- USNI News – Japan recently has been in the news as a result of several high-profile territorial incidents with its neighbor China. The incidents involve what Japanese call the Senkaku islands—the Diaoyu islands to the Chinese. Japan has legal ownership of the islands, which China disputes. The incidents have involved non-government activists and the coast guards of both nations, with many fearing an escalation could lead to some form of armed conflict. Spurred on by those developments, Japan has accelerated what have been until now quiet plans to develop a specialized unit of marine infantry.
- US Naval War College Review – A review of Japan’s current and upcoming amphibious capabilities.
- Defense News – Although the Japanese military does not have a stated strategy for countering Chinese anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) threats, analysts say its decades-long buildup of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities means it is increasingly able to play such a role.
- War is Boring – A skeptical look at Japan’s newest helicopter carrier.
- BBC – Japan has unveiled its largest warship since World War II, to be used in anti-submarine warfare and border-area surveillance missions.
- Medium – Tokyo’s aircraft carriers once ruled the waves; could they make a comeback?
- US Naval War College Review – A century later, as we observe the relative balance of economic and military powers shifting to Asia and the Pacific and Indian Oceans, Mahan’s teachings on geography are again instructive, as once seemingly insignificant bodies of water and island chains take on a new importance in regional security matters.
- BBC – Japan says it may release evidence to prove a Chinese naval frigate locked its fire-control radar onto a Japanese ship near disputed islands.
- BBC – Who do the Senkaku or Diaoyu Islands belong to? The short answer is I don’t know.
- Associated Press – Japanese military officials said they were keeping a close eye on seven Chinese warships spotted in waters off a southern island Tuesday. It was unclear whether the ship movements were related to a territorial dispute that has prompted both countries to show off their maritime muscles.
- Reuters – The United States and Japan are discussing system upgrades for a pair of Japanese destroyers to boost defenses against a ballistic missile attack.
- The Diplomat – In the third of a series on Asia-Pacific navies, Alessio Patalano argues that Japan has had no choice but to develop a powerful navy.
- New York Times – In what would be a sweeping overhaul of its cold war-era defense strategy, Japan is about to release new military guidelines that would reduce its heavy armored and artillery forces pointed north toward Russia in favor of creating more mobile units that could respond to China’s growing presence near its southernmost islands.
- Defense Technology International – Japan’s decision to increase the size of its submarine force to 24 from 18 is a major response to the rise of Chinese military power and presumably not the last.
Defense Technology International – Japan’s Deep Game in Okinawa
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama is taking a beating from opponents of U.S. bases in Japan for reversing his decision on keeping a Marine Corps airbase on Okinawa. But his reward will be a substantially reinforced, air-launched, tactical ballistic and cruise missile defense for his island nation whose area of responsibility extends to within about 30 mi. of China’s coast.
China’s rapid rise is causing ever-widening repercussions in its relationship with Japan.
Associated Press – Japan wary of Chinese military vessels
Two Chinese submarines and several warships were spotted in international waters off Japan’s southern island of Okinawa at the weekend, and Tokyo is investigating what the military vessels were doing there, the defense minister said Tuesday.
Bangkok Post – Japan refuelling ships end Afghan mission
Japanese naval ships returned home on Saturday ending a refuelling mission for US-led military efforts in Afghanistan, while its peacekeeping troops are now set to depart for quake-hit Haiti.
Daily Telegraph – Japan to build fleet’s biggest helicopter destroyer to fend off China
Japan is set to commission the largest destroyer to join its fleet in response to a Chinese military buildup.
New York Times – Japanese Destroyer Hits South Korean Ship
A Japanese navy destroyer collided with a South Korean freighter in the waters off southern Japan on Tuesday, setting off fires on both boats and injuring three crew members.