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2 juillet 2014 3 02 /07 /juillet /2014 11:35
Le Japon autorise son armée à participer à des opérations extérieures

 

 1 juillet 2014 Liberation.fr (AFP)

 

Le gouvernement japonais a pris mardi la décision historique d’autoriser les forces armées nippones à participer à des opérations militaires extérieures afin d’aider des alliés, une première depuis l’instauration en 1947 d’une Constitution pacifiste.

 

En fin de journée, le nationaliste et conservateur Premier ministre Shinzo Abe a annoncé cette décision en conférence de presse en déclarant que «quelles que soient les circonstances, je protégerai la vie et l’existence en paix des Japonais».

 

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21 juin 2014 6 21 /06 /juin /2014 11:35
Visions of North-East Asia – China, Japan, Korea and the EU

 

20 June 2014 Nicola Casarini Brief - No19

 

North-East Asia has become one of the key engines of world economic growth. Yet the political climate among the countries of the region has worsened lately – due to historical, as well as territorial disputes. This situation has led regional leaders to propose various plans for addressing what Republic of Korea (ROK) President Park Geun-hye has called ‘North-East Asia’s paradox’: namely, that of a region characterised by growing economic interdependence but hampered by many contentious issues when it comes to security matters.

President Park launched her initiative last year. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe used the podium of this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore to press forward his vision – and this came just a few days after China’s President Xi Jinping had presented his own plan for regional security. The Obama administration follows these developments closely, given Washington’s interests and responsibilities in the area. The EU may consider paying attention to these plans too – not only for the obvious economic reasons but also because it is a strategic partner of all three key regional countries.

 

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17 juin 2014 2 17 /06 /juin /2014 07:35
Le Japon revient dans la course aux ventes d’armes

 

 

16.06.2014 -  Par Dominique Gallois LE MONDE

 

Nouvelle illustration du déplacement des marchés de défense. Pour la première fois, le Japon, la Colombie, l’Argentine, Hongkong et l’Irak participent à Eurosatory, le plus grand salon mondial de l’armement terrestre qui se tient à Paris-Nord Villepinte (Seine-Saint-Denis) tous les deux ans. Du lundi 16 au vendredi 20 juin, plus de 1 500 entreprises venant de 57 pays – un record pour cette manifestation professionnelle – présenteront leurs équipements de défense et de sécurité.

 

« En 2012, le salon avait été marqué par une présence massive des Américains, à la recherche de débouchés à l’exportation pour compenser la baisse du budget de défense de leur pays. Cette année l’un des faits notables est le retour du Japon sur le marché international », explique Christian Mons, le président du Groupement des industries françaises de défense terrestre et aéroterrestre (GICAT), organisateur de cette manifestation.

 

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17 juin 2014 2 17 /06 /juin /2014 07:35
Coopération franco-nippone pour la FS Prairial

 

16 Juin 2014 Source : Marine nationale

 

Pour la dernière de ses sept relâches opérationnelles en Asie et sa troisième au Japon en 2014, la Frégate de surveillance (FS) Prairial a accosté dans le port de Tokyo Harumi, en plein cœur de la capitale nippone.

 

Après avoir été accueilli lors d’une cérémonie officielle par l’amiral Nakata, chef d’état-major du district maritime de Yokosuka, le commandant a rendu visite à l’amiral Otsuka, Directeur Général du renseignement pour la marine. Tous deux ont beaucoup œuvré pour des entraînements de bon niveau et un soutien de qualité.

 

L’éventualité de la mise en œuvre d’un accord technique, type Acquisition cross service agreement (ACSA) entre les marines japonaises et françaises a été évoquée. Outil de coopération bilatérale, l’ACSA permet de faciliter les prestations et amoindrir largement les coûts liés au soutien accordé aux bâtiments français et japonais en escale dans les ports militaires dans le pays partenaire. Il marque de manière concrète la coopération et formalise des engagements réciproques.

 

Comme à Ominato, les échanges avec la marine japonaise ont été variés en mer comme à terre. De nombreuses visites croisées ont eu lieu les premiers jours entre le destroyer japonais Yamayuki, bâtiment hôte, et le Prairial.

 

Un salon de soutien à l’exportation s’est également tenu à bord du Prairial le 10 juin, au profit des industriels d’armement français présents à Tokyo. Airbus hélicoptères, Airbus Defense Space, Safran/Turbomeca et Thalès ont présenté leurs programmes et matériels à une délégation de 40 personnes du ministère de la défense et du Secrétariat national de la Sécurité japonais ainsi qu’aux représentants de l’administration du port de Tokyo.

 

En soirée, le Prairial a accueilli le vice-ministre de la défense japonaise M. Kihara lors de la réception donnée à bord et sponsorisée par les industriels qui a réuni les autorités militaires et gouvernementales japonaises ainsi que la communauté économique et diplomatique française. Après une longue visite à bord, le vice-ministre s’est félicité du niveau de coopération et de confiance réciproque.

