Latest entries

The Likely Contents of Abe’s Collective Self-Defense Panel Report

The Advisory Panel on the Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security (「安全保障の法的基盤の再構築に関する懇談会」; hereafter the “Panel” or kondankai) will deliver their report within the next few days. This is after putting it off for three months out of consideration for the difficulties Abe was having with convincing the New Komeito to roll over on their 50...

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The Fall and Execution of Jang Song Thaek

Yonhap/Reuters On Friday, North Korea announced the execution of Jang Song Thaek, formerly the second most powerful person in the country and the head of National Security Protection Bureau, the North Korean secret police organization that “runs North Korean prison camps and arrests people for political crimes.” Oh, and he’s Kim Jong Un’s uncle. Lots of ink have been spilled...

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Unofficially Official: The U.S. Rebalance to Asia-Pacific and the U.S.-Japan-Taiwan alliance

Co-author: Misato Matsuoka* There is a lot of buzz about U.S. rebalancing policy, but at the end of the day it is not a massive policy change from the U.S. perspective and neither is it one from the perspective of U.S. allies and partners, old and emerging ones, in the region. The increase of a...

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Unofficially Official: The U.S. Rebalance to Asia-Pacific and the U.S.-Japan-Taiwan alliance

Co-author: Misato Matsuoka* There is a lot of buzz about U.S. rebalancing policy, but at the end of the day it is not a massive policy change from the U.S. perspective and neither is it one from the perspective of U.S. allies and partners, old and emerging ones, in the region. The increase of a...

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ROK Military Parades, S. Korean Cruise Missiles, and Evolving DPRK Diplomacy

South Korea tests North Korea's charm offensive with a military parade in Seoul, special guest: the Hyunmoo-3c cruise missile.

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ROK Military Parades, S. Korean Cruise Missiles, and Evolving DPRK Diplomacy

South Korea tests North Korea's charm offensive with a military parade in Seoul, special guest: the Hyunmoo-3c cruise missile.

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Japanese Companies to Manufacture 10 percent of each of Japan’s F-35As

According to the August 22 Asahi Shimbun, it has been confirmed that Japanese companies Mitsubishi Electric and IHI will manufacture 24 components of the F-35 related to the engine and radar. These components normally would account for an estimated 10 percent of the total cost of an F-35A unit. As the manufacturing of these components...

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Does the Izumo Represent Japan Crossing the “Offensive” Rubicon?

This is part two of the five-part series on Japan’s security policy as it stands in 2013.  Part one focused on constitutional issues regarding the interpretation of “war potential.” On August 6 last week the JMSDF unveiled its new helicopter “destroyer,” the Izumo (22DDH).[1] While much media and diplomatic fuss has been made about this...

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SDF Capabilities and War Potential

Introduction This is part one of a five-part series on pressing issues related to Japan’s security policy in 2013. The first issue that needs to be clarified given various media misunderstandings also provides essential background for the discussion of the subsequent three posts on helicopter “carriers,” amphibious capabilities, and preemptive strike capabilities. War Potential: Constitutional...

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The End of the Twisted Diet: Japanese Security Policy and the Controversies to Come?

Over the last two months a significant amount of media coverage on Japan’s security policy evolution has dominated the online sphere. Concerns have been raised about Japan having “offensive aircraft carriers,” developing amphibious capabilities, planning to acquire preemptive strike capabilities, and engaging in debate about Japan exercising its right to collective self-defense. To be sure...

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Strategy talks between Vietnam and the United States

by ROBERTO TOFANI Will President Obama invite his Vietnamese counterpart, Truong Tan Sang, to sample a Big Mac American-style during his visit to the United States? This past week the mainstream media have been overwhelmed by news of the forthcoming McDonald’s opening in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. This development should not have...

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Is there a Global Epidemic of Protest?

In an article in The Diplomat, Robert Kelly raised an interesting question regarding whether the youth protests that have engulfed Turkey, Brazil, Egypt will spread to Asia. He argued that all of them have a common denominator with other Asian countries, where there are: [W]ell-educated youth, exposed through modern technologies to the reality of better, cleaner governance elsewhere. And...

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