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Japan The Military

Japan's Military 'Needs Marines and Drones' 159

Posted by timothy
from the military-industrial-squid-godzilla-complex dept.
arisvega writes "The State of Japan is apparently seeking 'Deter and Respond' military capabilities, perhaps as an artifact from being 'embroiled in a bitter row over islands with China' and being 'deeply concerned by North Korea's nuclear ambitions,' as reported by the BBC. Since the end of WW II, under Article 9 of its post-war constitution, Japan is blocked from the use of force to resolve conflicts except in the case of self-defence. Now, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is looking to expand the scope of Japanese military activities — potentially a highly controversial move that would anger its neighbours. The post-war constitution was of course put in place by the then victorious west, who would now have an interest to fully back up this move: though Japanese officials claim that any new upgrades will not be used for preemptive strikes, the result will be arms and battalions installed close to The People's Republic of China, The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and The Russian Federation. It will be interesting to track how this plays out."
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Japan's Military 'Needs Marines and Drones'

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    • by readin (838620) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @12:11AM (#44397221)

      As always, follow de Monet...

      It will be interesting to track how this plays out ... unless you happen to live in a country or belong to a race that the Chinese think have historically wronged China, or a race that the Chinese see as being inferior, in which case it could be scary to see Chinese attitudes of resentful nationalism closely tracking those of Japan and Germany prior to WW II.

      • Hong Kong and Macau would like to have a chat with you.

        Along with these other places [wikipedia.org].

      • by rossdee (243626)

        Ancient Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Drones with made in Japan optics.
      Components made in Philippines, Vietnam and Laos.
      A bit like any pro/consumer* camera but new Warlord friendly prices.
      *autoland is extra
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday July 26, 2013 @11:29PM (#44397047) Journal

    Unless Abe has some unwisely-published rantings about the reestablishment of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere stashed in his closet somewhere, this seems like the sort of 'controversial' that will lead to grumblings and not a whole lot else.

    It's not as though any of Japan's neighbors are necessarily going to like it; but nation-states maintaining armed forces, even potentially threatening ones, is sufficiently universal that there isn't exactly any complaints department who would take you seriously. "Dear the UN, I think Japan may be deciding to maintain a military larger than the one that the Americans let them keep after fighting a particularly nasty war with them, that's mean!"

    It also wouldn't be a total surprise if some of the Japanese increase is aimed specifically at replacing the (never entirely popular) American bases in the area, which would leave the total amount of force roughly constant, just changing the label (and hopefully saviing the US some cash).

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Japan already pays the cost of the US bases. (Ignoring the hidden costs) it won't effect the US bottom line very much. Having a superpower in the region is a good way to deter another superpower though, so I doubt that the US will be leaving Japan (but even if they did, there would still be S. Korea and Taiwan to deter China and Russia from enforcing their territorial claims).
      • by Yomers (863527)

        Japan already pays the cost of the US bases. (Ignoring the hidden costs) it won't effect the US bottom line very much. Having a superpower in the region is a good way to deter another superpower though, so I doubt that the US will be leaving Japan (but even if they did, there would still be S. Korea and Taiwan to deter China and Russia from enforcing their territorial claims).

        Russia have no territorial claims to Japan, on contrary Japan have claims on some of islands that is currently a Russian territory.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Russia have no territorial claims to Japan, on contrary Japan have claims on some of islands that is currently a Russian territory.

          Japanese claim Russian islands, Russian claim to Japanese islands, it works out to the same thing. In a regular situation, after diplomatic breakdown, there would be war. Which side is in the right (you claiming that Russia is correct), is irrelevant. Having the US back Japan greatly deters the idea of a real, actual shooting war.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuril_Islands_dispute [wikipedia.org].

          • by Yomers (863527)

            Japanese claim Russian islands, Russian claim to Japanese islands, it works out to the same thing. In a regular situation, after diplomatic breakdown, there would be war. Which side is in the right (you claiming that Russia is correct), is irrelevant. Having the US back Japan greatly deters the idea of a real, actual shooting war.

            No it's not works out to the same thing, it's the matter of who need to start aggression to get what they perceive as theirs. I'm saying that de-facto Russia control those islands since WW2, and Russia have no territorial claims to Japan. US backing Japan is irrelevant in this case, as Russia would not start aggression on Japan (as it have no territorial claims), and Japan would not start aggression on Russia in foreseeable future as it could lead to nuclear strikes.

            • by Yomers (863527)
              So basically US backing Japan or not is irrelevant - as all this territorial claims you listed is Japan territorial claims to China and Russia, not the other way around, and Japan is not going to get anything anyway, with or without US backing them.
    • by readin (838620)

      It's not as though any of Japan's neighbors are necessarily going to like it...

