Giving Japan a military

Air Self-Defense Force F-15 fighters fly over the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Carl Vinson during a Japan-U.S. joint training drill exercise in the Sea of Japan on June 1. | AP

 

After 70 years, Japan may finally be on the cusp of acquiring its own military. Legally, that is. Last month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe indicated his desire to change the Constitution by 2020 to include a clause to give legal standing to the Self-Defense Forces. The revision, while historically controversial domestically, is long overdue. Continue reading

Japan launches first military communications satellite

Japan’s first dedicated military communications satellite was launched on 24 January from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Tanegashima Space Center in the country’s southwest, according to the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Tokyo. Continue reading

Japan’s Air Force Will Include 100 Stealth Fighters

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Japan Air Self-Defense Force | X-2 In Flight | Stealthy, for everything but eyeballs.

 

A small fleet, growing below the radar

Only a few nations have ever built stealth fighters. The United States dominates in that arena, with the retired F-117, the in-service F-22, and the soon-to-be-in-service F-35, but it’s not alone. Russia and China are both developing stealthy fighters of their own, and several nations, including Israel and the United Kingdom, joined with the United States to develop and field the F-35. Japan is slowly joining the exclusive stealth club, and it might turn to an indigenously designed plane to do it. Continue reading

PLA’s YJ-18 anti-ship missile useful against US carrier group

If reports about the missile are accurate, it will be China’s first combination subsonic and supersonic anti-ship missile.

According to an unnamed source cited by a military affairs column on Chinese news web portal Sina, the YJ-18 will be the basis for a series of models that will be adapted for launch from warships, submarines and from the coast and will likely replace current anti-ship missiles, given its versatility. Continue reading

Japan to create SDF space monitoring division by 2019

The government intends to create a space monitoring division within the Self-Defense Forces by around 2019 and the Defense Ministry has already informed the United States, a source close to the bilateral relationship said Saturday.

Initially, the force will be tasked with monitoring dangerous debris floating in Earth’s orbit and with protecting satellites from collisions with such space junk, the source said. Continue reading

Is Japan’s Military Secret About to Come Out? Tokyo and Washington Update Military Cooperation Pact

The Military cooperation pact between Japan and the United States is undergoing big changes. As a result, for the first time since World War II, Japan could soon officially be allowed to have first-strike capabilities against potential threats.

Last Thursday, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry met with their Japanese counterparts in Tokyo to discuss the regional security pact between the two sides. It is significant that while all previous meetings about the defense pact were called by the U.S., this one was called by Japan. Continue reading