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3 juin 2013 1 03 /06 /juin /2013 12:35
BPC russe Vladivostok

BPC russe Vladivostok

VLADIVOSTOK, 3 juin - RIA Novosti

 

Le Japon est préoccupé par les futures livraisons de porte-hélicoptères de classe Mistral à la Russie, a déclaré lundi à Singapour le ministre japonais de la Défense Itsunori Onodera.

"Cette décision rompt l'équilibre des forces en Extrême-Orient", a souligné M. Onodera lors de négociations avec son homologue français Jean-Yves Le Drian en marge d'une réunion des ministres de la Défense des pays d'Asie-Pacifique participant au 12e Dialogue Shangri-La.

Deux bâtiments de projection et de commandement (BPC) de type Mistral sont en construction pour la Russie sur les chantiers navals de Saint-Nazaire, en France. Le premier navire, "Vladivostok", sera livré en 2014 et le second, "Sébastopol", en 2015. Les deux bâtiments de guerre feront partie de la Flotte russe du Pacifique.

Le Dialogue Shangri-La a été institué à Singapour à l'initiative de l'Institut international d'études stratégiques. Ce forum doit son nom à l'hôtel Shangri-La dans lequel il s'est tenu pour la première fois en 2002. Il s'agit d'une rencontre consacrée à la sécurité en Asie-Pacifique. Le Dialogue Shangri-La réunit des experts et des responsables politiques et militaires de 28 pays, dont la Russie, la Chine, le Japon, la France, la Grande-Bretagne et les Etats-Unis.

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3 juin 2013 1 03 /06 /juin /2013 11:35
Chinese patrols in Asian seas ‘legitimate’: general

June 3rd, 2013 defencetalk.com (AFP)

 

Chinese warships will continue to patrol waters where Beijing has territorial claims, a top general said Sunday, amid simmering rows with neighbouring countries over the South China Sea and islands controlled by Japan.

 

Lieutenant General Qi Jianguo, deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, defended the patrols as legitimate and said his country’s sovereignty over the areas could not be disputed.

 

“Why are Chinese warships patrolling in East China Sea and South China Sea? I think we are all clear about this,” Qi told the annual Shangri-La Dialogue security conference in Singapore.

 

“Our attitude on East China Sea and South China Sea is that they are in our Chinese sovereignty. We are very clear about that,” he said through an interpreter.

 

“So the Chinese warships and the patrolling activities are totally legitimate and uncontroversial.”

 

Qi was responding to a question from a delegate after giving a speech in which he sought to assure neighbouring countries that China has no hegemonic ambitions.

 

“China has never taken foreign expansion and military conquering as a state policy,” he said.

 

One delegate however said there appeared to be growing regional scepticism over China’s peaceful intentions because it was inconsistent with moves to send naval patrols to waters where other countries also have claims.

 

China is locked in a territorial dispute with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea.

 

The four states have partial claims to islands but China says it has sovereign rights to nearly all of the sea, including areas much closer to other countries and thousands of kilometres from the Chinese coast.

 

China also has a dispute with Japan over the Senkaku islands, which Beijing calls the Diaoyus, in the East China Sea.

 

“I do hope the statements of the good general today will be translated into action,” Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told reporters.

 

He said Qi’s remarks about China having no hegemonic ambitions were “far from what is happening” in the sea.

 

Manila last month protested at what it called the “provocative and illegal presence” of a Chinese warship near Second Thomas Shoal, which is occupied by Philippine troops.

 

Among the other moves that have caused alarm were China’s occupation of a shoal near the Philippines’ main island last year, and the deployment in March of Chinese naval ships to within 80 kilometres (50 miles) of Malaysia’s coast.

 

Competing claims have for decades made the area — home to rich fishing grounds and vital global shipping lanes and believed to sit atop vast natural gas deposits — one of Asia’s potential military flashpoints.

 

China and Vietnam fought in 1974 and 1988 for control of islands in battles that left dozens of soldiers dead.

 

The US-China strategic rivalry also loomed large during the conference, with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Saturday accusing Beijing of waging cyber espionage against the United States.

 

But General Qi on Sunday allayed concerns that China had dropped a pledge not to be the first to use nuclear weapons in a conflict.

 

Omission of the “no-first-use” pledge in a recent defence white paper had created ripples in military circles and sparked speculation that China may have abandoned the policy.

 

Qi also distanced his government from claims by some Chinese scholars that the Ryukyu Islands, which include Okinawa, do not belong to Japan.

 

“This is only an article of particular scholars and their views on these issues… it does not represent the views of the Chinese government,” he said.

 

Maritime disputes and the risks of conflicts that could hurt Asia’s economic growth were a running theme during the three-day conference that ended Sunday.

 

“Asia holds great promise for ourselves and the world but continued peace and prosperity in this region are neither fait accompli nor automatic,” Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen told the conference.

 

“Instead, if we are to continue to enjoy stability and progress, we must work effectively in unison to strengthen areas of common interests.”

 

The Philippines’ Gazmin defended Manila’s move unilaterally to bring its territorial dispute with China before a UN tribunal after China refused to take part.

 

“We hope that the arbitration tribunal will issue a clarification in accordance with international law that will direct China to respect our sovereign rights,” Gazmin told the forum.

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 16:35
Japan's ruling party guidance calls for boosting the amphibious capabilities of the Army's Western Infantry Regiment, here training alongside US Marines in California in February. (Capt. Esteban Vickers/US Marine Corps)

Japan's ruling party guidance calls for boosting the amphibious capabilities of the Army's Western Infantry Regiment, here training alongside US Marines in California in February. (Capt. Esteban Vickers/US Marine Corps)

May. 26, 2013 - By PAUL KALLENDER-UMEZU – Defense News

 

TOKYO — After almost seven decades of maintaining a limited defense posture, Japan should develop its amphibious and pre-emptive strike capability while bolstering sea- and ground-based ballistic-missile defenses, according to policy proposals by the country’s ruling party.

 

The proposals, obtained by Defense News and released to a select group last week ahead of widespread distribution, were drawn up by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). They also call for Japan to beef up its space-based early warning systems and invest in cyber defense.

 

The proposals were generated by several internal LDP committees led by former LDP Defense Ministers Shigeru Ishiba and Gen Nakatani, and therefore carry considerable weight, according to Narushige Michishita, director of the Security and International Studies Program at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies here.

 

“They’re important,” he said.

 

The recommendations will feed into policy, spending and acquisition priorities for Japan’s next five-year Mid-Term Defense Plan, which is being crafted by the Defense Ministry and will be published by December.

 

They also come as the LDP administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to revise Article 9 of Japan’s constitution to delete provisions that prohibit Japan from using “war as a sovereign right of the nation” and maintaining “war potential,” and replace them with the right to hold a “National Defense Force” under the prime minister as commander in chief.

 

The LDP’s policy proposals do not name weapon systems or suggest budgets, and are deliberately more vague than similar proposals drawn up by the LDP in 2009, just before the party suffered a disastrous electoral defeat to the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).

 

“The LDP was not in power then [in 2009],” and so could be more direct, Michishita said.

 

The 2009 proposals openly discussed Japan acquiring, for example, the Boeing KC-46 tanker refueling plane as a step toward developing pre-emptive strike capability, such as knocking out fueled North Korean missiles. They also suggested adding the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to Japan’s ship-based Aegis and ground-based Patriot systems.

 

Fast forward four years, and the proposals come from a resurrected LDP that delivered an even bigger electoral defeat to the DPJ last December. This time around, the language is more cautious because each word has more value.

 

While they carefully avoid all reference to Japan’s major sources of concern — China and North Korea — the proposals open intriguing possibilities over the extent to which Japan will strengthen its defense posture. In this context, Japanese defense planners are considering a number of options for each of the force enhancements, according to analysts and people familiar with the LDP’s discussions.

 

Most interesting and controversial is the proposed discussion of pre-emptive strike capability, which would require Japan to acquire Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), long-range refueling capability for its nascent F-35 Joint Strike Fighters and/or a naval platform for the F-35B jump jet, should Japan opt to purchase that variant.

 

The proposals make no mention of the KC-46 this time around. The Air Self-Defense Force, meanwhile, has steadily equipped its fleet of Mitsubishi F-2 multirole fighters with JDAMS. It is thought that the two 19,500-ton 22DDH-class helicopter destroyers planned for the Maritime Self-Defense Force can be converted to carry the F-35B.

 

In 2003, before Japan had deployed its Aegis SM-3 and Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) ballistic-missile defense (BMD) systems, then-Defense Minister Ishiba made it clear that Japan could launch a strike against a missile base in North Korea in specific sets of circumstances.

 

For example, a strike could take place if there was evidence the missiles were fueled and aimed at Japan, and Japan had no other credible means of defense, Michishita said.

 

But now Japan is steadily building out its BMD systems to intercept North Korea’s longer-range Unha and Musudan mobile intermediate-range ballistic missiles, so such a strike would be potentially unconstitutional, he said.

 

Brad Glosserman, executive director of the Pacific Forum, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said he found recent talk of Japan bolstering its pre-emptive strike capability worrying.

