign policy background and Ichigaya's new breeze of life over the New Year.

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MSDF Ships Visit Yokohama's Minato Mirai

MSDF Ships Visit Yokohama’s Minato Mirai

MSDF vessels put into Yokohama for a public open-day event. JSW's James Simpson was on the scene, unprepared but eager to serve.

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GSDF Chief of Staff Kimizuka Visits USS Bonhomme Richard

GSDF Chief of Staff Kimizuka Visits USS Bonhomme Richard

As the GSDF's 15th Brigade trains alongside the USMC, Gen. Eiji Kimizuka (GSDF Chief of Staff) visits the USS Bonhomme Richard to discuss the future of SDF-USMC interoperability.

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Latest entries

Shukan Bunshun: Former U.S. State Dept. Japan Hand: Let Us Fight Together!

(Weekly magazine “Shukan Bunshun“; February 21, 2013; By Satoshi Tomizaka. Translation, as always, by a trusty pal.)  Kevin Maher, Former State Department Japan Country Director: “Japan, Let us fight together!” Former State Department Japan Country Director, Kevin Maher stated, “Lighting up the Fire-Control (FC) radar and lock-on is equivalent to an actual attack, and can...

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Shukan Bunshun: Who is Responsible for PLAN Radar Lock-On Incident?

From the Japanese weekly magazine “Shukan Bunshun“; February 21, 2013; By Satoshi Tomizaka. Translation by a JSW/ASW pal.  (Regarding this incident here.) Who is responsible for the Chinese Navy’s radiation of Fire Control Radar (FCR)? The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs broke their silence on 8 February and released a statement in countering Japan’s accusation...

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Japanese Media: Taiwan-Japan Fishing Deal Strategically Significant

Following on from Michal Thim’s ASW post, which contains the details of the deal, the Japanese media reaction has been illuminating, and it appears to be the number one story alongside North Korean missiles on most Japanese news sites. Something appeared to be stirring in late March when it was reported in the Japanese media...

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Senkaku Breakthrough: Taiwan and Japan agree on fishing rights

Japan and Taiwan have signed a ground-breaking agreement on fishing rights that leaves China isolated in the territorial dispute over Senkaku/Diaoyutai islands. According to Taipei Times, major elements of the agreement are: intervention-free fishing zone for Taiwanese fishing boats in waters between 27° north latitude and the Sakishima Islands, Okinawa Prefecture; furthermore, Taiwan is given...

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NY Times: "Japan Shifting Further Away From Pacifism"

NY Times: “Japan Shifting Further Away From Pacifism”

To be sure, the article itself is solid and talks to all the right people, including Professor Richard Samuels and Associate Professor Michishita Narushige who are both outstanding scholars of Japan’s security strategy. Ultimately, despite appearances below, the article doesn’t bother me all that much. But it provides a good opportunity to reflect on a few...

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Japanese Media Now Openly Talking about Japan-Australia Soryu Deal

Japanese Media Now Openly Talking about Japan-Australia Soryu Deal

Today the Nikkei featured an article (日) that raised once again the possibility of Japan transferring the technology underpinning the prized Soryu submarine to Australia. The article did not offer much additional detail about how the process from here is likely to unfold, although it did frame the technology transfer as part of a supposedly mutual...

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Tekken At Sea: Japanese Destroyer vs. Chinese Frigate

Tekken At Sea: Japanese Destroyer vs. Chinese Frigate

Last week a Chinese Jiangwei-II (Type 053H3) class frigate locked its fire control radar on a Japanese destroyer. The name of the Chinese frigate was not mentioned, but the Japanese destroyer involved in the incident was JS Yudachi (DD-103), of the Murasame class. After being lit up by the Chinese radar, Yudachi took evasive action....

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To Counter China, Defense Ministry Considering F-15s at Civilian Airport

Well, this is certainly interesting: Japan is considering using a civil airfield in the Ryukyu islands to base F-15s, because those based on Okinawa are too far away. The planes would be stationed on Shimojijima Island, which is much closer to the Japan-administered Senkakus, which China claims as the Diaoyu, than to Okinawa’s prefectural capital...

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PRC in 1950: "Senkaku Islands" as Part of Okinawa?

PRC in 1950: “Senkaku Islands” as Part of Okinawa?

Jiji Press in Japan went big yesterday (日) on an exclusive revolving around historical PRC government documents related to PRC awareness of the territorial dispute over the islands, publishing a number of articles and commentaries in rapid fire succession. The Japanese government’s position has been that the PRC, at least, only made a claim to the islands after...

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First Application of Japan's New Arms Exports Principles to a PKO

First Application of Japan’s New Arms Exports Principles to a PKO

One of the many justifications that the Japanese government referred to in revising Japan’s weapons export restrictions was the potential to assist nations being rebuilt after a conflict or humanitarian disaster.  Previously the SDF was unable to leave behind any heavy machinery or other equipment that may have been useful to such nations. Today, the...

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3 Ways the DPRK Has Just Hurt its "Blood Ally."

3 Ways the DPRK Has Just Hurt its “Blood Ally.”

Regarding the recent satellite launch/missile test conducted by the DPRK. Apologies for cross posting. First, it gives Japan and the US a useful issue to bash the PRC over the head with in the UNSC, especially if the PRC goes ahead and vetoes any further sanctions. China’s image will deteriorate in Japan further as perceptions...

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Japan to Sell Subs to Vietnam?

Japan to Sell Subs to Vietnam?

A little late off the mark with this one, but a few interesting pieces of information that might be worth watching out for in 2013. Martin Fackler has written an interesting article over at the New York Times which details Japan’s increasing security influence in Southeast Asia, covered often here at JSW. Some of the...

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