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SWJED 04-30-2006 09:19 PM

Japan (catch all)
1 May Christian Science Monitor - Japan to Step up its Asia Security Role.


An agreement to realign US forces in Japan, to be finalized Monday in Washington, marks another step forward for Tokyo's ambitions to play an integral part in maintaining stability in a potentially volatile Asia-Pacific region.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso and Defense Agency director Fukushiro Nukaga will meet their US counterparts, Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld, to discuss a pact that is a key part of the Bush administration's global transformation of the American military...

The agreement is expected to lead to closer cooperation between the two militaries, as well as a more equal security partnership. The accord provides for the relocation of both a US division headquarters from the state of Washington and the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces Command to Camp Zama in Kanagawa, making intelligence sharing more comprehensive. It also establishes joint US-Japan use of the air base at Yokota, near Tokyo...

The driving forces behind ever-closer military relations come from both sides of the Pacific. One factor is the friendship between George W. Bush and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who share views on security issues.

On the US side, there is a desire to create a hedging strategy in Asia, given the view that China poses a potential long-term threat. That includes ending the regional perception of Japan as weak in military matters, says Mr. Ishii...

marct 04-13-2007 06:25 PM

Changes in Japan
From CBC


Japan passes bill to amend pacifist constitution
Key step towards once again intensifying Japan's military role
Last Updated: Friday, April 13, 2007 | 5:14 AM ET
The Associated Press

Japan's lower house of parliament on Friday approved guidelines for amending the pacifist constitution, a key step in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to give the military a larger global role.

The legislation passed easily because of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's majority in the chamber. The 1947 U.S.-drafted constitution has never been amended.

The vote came after members of the LDP and coalition partner New Komei Party pushed the legislation through a lower house panel meeting Thursday despite calls for more debate by the opposition.

Given everything else going on in the region, this will be a very interesting debate to follow.


PhilR 04-14-2007 12:05 PM

The Japanese have a reasonably effective Navy and Air Force. They are hobbled by the same problems they had in WWII--lack of any conception of joint operations.
In working with their Ground Self-Defense forces, I find hardworking, intelligent officers. With few exceptions, however, I don't see a "warrior spirit." I'm not saying that they need an army of samuri's, but there is an intensity and element of risk-taking that is necessary. I just don't see it in their ground operations.

Tom Odom 04-14-2007 02:00 PM

The Japanese Afrika Korps
I had the somewhat unique experience of coaching the Japanese on the ground in Goma, Zaire in their first out of area deployment since WWII. There was most definitely an unreal element to it; they--and these were fairly senior officers--were most out of place and they knew it. The Japanese DATT in Nairobi made a special trip to Kigali just to ask me to go talk to them. I did and gave them my pitch of the FAZ (Zairian military) as uniformed bandits. The Japanese Colonel looked at me and said, "Colonel you know what you have said to us is very different from what the French said." I simply pointed to some FAZ bandits outside his wire (the US wire left behind by the JTF) and asked him if those guys made him feel secure. As I recall the Japanese had 3 maybe 4 light troop carriers with no crew served weapons. Their small arms were secured inside the carriers and total numbers were around 80 men including officers. Their "mission" was to somehow provide security in the camps. I told the Colonel the best thing he could do was go home and not risk his men.



Stan 04-14-2007 03:55 PM

About time...
Phil has a good point, they are effective (although I have seen better in the 80's while in Korea with Rock Marines and Japanese Infantry), but they seemed to step aside when danger comes a callin'.

Tom's first hand experience nearly made me fall out of my chair while reading his book. Tom provided an honest assessment from "on the ground" "front and center" and floored them. They obviously fell fool and victim to French know-it-all. Many have already.


Many Japanese credit the charter's pacifist clause with keeping the country out of war since 1945, preventing a resurgence of wartime militarism and allowing Japan to focus on becoming wealthy.

Abe and supporters, however, argue that Japan needs to take more responsibility in maintaining global peace and security. The country dispatched troops on a humanitarian mission to Iraq in 2004-2006, the first time since the Second World War that Japanese soldiers have entered a combat zone.
It's about time they spent a few bucks for world peace :wry:

SWJED 07-23-2007 09:03 AM

Bomb by Bomb, Japan Sheds Military Restraints
23 July NY Times - Bomb by Bomb, Japan Sheds Military Restraints by Norimitsu Onishi.


