Japan’s military seeks record spending to counter N Korea, China moves

Japan’s defense ministry on Wednesday asked for a hike in spending to record levels, as it juggles its responses to a growing ballistic missile threat from North Korea and China’s assertive moves in the East China Sea.

If approved, the hike of 2.3% will take the defense budget to 5.17 trillion yen ($51.47 billion) in the year starting April 1, for a fifth consecutive increase as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bolsters Japan’s military. Continue reading

Japan Fears a U.S. Compromise Over South China Sea Row

Building up from the previous article from the power shifting to an upcoming compromise that might’ve taken place already, being that the artificial islands are now there without meaningful contention.

 

Japan fears that the United States will compromise with China about territorial disputes in the South China Sea, a report on Tuesday said.

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China’s Xi sets up five new ‘battle zones’ in military reform push

BEIJING–China on Monday inaugurated the military’s five new “battle zones,” the Defense Ministry said, the latest step in President Xi Jinping’s efforts to reform the country’s armed forces.

Xi’s push to reform the military coincides with China becoming more assertive in its territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas, and as its navy invests in submarines and aircraft carriers and its air force develops stealth fighters.

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Chinese generals urge PLA to expand navy as war risk rises

Generals call on military to shift focus from land forces to maritime power amid higher threats of conflict from several directions

Two senior Chinese military leaders have called on the People’s Liberation Army to beef up its naval capacity and combat readiness amid a higher risk of “warfare on the doorstep”.

In a 5,000-word article published on Friday in People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s flagship mouthpiece, General Cai Yingting, commander of the PLA Nanjing military area command, and his political commissar General Zheng Weiping, said the PLA should learn lessons from the war with Japan that ended 70 years ago.

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China’s PLA Navy sends new surveillance planes on submarine hunt

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.

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PLA’s J-11 fighters likely to be deployed in South China Sea

The tension caused by territorial disputes in the South China Sea seems unlikely to ease in the near future, given the almost-completion of Chinese runways on reclaimed land and Beijing’s possible deployment of J-11 fighter jets there, according to a Hong Kong newspaper report.

If China goes ahead, the deployment in the Spratly islands, which China and Taiwan call Nansha, “would dramatically extend the reach of the nation’s military beyond its southernmost base at Sanya on Hainan island,” said the June 21 report published in the English-language South China Morning Post, citing unnamed analysts. Continue reading

Leaked photos suggest PLA developing mobile landing platform

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China appears to be developing a Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) similar in concept to that being built by the United States, reports the Beijing-based Sina Military Network.

Photos of a Chinese military vessel resembling the US Navy’s MLP were recently released by the Chinese military magazine Modern Ships, leading to speculation that China is trying to develop its own “floating base.” Continue reading

South China Sea: US mulls sending planes, ships near disputed islands

Reclamation work by China on Mischief Reef in the Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea.

 

Washington: The Pentagon is considering sending US military aircraft and ships to assert freedom of navigation around rapidly growing Chinese-made artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea, a US official said on Tuesday.

US Defence Secretary Ash Carter requested options that included sending US military ships and aircraft within 22 kilometres of reefs that China had been building up in the disputed Spratly Islands, the official said.

Such a move would directly challenge Chinese efforts to expand its influence in the disputed region by literally adding territory through a massive island-building exercise. Continue reading

Japan to the Rescue? New Deal Allows Tokyo to Defend US Forces Worldwide

The bilateral defense agreement lays down a set of rules for joint operations between the US Military and Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF). The last time the agreement was revised was in 1997, and the SDF’s role was limited to protecting the US military only when it was acting in Tokyo’s defense and only within the Japan’s geographic vicinity. Continue reading

En Route to New Conflicts (II)

BERLIN (Own report) – In the midst of a phase of the expansion of the EU’s military policy relations with several East and Southeast Asian countries, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Japan. Merkel will arrive March 8 in the Japanese capital, reciprocating Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Germany last year. Tokyo seeks to intensify its cooperation with EU countries – also militarily – to enhance its position in territorial conflicts with Beijing. At the same time, the United States is focusing, to a growing extent, its global policy efforts on eastern Asia and the Pacific Basin. Shortly before Merkel is to visit Japan, a study published by the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) points out that the interests of several EU countries would be “massively affected should conflicts escalate in this region.” These conflicts are mostly about territorial sovereignty over islands and groups of islands, which recently have become accentuated. SWP proposed that the EU “discuss” what position to take “in case of conflict.”

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Japan builds two cutters to defend Diaoyutai as Abe seeks Xi meeting

Japan launched two 1,500-ton cutters last month that will be deployed in late October to defend the country’s administration of the disputed Diaoyutai (Senkaku or Diaoyu) islands, at a time when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seeking an official meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping during the APEC summit in Beijing next month, according to the Tokyo-based Asahi Shimbun. Continue reading

How Japan Fell in Love With America’s Drones

For decades Japan has been the world’s playground for design innovation. But now it may become ground zero for the future of something far more hostile: military drones.

Japan is not so quietly building a huge drone fleet

The country will invest ¥3 billion (approx $372 million) in the coming decade to drastically expand its virtually non-existent military unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program, according to a senior analyst at IHS Jane’s, the leading defense and security agency. Continue reading

Russia-China Gas Pact Stirs Dream of Bridge Across Amur

Russia’s $400 billion deal to pipe natural gas across the border to China has rekindled Wu’s hope that the two nations will finally build a bridge across the frontier to bring a steady stream of customers to her door.

“They’ve been talking about a bridge for so many years,” said Wu, a 40-year-old mother of two who’s worked along the frontier for more than 20 years. “If the border trade is developed properly, we can prosper.” Continue reading

Dempsey Clashes with Chinese General On Pacific

A top Chinese general Thursday strongly defended Beijing’s territorial claims over disputed islands in the South and East China Seas and charged that the U.S. rebalance of forces to the Pacific was encouraging unrest in the region.

Gen. Fang  Fenghui, chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, said “the rebalancing strategy of the U.S. has stirred up some of the problems which make the South China Sea and the East China Sea not so calm as before.” Continue reading

Navy Official: China Training for ‘Short Sharp War’ with Japan

China has long trained for an amphibious invasion of Taiwan during military exercises but has expanded its training to include a similar attack on Japanese holdings in the East China Sea, according the chief of intelligence of the U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLEET).

As part of China’s Mission Action 2013 exercise — a massive exercise between the all branches of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) — the military trained for taking the Senkaku Islands, said Capt. James Fannell, deputy chief of staff intelligence and information operations for PACFLEET.

View China’s Training Plan in a larger map Continue reading