 

“CSIS has been conducting discussions on the issue of pre-emptive strike for six years, and in recent months, we have seen resumption of calls to develop this capability resurface. I am concerned about the proliferation of these capabilities because of the potentially destabilizing consequences,” he said.

 

Japan probably won’t develop a separate marine corps, but it will more likely reinforce its amphibious capability, largely based on the Western Infantry Regiment of the Ground Self-Defense Forces (GSDF) that trained in amphibious warfare as part of the Iron Fist exercises with the US Marine Corps in California, analysts say.

 

Paul Giarra, president of US-based consulting firm Global Strategies & Transformation, said the language of the policy proposal opens the possibility of the GSDF equipping one or perhaps two regiments with advanced capabilities, including up to four dozen amphibious landing vehicles over the next five years, beyond the four AAV-7A1S vehicles already planned, and a suitable number of Bell-Boeing V-22 tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft.

 

“I read it more as the [Japan Self-Defense Forces] with some improved amphibious capabilities like vehicles and tilt-rotor aircraft. That is potentially a significant development, but the LDP does not look like it wants to go the whole hog on a marine corps,” said Christopher Hughes, professor of international politics and Japanese studies at Britain’s University of Warwick.

 

Japan is considering several options to boost its BMD portfolio, consisting of four Kongo-class destroyers and two larger Atago-class Aegis cruisers, and PAC-3 units. While the 2009 version of the proposals specifically mentions purchasing THAAD and an “advanced” version of the PAC-3, the new version recommends strengthening land-based BMD, leaving Japan a choice between purchasing either THAAD or the Aegis Ashore land-based version of the Aegis system, and the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) system for last-ditch interdiction.

 

Giarra said deploying the PAC-3 MSE would complement Aegis Ashore, which Japan has shown an interest in purchasing to the tune of one or two 24-missile interceptor batteries, a number that could increase. In this case, purchasing THAAD systems might be too much of an overlap of similar capabilities, he suggested.

 

Japanese defense planners see cruise missiles in general and China’s DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile in particular as growing threats. This means that on top of the planned upgrades to employ the SM-3 Block IIA Aegis system when it becomes available, Japan also is considering purchasing the extended-range anti-air warfare RIM-174 missile.

 

“Cruise missile defense is becoming as important to Japan as ballistic-missile defense,” Michishita said.

 

Hughes said the proposals face many roadblocks, including opposition from more dovish LDP members and the MoD’s own panel scheduled to meet in January, which may have its own priorities. Last but not least is the Ministry of Finance, which will be unwilling to raise the defense budget under any circumstances.

 

“[But] if Abe/the LDP can pull all this off, then it will be very radical indeed,” Hughes said.

 

Regional Concerns

 

Japan’s moves will likely be welcomed across a region concerned about China’s aggressive territorial claims.

 

“Japan and the Philippines have a strained history, but the Filipinos are for a stronger Japan because Tokyo is helping train its Coast Guard,” Giarra said. “South Korea is less dependent on Japan and tensions run deeper, so it’s much less willing to go along with it.”

 

Tensions soared last week after Osaka’s mayor said forced prostitution in occupied nations was a military necessity for invading Japanese forces, prompting a South Korean newspaper to write that US atomic attacks on Japan were “divine punishment” for Tokyo’s brutality.

 

Some in Asia and Washington worry Japan’s nationalist leader believes Japanese forces did nothing wrong during World War II.

 

“Passive support for Japan will hold unless Japanese behavior changes,” Giarra added. “The question is whether Japanese officials can resist the temptation to undo what they believe were unnecessary apologies for wartime actions they don’t believe were wrong.

 

“The feeling of being wronged is as powerful in Japan as it is the other way around in Korea, Philippines, Indonesia . . . Germany dealt with its past and continues to do so, but Japan suppressed the issue, creating pent up pressure, and when it vents, it could change how this buildup is seen.”

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 11:45
Le Japon offre 750 M EUR sur 5 ans pour stabiliser le Sahel

02 juin 2013 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

YOKOHAMA (Japon) - Le Premier ministre japonais a annoncé dimanche le versement de 750 millions d'euros en cinq ans pour aider à stabiliser la région nord-africaine du Sahel et la formation de 2.000 personnels sur place pour la lutte anti-terroriste.

 

Le Japon va fournir 100 milliards de yens (750 millions d'euros) sur cinq ans pour le développement et la stabilité du Sahel, a déclaré Shinzo Abe lors de la conférence internationale de Tokyo pour le développement de l'Afrique (Ticad).

 

Ce soutien financier apporté par l'Etat nippon entre dans le cadre d'un paquet de 10,6 milliards d'euros d'aide publique au développement sur cinq ans pour l'Afrique, annoncée samedi par M. Abe à l'ouverture de ce sommet à Yokohama (région de Tokyo) auquel participent une quarantaine de chefs d'Etat et de gouvernement africains.

 

Le Premier ministre japonais a tenu à détailler la partie de cette assistance dédiée à cette vaste zone comprise entre l'Afrique du Nord et l'Afrique sub-saharienne et comprenant des territoires de nombreux pays dont le Mali, la Mauritanie, le Niger, l'Algérie, le Tchad, le Soudan et la Lybie.

 

Le Japon attache beaucoup d'importance à cette région, particulièrement depuis une prise d'otages mi-janvier au complexe gazier d'In Amenas dans le sud de l'Algérie, au cours de laquelle dix ressortissants nippons avaient été tués.

 

Quelques jours après cette tragédie qui avait traumatisé le pays, Tokyo avait annoncé un don de 120 millions de dollars pour aider à stabiliser la région, somme à laquelle viennent s'ajouter les fonds annoncés dimanche.

 

Cette assistance permettra de renforcer les protections sociales, avec un accent mis sur l'alimentation, l'éducation et la santé, avec également un soutien pour les femmes et les jeunes, a détaillé M. Abe, pour qui cela ramènera l'espoir d'un développement économique dans la région et contribuera ainsi à sa stabilité.

 

En plus de ce volet d'aide au développement, le Japon va fournir un soutien distinct aux pays de la région, dédié spécifiquement à la lutte contre le terrorisme et au maintien de la sécurité.

 

Nous formerons 2.000 personnes pour les opérations anti-terroristes et le maintien de la sécurité, a précisé le chef du gouvernement japonais.

 

Parmi les pays du Sahel confrontés à des troubles, le Mali fait l'objet d'une attention particulière et une force onusienne de 12.600 hommes doit y prendre le relais des quelque 4.000 soldats français déployés en janvier et qui ont chassé du nord du pays - avec l'appui de contingents d'Afrique occidentale - les groupes armés islamistes qui avaient conquis ce vaste territoire.

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 07:35
Japan Offers To Sell India 2 Shinmaywa US-2 Amphibians

ay 29, 2013 by Shiv Aroor - Livefist

 

TOKYO, MAY 29: Japan prohibits itself constitutionally from exporting military equipment, but the country has now offered to sell 2 Shinmaywa US-2 aircraft to India. The Prime Ministers of India and Japan today decided to set up a joint working group to study how India (there were no specifics in their statement, but both the IAF and Indian Navy have stated requirements) can acquire and operate the Shinmaywa US-2 amphibious aircraft. The joint statement issued today by the two leaders said, "They decided to establish a Joint Working Group (JWG) to explore modality for the cooperation on the US-2 amphibian aircraft."

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2 juin 2013 7 02 /06 /juin /2013 07:35
Le Japon cherche à rassurer ses partenaires asiatiques

1.06.2013 Par Sylvie Kauffmann  -Le Monde.fr

 

Singapour, envoyée spéciale. On attendait Chuck Hagel, dont c'était la première visite en Asie depuis sa nomination à la tête du Pentagone il y a trois mois. Mais la révélation du Shangri-La Dialogue, conférence annuelle sur la sécurité régionale réunie à Singapour, a été son collègue japonais, Itsunori Onodera, dont le discours très habile, samedi 1er juin, a même été salué par un officier chinois.

 

Lire (en édition abonnés) : La pirouette du maire d'Osaka

 

Le ministre japonais a dénoncé les récents propos "déplacés" du maire nationaliste d'Osaka, Toru Hashimoto, qui avait beaucoup choqué en Asie, en particulier en Corée du sud, en déclarant que les "femmes de réconfort" utilisées par l'armée japonaise pendant la deuxième guerre mondiale étaient une "nécessité". "Le Japon a par le passé infligé des souffrances et des préjudices terribles aux populations de nombreux pays, en particulier aux pays d'Asie", a poursuivi M. Onodera. Rappelant les "remords et les excuses" déjà formulés par de précédents gouvernements, le ministre de la défense a souligné que cette ligne était aussi celle du gouvernement de Shinzo Abe.

 

DURCISSEMENT DE LA POLITIQUE EXTÉRIEURE DU JAPON

Deuxième point fort de l'intervention du ministre de la défense : une explication de texte qui s'est voulue rassurante sur le "retour du Japon fort" proclamé par M. Abe depuis son élection en décembre, et dont les accents nationalistes ont suscité pas mal d'interrogations dans la région. Si l'Asie ne peut que se réjouir du retour de la croissance économique au Japon, certains ont craint, en particulier en voyant le budget japonais de la défense augmenter pour la première fois depuis onze ans, que l'"Abenomics" s'accompagne d'un durcissement en politique extérieure. N'ayez pas peur, a lancé en substance le ministre, qui passe pour un modéré dans l'équipe Abe : "un Japon fort jouera un rôle responsable dans la sécurité régionale et exercera fermement le leadership attendu par la communauté internationale".