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11 juin 2014 3 11 /06 /juin /2014 07:35
Fifth Australia-Japan Foreign and Defence Ministerial Consultations


11 June 2014 Pacific Sentinel
 

Developments in regional and international security and ways to deepen bilateral defence and security cooperation will be the focus of the fifth Australia-Japan Foreign and Defence Ministerial (2+2) Consultations this week.

 

Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, and Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon David Johnston will travel to Tokyo to meet their counterparts and build on Prime Minister Abbott’s recent successful visit to Japan where leaders agreed to elevate the strategic partnership.

 

Australia and Japan share strategic interests in regional peace and stability, underpinned by common democratic values and a commitment to the rule of law.

 

Ministers are expected to agree on the substantive conclusion to negotiations on a Defence Science, Technology and Materiel Agreement, announced during Prime Minister Abbott’s visit. The Agreement will allow Australia and Japan to jointly develop defence technologies, establishing a basis to deepen defence cooperation.

 

On 12-13 June, Minister Bishop will meet Foreign Minister Kishida and other senior Japanese ministers, Diet members and academics to discuss international and bilateral developments and Australia’s signature foreign policy initiative, the New Colombo Plan. She will meet Gender Diversity Minister Mori to discuss Japan’s policies to promote the empowerment of women. Minister Bishop will also visit the Kansai region, meeting senior business leaders to promote the tangible benefits of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement.

 

Minister Johnston will also meet Japanese Defence Minister Onodera separately to discuss progress in bilateral defence engagement in areas including logistics cooperation, exercises and training, and peacekeeping and disaster relief responses.

 

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11 juin 2014 3 11 /06 /juin /2014 07:35
La frégate de surveillance Prairial au pays du Soleil Levant

 

10/06/2014 Sources : Marine nationale

 

Pour la deuxième escale au Japon de sa mission, la frégate de surveillance Prairial était en relâche opérationnelle du 3 au 6 juin dans la base navale d’Ominato, au nord de l’île de Honshu où il est entré escorté du destroyer Suzunami, son bâtiment hôte. C’est la deuxième visite française à Ominato, la première datant de 2006, par le Prairial. Ce district naval du nord du Japon comprend une base d’hélicoptères et une base navale avec notamment sept destroyers.

 

La marine japonaise, aperçue brièvement par le Prairial lors de son escale sur la base navale américaine d’Okinawa le mois dernier, a réservé un accueil extrêmement chaleureux à ses hôtes français. Une importante délégation de la Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) attendait le Prairial sur le quai pour célébrer cette rare venue d’un bâtiment étranger à Ominato.

 

Les entraînements et les rencontres avec les autorités militaires et le bâtiment hôte ont été nombreux. Le commandant s’est entretenu avec le vice-amiral Shinji Tsukigi, commandant du district maritime d’Ominato. Deux repas officiels et des visites croisées ont permis aux marins français et japonais d’échanger sur de nombreux sujets et de découvrir leurs installations respectives.

 

Le jour de l’appareillage, quatre marins français ont embarqué sur le Suzunami alors que quatre de leurs homologues Japonais intégraient l’équipage français. Au-delà de leur intérêt diplomatique, ces entraînements à la mer sont de réelles opportunités de s’évaluer et de mieux se comprendre. Signes forts de coopération, ils permettent en outre de mieux s’intégrer sur les théâtres d’opérations.

 

Le Prairial poursuit désormais sa mission vers sa dernière relâche en Asie à très haut rayonnement: Tokyo. Ce sera une autre occasion de montrer au Japon l’implication de la France, nation riveraine du Pacifique, dans les enjeux maritimes et stratégiques de cette zone où toutes les marines sont en pleine expansion.

Le destroyer Suzunami

Le destroyer Suzunami

La frégate de surveillance Prairial au pays du Soleil Levant

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26 mai 2014 1 26 /05 /mai /2014 07:35
La frégate Prairial en patrouille dans le Pacifique

 

21/05/2014 Marine nationale

 

Après une patrouille dans le détroit de Formose et la rencontre à la mer de nombreuses unités militaires taïwanaise, chinoises, japonaise, et d’aéronefs militaires, la frégate de surveillance (FS) Prairial est arrivée le vendredi 16 mai au matin sur la base navale américaine d’Okinawa, île qui se situe dans l’extrême sud du Japon. Cette relâche opérationnelle avait deux objectifs: affirmer notre attachement aux dispositions prévues dans le cadre de l’United Nations Command (UNC) et entretenir les liens avec la marine américaine.

 

L’ Alouette III de la frégate a effectué deux vols à l’arrivée et au départ sous statut UNC. Ces dispositions qui datent de plus de 60 ans permettent à l’UNC de remonter rapidement en puissance si nécessaire. Les utiliser régulièrement est impératif.