      The Taiwanese are sure to like it (though not their government).

      • It's not as though any of Japan's neighbors are necessarily going to like it...

        The Taiwanese are sure to like it (though not their government).

        You have got to be kidding [wikipedia.org].

        • by readin (838620)
          Under Japanese rule, the Taiwanese were treated as second class to the Japanese - but there treated that way under the Chinese rule that followed the Japanese rule. And the earlier Chinese rule that was largely a matter of neglect. The Japanese brought industrialization, wealth, infrastructure, and education. At the beginning of WWII in Asia Taiwan was second only to Japan in per capita earnings. Primary school attendance went from less that 5% to 70% during the Japanese era. Corruption went to tiny am
        • by readin (838620)
          I checked out some of your postings and note that you have spent time in China and are originally from the American South. Spending time in China, you likely have been told that Taiwan has always been part of China and that they share the same ancestry and culture. Growing up during the Cold War, you probably learned that Taiwan was the "Free China" (in other words, part of China).

          Let me ask you, do you consider America to be the "Free Europe"? Do you believe America is part of Europe and do you consi
    • Unless Abe has some unwisely-published rantings about the reestablishment of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere stashed in his closet somewhere, this seems like the sort of 'controversial' that will lead to grumblings and not a whole lot else.

      As long as the US keeps up the shipments of oil and steal. No wait, that's hollywood movies and iPhones now.

      • by dbIII (701233)

        As long as the US keeps up the shipments of oil and steal

        No, you're mixing it up with Cheney's Iraq plan - steal the oil.

    • by auric_dude (610172) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @12:37AM (#44397309)
      Japan is at a crossroads and drones are not the only form of military expansion that is being considered. They are giving a lot of thought to the task of guarding their trade routes along with the protection of disputed islands and areas of sea close to home rich in oil, minerals and fish http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/08/china-japan-drone-race [guardian.co.uk] http://defense-update.com/20120917_uas-on-maritime-surveillance-pacific.html [defense-update.com] and so are seeking to modernise and change the mix of the JMSDF http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/japan/ship.htm [globalsecurity.org] assets. This has resulted in the 22DDH a new light aircraft carrier http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/japan/cv-newcon.htm [globalsecurity.org] built upon ideas gained from the existing Hyuga-class helicopter carrier http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/hyuga-class/ [naval-technology.com]. Some are already beating the drum be it only in model form http://www.informationdissemination.net/2013/06/jmsdf-in-action.html [informatio...nation.net] but others in the area may well have other ideas of the future http://blogs.defensenews.com/intercepts/2012/12/what-china-wants-for-christmas/ [defensenews.com]
    • It's not as though any of Japan's neighbors are necessarily going to like it; but nation-states maintaining armed forces, even potentially threatening ones, is sufficiently universal that there isn't exactly any complaints department who would take you seriously.

      China will take it seriously. The primary military buildup is aimed at them. They've been fighting over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands for decades now, mainly with words. China teaches their school kids about the evil Japanese empire who stole the islands. In the last decade, the conflict has escalated dramatically, including trade wars and kinetic conflict. The Senkaku's are the center of it all.

      The primary difficulty is that there's no obvious solution to the dispute. Both sides want the rocks, and will be

      • One of the major achievements of the post-WW2 New World Order was that it got rid of almost all territorial disputes. Before WW2 everybody in Europe had claims on most of their neighbors, which made for an extremely unstable military situation. Nowadays almost nobody has claims on anybody's continental territory, which makes for a lot less international warfare. The major exceptions are Israel/Palestine, and Kashmir.

        There are still plenty of maritime disputes, including islands, but it's a lot better then 1

        • Nowadays almost nobody has claims on anybody's continental territory, which makes for a lot less international warfare.

          Hah. They do not actively pursue them but the claims still are there. Take Gibraltar as an instance. Or Kaliningrad for that matter.

          • Keep in mind that a) "not pursuing" is a vast improvement over pursuing, because people tend to get killed when Bulgaria pursues the idea that that Dobruja does not belong in Romania, and b) the territorial disputes you mention cover a tiny fraction of Europe's landmass.

            Prior to WW2 the Hungarians, for example, really wanted the entirety of the Hungarian bit of Austria-Hungary to be put back in Hungary. They wanted almost all of Croatia, 1/4 or so of Romania, something like half of Serbia's land area, and a

        • by dodobh (65811)

          Also Arunachal Pradesh.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Living in Tokyo, I have followed this a bit more closely.

      Of course the neighbors won't like it. China just complains about any move in any direction, North Korea will threathen (again) to start a nuclear war. South Korea, who should be Japan's natural ally in the region, will probably have on of these strange indignation and Japan will continue to be racist against Koreans.

