Since the end of the Cold War in 1991 there has been growing pressure from many Japanese and Japanese allies for revisions of the Japanese constitution to allow weapons exports and more cooperation on military matters with allies that Japan depends on for much of its military defense. This is because of post-World War II reforms (and reaction to the military government that got the Japanese Empire into World War II, with disastrous results) that severely restricted Japanese defense policies. The post war constitution forbade Japan from possessing offensive military forces. Thus the Japanese armed forces are called the “Self Defense Forces.” It was decades before Japan could even bring itself to build major weapons for its self-defense forces. By the late 1980s Japanese companies found that they were quite good at building quality high tech weapons. At that point, an international marketing survey indicated that, if Japan were allowed to export weapons, they would eventually capture up to 45 percent of the world tank and self-propelled artillery market, 40 percent of military electronic sales, and 60 percent of warship construction. That seemed optimistic, but there was no doubt that the Japanese could produce world class weapons. Throughout the 1990s, Japanese manufacturers produced nearly $7 billion worth of weapons a military equipment a year, just for the self-defense force. Continue reading
The military deploys advanced Gaoxin aircraft to its North Sea Fleet to flex its maritime surveillance muscle in disputed waters
The navy has deployed several new advanced surveillance aircraft to its North Sea Fleet to hunt down submarines in the East and South China seas.
The new “Gaoxin-6” maritime anti-submarine warfare planes are modified versions of the Shaanxi Aircraft Corporation’s Y-8 and Y-9 medium transport aircraft and were added to the People’s Liberation Army’s North Sea Fleet late last year, Beijing-based naval expert Li Jie said yesterday.
Limited by military restrictions since the end of World War II, the Japanese parliament is now considering new guidelines which would allow it to expand further into international waters. The move is fully supported by the US, which hopes Japan can play a larger role in curtailing a growing Chinese influence.
Tensions have steadily risen between Tokyo and Beijing over a group of largely uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. Both nations claim ownership, and the islands overlook major shipping lanes in the Pacific Ocean, which means the United States has an indirect interest, as well. Continue reading
In an article for the Washington-based National Interest magazine on June 21, US defense expert Harry Kazianis laid out a possible a scenario involving Japan and China clashing over the airspace of the disputed Diaoyutai islands (Senkaku to Japan, Diaoyu to China) in the East China Sea to analyze whether the United States would be ready for such a conflict.
The scenario takes place on Mar. 1, 2015, Kazianis wrote, noting that China has already instituted daily non-naval maritime patrols around the disputed islands while its aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and other warships have conducted exercises only 50 miles away from the islands since February. Continue reading
The People’s Liberation Army Navy will send four warships to Hawaii to participate for the first time in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, also known as RIMPAC, held by the United States Navy every two years, according to the Hong Kong-based Ta Kung Pao on Jun. 5. Continue reading
TOKYO: Despite Beijing’s fulminations, India and Japan on Wednesday lifted their strategic convergence to a new level by vowing to work together for ensuring stability in the Asia-Pacific region in the face of growing muscle-flexing by China.
As Japan pledged financial assistance for big-ticket projects like the Chennai-Bangalore industrial corridor and third line of Mumbai Metro and displayed willingness for early conclusion of India’s effort for civil nuclear cooperation, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe spoke of a partnership of the two democracies against use of force to change the order in Asia: diplomatic shorthand for Chinese attempt to arm-twist Japan and other nations into making territorial concessions. Continue reading
China’s naval and paramilitary ships are churning up the ocean around islands it disputes with Tokyo in what experts say is a strategy to overwhelm the numerically inferior Japanese forces that must sail out to detect and track the flotillas.
It wasn’t until China became embroiled in the high stakes territorial dispute with Japan late last year that its secretive military opened up.
Now, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is routinely telegraphing its moves around the disputed islands, known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. Continue reading
Japanese destroyers equipped with high-performance radar are being deployed in readiness for the launch of a North Korean rocket.
Three Aegis destroyers of the Maritime Self-Defense Force left Sasebo port, western Japan, for waters near Okinawa and other locations on Thursday morning. Continue reading