 

L’ambassadeur de France au Japon, M. Christian Masset, s’est rendu à bord pour s’entretenir avec les autorités militaires américaines et de l’UNC présentes, dont le commandant des activités de la flotte d’Okinawa, le chef d’état-major des forces amphibies de la 7ème flotte et le commandant australien des bases arrière de l’UNC qui en comptent sept au Japon, dont trois à Okinawa.

 

Des échanges et des visites croisés ont eu lieu avec les membres du «46th squadron», flottille de patrouille maritime de P3-C Orion stationnés sur l’immense base de l’US Air Force de Kadena.

 

Le 19 mai, un ravitaillement à la mer a été réalisé de nuit avec le pétrolier ravitailleur américain Wally Schirra. Le deuxième ravitaillement du déploiement dans le Pacifique ouest avec un pétrolier ravitailleur américain. Une occasion de ravitailler mais également de se connaître et de préparer RIMPAC 2014, le plus grand exercice naval du monde, prévu à Hawaï en juillet avec 24 nations. Un entraînement est également mené le 20 mai avec un P3-C.

 

Cette escale s’inscrit dans le cadre du renforcement de la coopération de la Marine nationale avec les marines étrangères sur zone et l’affirmation de sa présence dans le Pacifique. Elle a permis, une fois de plus, d’échanger des informations dans cette zone stratégique en pleine expansion militaire - spécialement  navale - et d’accroître la confiance mutuelle face aux défis de sécurité et de stabilité en mer.

 

Des liens plus approfondis avec la marine japonaise sont prévus par ailleurs : le Prairial a effectué un entraînement avec la frégate Harusame avant son arrivée, s’entraînera avec un avion de patrouille maritime japonais, puis touchera bientôt deux ports dans l’île de Honshu.

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13 mai 2014 2 13 /05 /mai /2014 16:45
FFDj : visite d’une délégation japonaise

 

12/05/2014 Sources : EMA

 

Le 28 avril 2014, le capitaine de vaisseau Koji Tachikawa, commandant la force de projection de surface pour la lutte anti-piraterie (DSPE) de l’armée japonaise a été reçu par le général de brigade aérienne Joël Rode, commandant les forces françaises stationnées à Djibouti (FFDj).

 

Le capitaine de vaisseau Koji Tachikawa a succédé au capitaine Tajiri devenant ainsi le 18e commandant de la DSPE.

 

Au cours de cette rencontre, le commandant de la DSPE a tenu à remercier les forces françaises pour la coopération mise en œuvre entre les deux pays dans le domaine de la lutte contre la piraterie.

 

La DSPE est constituée de deux destroyers lance-missiles et de deux avions de patrouille maritime P3-C Orion. Son action s’est plus particulièrement illustrée les 17 et 18 janvier 2014, dans le cadre du soutien aérien apporté à  l’état-major embarqué d’Atalante  : la DSPE avait alors mis à disposition un avion de patrouille maritime qui a permis de pister un boutre suspecté de constituer une « base arrière » pour des attaques de piraterie.

 

Les forces françaises stationnées à Djibouti (FFDj) constituent depuis 2011 la base opérationnelle avancée française sur la côte Est de l’Afrique. Les FFDj participent au dispositif militaire français pré positionné permettant de disposer d’un réservoir de forces pouvant être rapidement projetées en cas de crise. Dans le cadre des accords de partenariat de défense entre la République de Djibouti et la France, les FFDj constituent l’un des cinq pôles de coopération de la France en Afrique. A ce titre, elles assurent des missions de coopération militaire avec les forces armées djiboutiennes, mais aussi avec les instances de la force africaine en attente en Afrique de l’Est. Parmi leurs missions, les FFDj apportent également un soutien logistique et opérationnel aux moyens aériens et navals français et étrangers engagés dans le cadre de la force européenne de lutte contre la piraterie.

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12 mai 2014 1 12 /05 /mai /2014 16:35
Une réunion des ministres de la Défense sud-coréen, américain et japonais devrait se tenir ce mois-ci

Réunion trilatérale entre les ministres de la Défense de la Corée du Sud, des Etats-Unis et du Japon en 2013

 

SEOUL, 11 mai (Yonhap)

 

Les ministres de la Défense de la Corée du Sud, des Etats-Unis et du Japon devraient organiser une réunion à la fin de ce mois-ci pour discuter de la coopération face à l'éventuel quatrième essai nucléaire nord-coréen, a déclaré ce dimanche un officiel du ministère de la Défense.

 

«Habituellement, la réunion trilatérale entre les ministres de la Défense de la Corée du Sud, des Etats-Unis et du Japon se déroule annuellement en marge du sommet sur la sécurité en Asie et, compte tenu de la possibilité d'un quatrième essai nucléaire de la Corée du Nord, la réunion tripartite devrait se dérouler également cette année», a déclaré l'officiel en ajoutant que les principaux sujets qui seront abordés lors de la réunion n'ont pas encore fait l'objet de discussions.

