Japan

Japan Sends Patriot Missiles Instead of a Golf Club

Japan recently announced that it will transfer some number – reportedly “dozens”– of license-built Patriot missiles to the United States. This is to bolster American missile stocks depleted by two years of supplying Ukraine in its defense against the Russian invasion. It is the first time Japan will export military weaponry owing to longstanding – though informal […]

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Escalation in the Senkaku Islands? It’s China’s Choice

It has been nearly 15 years since the Chinese started moving in on Japan’s Senkaku Islands. Chinese pressure is indeed troublesome, but for now, it’s manageable – even if the Japan Coast Guard and Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) are overstretched.  The Japanese have patiently dealt with near-daily aggression and pressure from Chinese naval, coast guard, maritime

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Talisman Sabre 2023 Joint Exercise with Japan, SK, US, Germany, and Australia

Japan Flexes Military Muscles in Australia

The Talisman Saber 2023 exercise has finished in Australia. The exercise included 13 countries and was an impressive and complex mix of amphibious, maritime, ground, air and combined arms training. And all geared toward war-fighting. Even Japan’s Self-Defense Force (JSDF) sent a contingent. Japan’s contingent included the Japanese navy, along with amphibious ships JS Izumo and JS

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Kadena Air Base, Okinawa

Okinawa Is Still Strategically Important

Okinawa isn’t in the news nearly as much as it was some year’s back, when most reporting focused on noisy protest groups demanding United States’ military forces leave. The Japanese government sometimes even seemed to wish the Americans might go away and only return when needed.  Times have changed. Nowadays the

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ointly training: JASDF F15 fighter (three in the foreground) and US military F16 fighter on June 7, 2022.

Japan’s National Defense: What You Need to Know

Someone asked me a few questions about Japan’s national defense the other day. As expected, I gave my take on each one. Meanwhile, others might be just as curious about the current status of Japan’s preparedness. If so, then this is what you need to know: 1. What is motivating Japan and

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Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III stands with Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi prior to a bilateral meeting at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., May 4, 2022.

The Best Advice Washington Ever Got on US-Japan Defense

It’s exhilarating that Japanese leaders are talking about spending much more on defense and improving the nation’s defense capabilities. But they are short on specifics, and with communist China out looking for a fight, it’s dangerous to hope Japan figures things out at its own pace. The Americans, who shoulder the heaviest load in defending the

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Japanese PM gives speech at Shangri-La

Kishida’s Shangri-La Speech: What He Means, Why It Matters

A lot happens at the Shangri-La Dialogue, the annual gathering in Singapore of defense officials, experts, and hangers-on. One of the highlights of the 2022 event — even more than China’s defense minister reciting his list of complaints to United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin — was Japanese Prime Minister

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Ticonderoga AEGIS firing

Mild Proposal for Fortifying Japan, Taiwan Air Defenses

In our just-released Experts Panel study, Stopping a Taiwan Invasion, we point out the urgent need to improve air defenses around Taiwan and Japan. Now, with the US Navy proposal to retire seven Ticonderoga-class cruisers, allegedly because they are expensive to maintain, it appears there will be nothing to replace these and

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