      This is not a loving neighborhood. Actually, Japan getting an army is actually a good news for everyone. It means that Japan wants
    • by the_arrow (171557)

      Unless Abe has some unwisely-published rantings about the reestablishment of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere stashed in his closet somewhere, this seems like the sort of 'controversial' that will lead to grumblings and not a whole lot else.

      Well Abe may not personally have such plans, but you know what they say about politicians and slippery slopes.

  • by paiute (550198) on Friday July 26, 2013 @11:30PM (#44397057)
    We sent Japan six divisions of marines not too many years ago. Now they need more? Those weren't enough?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 26, 2013 @11:34PM (#44397067)
    How will this effect anime?
    • by dbIII (701233)
      Good question when part of their defence plan is to build flying robots.
    • I believe this is, ultimately, the only important question. We must build a defensive perimeter around the mangakas, as well as the Ministry of Agriculture (well, one of them....as they are purportedly working on the Gundam project, if Wikipedia is anything to go by). We will then extend the perimeter, as resources allow, to include the local convention centers, cosplay cafes, any and all restaurants serving sushi (shhh), and the 'Heavy' industries. All strategizing will take place either in Okinawa, on the

  • If (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If you disarm somebody, you're morally responsible if they get attacked.

  • Not sure in which part of the Art of War he said that the best defense is to create new enemies, or promote new weapon races (even in fields where you can participate with widely available and cheap technology, like the internet based ones), but it should be somewhere because US is following that to the letter and the rest of their (for now) allies are following the example.
    • by readin (838620)

      Not sure in which part of the Art of War he said that the best defense is to create new enemies, or promote new weapon races (even in fields where you can participate with widely available and cheap technology, like the internet based ones), but it should be somewhere because US is following that to the letter and the rest of their (for now) allies are following the example.

      Which part of Art of War says appease rising powers when they try to bully you?

    • by cold fjord (826450) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @01:18AM (#44397427)

      but it should be somewhere because US is following that to the letter and the rest of their (for now) allies are following the example.

      It is China's arrogant, bullying, overbearing behavior, treating its neighbors like the vassal states of Imperial China, trying to take their territory, that is driving its neighbors to affirm their defensive alliances, and seek new arms to defend themselves.

      Trying to blame this on the US and its allies simply demonstrates you either pay no attention to the news, or have a pathological animus towards the US.

      • by b4upoo (166390)

        These days even the powerful officials in China may wonder if they would not be personally better off if communism shifts more towards gentle socialism with a bit more capitalistic activity. It is one thing for the common person to ponder such things but when it gets to the point that the rich and powerful have similar thoughts things really might change.
        What all nations seem to need is a more realistic formulation of the valu

    • Well...let's look at this from a slightly Machiavellian viewpoint....the US military typically doesn't advertise its latest and greatest in weaponry...and even in times of major warfare, it usually isn't hard pressed to go any more recent than a decade back in terms of 'what does the cat have in the bag.'

      What this means is...the US military probably has some directed energy weapons it wants to field test on the Chinese...and is looking for any volunteers. Because only if the 'threat' is big enough, and bad

  • by koan (80826)

    Perhaps he should be more like the people of Aneyoshi, in that village carved into a 4 foot stone obelisk is a warning "Don't build your homes below this line".
    That village survived thanks to the warnings from the past.

  • Realize what this means! Drones, made in Japan. They'll fit into your pocket, be able to hit whatever square inch on this planet you tell them with more force than anything anyone else builds, come with a sleek, chrome polished design, are invisible to radar and whatever other detection you could come up with, cost way less to produce and of course in retail (but you'll never be able to afford spare parts, if you find any that is) and of course look like Mechagodzilla.

    On a less funny note, ponder that one o

  • Attack is best defense.
  • by kawabago (551139) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @05:06AM (#44397927)
    Now that China isn't using them to spy on India!
  • by runeghost (2509522) on Saturday July 27, 2013 @05:54AM (#44398095)
    Like, when the Japanese started rebuilding the Kido Butai? Personally, I'm untroubled by the announcement, but I think it's funny that "marines and drones" are getting notice, but the 27,000-ton carrier under construction and the two 19,000-ton carriers in commission get no mention.
  • Drones will eventually provide enough offensive capability that you'll need ground troops only to invade and repel invaders. With ranges > 1000 miles, you can have a swarm of them protecting your shipping lanes. With enough of them, you can overwhelm any seaborne invasion force relatively cheaply. They'd be a good, cheap way to do power projection without the expense.

    They need to start thinking about drone carrier bases instead of aircraft carriers.

    Swarming technology will get good enough that you'll onl

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