 

Bien que les sujets n'aient pas encore été décidés, les officiels ont déclaré que la coopération concernant les problèmes nucléaires nord-coréens sera le principal sujet de la réunion tripartite. Sur la possibilité d'une discussion sur la conclusion d'un protocole d'entente sur le partage d'informations militaires entre les trois nations, l'officiel du ministère de la Défense a dit que cela n'était pas encore clair.

 

Le ministre de la Défense Kim Kwan-jin participera au 13e sommet sur la sécurité en Asie, le Dialogue Shangri-La, qui se déroulera à Singapour du 30 mai au 1er juin. Le gouvernement essaye également d'organiser des rencontres en tête-à-tête avec le secrétaire à la Défense américain Chuck Hagel et le ministre de la Défense chinois Chang Wanquan durant le sommet.

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12 mai 2014 1 12 /05 /mai /2014 12:35
Evolutions prochaines du marché des microsatellites japonais

Lancement effectué en février 2014 de deux nanosatellites (Cubesats 3U) à partir du rack spécialement installé dans le sas du module JEM/Kibo, manipulé à l'extérieur de la Station grâce au bras robotisé du module japonais
Crédits : JAXA/NASA

 

9/05/2014 BE Japon 689 

 

Deux annonces successives d'acteurs majeurs du spatial nippon laissent entrevoir d'importants changements dans le marché des microsatellites au Japon. Tout d'abord IHI Aerospace, par l'intermédiaire de sa filiale Meisei Denki (Meisei Electric Co.), a confirmé fin avril sa volonté d'entrer sur le marché des microsatellites d'observation de la Terre (voir BE Japon numéro 669). La JAXA vient également d'annoncer que les lancements en charge auxiliaire de microsatellites de 10 cm à 50 cm de côté, qu'elle effectuait jusqu'à présent gratuitement et exclusivement pour des acteurs académiques japonais ou via des partenariats spécifiques seraient dorénavant ouverts contre rémunération aux acteurs privés.

 

Le Japon est un pays très actif dans le domaine de l'ingénierie spatiale, particulièrement dans la conception de micro et nano satellites. Il possède en effet un nombre important de laboratoires universitaires spécialisés dans la recherche et le développement pour le spatial pour qui les microsatellites constituent à la fois un champ de recherche technologique (conception et exploitation des satellites) et scientifique (compréhension et utilisation des données recueillies). Ils y voient aussi un moyen efficace de former des étudiants aux disciplines du spatial. L'organisation de ces laboratoires via des réseaux nationaux tels que l'UNISEC permet, notamment via des colloques organisés régulièrement (voir BE Japon numéro 671), de donner une visibilité à la thématique et d'obtenir des fonds de recherche spécifiques.

 

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6 mai 2014 2 06 /05 /mai /2014 11:35
Obama en Asie - Pivot, retrait ou absence de stratégie? TRIBUNE de Dominique Moïsi - Ifri

 

02 mai 2014 Tout un monde

 

3695015936_2.jpgQuatre pays : le Japon, la Corée du Sud, la Malaisie, les Philippines. Deux thématiques : le commerce et la sécurité. Trois objectifs : intégrer davantage l’Asie dans l’économie mondiale, réaffirmer la présence américaine et donc rassurer les pays visités face aux ambitions grandissantes de la Chine, et faire tout cela en maintenant un dialogue privilégié avec Pékin, même si le président américain n’a pas eu d’étape chinoise dans son voyage. Il y avait enfin un objectif non déclaré, mais néanmoins important : parfaire l’isolement international de Moscou.

 

*Dominique Moïsi est conseiller spécial à l'IFRI

 

   Le voyage de Barack Obama en Asie – qui n’a pas eu toute la couverture médiatique qu’il méritait, pris entre la crise Ukrainienne et la double béatification de Jean XXIII et Jean Paul II – s’est achevé lundi avec un bilan en demi-teinte. Le président américain a, certes, décliné les objectifs de sa  «grande stratégie » en Asie, continent qu’il a désigné comme le « pivot » de son action extérieure. Mais a-t-il les moyens humains et politiques de ses ambitions ?

 

   Il n’y a pas autour de lui de grands spécialistes de l’Asie. Un stratège à la Kissinger fait défaut, les experts sont ternes. Sur le plan politique, Démocrates comme Républicains ne partagent pas  l’enthousiasme libre-échangiste de l’exécutif. De même, ils ne souhaitent pas augmenter leur aide militaire au continent asiatique.

 

   Ainsi, les dirigeants asiatiques – à l’exception des Chinois qui les voudraient moins présents– soupçonnent-ils l’Amérique d’être dans une posture de retrait et non d’engagement. « Pourquoi ferions-nous des concessions en matière de commerce si vous n’allez pas nous soutenir de manière plus sérieuse en terme de sécurité ? » Certes, Washington a pris, de manière très nuancée, une position plus favorable à Tokyo qu’à Pékin sur la question des îles contestées par les deux pays. Mais cela suffira-t-il à rassurer les Japonais ?