Le renforcement de sa défense, rendu nécessaire par "un environnement sécuritaire de plus en plus difficile", a-t-il dit, vise à contribuer "à l'amélioration de la paix et de la stabilité régionales" et le Japon s'attachera à éviter les tensions en pratiquant "le dialogue, pas la violence". "L'intérêt national" japonais reste "le maintien et le renforcement de l'ordre international fondé sur les valeurs de liberté, de démocratie et d'Etat de droit". Non, le Japon n'est pas entrain de "virer à droite", il reste "un pays pacifique".

M. Onodera a consacré le reste de son discours au rappel de l'importance de l'alliance avec les Etats-Unis et des vertus du multilatéralisme, en particulier avec les pays d'Asie du sud-est. Le message n'est pas passé inaperçu des responsables militaires chinois présents à la conférence, qui ont parfaitement compris qu'il s'adressait à la Chine, dont les conflits territoriaux avec Tokyo et d'autres pays de la région sont la source de fortes tensions. Un colonel chinois a rendu hommage au mea culpa du ministre japonais sur la deuxième guerre mondiale, mais les deux parties restent en désaccord total sur les îles Senkaku/Diaoyou, où M. Onodera entend "maintenir le statu quo".

 

DISPOSITIF AMÉRICAIN DE "RÉÉQUILIBRAGE" VERS L'ASIE

Organisée par l'IISS (International Institute of Strategic Studies), la conférence avait été ouverte vendredi soir par le premier ministre vietnamien, Nguyen Tan Dung, qui a ouvertement désapprouvé l'attitude de la Chine. Le Vietnam et la Chine ont eux aussi un différend territorial. Rappelant que les deux tiers du commerce mondial transitent par la mer de Chine, M. Tan Dung a averti que "la moindre action irresponsable peut provoquer l'interruption de cet énorme flux commercial, avec des conséquences imprévisibles non seulement pour les économies régionales mais aussi pour le monde entier".

Pour Rory Metcalfe, expert de l'Asie au Lowy Institute à Sydney, le premier ministre vietnamien s'est montré "particulièrement direct" et le "ton très positif" qu'il a adopté sur la réconciliation de son pays avec les Etats-Unis n'aura pas non plus échappé aux Chinois. Chuck Hagel, le secrétaire américain à la défense, n'a d'ailleurs pas manqué de rappeler son passé de vétéran du Vietnam, où il a été blessé et deux fois décoré. M. Hagel a, lui, consacré l'essentiel de son intervention à la description détaillée du dispositif américain de "rééquilibrage" vers l'Asie (on ne dit plus "pivot", dans la terminologie officielle du Pentagone, mais "rebalancing"), une stratégie qu'il décrit comme " diplomatique, économique et culturelle " mais à laquelle il a donné un contenu exclusivement militaire.

Les Etats-Unis s'étaient déjà engagés à baser 60 % de leurs forces navales en Asie-Pacifique d'ici à 2020 ; M. Hagel a révélé que désormais, 60 % de leurs forces aériennes extérieures se trouvaient déjà dans la région Asie-Pacifique. Et quelle que soit la situation budgétaire à Washington, a assuré le chef du Pentagone, les Américains continueront à représenter près de 40 % des dépenses de défense mondiales.

Là encore, une mise en garde a été adressée à la Chine à propos des différends territoriaux : les Etats-Unis "sont fermement opposés à toute tentative de modifier par la force le statu quo" en mer de Chine méridionale ou orientale, a rappelé Chuck Hagel. Le responsable de la défense américaine a directement mis en cause la Chine dans le domaine du cyber-espionnage, en s'inquiétant "de la menace croissante des intrusions informatiques, dont une partie semble liée à l'armée et au gouvernement chinois". Tout en continuant à prôner les vertus du dialogue avec Pékin.

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1 juin 2013 6 01 /06 /juin /2013 21:35
JS Shimokita (LST 4002) departs from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam along with JS Atago (DDG 177) and JS Hyuga (DDH 181), May 20, en route to San Diego. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Johans Chavarro)

JS Shimokita (LST 4002) departs from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam along with JS Atago (DDG 177) and JS Hyuga (DDH 181), May 20, en route to San Diego. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Johans Chavarro)

01 June 2013 Pacific Sentinel

 

SAN DIEGO - Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMDSF) ships, landing ship tank JS Shimokita (LST 4002); destroyer JS Atago (DDG 177) and helicopter destroyer JS Hyuga (DDH 181) arrived in San Diego May 31.
 
During the visit, the ships' crews will participate and engage in local community outreach and conduct office calls with local leaders. All three JMSDF ships will also participate in multilateral amphibious exercise Dawn Blitz June 11-28.
 
Dawn Blitz is a scenario-driven exercise that will test participants in the planning and execution of amphibious operations in a series of live training events to improve naval amphibious core competencies. It is designed to train the Navy and Marine Corps in operations expected of an amphibious exercise and will test staffs in the planning and execution of amphibious operations.
 
This exercise is one of a series of amphibious training events on both coasts of the U.S. that take place annually. Exercises like Dawn Blitz 2013 provide realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy and Marine Corps.
 

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30 mai 2013 4 30 /05 /mai /2013 11:35
India, Japan to regularize naval exercises

 

 

May 29, 2013 IDRW.org (IANS)

 

Taking their strategic cooperation further, India and Japan Wednesday announced that bilateral naval exercises would be regularized and held more frequently.However, both countries made it clear that multi-lateral naval exercises, involving more countries, would not be held.

 

“The bilateral naval exercises will be regularized. These are going to be implemented more frequently,” Tonohika Taniguchi, councillor and a member of the Japanese prime minister’s strategic team, said here.

 

He said India and Japan were giving emphasis to strategic partnership, especially when it comes to safeguarding their respective maritime regions. Both countries have maritime interests in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean, respectively.

 

Japan has already expressed its concern over the move by China to regulate maritime movement in the South China Sea.

 

“We will be concerned if there is any attempt to change the rules of movement,” Taniguchi said, referring to the move by China.

 

Japan and India have been calling for strengthening of mutual cooperation to ensure regional stability in Asia, especially in the maritime zones.

 

Both countries have meetings of their foreign and defence ministers on regular basis to engage in strategic cooperation.

 

The US and Australia have shown interest in joining the naval exercises conducted by Japan and India jointly. However, India has not shown interest in expanding the bilateral exercises to a tri-lateral or multi-lateral level.

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29 mai 2013 3 29 /05 /mai /2013 11:35
Sergeant Yasuhiro Chiba, Japan Self Defense Forces, in action on an urban assault range, during Exercise Southern Jackaroo. - photo Australia MoD

Sergeant Yasuhiro Chiba, Japan Self Defense Forces, in action on an urban assault range, during Exercise Southern Jackaroo. - photo Australia MoD

29 May 2013 Defense Studies

 

Australia, Japan and the United States have concluded Exercise Southern Jackaroo, the first ground exercise involving the three nations held in Australia. The inaugural exercise took place from 18 to 26 May 2013.
 
An important step forward in trilateral defence cooperation between the nations, Exercise Southern Jackaroo saw Australian Army, Japan Ground Self Defense Force and US Army personnel participate in skills-based live-fire training and adventurous training, at Puckapunyal and Melbourne.
 
During the exercise, 14 personnel from each of the three nations participated in live-firing activities focused on advanced marksmanship skills within urban terrain, as well as adventurous training including abseiling from buildings in the Melbourne CBD.
 
Over the last year, trilateral ground cooperation between Australia, Japan and the US has strengthened, with the Chief of the Australian Army attending the Senior Level Seminar between the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force, US Army Pacific and US Marines Forces Pacific. Earlier this month, Japan and the US participated in the Australian Army’s Skill at Arms Meeting held at Puckapunyal, Victoria.
 
Exercise Southern Jackaroo reflects the shared commitments of Australia, Japan and the US to strengthening defence and security cooperation, and working closely together to promote regional stability, peace and prosperity.
 
The three nations share several common security interests. Practical cooperation, through exercises such as Southern Jackaroo, is a central part of our trilateral defence relationship.
 
The importance of trilateral defence cooperation was demonstrated in the response to the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, when the Australian Defence Force, Japanese Self Defense Forces and US Forces Japan worked together to provide rapid humanitarian and disaster relief assistance.
 
Imagery is available HERE.
 

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28 mai 2013 2 28 /05 /mai /2013 12:35
La Marine chinoise tape sur les nerfs de ses voisins

MOSCOU, 28 mai - RIA Novosti

 

La Chine a organisé ses plus grandes manœuvres militaires depuis trois ans, près des îles Paracels et Spratleys revendiquées par six pays, écrit le quotidien Nezavissimaïa gazeta du 28 mai 2013.