... But from here in Micronesia to Iraq, Japanís military has been rapidly crossing out items from its list of canít-dos. The incremental changes, especially since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, amount to the most significant transformation in Japanís military since World War II, one that has brought it ever closer operationally to Americaís military while rattling nerves throughout northeast Asia.

In a little over half a decade, Japanís military has carried out changes considered unthinkable a few years back. In the Indian Ocean, Japanese destroyers and refueling ships are helping American and other militaries fight in Afghanistan. In Iraq, Japanese planes are transporting cargo and American troops to Baghdad from Kuwait...

Richard J. Samuels, a Japan expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that revisionist politicians like Mr. Abe and Mr. Koizumi, once on the fringes of Japanís political world, succeeded in grabbing the mainstream in a time of uncertainty. They shared the view ďthat the statute of limitations on Japanís misbehavior during the Pacific War had expiredĒ and that Japan, like any normal country, should have a military...

Danny 07-24-2007 05:45 AM

I Have Long Begged ...
I have long begged that Southeast Asia begin to prepare to defend themselves. A map of deployments (for the U.K., U.S.) shows the heavy concentration still in Germany (U.K.), Japan, SK, and while not in Taiwan, they are under our umbrella of defense.

All the while, we are suffering under a war that is underfunded and undermanned in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is way past time to rethink our strategic priorities and take the hard actions.

Abe has the right idea. Thanks for the link Dave.

tequila 07-30-2007 08:50 AM

Governing Party in Japan Suffers Election Defeat - NYTIMES, 30 July.


Japanís governing Liberal Democratic Party suffered a crushing defeat Sunday in the election for the upper house of Parliament, but Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed that he would not step down.

The main opposition Democratic Party seized control of the upper house by a landslide, capturing seats not only in cities but also in rural districts that had long been strongholds of the Liberal Democratic Party. The rout was widespread, with household names in the governing party falling one after another before opposition newcomers. It could also stall Tokyoís moves toward a more assertive foreign policy and active military.

In a devastating rebuke to Mr. Abe, angry voters punished him for his mishandling of bread-and-butter issues and for a series of scandals in a government seemingly in disarray. Past prime ministers have resigned in the face of similar losses, but Mr. Abe, even before all the votes were counted, tried to head off inevitable questions about his leadership ...

Jedburgh 01-20-2011 03:36 PM

Military Review, Jan-Feb 11: Muddled Dawn: The Implications of the New Administration in Japan

Nine months after the DPJís landslide, the partyís first prime minister, Hatoyama Yukio, resigned, largely over a contretemps surrounding the Futenma issue. Japan ushered in its fifth prime minister in less than four years. Soon the ink was spilled again, this time declaring Japan ungovernable. Has there indeed been a new dawn for the Rising Sun? Should Americans be worried, as some pundits seem to be, about the alliance, or more recently, Japanís reliability? Probably the questions most Americans would ask are: Why should we care? Why do we still have troops in peaceful Japan more than 60 years after World War II? Why is Japan important, and why is it unique?

Cannoneer No. 4 03-18-2011 04:06 AM

Japan nuclear disaster (new title)
Military begins voluntary evacuation of families in Japan


YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The U.S. military authorized voluntary evacuations of eligible family members of Defense Department personnel Thursday from bases in mainland Japan following increasing worries over nuclear reactors damaged in the country’s largest recorded earthquake.

Officials don’t know how heavy the demand will be, but the potential number of evacuees is in the thousands, Pentagon spokesman Col. David Lapan said. The primary means of evacuation will be commercial airlines and chartered flights, but if the demand is heavy, military aircraft will participate.

“This does not affect U.S. military personnel, does not affect civilian personnel. Only eligible family members,” Lapan said.

He added that the voluntary evacuation was precautionary and that he knew of no elevated radiation measurements at U.S. bases that prompted it.

The evacuations could start Friday morning, Navy officials in Japan said.

At bases across the country, families wrestled with whether to evacuate, splitting their families during the stressful time.

". . .the voluntary evacuation was precautionary and that he knew of no elevated radiation measurements at U.S. bases that prompted it."