 

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5 mai 2014 1 05 /05 /mai /2014 12:35
Think Tank: Indian Ocean could get choppy without regional security cooperation
 
05 May  2014  Pacific Sentinel
 

The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is home to 75 per cent of the world’s oil, iron and tin reserves. India, Japan and China have all contributed to what they consider their national interest to keep these maritime trade routes open. All three nations have emphasised the strategic imperative of keeping sea-lanes secure in their various high-level strategic policy documents.

 

The Chinese and Japanese openly state that the main task of their anti-piracy efforts is to look after their own merchant vessels. The Indian Navy asserts that it aims to provide assurances to both Indian and foreign merchant vessels alike. Yet all three navies have greatly contributed not only to the protection of their own merchant fleet but also to securing the global common that is the Indian Ocean.

 

As piracy has hampered the free flow of goods and services in the region, many countries have participated in policing operations — bringing about a steady decline in piracy activity. The International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau reported a drop in piracy of 40 per cent worldwide between 2011 and 2013 with incidents around the coast of Somalia dwindling from 237 to 15.

 

 

Approximately half of the vessels given patrol protection by China were from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao. Of the approximately 3000 ships escorted by the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces, around 600 were Japan-owned or operated (PDF) by Japanese shipping companies. And of the more than 2200 vessels escorted by India (PDF), a mere 269 were Indian-flagged.

 

Shipping companies do not have the time or the financial ability to pay for their ships to wait in ports for a convoy to become available. Merchant shipping requires navies operating in the area to adjust and cooperate wherever possible. China, Japan and India realised this when the three navies decided to work together by sharing information on their patrol movements and escort schedules in January 2012. This came about as part of the Shared Awareness and Deconfliction initiative in an effort to greatly enhance the number of patrolled merchant vessels travelling through the Indian Ocean waters.

 

It is this kind of cooperation that is needed in the ongoing struggle against piracy. Despite a fall in the number of hijackings, piracy remains a source of concern. Pirates are mobile and flexible, and so the response must be too. And it is not just pirates that pose dangers to maritime security in the IOR: risks also include terrorism, smuggling, illegal fishing, sea levels rising and natural disasters.

 

The problem is that as long as it is perceived that navies come to the IOR to protect and advance their own national and strategic interests, the presence of national navies will be seen as competition at best or at worst as rivalry or as a threat. Yet collaboration between the navies is crucial in order to effectively advance their shared commitment to maritime and sea-lane security. China, India and Japan have the capability and interest to achieve this goal. But they need to institutionalise their commitment. The countries involved in the anti-piracy operations can work out best practices; discuss their priorities and modus operandi; build confidence; and find common understanding on risks and threats in the maritime domain.

 

Currently there are some regional maritime institutions such as the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS). But these institutions remain weak. They are not inclusive, not properly funded and staffed and they shy away from hard security issues. The IORA has recently begun to address maritime security but Japan and China, two countries with a huge stake in this, only have observer status.

 

The IONS aims to be the Indian Ocean equivalent to the Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS), providing a platform for regional navies to discuss maritime issues. China and Japan are currently not included but, given their sustained presence in the IOR, should be invited to join this forum. It is no coincidence that the first meeting between the Japanese and Chinese navy chiefs in almost five years occurred during the April 2014 WPNS. Without consultation and dialogue as a careful first step, any progress towards a comprehensive approach of maritime security is unlikely to take off.

 

The Indian Navy prides itself as being the most powerful and important navy in the region. It is time for the new Indian Navy Chief Robin Dhowan to build a more inclusive approach to security architecture in the IOR. He could start by proposing that Japan and China join the IONS.

 

Peter van der Hoest is a PhD candidate at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Tokyo and currently a visiting international fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. The views expressed are his own.

 

This Article first appeared on The East Asia Forum

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5 mai 2014 1 05 /05 /mai /2014 07:35
Le Japon, marché potentiel pour les industriels de défense européens?

 

05-05-2014 par RFI

 

Le Premier ministre japonais est en visite en Europe. Il va notamment se rendre à Paris pour y rencontrer François Hollande. ll rencontrera aussi des responsables de l’Otan et de l’Union européenne. Une visite placée sous le signe de l’économie et du commerce, mais aussi des questions de sécurité-défense.

 

Si la France tente de nouer des partenariats stratégiques en Asie et si le Japon redoute la montée en puissance de l'armée chinoise, en matière d'armement, le marché nippon est toujours considéré comme LA chasse gardée des Etats Unis. Tokyo dépense de plus en plus pour sa Défense, avec une hausse prévue de 2,8 % pour la période 2014-2015. 