En 2010, Pékin avait mené des exercices similaires pour contrarier les USA. A l'époque l'Amérique avait riposté en envoyant dans la mer Jaune le porte-avions George Washington pour des manœuvres conjointes avec la Corée du Sud.

Cette fois l'envoi des navires chinois visait à mettre en garde les Etats-Unis et leur allié – les Philippines. Ces dernières se servent en effet des protestations diplomatiques pour pousser Pékin à renoncer aux revendications de l'archipel des Spratleys (les Nansha en chinois). Et Washington, qui soutient les Philippines, a envoyé dans la région litigieuse son porte-avions Nimitz.

Le colonel chinois à la retraite Yue Gang pense que ces manœuvres visent à monter aux Philippines que Pékin maintiendra une position intransigeante dans le litige territorial.

Cependant Pavel Kamennov, expert à l'Institut russe de l'Extrême-Orient, pense que ces exercices ne sont pas associés uniquement au conflit en mer de Chine méridionale. "Pendant le 18ème congrès du parti communiste chinois, le secrétaire général Xi Jinping a donné la directive de transformer la Chine en puissance maritime. Elle l’est déjà grâce à sa flotte commerciale mais étant donné que le président américain Barack Obama a déclaré que l'Asie-Pacifique deviendrait le centre des efforts militaires des USA, la Chine devait réagir de façon appropriée", analyse-t-il.

Pour l'instant, la Chine est en retard sur les Etats-Unis dans des secteurs tels que les systèmes de surveillance, des communications, de contrôle et d'interaction entre divers armements. Mais elle dispose déjà de toutes les armes d'une marine moderne – flotte sous-marine, sous-marins nucléaires lanceurs d'engins (SNLE), destroyers dotés de missiles guidés surface-surface. Une partie est d'origine russe.

Sur fond de confrontation potentielle entre deux grandes puissances, la politique de Taïwan concernant le litige maritime paraît un facteur insignifiant. Mais ce n'est pas le cas. Les autorités de l’île ont annoncé que la souveraineté de l'archipel des Spratleys leur revenait.

Auparavant les pêcheurs taïwanais travaillaient dans les eaux proclamées zone économique exclusive par Taïwan et les Philippines. Mais les militaires philippins ont violemment réprimé cette pratique en ouvrant le feu sur une goélette taïwanaise. Un pêcheur a été tué. Taïwan a exigé des excuses et a rappelé qu'il contrôlait la plus grande île de l'archipel, où se situe une unité militaire taïwanaise.

Les Etats-Unis ont déclaré qu'ils regrettaient de voir leurs deux partenaires militaires se quereller et Pékin a approuvé les actes de Taïwan.

Taïwan ne renonce pas à sa politique autonome. Il a passé un accord avec le Japon afin que les pêcheurs taïwanais puissent pêcher dans la zone économique japonaise autour des îles Senkaku, en mer de Chine orientale, également revendiquées par la Chine. Cette fois, Pékin n’a pas approuvé.

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28 mai 2013 2 28 /05 /mai /2013 11:35
Un chasseur américain F-15 tombe en mer au large du Japon, le pilote survit

28 mai 2013 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

TOKYO - Un chasseur américain F-15 est tombé en mer mardi après que son pilote s'est s'éjecté au large de l'île japonaise d'Okinawa, a annoncé l'armée de l'air américaine.

 

Un appareil de la base aérienne de Kadena a connu un problème qui a finalement entraîné l'éjection de son pilote au-dessus de l'océan Pacifique, à environ 110 km à l'est d'Okinawa, a expliqué l'armée de l'air dans un communiqué.

 

Des équipes de secours américaine et japonaise sont parties chercher le pilote, qui s'est apparemment éjecté sans dommage et se trouve en contact avec les secouristes.

 

Les garde-côtes japonais participent aux recherches. Nous avons envoyé des avions et des bateaux sur zone après avoir reçu un appel à l'aide de la base aérienne de Kadena, une importante base militaire américaine de l'océan Pacifique, a expliqué un responsable des garde-côtes à l'AFP.

 

La base de Kadena est située sur l'île d'Okinawa (sud), où sont stationnés plus de la moitié des 47.000 soldats américains du Japon. La population locale se plaint souvent de l'insécurité et des nuisances provoquées par cette présence massive.

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27 mai 2013 1 27 /05 /mai /2013 16:35
ShinMaywa US-2 aircraft of the Japanese Self Defence Force at Hansin Base in Japan.

ShinMaywa US-2 aircraft of the Japanese Self Defence Force at Hansin Base in Japan.

May 27, 2013 timesofindia.indiatimes.com (AFP)

 

TOKYO: Japan is close to signing an agreement to supply amphibious planes to India, a report said on Monday, in what would be the first sale of hardware used by the military since a weapons export ban was imposed.

 

During a four-day visit to Tokyo by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, starting later Monday, the two sides are set firm up plans for Delhi to purchase the US-2, a domestically-developed aircraft used by Japan's armed forces.

 

The sale, reported by the Nikkei business daily, would be the first of a finished product made by Japan's homegrown defence industry since rules were imposed restricting the export of weapons systems and other equipment.

 

It would also mark a strengthening of the alliance between Japan and India, which both see rising China as a threat to regional stability.

 

Experts say the aircraft must be classed as for civilian use if it is to comply with Japan's 1967 self-imposed ban on arms exports, part of the post-World War II anti-militarist drive.

 

The US-2, which was developed by ShinMaywa Industries and has been sold to the Japanese navy at a price of roughly 10 billion yen ($99 million), has a range of 4,700 kilometres (2,900 miles) and can land in seas with waves of up to three metres (nine feet).

 

"If the US-2 is exported to India for civilian use, that would be the first case of exports of Japanese-developed weaponry used by the defence ministry for civilian use," a trade ministry official in charge of arms sales told AFP.

 

ShinMaywa opened a sales office in New Delhi last year and has been promoting the plane there, a spokesman for the company said.

 

"We hear there is some demand from the Indian government but decline to comment further as we have yet to reach a contract," he added. The Nikkei said India is looking to acquire at least 15 of the aircraft.

 

Japan has sought to expand the market for its defence industry. It has previously exported technology or parts of military hardware but not finished products.

 

The plane could be deemed to have a non-military — for example, search and rescue — purpose if "friend-or-foe" identification systems were disabled, officials said, making it eligible for export.

 

In 2011 Tokyo eased the ban on arms exports, paving the way for Japanese firms to take part in multinational weapons projects.

 

The reported talks on sales "are based on policy decisions made a few years ago that Japan has to support its defence industry by diverting military technology to civilian use for export", said Takehiko Yamamoto, professor of international relations at Waseda University.

 

Otherwise, major Japanese firms such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries "will not able to maintain their pool of engineers to develop military technology that is essential for the defence of Japan", he said.

 

Boosting exports from Japan's manufacturing behemoths is a key part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan to revive the economy.

 

In a separate report, the Nikkei said in its evening edition that Abe and Singh would agree on drafting a master plan for new infrastructure in southern India.

 

The paper said Japan would supply expertise on the plan to build a power grid, roads, railways and ports, mainly in the area that includes Bangalore and Chennai. Both cities are business hubs for Japanese firms such as Toyota Motor, Nissan Motor and Toshiba.

 

Japan last year said it would provide up to 132.6 billion yen of cheap loans to India, including a 60.7 billion yen loan for a power grid system for Chennai and the surrounding area.

 

On Wednesday Japan will pledge a fresh 71 billion yen loan for building a subway in Mumbai, the Nikkei said.

 

Abe and Singh are scheduled to meet on Wednesday for a summit expected to concentrate on trade and investment.

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24 mai 2013 5 24 /05 /mai /2013 11:45
Kenya to get UAVs to monitor small arms trafficking as insecurity worsens

22 May 2013 by Oscar Nkala - defenceWeb

 

The United States and Japan have agreed to fund Kenya to purchase unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for border patrol duties as the country steps up efforts to crack down on small arms trafficking.

 

Patrick Ochieng, director of the Kenya Focal Point on Small Arms and Light Weapons, said that the two countries would help fund the purchase of UAVs, which would cut down on crime in Kenya.

 

The move followed shortly after the government announced plans to acquire firearms detectors to be deployed at border posts to search for firearms and other ordnance in cars, luggage and bulk haulage vehicles.

 

According to a recent survey conduct by the Kenya Action Network on Small Arms, the country is awash with more than 600 000 illegal firearms while the capital Nairobi is one of the biggest open markets for illegal small arms after Mogadishu.

 

Addressing journalists during a tour of the restive northern town of Garissa late last week, Ochieng said Kenya urgently needed the UAVs to monitor porous borders and track the movement of illegal weapons which are flowing freely from the wars in neighbouring Ethiopia and Somalia into Kenya and Tanzania.

 

“We need a concerted effort internationally, regionally and nationally in order to gain ground in this fight against small arms and that is why our development partners have decided to come in and assist us,” Ochieng said.

 

Kenya says the free flow of small arms has contributed to widespread insecurity, especially among pastoralist communities where firearms have replaced traditional weapons in wars over pasture, water and cattle rustling.

