– Naval News – Japan’s shipbuilder Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) launched the 12th and final Soryu-class diesel-electric attack submarine (SSK) for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF). JS Tōryū (とうりゅう) SS-512 is the second submarine of the class to feature Li-Ion batteries.
(Thanks to Alain!)
– South China Morning Post – Japan’s decision to deploy two warships to the Middle East to ostensibly protect its merchant vessels as they traverse the region’s key waterways has once again cast the spotlight on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ambitions to revise the country’s war-renouncing constitution.
– War Zone – The US-2 may look like one of the flying boats of yesteryear, but it is actually a very modern aircraft with some remarkable features.
– USNI News – Officials in Tokyo have requested Marines deploy F-35B fighters aboard Japan’s largest warships.
– US Naval War College Review – In 1972, Japan regained administrative control of the Senkaku Islands following years of negotiations with the United States after World War II. However, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China already had made claims to these islands. The United States chose not to weigh in on the Senkakus’ sovereignty, leading to the tensions that have resurfaced today as the PRC asserts its dominance in the East China Sea and beyond.
– Associated Press – One of Japan’s largest warships, the helicopter carrier Izumo, offers a glimpse of where its military is headed: For the first time, troops from a newly formed amphibious brigade of Japan’s army participated in an extended naval deployment.
– War Zone – The innovative round design that is wrapped in screens looks like it came right out of Starfleet’s Utopia Planitia shipyard.
– Defense News – Japan is continuing to enhance its security presence in Asia and the western Pacific, as the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to continue defense posture reforms and counter China’s military activities in the region.
– USNI News – When President Donald Trump visited Japan this month, he was taken on board JS Kaga, one of a pair of new Izumo-class helicopter carriers built for the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) set to be retrofitted to fly the F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter. The carriers represent a new approach to maritime security that is shifting to a more forward defense posture.
– Reuters – In fresh show of naval force in the contested South China Sea, a U.S. guided missile destroyer conducted drills with a Japanese aircraft carrier, two Indian naval ships and a Philippine patrol vessel in the waterway claimed by China.
– War Zone – The search and rescue effort continues for the F-35 and its pilot with a Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force submarine rescue vessel joining the effort.
– Defense News – Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace has entered into a contract with Japan to supply the initial deliveries of anti-ship Joint Strike Missiles for the country’s fleet of F-35 Lightning II fighter jets.
– Defense News – Japan has tried to draw the line under its dispute with South Korea over allegations one of the latter’s Navy ship directed its fire control radar against a Japanese patrol aircraft, but the regional allies of the U.S. have almost immediately become embroiled in a fresh controversy, with South Korea accusing another Japanese aircraft at making a “threatening” low-altitude pass over its ships.
– Defense News – Japan will officially increase its order of F-35 joint strike fighters, including procurement of the F-35B model for use at sea.
– Breaking Defense – By 2021, plans call for Japan to have eight Aegis destroyers, four of them capable of launching the SM-3 Block IIA missiles, whose second successful test in a row comes as a vindication after two previous failures.
– National Interest – Consider what the Great War has to say about the military balance between China and Japan and how an East Asian war might unfold. Conventional opinion in Japan has long held that China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would more or less steamroller the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) in wartime. Demographics, economics, defense budgets, you name it: they all line up on China’s side.
– Straits Times – What it is like for the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force to operate in the South China Sea.
– Reuters – U.S. fighter jets darted over the Western Pacific on Saturday as the nuclear powered USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier joined Japanese destroyers and a Canadian warship for the biggest combat readiness war game ever staged in and around Japan.
– War Zone – The Japanese are rushing to develop the weapons amid concerns about increasing Chinese encroachment on their territorial claims.
– USNI News – It was no ordinary beach assault when troops took off on amphibious assault vehicles from a U.S. Navy ship and raced ashore in a training exercise with U.S. Marines. That’s because the landing onto a Philippine beach by Japanese soldiers from their AAV-P7/A1 amtracs marked a significant step in bolstering Japan’s capabilities of its nascent Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade.
– Reuters – Japan’s Kaga helicopter carrier is not the biggest, fastest or most powerful warship to sail the seas, but its 500 crew wage a daily war on dirt and grime to keep it the cleanest.
– Reuters – Women serving on Japan’s biggest warship, the Kaga, are a tight-knit group on the frontline of a push to transform the Japanese navy into a mixed-gender fighting force, where men outnumber them more than 10 to one.
– Reuters – A Japanese submarine has for the first time joined a naval drill in the South China Sea in an expansion of Japanese activity in the disputed waterway claimed by China and others.
– Defense News – Japanese Aegis destroyer Atago detected and shot down a short-range ballistic missile in space Tuesday in a joint test with the U.S. Navy using the SM-3 Block IB missile.
– Japanese Ministry of Defense – An excellent look at how the Japanese see the Chinese threat to Japan.