 

→ A (RE)LIRE : L'armée japonaise renoue-t-elle avec l'esprit des samouraï ?

 

« Le gouvernement nationaliste japonais a une certaine tendance militariste, explique Vincent Boulanin chercheur à l'institut de recherche pour la paix de Stockholm (Sipri). Il y a en tout cas une volonté de réarmer. Le Japon cherche essentiellement à développer ses capacités navales. Il y a plusieurs contrats en cours pour l'année prochaine, dont notamment des hélicoptères Osprey, des véhicules amphibies, des avions de surveillance et des drones. »

 

Le Japon reste enfin très fermement attaché au programme F-35, des avions d'attaque furtifs conçu par l'américain Lockeed Martin qui seront assemblés au Japon et qui embarqueront à bord des porte aéronefs de la classe Izumo, dont le premier exemplaire devrait être admis au service actif en 2015.

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 17:35
Australia in Talks to Buy Japanese Submarines to Upgrade Fleet


One of Japan's hi-tech Soryu class submarines (photo : kure-news)

 

08 April 2014 Defense Studies

ALMOST 72 years after Japanese midget submarines attacked Sydney Harbour killing 21 sailors, Australia could buy Japanese subs for its $30 billion replacement program.

Possible access to Japanese technology and even a so-called “military off-the-shelf” deal to buy the boats is on the agenda during high-level defence talks in Tokyo between Prime Minister Tony Abbott and senior Japanese officials.

Mr Abbott’s talks follow a top-secret mission to Japan in February by the nation’s defence purchasing guru and head of the Defence Materiel Organisation Warren King to open negotiations with Japan’s defence agency for possible access to its Soryu Class submarines.

Defence Minister David Johnston has also met Japanese officials to discuss submarines and senior navy officers have been on board the Japanese boats to examine technologies such as the Swedish-designed air independent propulsion (AIP) system.

The AIP system allows the diesel-electric vessels to remain submerged for long periods of time without the need for fresh air for diesel power-plants.

When asked yesterday what aspects of the Japanese boats might be included in an Australian design, a senior government source replied: “Everything.”

When pressed on whether that included buying the boats off-the-shelf from the Japanese the answer was an emphatic “yes”.


 

Soryu class cutaway (image : goo)

At a submarine conference in Canberra tomorrow Senator Johnston will tell Defence and industry that “all bets are off” when it comes to options for the future Australian submarine fleet.

He will also debunk the myth that Australia needs 12 submarines and will make it plain that the government is not a job-creation agency for local shipbuilders.

That means shipbuilder ASC would need to prove its credentials as a competitive and skilled shipyard.

Japanese officials have visited the ASC shipyard at Port Adelaide, where the navy’s six Collins Class boats were built.

The Japanese vessels cost about $600 million each, or less than half the price of an Australian-made alternative.

The 4200-tonne (submerged) Soryu submarines would be an ideal fit to replace the ageing 3400-tonne Collins boats.

It is understood the Japanese technology could also be used to extend the life of the Collins boats beyond the late 2020s.

Senator Johnston will also urge Defence to get moving quickly so a decision can be taken by March 2015.
He will point out that it took Singapore just 10 months to move from concept to decision for its new submarine.

(News)

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 11:35
China: The Pundits Of War Are Unleashed

 

 

April 8, 2014: Strategy Page

 

China watched, and supported the recent Russian operation to take the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine with great interest. The land grab had a bracing effect on the other countries that, until 1991, were part of the ancient Russian Empire. The Crimean operation was the second such land grab Russia has undertaken in the last five years. The first was against tiny Georgia in 2008. Many of these former Russian subjects feel that the Russians are trying to get their empire back. Ask many Russians that question and most agree that it would be a nice thing. Some Russians are more outspoken and bluntly call for the empire to be reassembled no matter what.  Poland and the Baltic States managed to join NATO after the Cold War ended and are hoping that the mutual defense terms of the NATO alliance will dissuade Russia. Nevertheless all four, plus Finland, have increased their military readiness this year and are seeking assurances from the West that they will have help against Russia. Many Finns have called for Finland to join NATO, but a large minority has opposed this because of the fear it would anger the Russians. There was a similar division in Ukraine but now more Finns are thinking that NATO membership is preferable to trusting Russia to always behave. Even Sweden, never part of the Russian empire and successfully neutral since the early 19th century is thinking about joining NATO for protection from an increasingly aggressive Russia.

 

China sees an opportunity here. That’s because the former Soviet stans of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) have another option; China. The stans have been very receptive to Chinese diplomatic and economic cooperation. This bothers Russia, but not to the extent that threats are being made, as was the case with the former imperial provinces to the west. The stans also have a problem with never having been democracies. When the Russians conquered them in the 19th century the local governments were monarchies or tribes. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, locals who were former Soviet officials held elections and manipulated the vote to get themselves elected "president for life." But many people in the Stans want clean government and democracy, as well as continued independence from Russia. China is no help with that because the Chinese prefer dictators. But China does offer more economic opportunities and protection from what happened ti Ukraine and Georgia.