 

Due to high demand, illegal arms dealing has become a highly profitable business in Kenya with illegal weapons dealers in Nairobi believed to be selling low-calibre pistols for as much as US$140 while AK-47 and other automatic assault rifles sell for up to $500.

 

Garissa County commissioner Mohamed Maalim said that weapons are being concealed in bags of sugar and imported into the country.

 

As part of the crackdown on small arms, Kenya and Tanzania have also launched the first in a series of planned security operations along their common borders with the aim of seizing all illegally held firearms.

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22 mai 2013 3 22 /05 /mai /2013 12:35
China claims to South China Sea – source eurasiareview.com

China claims to South China Sea – source eurasiareview.com

China claims to South China Sea

 

May 20, 2013 By Dr. Subhash Kapila - eurasiareview.com

 

Introductory Observations

 

The South China Sea region has been converted into a militarily turbulent one due to the illegal claims by China declaring sovereignty over the entire South China Sea.

 

China in the process has not only resorted to escalated military brinkmanship but also resorted to use of armed force and coercion against its less powerful South East Asian neighbours, namely, Vietnam and the Philippines.

 

Asian security as a whole today stands endangered by China’s military adventurism not only in the South China Sea against Vietnam and the Philippines, but extending to the Himalayan Borders of India with China- Occupied Tibet. Chinese military adventurism to reinforce its sovereignty over disputed borders is by now a well-established pattern.

 

India has a legitimate strategic interest in the South China Sea region encompassing political, economic and strategic factors. At the ASEAN-India Summit in New Delhi in December 2012, India had declared its position on the South China Sea disputes in consonance with the global sentiments.

 

Reiteration of India’s stand on the South China Sea conflicts should be a pointer that India stands firmly against any Chinese actions that violate international laws and UN Conventions. The recent assertions by the Indian Defence Minister, A K Antony were a welcome reiteration and reassurance and should go down well in South East Asian countries that look upon India as the regional balancer against China’s hegemonistic inclinations against its Southern neighbours.

 

Indian Defence Minister’s Assertions on South China Sea Security

 

Voicing concerns over China’s actions in the South China Sea region, the Indian Defence Minister addressing media persons on May 11, 2013 made the following assertions:

 

    “There should be freedom of navigation as per the UN conventions.”

    “India has commercial interests and though it is not a party to the dispute, it believes that disputes should be settled as per UN laws.”

    “The protection of Sea-Lanes of Communication is becoming more and more important. Economic development, trade and commerce depend on the security of Sea Lanes of Communication”

 

Indian Defence Minister’s Assertions Analysed

 

Taken at face value, the assertions made by the Indian Defence Minister’s may not count much and may not be counted as strong assertions. But coming from the Indian Defence Minister who is noted for his reticence and measured words, there are a lot of implicit messages for China on its aggressive postures on the South China Sea issues. Political signalling can therefore be read in these assertions.

 

Emphasis on UN Conventions and dispute/conflict resolution as per UN Laws (read UNCLOS) by the Indian Defence Minister clashes diametrically with China’s rigidly stated positions that the South China Sea disputes will be resolved by China only through “bilateral negotiations” with the other disputants. This simply because in a bi-lateral process China can bring to bear its awesome military coercion in play against small countries like Vietnam and the Philippines.

 

India’s opposition to China’s declaratory stands is therefore noteworthy. It is more noteworthy in the sense that such assertions by US dignitaries earlier drew strong protests from China as interference in its internal affairs. The United States ignored these protests. It is time that India too discards its deference to Chinese sensitivities.

 

Further, the assertion on freedom of navigation is in keeping with international pronouncements of commitments to “defence of global commons” Implicit in such international stands is the message for China that the South China Sea is a global heritage which cannot be consigned to the ‘full sovereignty over the whole South China Sea’ as declared by China. The Chinese stand apparently is being challenged by India in an implied manner along with the rest of the Asian community.

 

Protection of Sea Lanes of Communication that pass through the South China Sea can be read as India fears genuinely, as the rest of the world does, that China could threaten these vital maritime lifelines and that the global community has to take initiatives to forestall that threat. Can one read in this assertion by the Indian Defence Minister that India would be inclined to join any international effort to ensure that the South China Sea maritime arteries remain open without any restrictions or impediments by China?

 

More significantly, what needs to be considered is the contextual backdrop where the Indian Defence Minister was making the above assertions on the South China Sea.

 

These assertions by the Indian Defence Minister were not made at any Seminar or discussion event on the South China Sea conflict but these Indian concerns were expressed to media-persons after commissioning the first ship-deck based super-sonic jet fighter, the MIG 29K Squadron at Goa comprising 18 jet fighters for the Indian Navy. A total of 45 MIG 29K supersonic jet fighters have been purchased from Russia at a cost of over $ 2 Billion.

 

Contextually, these assertions by the Indian Defence Minister were made on the eve of the Chinese Prime Minister’s visit to India. Also they coincide with recent media reports of India upgrading its maritime surveillance and operational capabilities and infrastructure in South India for extended coverage of the Indian Ocean sea-lanes and threats.

 

The Indian Defence Minister also informed the media that India’s first indigenously built Aircraft Carrier would be launched on August 12 this year and the INS VIKRAMADITYA would arrive from Russia before the end of 2013.

 

In a context other than the South China Sea, but at the same event and with China still in mind, it was reassuring to hear the Indian Defence Minister declare that “As China has the right to improve, increase and strengthen and other facilities on its land; India has the right to develop its own infrastructure.”

 

India’s Commercial Interest in the South China Sea.

 

While on the subject of India’s legitimate strategic interests in the South China Sea, it needs to be remembered that India’s energy security quest led it also to set up a joint exploration project with Vietnam in two oil exploration blocks numbered 127&128 in Phu Khanh Basin.

 

Some quarters have wrongly reported that India’s oil-exploration projects are in disputed waters. That is the Chinese version. It needs to be clarified that these Indian oil exploration projects which China protested against are located in South China Sea waters in Vietnam’s jurisdiction and not Chinese jurisdiction. Hence China’s protests are not tenable when the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas are kept in mind.

 

China neither has de-facto nor de-jure jurisdiction over the entire South China Sea. By unilateral and illegal declarations of its Nine Dashed Line, China cannot order all international oil-prospecting projects in the South China Sea region to stop their operations.

 

Concluding Observations

 

India may not be a party to the dispute in the South China Sea as regards the sovereignty of the disputed islands is concerned, but India should consider itself as a legitimate stake-holder in the security and stability of the South China Sea.

 

In the above context therefore, India as a major maritime power in the Indo-Pacific Region must consider that no major power including China is allowed to resort to aggressive military brinkmanship to redraw maps to establish China’s full sovereignty over the entire South China Sea. Tomorrow China would start claiming some portions of the Indian Ocean on historical grounds that some Chinese Admiral’s fleet traversed those areas centuries ago.

 

India to begin with may not be able to perform this task single-handedly. In tandem with its preparations for building up its maritime power, India must politically be more vocal in embedding in international consciousness that Asian stability and security stands endangered if China is allowed a free run in riding rough-shod over the sovereignty and legal claims of its smaller neighbours like Vietnam and the Philippines in the South China Sea.

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14 mai 2013 2 14 /05 /mai /2013 07:35
CYBER-DEFENSE - Le Japon et les Etats-Unis décidés à coopérer

13 mai 2013 lepetitjournal.com/tokyo

 

Le Japon et les Etats-Unis ont annoncé avoir conclu leur premier dialogue approfondi sur la coopération dans le domaine de la cyber-défense, dans une déclaration commune vendredi. Au cours de la réunion, qui a duré deux jours à Tokyo, les responsables japonais et américains ont identifié des actions que les gouvernements et les entreprises privées pourraient prendre pour éviter les cyber-attaques et sécuriser leurs infrastructures informatiques essentielles. La rencontre bilatérale a eu lieu seulement quelques jours après que le Pentagone ait présenté un rapport au Congrès reprochant aux militaires chinois de conduire des cyber-attaques sur des ordinateurs du gouvernement américain. La Chine aurait effectué depuis plusieurs années de nombreuses cyber attaques, non seulement sur les Etats-Unis, mais aussi sur le Japon, Taiwan, le Vietnam ou les Philippines. Américains et Japonais se sont mis d’accord pour organiser un deuxième dialogue sur la cyber-défense, à Washington cette fois, entre octobre et décembre 2013.

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13 mai 2013 1 13 /05 /mai /2013 07:35
La Chine a envoyé plusieurs de ses navires dans la zone des – très contestées – îles Senkaku (Photo: China.org.cn)

La Chine a envoyé plusieurs de ses navires dans la zone des – très contestées – îles Senkaku (Photo: China.org.cn)

13/05/2013 par Nicolas Laffont – 45eNord.ca

 

C’est devenu une habitude depuis quelques mois: trois navires gouvernementaux chinois sont entrés lundi matin dans les eaux territoriales des îles Senkaku, que se disputent la Chine, le Japon et Taiwan, ont indiqué les garde-côtes nippons.

Ces navires de surveillance maritime ont pénétré dans la zone des 22 km entourant l’archipel de Senkaku, peu après 09h00 locales (dimanche, 20h00, Montréal).

