War on the Rocks – At this juncture, Japan’s new strategies envision a refashioned Ground Self-Defense Force which will be more cross-domain, lethal, mobile, and survivable. As such, it will better support joint and bilateral operations with the U.S. military along the first island chain. Given its evolving roles and missions, the Ground Self-Defense Force has the opportunity to take the lead in the endeavor to modernize the alliance.
Category Archives: JapaneseMaritimeSelfDefenseForce
Japan’s Strategic Shift is Significant, But Implementation Hurdles Await
War on the Rocks – Japan’s new strategic documents appear to demonstrate a recognition in Tokyo that it must do more for its own defense in the face of unprecedented security challenges. The dedication of resources, pursuit of new capabilities, and overarching commitment to a more robust defense are all significant moves that represent landmark change by one of America’s key allies — indeed, one of the most consequential strategic developments in the region in years. As positive as this appears, there is a risk that some ambitions may not be realized — at least on the timeline set out in the documents — due to insufficient resources, manpower, technology, or political will.
Japan Issues Military Equipment Wishlist That Includes Hypersonic Weapons, Unmanned Systems
USNI News – Japan’s Ministry of Defense this week issued a document detailing new military equipment it’s developing, with rationales and status updates for programs ranging from hypersonic weapons to unmanned underwater vehicles.
Japan Matters If China Invades Taiwan
1945 – James Holmes writes that more musclebound Japan Self-Defense Forces capable of defending the homeland on their own can restore some semblance of sanctuary in the Western Pacific, bolstering the alliance’s ability to vanquish cross-strait aggression. Japan guards the base while U.S. forces go abroad—sounds like an excellent division of labor.
Japan’s Shift to War Footing
War on the Rocks – Throughout the Cold War, the United States and Japan focused on the threat from the Soviet Union, but with tensions increasing around Taiwan, Tokyo has turned to its south, adopting principles that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pushed for before his death.
Japan To Increase The Number Of Aegis Destroyers
Naval News – On December 16, 2022, the Japanese government approved three security-related documents, including a new national security strategy by Cabinet decision.
Modification Work On JS Kaga Nears Completion
Naval News – Modification work to turn JS Kaga, a “helicopter destroyer” of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), into a F-35B aircraft carrier is nearing completion.
Japan Is Getting Serious About Its Security
1945 – James Holmes’s interpretation of the current view from Tokyo.
Japanese MoD Releases Further Details About Its Future BMD Destroyers
Naval News – On Dec. 23, Japan’s Ministry of Defense announced its fiscal year 2023 budget request, in which we may learn more about Japan’s future ballistic missile defense (BMD) destroyers, commonly known as ASEVs (Aegis system-equipped vessels).
Japan Flies Its RQ-4 Global Hawk For The First Time
War Zone – The Japanese Air Self-Defense Force, or JASDF, has officially flown the first of its new RQ-4B Global Hawk surveillance drones that the country started the process of procuring from the United States in 2015. The high-altitude, long-endurance, or HALE, unmanned aerial vehicle is expected to strengthen Japan’s surveillance capabilities as the country explores ways to enhance its situational awareness and better deter and respond to attacks from outside forces like North Korea and China.
Two Japanese Destroyers Score in Ballistic Missile Defense Test off Hawaii
USNI News – Two Japanese Maya-class destroyers successfully test-fired SM-3 interceptors against ballistic missile targets off Hawaii last week.
Chinese Aircraft Carrier Deployment Prompted Record Japanese Fighter Scrambles
USNI News – In a six-month period from April to September, Japanese fighters scrambled 446 times to intercept threatening aircraft from China and Russia, according to the Japanese Ministry of Defense. Many of the aircraft intercepted belonged to the air wing embarked on the People’s Liberation Army Navy aircraft carrier Liaoning
New Details On Japan’s Future BMD Vessels Revealed
Naval News – Here are the latest details on the Aegis system-equipped vessels (ASEVs), Japan’s future ballistic missile defense (BMD) ships.
Japan to Build Two 20,000-ton Missile Defense Warships, Indian Carrier Commissions
USNI News – Japan’s Ministry of Defence is proposing to build a pair of ballistic missile defense ships – the among largest warships in the Japanese inventory since World War II – government officials said last week.
Controlling The First Island Chain: How To Ensure China Can’t Dominate The Pacific?
1945 – James Holmes writes that if you harbored any doubt that the first island chain represents the focal point of strategy, counterstrategy, and counter-counterstrategy in the Western Pacific, take a gander at recent developments out of Tokyo and Beijing. Exhibit A: the Japan Ministry of Defense released Defense of Japan 2022, an official statement wherein the ministry takes stock of Japan’s strategic surroundings and explains in general terms how it intends to manage them.
Defense of Japan 2022
Japanese Ministry of Defense – The 2022 Self Defense Force White Paper on the defense of Japan.
Japan’s converted aircraft carrier to undertake Indo-Pacific deployment
Defense News – Japan plans to send its recently converted aircraft carrier on the country’s annual deployment to the Indo-Pacific region, conducting training and enhancing ties with regional partners over the next four months.
The Quad Goes to Sea
War on the Rocks – The biggest announcement from President Joe Biden’s trip to Asia may be the one that got the least attention. The Quad, a grouping consisting of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, has just announced a maritime domain awareness partnership that will provide a new stream of data from commercial satellites to countries across the Indo-Pacific.
Remote island ramps up defenses as tensions rise between Japan and China
CNN – On most days, fisherman Kazushi Kinjo leaves port on the Japanese island of Yonaguni to catch deep sea red snapper in waters to the north. There, fish are plentiful — and increasingly, so are Chinese Coast Guard ships.
Japan Starts Conversion Work On Second Izumo-Class DDH
Navy News – The modifications to JS Kaga began on 24 March 2022 at the Japan Marine United (JMU) shipyard in Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture.
Japan Countering China’s Naval Build-up with Modern Fleet
USNI News – Japan doesn’t talk much about its naval capabilities because of its historical aversion to offensive capabilities following its defeat in World War II. This has been defined in Article 9 of its post-war constitution. However, as an island nation and a naval power, it has still been able to assemble a modern version of a big gun fleet, but it’s designed for defensive operations. But over the past two decades, the rise of China as a global power and North Korea’s attempts to develop long-range nuclear missiles present a two-fold threat to the island nation.
How Japan Can Help Save Taiwan: Securing the First Island Chain
War on the Rocks – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has taught Taiwan many lessons about preparing for a possible Chinese invasion. Japan should also take this opportunity to learn. What more can Japan’s Self-Defense Forces do to prepare given their inevitable participation in any potential conflict over Taiwan?
New Mogami-Class Frigate ‘Kumano’ 「くまの」Commissioned With JMSDF
Naval News – The Mogami-class / 30FFM (also known as FFM and previously known as 30DX) is the next generation multi-mission frigate designed for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). A total number of 22 Frigates are expected to be procured for the JMSDF.
Japan’s first Taigei-class submarine enters service
NavalToday – Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) has revealed that the navy’s first Taigei-class submarine entered service.
(Thanks to Alain)
Japanese MoD Voices Concern Over Russian Naval Exercises
USNI News – Japan’s defense minister raised concerns about Russia’s recent naval activities in the Sea of Japan, citing the size of the exercise and increased tension with Ukraine.
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