East China Sea: Japan’s plan to counter Beijing in Diaoyus with jetfighter upgrades hits money snag

South China Morning Post – Rising costs have significantly delayed Tokyo’s plans to deploy F-15 fighter jets capable of launching cruise missiles against ships or land targets, with Beijing’s ongoing activities close to disputed islands in the East China Sea underlining the importance of the new deterrent to the Japanese military.

Japan Considers Building Two Super-Sized Destroyers As An Alternative To Aegis Ashore

War Zone – Reports from the Japanese media say that the government is looking into the feasibility of procuring two new “super-destroyers” as an alternative to the pair of land-based Aegis Ashore systems, work on which was suspended earlier this year amid technical issues, rising costs, and domestic criticism. 

Senkaku Islands: Could the U.S. Military and Japan Really Land Troops?

National Interest – James Holmes writes let’s speculate about what a deployment to the uninhabited islets—which adjoin Japan’s Ryukyu Islands but constitute an archipelago distinct from the Ryukyus—might look like. Start with the extreme case. If troops alighted on the Senkakus, would they build a permanent base? Doubtful—though less doubtful than in the past.

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. 

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.

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 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.

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).