La dernière incursion de la Chine remontait au 5 mai dernier.

La Chine est une habituée de ce genre d’action. Le pays envoie régulièrement des navires, mais également de temps en temps des avions. Les tensions entre les deux pays ont connu une recrudescence lorsque le Japon a décidé de nationaliser trois de ses cinq îles en les achetant directement de leur propriétaire.

Cela avait entraîné toute une série de manifestations anti-japonaises durant une semaine à travers plusieurs villes chinoises.

Tokyo a aussi annoncé la mise en place d’une force de 600 hommes et 12 navires pour surveiller et protéger les Senkaku.

Le Premier ministre Shinzo Abe a prévenu en avril que le Japon expulserait «par la force» tout éventuel débarquement chinois sur les Senkaku.

Les querelles entre la Chine et le Japon sont d’autant plus fortes que près de 170 parlementaires japonais ont visité, à la fin du mois dernier, le sanctuaire shintoïste Yasukuni à Tokyo. Il s’agit d’un lieu où sont honorés les morts pour la patrie dont 14 criminels de guerre, ce qui, reviendrait à rendre hommage au passé militariste du Japon selon les Chinois et les sud-Coréens.

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8 mai 2013 3 08 /05 /mai /2013 07:35
US shift to Asia on track despite budget cuts: admiral

May 8th, 2013 defencetalk.com (AFP)

 

Plans to expand the American naval presence in the Pacific with new ships and hi-tech weaponry will go ahead despite steep budget cuts, the US Navy chief said before a trip to the region.

 

Admiral Jonathan Greenert told AFP in an interview he will seek to “reassure” partners during a nine-day trip to Japan, Singapore and South Korea that mounting pressure on military spending will not derail Washington’s much-publicized shift towards Asia.

 

Of the navy’s current fleet of 283 ships, 101 are deployed and 52 are in Pacific waters, with plans to increase the US presence in the region to 62 ships by 2020, he said.

 

“We’re going to grow. There’s no question about the next seven to eight years,” said the admiral, who departs Wednesday on his tour.

 

Greenert, who will meet counterparts at the IMDEX maritime security conference in Singapore, said during his talks he would outline a steadily expanding naval presence, particularly in Southeast Asia.

 

“I’ll talk to them on deployments and how we’re going to sustain our presence out there through this 2013-14 period,” he said.

 

Under automatic budget cuts, the Pentagon faces a reduction of $41 billion this fiscal year and possibly up to $500 billion over the next nine years if US lawmakers fail to break a political impasse.

 

Military leaders have warned that flight hours, ship maintenance and some exercises will be scaled back due to the belt tightening, even as China and other Asian powers pursue an arms buildup.

 

Greenert acknowledged the cuts could slow down the arrival of some new weapons, and if funding were slashed over several years, ship-building plans would suffer.

 

But he said there were 47 ships under construction or under contract that would not be affected by any budget slashing.

 

“Shipyards won’t go empty. There’s no plan to break the contracts.”

 

For the Pacific, he touted efforts to strengthen the navy’s role in the region, from more joint drills to “more grey hulls” in the western Pacific.

 

The strategic “re-balance” is illustrated by what Greenert calls operating “forward,” with 42 of the 52 vessels patrolling the Pacific permanently stationed in regional ports.

 

The approach paid off amid recent tensions with North Korea, he said, when two US destroyers were ordered to the coast off the Korean peninsula.

 

The warships were close at hand in Japan at the naval base in Yokosuka, instead of having to travel a vast distance from the US West Coast.

 

“They are where it matters, when it matters,” he said.

 

The military also plans to send the latest cutting-edge hardware to Asia, with the first squadron of the new P-8 Poseidon aircraft to arrive in Japan later this year, he said.

 

The new Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) will have a prominent role in the Pacific, he said, which would free up bigger amphibious ships and destroyers for duties elsewhere.

 

The first LCS, the Freedom, arrived in Singapore last month for its inaugural mission, with four of the ships due to use the port through 2017.

 

The Pentagon believes the smaller LCS vessels are more compatible with similar-sized ships used by other navies in the region, and more suited to an area plagued by territorial disputes.

 

Given tensions over territorial rights in the South China Sea and beyond, Greenert said he would use his trip to discuss “protocols” at sea with partners to prevent crises.

 

“We’ll talk about protocols — how we want to operate together at sea and, when together, how would we operate and conduct ourselves if challenged, say in the South China Sea or East China Sea?” he said.

 

China is often at odds with its neighbors over territorial rights and a Pentagon report issued Monday accused Beijing of cyber espionage against the US government.

 

But Greenert said he did not view the Asian power as threat.

 

Instead, relations with China represented an “opportunity,” which if not handled correctly “could turn into a potential adversary.”

 

Washington was focused on how to “understand each other and develop a meaningful dialogue.”

 

The four-star admiral, who travels to Seoul after his stop in Singapore, said North Korea remained the biggest threat in the region, but that tensions had receded after Pyongyang toned down its bellicose language in recent weeks.

 

North Korea still had the ability to launch missiles but “the likelihood has gone down,” he said. “The rhetoric has lowered.”

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7 mai 2013 2 07 /05 /mai /2013 17:35
Japan, Taiwan Upgrade Strike Capability

May. 6, 2013 By WENDELL MINNICK and PAUL KALLENDER-UMEZU    Defense News

 

TAIPEI AND TOKYO — Japan’s main movements on precision strike involve upgrading its Mitsubishi F-2 fighter jet fleet with Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) capability, and working on a more accurate surface-to-surface missile.

 

Taiwan, meanwhile, is pushing forward on a variety of secret missile programs designed to punish mainland China for daring to cross the center line of the Taiwan Strait. These include a new land-attack cruise missile, medium-range ballistic missile, and two new anti-ship missiles powered by ramjets.

 

Japan is focused on deterring and defending against raids by foreign guerrillas and special operations forces, with JDAMs considered a useful tool against such forces. Since 2011, the Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) has been steadily adding JDAM capability to its F-2 fighter, spending ¥2.1 billion (US $21.4 million) to equip 12 fighters with JDAM kits in 2011, ¥2.8 billion in 2012 for 20 fighters, and ¥1.3 billion this year to equip an undisclosed number of F-2s.

 

Defense Ministry spokesman Takaaki Ohno said the MoD plans to equip its F-2s with what it calls “JDAM capability.”

 

Unconfirmed Japanese press reports say the JDAM kits are for Mk-82 225-kilogram bombs. Japan’s fleet of F-2s also carries a range of free-fall bombs with GCS-1 IIR seeker heads. The ASDF’s fleet consists of 63 F-2s and about 150 Mitsubishi F-15J and 45 F-15DJ Eagles, and it still flies around 80 aging Phantom F-4s of various stripes.

 

The MoD is spending ¥1.3 billion to develop a surface-to-surface missile with improved guidance and extended range to succeed the Type-90 surface-to-surface missile. To reduce cost, the missile will be developed based on the Ground Self-Defense Force’s Type-12 surface-to-ship missile. The missile can be guided by updated target information from helicopters. The Type-90 ship-to-ship missile is a 260-kilogram solid-propellant and ship-launched variant of the turbojet engine-propelled 150-200 kilometer range SSM-1.

Japan, Taiwan Upgrade Strike Capability

Taiwan's Missile Confusion

 

In Taiwan, the Cloud Peak missile program is a land-based, supersonic, anti-ship missile system, according to a Taiwan defense analyst with close ties to the Ministry of National Defense (MND).The news is contrary to previous media reports that Cloud Peak is the same as the medium-range ballistic-missile (MRBM) program or that it is the new land-attack cruise missile (LACM).

 

The MND did not respond to requests for further program information.

 

The defense analyst said the MRBM project exists but is a separate program.

 

“Don’t know its current project name. It’s been changed many times since the early 2000s, when it was originally known as Ti Ching, which literally meant ‘Distant Pacified,’ ” which is traditionally associated with barbarians to the far west of China, the analyst said.

 

Cloud Peak is an extended-range supersonic anti-ship cruise missile, based on a much enlarged version of the Hsiung Feng-3 anti-ship missile, intended to be land-based and used against invasion fleets from China’s southeastern coast, he said.

 

“In fact, this is the production project name for the system formerly known by the code name for its base construction project: Hsiang Yang or Xiangyang,” he said.

 

The Cloud Peak’s range and payload capabilities fall well under Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Category 1 limitations, “so I doubt it would attract significant US opposition just yet,” he said.

 

The MTCR is a voluntary partnership among nations to stop the proliferation of missile technology allowing for payloads of 500 kilograms and a range of 300 kilometers.

 

The Taiwan source said the Obama administration wants to distance itself from major new Taiwan arms sales and “has been urging Taiwan to go asymmetric.” The US government will “basically try to stay out of Taiwan’s way, so long as Taipei keeps any such counterstrike projects low-key.”

 

Despite Taiwan’s best efforts to develop precision strike weapons, the source said Taiwan could not defeat an all-out Chinese attack.

 

China has roughly 1,500 Dong Feng 11/15 short-range ballistic missiles targeting the island and an unknown number of LACMs, according to Pentagon estimates.

