Archived posts from category ‘Kyle Mizokami’

Japan Security Watch: Japan’s Space Agency to Take On National Security Role

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 [...]

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Kim Jong Il Comix

Click through to revisit our Kim Jong Il Comix, created by Kyle Mizokami and Matt Bors to celebrate Dear Leader’s eccentric approach to war.

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The Diplomat: Train Japanese Forces Abroad

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.

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The Diplomat: Japan’s Soft Power Chance

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.

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A First for Japan: SDF Joint Task Force Stood Up for Earthquake Response

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 [...]

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Japan Security Watch: Japan and Pacific Partnership 2011

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. [...]

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Japan Security Watch: Tanks Deployed to Stricken N-Plant

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 [...]

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Japan Security Watch: Matsushima Air Base

by KYLE MIZOKAMI Matsushima Air Base, just north of Sendai, suffered heavy damage due to flooding during the tsunami that swept the region. Located just seven feet (2.2 meters) above sea level, Matsushima was also located right on the coastline, and the wall of water swept over the base and continued inland. Damage at the [...]


Miyagi Prefecture Earthquake: Military Developments [Updated Monday]

by KYLE MIZOKAMI At approximately 2:50 p.m. local time on March 11, a series of powerful earthquakes hit the northeastern part of Japan. The strongest of the earthquakes has been measured at an 8.9 magnitude and was felt as far away as Beijing.The earthquakes, along with resulting tsunamis and fires have so far claimed at [...]


Iron Fist 2011, Part Four: How Good Are These Guys?

by KYLE MIZOKAMI The Japan Self Defense Forces are a lot like subatomic particles. Everyone knows they exist, or rather believes in the larger order of things that says they should exist, but few people can really tell you what they’re really like. The SDF keeps a low profile, in large part due to the [...]

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Japan’s New Fighter a $100-Billion Program?

by KYLE MIZOKAMI The Associated Press ran an article today which quotes General Hideyuki Yoshioka, director of air systems development at the Ministry of Defense as saying that the ATD-X, or Shinshin (“Spirit”) fighter will fly for the first time some time in 2014. [Yoshioka] said Japan has put 39 billion yen ($473 million) into [...]

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Iron Fist 2011, Part Three: Armies and Transparency

by KYLE MIZOKAMI This was my second opportunity to cover troops in the field, and my first ever with the GSDF. How to divide my attention? Should I talk to the Americans, who were approachable and from whom information flowed freely? The Japanese, who were more difficult to talk to, but who were precisely the [...]

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