Japanese F-35As Train With USS America As Tokyo Looks Toward Its Aircraft Carrier Future

War Zone – Land-based Japanese F-35As trained alongside the U.S. Navy’s first-in-class amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA-6) in the western Pacific during “advanced combined operations” earlier this week. The integrated air defense training involving Japanese and American forces comes as Japan works toward its own future carrier capability using the Joint Strike Fighter. 

MHI Just Launched The First Of The New Taigei-Class Submarines For JMSDF

Naval News – Japan’s newest submarine “Taigei” (previously known as 29SS) was launched today at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) shipyard in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture.

Arming Without Aiming? Challenges For Japan’s Amphibious Capability

War on the Rocks – A centerpiece in Japan’s defense modernization efforts designed to deter a resurgent China is the development of an amphibious warfare capability. 

Southeast Asia: A New Strategic Nexus for Japan’s Maritime Strategy

CIMSEC – With all branches of Japan state power now investing in Southeast Asian maritime security, this region is cementing as a new nexus in Japan’s maritime strategy. The scope, strategic intent, and likely future development of Japan’s maritime security activities in Southeast Asia merits closer examination.

The Law of Military Operations and Self-Defense in the U.S.-Japan Alliance

US Navy War College Review – While the United States and Japan share many values, their legal systems take distinct approaches to authorizing military operations. But the two approaches converge within the alliance structure—especially important with regard to implementing the international law of self-defense.

Approval Of Mega F-35 Sale For Japan Is A Huge Step Towards Its Aircraft Carrier Ambitions

War Zone – Japan would become the second-largest Lightning II operator in the world if it bought all 105 jets in the proposed deal.

Japan Officially Ends Aegis Ashore Plans After National Security Council Deliberations

USNI News – Japan has formally ended its plans to procure two Aegis Ashore missile defense sites, citing concerns that the booster on the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA interceptor missile couldn’t be guaranteed to land on military property instead of nearby civilian communities.

Japan’s new missile defense destroyer starts sea trials amid Aegis Ashore saga

Defense News – The last of Japan’s eight planned destroyers capable of intercepting ballistic missiles has started sea trials ahead of its commissioning, even as the country ponders its next move following its decision to suspend plans to introduce ground-based systems for that role.

Foreign sub, likely Chinese, seen in Japan’s contiguous zone

Asahi Shimbun – A submarine of foreign origin, presumed to belong to the Chinese Navy, was spotted passing through the contiguous zone off the coast of Amami-Oshima island in southern Japan.

Japan’s Aegis Ashore: A Tale Of Two SPYs

Naval News – The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MOD) announced this week its intention to halt deployment of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system citing difficulties in ensuring that rocket boosters from the interceptors do not fall in populated areas. The real reason may actually have to do with the radar system, namely SPY-6 and SPY-7.

Japan Backing Away From Aegis Ashore

USNI News – Japan is backing away from installing two Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense (BMD) systems in the country over technical concerns.

Japan is working on a hypersonic anti-ship missile that may be a threat to Chinese navy activities

South China Morning Post – Japan is developing a hypersonic anti-ship missile, a weapon that can cruise at high altitudes and could pose a threat to Chinese aircraft carriers in the East China Sea.

Japan’s Type 12 SSM Deployed To Keep Watch On Miyako Strait

Naval News – Japan continues to reinforce its Southern Islands. A new Type 12 Surface-to-Ship Missile (12式地対艦誘導弾) unit has recently been deployed at the garrison on Miyakojima island.

JMSDF destroyer, fishing boat collide in East China Sea

Kyodo News – A Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer and a Chinese fishing boat collided on the high seas off the coast of Shanghai on Monday.

JMSDF Commissions First-Of-Class AEGIS Destroyer DDG-179 JS Maya まや

Naval News – The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) commissioned today its first Maya-class AEGIS Destroyer at Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU) Isogo shipyard in Yokohama. JS Maya まや (DDG-179) joins the JMSDF’s Escort Flotilla 1, based in Yokosuka.

Japan builds new surveillance warship targeting Chinese, North Korean submarines

South China Morning Post – The Aki is first ship in three decades built to hunt for submarines, as Japan sees a rise in unidentified subs, believed to be from China, within its waters. But Tokyo is also keeping a close eye on North Korea, which has been developing a platform for submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

(Thanks to Alain)

JMSDF Commissioned Its 1st Li-Ion Battery Submarine SS-511 JS Ōryū おうりゅう

Naval News – The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) commissioned its 11th Soryu-class diesel-electric attack submarine (SSK) in Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture on March 5, 2020. JS Ōryū (SS-511) joins the JMSDF’s Submarine Flotilla 1, based in Kure. It is the first-in-class boat to feature lithium-ion batteries.

Japan To Develop And Deploy Supersonic Glide Weapons That Can Target Ships

Naval News – The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) plans to deploy a Hyper-Velocity Gliding Projectile (HVGP) in fiscal year 2026 as a new weapon to repel enemies that invade Japan’s remote islands, from a safe distance. This HVGP could even target large surface ships such as aircraft carriers.

Iron Fist Teaching Japanese Amphib Force to Synch with U.S. Marines

USNI News – This year’s Iron Fist exercise marked the first time this group of 310 Japanese soldiers – 3rd Company with 2nd Amphibious Rapid Deployment Regiment Landing Team – launched from a ship and landed ashore in a coordinated mission alongside Marines, who earlier had launched their AAVs from the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Portland (LPD-27).

JMSDF P-1 MPA Testing Next Generation Anti-Ship Missile

Naval News – Photos taken on February 10, 2020 show a P-1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) flying with four new air-to-ship missiles (ASM) which are currently under development.

JMSDF Destroyer Takanami Deploys To The Middle East To Secure The Safe Navigation Of Civilian Vessels

Naval News – On February 2, 2020, the destroyer Takanami (DD-110) departed from the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) Yokosuka Naval Base for the Middle East.

Japanese warship heads to Middle East to protect tankers

CBC – A Japanese warship departed Sunday for the Middle East to ensure the safety of the country’s oil tankers in waters where tensions between the U.S. and Iran are high.

Japan Takes First Steps Towards Refurbishment Of JMSDF Destroyer Izumo

Naval News – Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has announced in its FY2020 defense budget that it will invest 3.1 billion yen (approximately US $ 28.3 million) to refurbish the destroyer Izumo which is the largest vessel in Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF).

Maritime Security—The Architecture of Japan’s Maritime-Security System in the East China Sea

US Naval War College Review – The security of Japan’s maritime borders is a top priority for the country’s government. The roles of the Japan Coast Guard and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force are paramount in these security operations as Japan navigates an international landscape in the East China Sea complicated by an emboldened China.