 

Taiwan has also begun fielding its first LACM, the Hsiung Feng 2E. The Missile Command’s 601 Group has three squadrons of the system deployed in ground-mobile launchers. In photos widely published throughout the Internet, the launchers are painted pastel blue and disguised as “Red Bird Express” delivery trucks.

 

Taiwan’s Navy has begun fielding its first ramjet supersonic anti-ship missile, the Hsiung Feng 3, aboard its Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates, and might also deploy it on the Lafayette and Knox-class frigates, MND sources said. Known as the “carrier killer,” it has a range of 150 to 200 kilometers.

 

The objective is “to complicate Chinese strategic calculations by raising the strategic uncertainty of military action against the island, to disrupt the tempo of People’s Liberation Army operations, thereby mitigating their intended effects and affording Taiwan more time to seek outside assistance/intervention,” the Taiwan defense analyst said

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 06:35
Japanese PM warns China against landings

 

April 26th, 2013 defencetalk.com (AFP)

 

Japan would respond with force if China attempts to land on the disputed Senkaku Islands, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in Parliament.

 

Abe was responding to a question about what he was prepared to do if Chinese ships sailing close to the islands — called the Diaoyu Islands by the Chinese — tried to land, a BBC report said.

 

“We have made sure that if there is an instance where there is an intrusion into our territory or it seems that there could be landing on the islands then we will deal will it strongly,” Abe said.

 

China claims the Senkaku Islands, which lie about 100 miles north of Japan’s Ishigaki Island and about 115 miles northeast of Taiwan, as its territory under treaties signed in the late 1800s.

 

At the end of World War II the islands were under U.S. jurisdiction as part of the captured Japanese island of Okinawa. Japan has administered them since 1972 when Okinawa was returned to Japan.

 

Tensions flared between Beijing and Tokyo in September after the Japanese government bought three of the islands from a private Japanese owner, triggering protests in Chinese cities.

 

Since then China has stepped up patrols around the islands for which Japan has lodged formal diplomatic complaints.

 

Abe’s warning — the most explicit to China since he took power in December — came as eight Chinese ships sailed around the islands, the BBC said. A flotilla of 10 fishing boats carrying Japanese activists was also reported to be in the area, as well as the Japanese coast guard.

 

A report by Japan’s Kyodo news agency said China’s State Oceanic Administration saying its eight vessels were in the area but within what it claims is its territorial waters.

 

The vessels are monitoring the activity of a flotilla of boats reportedly carrying members of a Japanese nationalist group, the Kyodo report said.

 

Japanese coast guard officials have said it was the largest number of Chinese government ships to enter the disputed area since September when Tokyo purchased the islands.

 

In January China said it would carry out an oceanic survey of the islands as part of a larger island and reef mapping project started in 2009, Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency said.

 

“Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets have been the inherent territory of China since ancient times,” a Chinese government said at the time.

 

China’s National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation has completed mapping of islands within 60 miles of China’s coastline and will start on territories further afield which include the Senkaku, also claimed by Taiwan.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
Top US General Reminds China of US Commitment to Japan

Apr. 24, 2013 – Defense News (AFP)

 

As tensions rise over island dispute

 

BEIJING — The top US military officer told China’s leaders on Wednesday that Washington is committed to defending Japan, as Beijing and Tokyo engage in intensified rhetoric over a territorial row.

 

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is visiting China just as the dispute between Beijing and Tokyo over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea is again heating up.

 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed Tuesday to “expel by force” any Chinese landing on the islands, which are administered by Japan as the Senkakus but also claimed by China as the Diaoyus.

 

His statement came after a flotilla of eight Chinese government vessels sailed into the disputed waters, the biggest number to do so in one day since Tokyo’s nationalization of some of the islands in September.

 

“In the case of Japan, I was careful to remind them (China’s senior leaders) that the US has certain treaty obligations with Japan, that we would honor,” Dempsey told reporters in Beijing.

 

US officials have said that while Washington takes no side in the dispute itself, the islands are under Japan’s control and thus protected under the US security treaty with Tokyo.

 

Dempsey also expressed concern that rhetoric between China and Japan over the rival claims is increasing the risk that the situation could spin out of control and lead to clashes.

 

“I think the heightened risk is a function of heightened rhetoric that could produce emotional outcomes at the tactical level, that could frankly get away from the control of the central level,” he said.

 

A group of Japanese nationalists said Tuesday it had sent nine ships to the area around the islands, which are also claimed by Taiwan.

 

Dempsey said at a joint press conference Monday with Fang Fenghui, the chief of the People’s Liberation Army general staff, that Washington’s aim was “to be a stabilizing influence in the region.”

 

China appeared to single out the US in a military white paper last week, saying “certain efforts” to enhance military deployment in Asia “are not conducive to the upholding of peace and stability in the region.”

 

The US is engaged in a “pivot” to Asia after years of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

“A fair share of the questions that were discussed in my meetings with senior leaders had to do with our rebalance to the Pacific, and seeking greater clarity on what we mean by it,” Dempsey said.

 

“It is a strategic imperative for us over time to rebalance to the Pacific, because that’s where future trends are taking us,” he said.

 

Dempsey met new Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday, with the state Xinhua news agency reporting that Xi called for the two countries as well as their militaries to foster deeper trust.

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24 avril 2013 3 24 /04 /avril /2013 07:35
Japon: une flottille chinoise a quitté les eaux territoriales des Senkaku

TOKYO, 24 avr 2013 marine-oceans.com (AFP)

 

Huit navires chinois qui étaient entrés mardi matin dans les eaux territoriales des îles Senkaku disputées au Japon en sont repartis en fin de journée, a-t-on appris auprès des garde-côtes nippons.

 

Ces bateaux de surveillance maritime chinois ont croisé mardi dans la zone de 12 milles (22 km) entourant ces îlots de mer de Chine orientale, administrés par Tokyo mais revendiqués par Pékin sous le nom de Diaoyu. Ils sont repartis en début de soirée, ont précisé les garde-côtes.

 

Il s'agissait de l'intrusion la plus massive de navires gouvernementaux chinois dans les eaux territoriales de cet archipel inhabité, depuis que ce différend territorial s'est aggravé en septembre après l'achat par le Japon de trois de ses cinq îles à leur propriétaire privé nippon.

 

La Chine y envoie régulièrement des navires depuis, qui croisent quelques heures dans la zone avant de repartir.

 

Les autorités japonaises ont protesté et l'ambassadeur de Chine à Tokyo a été convoqué au ministère nippon des Affaires étrangères.

 

Au parlement japonais, le Premier ministre Shinzo Abe a été interrogé mardi sur sa réponse à un éventuel débarquement chinois. "Il serait normal que nous les repoussions par la force si d'aventure ils débarquaient", a-t-il prévenu, évoquant les garde-côtes nippons qui assurent la protection de cette zone.

 

L'archipel est situé à 200 km au nord-est de Taïwan, qui le revendique également, et 400 km à l'ouest de l'île d'Okinawa (sud du Japon). Outre sa position stratégique, il recèlerait des ressources énergétiques dans ses fonds marins.

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23 avril 2013 2 23 /04 /avril /2013 18:35
source Ria novisti

source Ria novisti

TOKYO, 23 avr 2013 marine-oceans.com (AFP)

 

Une flottille gouvernementale chinoise est entrée mardi dans les eaux territoriales des îles Senkaku administrées par le Japon dont le Premier ministre a prévenu qu'il repousserait toute tentative de débarquement.

 

Cette brusque remontée de tension est intervenue au moment même où près de 170 parlementaires japonais se rendaient au sanctuaire Yasukuni de Tokyo, symbole du militarisme nippon pour Pékin qui a immédiatement dénoncé cette visite.

 

Selon les garde-côtes japonais, huit navires de surveillance maritime chinois ont pénétré vers 08H00 (lundi à 23H00 GMT) dans la zone de 12 milles (22 km) entourant ces îlots de mer de Chine orientale, revendiqués par Pékin sous le nom de Diaoyu. Ils étaient toujours sur zone vers 08H30 GMT.

 

C'est la première fois qu'autant de bateaux officiels chinois pénètrent ensemble dans les eaux territoriales de cet archipel inhabité, depuis que ce différend territorial s'est aggravé en septembre après l'achat par le Japon de trois de ses cinq îles à leur propriétaire privé nippon.

 

La Chine y envoie régulièrement des navires depuis, qui croisent dans la zone quelques heures avant de repartir.

 

"Nous protestons vigoureusement auprès de la Chine", a réagi le porte-parole du gouvernement nippon, Yoshihide Suga. L'ambassadeur de Chine à Tokyo a d'ailleurs été convoqué.

 

Au parlement japonais, le Premier ministre Shinzo Abe a été interrogé sur sa réponse à un éventuel débarquement chinois. "Il serait normal que nous les repoussions par la force si d'aventure ils débarquaient", a-t-il prévenu, évoquant les garde-côtes nippons qui assurent la protection de cette zone.

 

L'archipel est situé à 200 km au nord-est de Taïwan, qui le revendique également, et 400 km à l'ouest de l'île d'Okinawa (sud du Japon). Outre sa position stratégique, il recèlerait des ressources énergétiques dans ses fonds marins.

