by KYLE MIZOKAMI Japan’s answer to NASA — JAXA — is slated to add defense and intelligence tasks to its traditionally civilian role. Kyodo explains: A government panel on space program strategy plans to revise a law to allow the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to step outside its current commitment to peaceful projects and become [...]
Archived posts from category ‘Japan’
Betting on the F-35 for Japan
Japan will pick its next jet fighter on Friday. It will be Lockheed Martin’s F-35, and here’s why.
Beneath the often contentious U.S.-Japan basing dilemma is an underlying truth: that armed forces need to train in order to retain their effectiveness. Those based outside of their home countries not only need living space, room to park planes, and places to bury munitions, but they also need geographic space to train. Under the present conditions of the U.S.-Japan alliance, Japan finds itself confronted with the necessity of accommodating 27,000 American service members, their families, bases and equipment.
For more than 20 years, the U.S. Air Force had a world monopoly on radar-evading technology — and with it, a huge advantage over any rival. Several generations of stealth fighters and bombers, from the earliest F-117s to the 1990s-vintage B-2s and today’s F-22s, have helped win wars, take down regimes and exert U.S. influence across the globe.
Within 45 minutes of the massive Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami hitting the northeast of Japan on March 11, the country’s Maritime Self-Defence Forces had sortied their first ship from the fleet anchorage at Yokosuka, the destroyer Kurasame, sending it north. With 24 hours, 17 MSDF ships had been sent north. In less than a week, over 100,000 members of the Self-Defence Forces, hundreds of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, and more than 50 percent of the fleet was at work in the affected zone, doing everything from search and rescue, to sheltering displaced persons.
It was another big reveal in a long history of them. Six months after the Chinese air force let the first photos of its new stealth fighter leak online, Beijing’s military has “accidentally” showed off another secretive weapon system: a small drone, apparently used to scout ahead of China’s fast-growing fleet of warships.
by DAVID AXE It’s an arms race Beijing claims it doesn’t want, Russia can’t afford, the United States believes it can’t afford and Japan probably isn’t prepared for on its own. All the same, the intensifying competition to build radar-evading jet fighters has had a powerful effect on the politics, industry and military forces of [...]
Growing threats from China and North Korea, plus the aging of Cold War hardware, mean Japan is due for a revamping of its air power. But Tokyo’s aerospace needs are complicated by constitutional restrictions, a costly natural disaster and general economic stagnation.
by KYLE MIZOKAMI Joint Task Force-Tohoku is the Japan Self-Defense Forces’ first-ever operationally deployed joint task force, commanding Ground, Air, and Maritime Self Defense Force units. JTF-Tohoku is commanded by Lieutenant General Eiji Kimizuka of the Ground Self Defense Forces. This is a big deal. Japan’s armed forces have a history of maddening parochialism. During [...]
by KYLE MIZOKAMI Last year, for the first time Japan deployed a MSDF vessel in support of the U.S. Navy’s annual Pacific Partnership program. JS Kunisaki, an Ohsumi-class LST, was loaded with doctors, nurses, dentists, and engineers and sent to follow USNS Mercy as she worked her way from the South Pacific to Southeast Asia. [...]
by KYLE MIZOKAMI According to the Daily Yomiuri, the GSDF is sending two Type 74 main battle tanks to the Fukushima Daiichi reactor to help clean up rubble and debris from the earthquake, tsunami, and explosions at the reactor site. The rubble and debris are hampering emergency efforts to repair the reactors. The GSDF is [...]
The full implications for Japan of last week’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, as well as the ongoing problems at the Fukushima nuclear plant, remain unclear. But an ambitious and likely pricey military program could be one of the first political casualties as Tokyo weighs the cost of recovery.