Voluntary means self-inflicted. A NEO of choice and not of necessity. What are we strategically communicating to Host Nation when we abandon ship like this?

Seems to me that all U.S. military personnel sponsoring dependents in Japan are affected. Every last one of them now has to explain their personal decision to their spouse rather than just kiss 'em good-bye and tell 'em to quit crying and get on the G. D. bus. And not knowing what the demand is going to be ensures a Charlie Foxtrot at the departure airfields.

Oprah is on AFN Japan.

anonamatic 03-18-2011 05:46 AM

I think it's probably a wise precaution. Unlike the hysteria surrounding potential CONUS fallout, there is some sense to this. The Japanese 12 mile evacuation zone is too damned small, and both the power company and their government are not performing very well dealing with these problems. Having dealt directly with the Japanese government, this does not surprise me any. Weaseling, misdirection, and lying are pretty much their normal way of doing business. This can be seen both in the track record of the power company, and the constant state of near failure their government operates under. Those are their results, not my opinions. They're likely to keep having a lot of meetings, and keep doing too little.

The odds that there will be a meltdown of sufficient temperatures that the resultant gases reach superheated temperatures are extremely low, to the point of not being a very credible scenario. That is what it would take to generate dry particulate matter in the upper reaches of the atmosphere that could in turn potentially generate trans-oceanic fallout. Those sorts of temperatures are usually only achieved via a nuclear detonation.

Radioactive particulate matter escaping right now, and potentially in the future is doing so carried in steam. It's already wet, it's not dry matter, and it's heavy matter too. These are complex heavy molecules that are already wet, and are more than less likely to attract further condensation. Which means that it's very unlikely that they're going to dry out, magically float higher, and cause the easily paniced masses on the US west coast any trouble.

It does however mean that there's some serious potential for toxic ground fog to develop, and localized toxic rainfall. I say localized because even caught up in a rain storm, these are the first things that get rained out, not the last. Rain storms are cyclical, think about those thunderstorm models every weather report you've ever seen trot out during the summer. Storms are constantly replentishing themselves, until they lose sources of moisture, lose energy, lose material that acts to facilitate condensation, and stop. In this case, the steam acts as a comparatively low level (compared to the `we just poured out a cup of the Sun' levels of heat) gas in the atmosphere, and the particulate matter acts to seed condensation. This is material that wants to sink. Since it's primarily in steam, or in steamy smoke, it loses it's thermal energy very quickly. So the threat is localized, it will stay local, and none of the surrounding countries are at any great risk at this point. Some of the modeling that's out there in the press right now is based off of figures & data related to nuclear detonations, not comparatively cold and wet smoldering fires. These are obviously flawed models, but it's an easy communications based mistake to make when someone is asking you what would happen if the radioactive material did get that high, and not how would it get there, or if it was even possible.

However, people in Japan are, and if we're going to help, it makes a heck of a lot of sense to free servicemembers up to only have to worry about themselves, their own safety, and their mission. If I had family within 300 miles of those plants, I would evacuate them.

All of what I've said is my own opinion, and I'd certainly welcome any data based contradictions to it. I want to see these problems solved, and I don't want to contribute to the witless fear mongering that's pervading the press. I might remind SmallWars readers that you all are all too familiar with just how much the press is full of crap. This instance is no different than the litany of profit driven narrative lying that you've already become quite sadly used to seeing.

CloseDanger 03-18-2011 05:06 PM

It is wise to do so.
Keep in mind, there are power issues as well as major logistics issues that Japan faces right now. The less population in affected areas, the better. Less to take care of. It is high time we restart NEO ops seeing what is happening to so many countries. Get them home and safe so the JOE's can do their work light hearted, not worrying about loved ones.

Presley Cannady 03-19-2011 05:20 PM


Originally Posted by anonamatic (Post 117662)
I think it's probably a wise precaution. Unlike the hysteria surrounding potential CONUS fallout, there is some sense to this.

Fukushima is almost 200 miles north of Kanagawa. Readings taken 20 klicks away from the plant register on the order of hundredths of a microsievert per hour. I fail to see any cause for precaution here.

Presley Cannady 03-19-2011 05:21 PM


Originally Posted by Cannoneer No. 4 (Post 117658)
Voluntary means self-inflicted. A NEO of choice and not of necessity. What are we strategically communicating to Host Nation when we abandon ship like this?