 

L'incursion des navires gouvernementaux chinois a coïncidé avec une visite massive de parlementaires japonais au sanctuaire shintoïste de Yasukuni, au coeur de Tokyo.

 

Pas moins de 168 parlementaires se sont rendus dans ce lieu de culte où sont honorés 2,5 millions de soldats japonais morts pour la patrie, dont 14 Japonais reconnus coupables de crimes de guerre par les Alliés après la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

 

Ces députés et sénateurs, issus majoritairement du Parti Libéral-Démocrate (conservateur) au pouvoir, sont allés au sanctuaire dans le cadre de son festival de printemps. Cette visite, la plus importante de ce type depuis 1989, a été immédiatement dénoncée à Pékin comme à Séoul.

 

"Quelle que soit la forme qu'elles prennent, et quelles que soient les qualités de leurs auteurs, les visites de responsables japonais à Yasukuni sont par définition des tentatives de nier le passé d'agression du Japon", a déclaré Hua Chunying, porte-parole de la diplomatie chinoise.

 

Séoul a souligné pour sa part que Tokyo devrait "sérieusement réfléchir" à l'impact de ces hommages sur ses relations avec ses voisins. "Le sanctuaire Yasukuni est un endroit qui glorifie la guerre et honore des criminels de guerre", a déploré le porte-parole du ministère sud-coréen des Affaires étrangères, Cho Tai-Young.

 

En fin de semaine dernière, trois ministres japonais, dont le vice-Premier ministre et ministre des Finances Taro Aso, s'étaient déjà rendus au sanctuaire, ce qui avait poussé la Corée du Sud à annuler un déplacement au Japon de son chef de la diplomatie.

 

M. Abe s'est abstenu de se rendre au Yasukuni, mais y a dédié dimanche un objet en bois utilisé pour des rituels, appelé masakaki.

 

Les relations du Japon avec ses voisins restent marquées par les souvenirs douloureux de la colonisation de la Corée (1910-1945) et de l'occupation d'une partie de la Chine des années 1930 à 1945.

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20 avril 2013 6 20 /04 /avril /2013 16:35
Le Japon multiplie les interceptions d’avions chinois

F-15 Eagle de la JSDAF

 

19 avril 2013 par Edouard Maire - Info-Aviation

 

Le Japon a effectué 306 décollages d’urgence contre des avions chinois depuis mars 2012. Un « niveau record » a déclaré l’État-major interarmées du ministère de la Défense a déclaré le 17 avril (source : The Japan Times).

 

Le nombre d’interception contre des avions chinois a augmenté successivement au fil des mois depuis avril dernier, le premier à 15 fois, puis 54 fois, puis 91 fois et finalement 146 fois pour un total de 306 interceptions en trois mois. Le record historique était en1984 avec 944 interceptions.

 

Mais pour la première fois, le nombre de décollage d’urgence (scrambling en anglais) pour intercepter des avions chinois a dépassé celui contre des avions russes. Lors de l’exercice militaire de mars 2012, les interceptions d’avions russes avait totalisé 248 opérations, en augmentation par rapport à l’exercice précédent.

Les îles japonaises Diaoyutai (ou Senkaku).

Les îles japonaises Diaoyutai (ou Senkaku).

Les intrusions des avions chinois ont augmenté en raison des tensions accrues sur les îles Senkaku en mer de Chine orientale après la nationalisation effective de Tokyo en septembre 2012 de cet îlot. La Chine affirme que ces îles, qu’elle appelle Diaoyu, lui appartiennent.

Le Japon multiplie les interceptions d’avions chinois

La plupart des avions chinois interceptés était des chasseurs, « mais les modèles spécifiques sont difficiles à déterminer à l’oeil nu » ont déclaré les fonctionnaires du ministère japonais.

La première intrusion a eut lieu le 13 décembre 2012 où pour la première fois depuis la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, un avion chinois s’est approché à moins de 100 km de l’espace aérien japonais sur les îles Senkaku. L’avion de surveillance maritime chinois était un bimoteur Harbin Y-12 immatriculé B-3837 appartenant à l’administration nationale chinoise des océans. Il avait été aperçu par des garde-côtes japonais qui lui ont demandé de quitter l’espace aérien japonais. Le pilote chinois a répondu que l’espace survolé au-dessus des îles était chinois. Aussitôt, la Japan Self-Defense Forces a déployé pas moins de huit chasseurs japonais F-15 Eagle de la base d’Okinawa pour l’intercepter. L’avion chinois a ensuite quitté l’espace aérien japonais sans incident.

À Pékin, les autorités ont évoqué une opération « normale ». Depuis lors, le ministère japonais a renforcé les opérations de son système aéroporté d’alerte et ses avions dotés de systèmes de contrôle ainsi que des avions de surveillance radar E-2C Hawkeye.

Note : Le scrambling est une mesure prise par un pays pour intercepter des aéronefs étrangers hostiles qui cherchent à s’introduire dans l’espace aérien du pays. Cette expression est née durant la bataille d’Angleterre en 1940 lors des attaques de la Luftwaffe contre la RAF.

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18 avril 2013 4 18 /04 /avril /2013 18:12
Crise coréenne: des missiles Patriot dans le sud du Japon

TOKYO, 18 avril - RIA Novosti

Des systèmes de missiles sol-air Patriot ont été acheminés dans la province d'Okinawa (sud du Japon) dans le but de faire face à un éventuel tir nord-coréen, rapporte jeudi l'agence nippone Kyodo.

Transportées de la base aérienne d'Hamamatsu, dans la préfecture de Shizuoka, les batteries de missiles ont été livrées aux bases de Naha et de Tinian, chacune de ces dernières recevant deux systèmes.

La décision de déployer des missiles de type Patriot dans le sud du Japon a été prise à la fin de l'année 2012 sur fond de regain des tensions sur la Péninsule coréenne voisine. Initialement prévu à la fin de l'année en cours, le déploiement des batteries a été avancé, Pyongyang ayant menacé d'effectuer un tir de missile balistique.

Dans la nuit du 8 au 9 avril, deux systèmes de missiles Patriot avaient été déployés dans le centre de Tokyo, près du ministère japonais de la Défense.

La péninsule coréenne connaît un net regain des tensions depuis le début des manœuvres conjointes américano-sud-coréennes dans la région, qui ont provoqué une réaction agressive de Pyongyang. Début mars, la Corée du Nord a résilié tous les accords de non-agression et de dénucléarisation conclus avec la Corée du Sud. Un mois plus tard, le régime communiste a annoncé son intention de procéder à un tir d'essai d'un missile balistique de portée moyenne Musudan.

A la fin de la semaine dernière, la présidente sud-coréenne Park Geun-Hye a plaidé pour le début d'un dialogue avec le Nord. Cependant, Pyongyang a estimé en réponse que de telles négociations "n'auraient pas de sens" dans les conditions actuelles.

Jeudi, la Corée du Nord a dressé la liste de ses conditions afin d'entamer un dialogue avec Séoul et Washington. Son voisin du Sud n'a pas tardé à les rejeter

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18 avril 2013 4 18 /04 /avril /2013 17:35
Japan Scrambles Record Number of Fighters Against China

18/04/2013 by Victoria Knowles - Armed Forces International Reporter

Last year witnessed a record 306 Japan scrambled fighter planes respond to Chinese aircraft intrusions, the Defense Ministry's Joint Staff announced Wednesday.

This is the first time scrambles responding to Chinese aircraft have exceeded those against Russian planes. For the 2012 fiscal year, overall scrambles against Russian jets were 248, which is a rise of only one incident from the fiscal year previous.

Air Self-Defense Force scrambles against Chinese planes increase as a result of amplified tensions over the Japanese-governed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea after September, when Tokyo gained effective nationalization of the island chain.

Record Japanese Jets Scrambled

Japan's scramble jets have been prompted amidst China's growing military activities. China declares the islands, which the country calls Diaoyu, theirs, resulting in bilateral friction as they have pressed this claim in recent years.

At only 156, the previous scrambles record against Chinese planes has almost doubled last year, and represents the highest level since the 2001 fiscal year, when the office started announcing figures for each country. In emergency circumstances, jet scrambling is an action taken to prevent intercepting foreign aircraft from intruding in the country's airspace.

In December, a Chinese plane intruded for the first time Japanese airspace over the Senakakus. Since then, Airborne Warning and Control Systems jet operations have been strengthened, along with its E-2C airborne early warning jets.

The ministry plans to keep a close eye on China's actions, it said. While many of the Chinese planes were indeed fighters, precise models were hard to identify by only looking at them, said ministry officials.

Japanese fighter scrambles in response to Chinese aircraft surged every three months beginning last April, increasing initially from 15 to 54 times, then to 91 times and finally 146 times.

The 2012 fiscal year is the first time in 22 years that the number of Japan's total scrambles, buoyed by the responses to Chinese jets, has exceeded 500, to 567. The greatest number of scrambles, since the ministry began compiling them from fiscal 1958, was in fiscal 1984, when 944 occurred at the peak of the Cold War.

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