 

Another reason for China to back Russia is the fact that China is also an empire trying to reclaim lost territories. That some of those territories are currently Russia’s Far East (areas bordering the Pacific) is not officially discussed in Russia or China but is no secret to many Russians and Chinese. That is a problem for another day as currently Russia and China support each other’s imperial ambitions (as in Ukraine and the South China Sea) and help each other out to deal with any associated problems, especially the UN or economic sanctions. China is also helping by putting economic pressure on Ukraine by suing Ukraine to cancel a $3 billion loan.  

 

Yet another reason China is watching this carefully is because China is violating an international maritime borders treaty it signed by claiming all of the South China Sea. What happens to Russia for violating the 1994 agreement to protect Ukrainian borders in return for Ukraine getting rid of its Cold War era nukes. Russia simply says the 1994 agreement does not apply and that attitude will influence what China does with its numerous offshore territorial disputes. Another problem with violating the 1994 agreement is the message it sends to states like Iran and North Korea. The message is that if you really want to keep invaders out you need nukes. Iranians believe the negotiations to limit Iranian nuclear research and development are an effort to block Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Most Iranians see nukes as a necessity for maintaining Iranian dominance in the region. Iran has been the regional superpower for thousands of years. Once you get a taste of superpower status, it’s a hard thing to put behind you.

 

Russia and China are using nationalism, in this case the promise of the restoration of lost imperial territories, to distract the population from the corruption and mismanagement of their government officials. This is an ancient political technique that depends on near-total control of information available to their populations. The Internet threatens that and this is a new risk for those planning to build and maintain an empire. That’s because empires are costly and inefficient. Britain realized that by the 1940s and that’s the main reason they got rid of theirs so quickly after 1945 and why the United States never took advantage of its power to create one. But the allure of empire remains, sort of as the ultimate luxury a state can indulge. Again, the Internet spreads the bad news about the real cause, and effect of empire. China tries to cope with this by concentrating on imperial ambitions (natural resource rights from the ownership of uninhabited rocks and reefs in the South China Sea and elsewhere off the coast) that have some practical appeal. When empires involve conquered people the cost goes way up, as the Chinese are rediscovering in their northwest (Turks) and southwest (Tibetans). A growing number of Russians and Chinese are aware of these angles and are not happy about it. But both Russia and China are still police states with state-controlled media. Holding anti-government opinions is dangerous, especially if you express these traitorous thoughts in public.

 

To expand their empire as cheaply as possible China is relying a bullying, not battles. So in the last year the Chinese Coast Guard has received over a dozen new patrol ships. These are vessels of from 1,000-3,000 tons displacement with relatively small crews but lots of storage space and not many weapons. Coast guard ships are not usually heavily armed but the Chinese ships are increasingly being seen equipped with water cannon, extra searchlights and equipment for grappling with other ships. These tools are used to interfere with foreign fishing ships and transports that go to parts of the South China Sea that China has declared Chinese territory (even though other nations have a stronger legal claim). Using water cannon, bright searchlights (to blind the crews of other ships) and aggressive maneuvering (to include grappling with smaller foreign ships and forcibly moving them) the foreign ships can be “persuaded” to back off. The Chinese coast guard vessels will also use these tactics against foreign warships and if the foreigners shoot back the Chinese can declare themselves the victims of an unprovoked attack and call in more fire power.

 

The Chinese are also preparing for the possibility that the victims of this bullying might shoot back. Thus it was not surprising that Chinese Army WZ-10 helicopter gunships have been seen practicing operating from LST type amphibious ships, which have a landing pad similar in size to that found on larger Coast Guard patrol ships. The seven ton Z-10 is smaller than the 10 ton American AH-64 and also has a crew of two. The Z-10 is armed with 30mm autocannon and can carry up to a ton of rockets or missiles. This gives China immediate backup if the Coast Guard harassment tactics fail and additional firepower is needed in a hurry. Then again, a helicopter gunship coming off the back of a Coast Guard cutter can be pretty scary if you aren’t expecting it.

 

China is carrying out its military buildup with Chinese made weapons. One benefit of that is that is provides yet another export. Over the last five years China has displaced France as the fourth largest arms exporter in the world. While Russia had a record year for arms exports in 2013, moving $13.2 billion worth of weapons, military equipment and defense services, those sales are increasingly threatened by more rapidly growing exports from China. Russian officials admitted that they did not expect to increase weapons sales over the next few years, largely because arms sales worldwide, both for export and domestic consumption is shrinking. Currently about half of Russian sales are aircraft (jets and helicopters) and 25 percent are anti-aircraft systems. Russia still gets orders because they are cheaper than Western stuff, and nearly as good. What the Russians were less willing to discuss was the growing competition from China.