Among other things, a national struggle with long division.

Cannoneer No. 4 03-19-2011 05:46 PM

First military evacuation flight leaves Japan


About 233 of the 240 seats on the flight from Yokota to Seattle were filled, according to the Air Force, which said it was able to place all residents who wanted to leave Saturday on the flight.

As of 3 p.m. Saturday, 556 people at Yokota have signed up for the flights, according to the base public affairs office. There are expected to be 11 flights between now and March 27 out of Yokota.

Misawa base officials couldnít say by 2 p.m. Saturday how many family members they think will want to fly out of Misawa. They were also still coordinating flights, and were unable to predict when the first planes carrying families would depart.
Misawa AB is the closest USFJ installation to the reactors, and a reasonable candidate IMHO for mandatory NEO.


At Naval Air Facility Atsugi, near Tokyo, officials began mustering families with pregnant women, infants and special needs at the base movie theater around 9:30 a.m., only to cancel the muster shortly afterward. Dozens of families had shown up at the theater with their luggage and pets. Officials issued a statement apologizing for the inconvenience, stating that things are very fluid right now.

Base officials were meeting Saturday afternoon to discuss departure times for the first flights.
USAEUR did no NEO for Chernobyl. By the time they knew what had happened everybody had pretty much absorbed their dose, sucked it up and drove on.

Presley Cannady 03-19-2011 06:26 PM


Originally Posted by Cannoneer No. 4 (Post 117784)
Misawa AB is the closest USFJ installation to the reactors, and a reasonable candidate IMHO for mandatory NEO.

Misawa is about thirty miles farther away (as the crow flies) from Fukushima than Yokosuka.


USAEUR did no NEO for Chernobyl.
How do you evacuate in the advance of an explosion you've no idea is coming?

davidbfpo 08-01-2011 07:22 PM

Nuclear security after Fukushima
I know this matter slipped from view, but an IISS Strategic Comment is worth a read, partly as it identifies an issue which officialdom would rather keep from public view - nuclear security as illustrated by:

It was a missed opportunity that, for reasons of national security, nuclear-security issues were not included in stress tests of 143 reactors ordered by the European Union after Fukushima.

I noted that at the 2011 summit the UK became the 'lead' for one of the nine areas for work 'Protecting sensitive information related to nuclear security (United Kingdom)'. Given the history of HMG over the UK's own nuclear history an excellent choice, as one insider recently commented akin to "There are many decisions made where there are no official records".

kowalskil 09-04-2011 10:37 PM

Radiation levels in Japan
1) Those interested in recently (?) measured radiation levels (at different distances from the Fukushima reactors in Japan) should see:

# #
(dose levels measured 1 meter above the ground)

(dose levels measured 1 centimeter above the ground)

Note that the color code is explained near the lower left corner of each display. Radiation levels are expressed in micro-Sieverts per hour. [The 10 micro-sieverts, for example, is the same as 0.01 mSv, etc. And 10 micro-Sievert/hour is the same as 0.24 mSv/day, or 7.2 mSv/month.]

2) How significant are these levels? The effect of penetrating radiation on a person depends on the dose received. The common unit of dose is Sievert (Sv). Smaller doses are expressed in milliseverts (mSv) or microseveret.

A dose of 10 Sv will most likely results in death, within a day or two.
5 Sv would kill about 50% of exposed people.
2 Sv can also be fatal, especially without prompt treatment.

0.25 Sv = 250 mSv is the limit for emergency workers in life-saving operations.
0.10 Sv = 100 mSv dose is clearly linked to later cancer risks.
0.05 Sv = 50 mSv is the yearly limit for radiation workers.

0.004 Sv= 4 mSv typical yearly dose due to natural radiation (cosmic rays, etc).
0.003 Sv= 3 mSV typical dose from mammogram

Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)

dean1756 10-07-2011 11:59 AM

Just joined up and the information in your post is just what I've been looking for. Many Thanks.

kowalskil 12-21-2011 04:42 AM

Radiation:Fukushima reactors update
Radiation:Fukushima reactors update

The accident phase was enden in Fukushima, as described at:

But the process of ďdecommisioning reactorsĒ is expected to take 40 years.

Ludwik Kowalski

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