 

Some areas of the Chinese military buildup are for protecting China from internal threats. Thus China is now training police to be hackers. Not just imparting defensive skills, but training selected cops to launch attacks. It’s unclear what this is for although it’s most likely related to the growing incidence of Internet based criminal activity inside China. Apparently several units of police Cyber War experts are being organized. Some will probably be dedicated to helping Chinese firms and local governments improve their network security, but at least one of these new organizations will have an offensive capability, probably for harassing groups perceived as internal (foreign or Chinese) enemies of China.

 

There are more serious internal threats that police hackers won’t help solve. China is suffering from some catastrophic long-term problems that gets little attention in the news but are nevertheless very real and unavoidable. For example, there are several disastrous demographic problems approaching. This began in the late 1970s when, to control population growth most couples were restricted to only one child. This has been widely enforced, to the point where the average number of children per couple has been 1.7. But many of those couples aborted a child if it was a female, because much more importance is attached to having a male heir. Thus there are 35 million more males than females, and the number is growing. These surplus males are coming of age, and the competition for wives is causing problems. Women are taking advantage of their scarcity, but men are also going to neighboring countries to buy, or even kidnap, young women to be wives. This is causing ill will with neighbors.

 

The biggest problem, though, is the growing shortage of workers. As the population ages, all those one child families means there will be more elderly than the economy can effectively support. Currently there are 11 working age Chinese for every retiree. By 2050, there will only be two for each retiree. At that point, retirees will comprise 30 percent of the population (versus 13 percent now.) Traditionally, children cared for their parents in multi-generation households. That model is dying out, and China is faced with huge pension cost increases at the same time they expect their economy to be the mightiest on the planet. But at that point, the largest single government expense will be the care of the elderly, and this will impose crushing taxes on those of working age. Many working age Chinese are worried about this, for there is no easy solution in sight. China can relax the one-child policy, which it is apparently doing, but the newly affluent Chinese are less eager than earlier generations to have a lot of kids. To make matters worse there is not much in the way of pensions or health care for most of the elderly to begin with. The government recognizes this is a real problem but does not, and will not have the cash to deal with it.

 

Then there is corruption, which has been a problem for thousands of years. The Chinese government continues to proclaim its aggressive efforts against corruption. In 2013 the government said that it investigated 150,000 corruption cases and recovered over $8 billion. Most Chinese still encounter corruption daily and don’t really get the impression that the government is making a serious dent in the problem. The bigger crooks still seem to get away with it while the little guys get punished. The anti-corruption effort is not the only government program that is underperforming. The Internet censors have failed to keep out all the bad news about the Chinese economy that the government would rather not be publicized. This is mainly about the faltering growth rate (down from ten percent or more to seven percent a year or less since 2008).

 

China also has problems with popular sentiments that contradict official policy. Case in point is the growing anger over pollution. This is the result of three decades of rapid economic growth and a culture of corruption that allowed the pollution to grow and the government to keep it out of the news. But eventually people noticed and have been increasingly open and direct in demanding some action to deal with it. So in late 2013 the government responded in a way no one expected; pollution data was declared public data and all government organizations and businesses were ordered to make their pollution data public. Not everyone is complying but given the growing boldness of angry citizens and availability of pollution monitoring equipment, any cheaters are vulnerable to getting caught and then exposed to a public shaming on the Internet. For commercial firms this can mean lost business. For government officials this can mean more scrutiny than corrupt bureaucrats are comfortable with. With this new openness policy the government is making itself less unpopular and harnessing the power of the anti-pollution groups (who represent most of the population) for a joint effort in dealing with the dirty air and water.

 

Senior Chinese leaders are becoming increasingly bold in dealing with popular discontent, aware that throughout Chinese history such discontent often led to popular uprisings that brought down dynasties and made life very unpleasant for those in charge. Many of the lower ranking bureaucrats are less concerned with this as they are more interested in stealing as much as they can while they have the opportunities. But if decisions at the top can make this more difficult to do, then there will be less corruption and bad behavior by officials. The most senior people are making moves like this because they understand that they do not “rule” China as much as they preside over a huge bureaucracy which resists unpopular orders and is more responsive when the senior leadership makes decisions that simply put more pressure on bureaucrats to behave.

 

The other item the government wants kept out of the news is the problem in the banking system and how decades of corruption there are catching up with the government ability to keep the plundering and manipulation from crippling the economy. The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of zombie banks operating, that were essentially bankrupted by uncollectable debts (the corruption angle) that the government cannot cover for. There is also the property bubble, caused by all the building loans banks issued for stuff that is still unsold. This has caused growing downward pressure on property prices, which is lowering the net worth of a lot of Chinese. More and more Chinese (especially business owners and executives) are asking important questions about all this but the government would rather not discuss the issues.

 

The international financial community is getting nervous about the Chinese government’s ability to deal with this uniquely Chinese financial bubble. While in the West the usual bubble is one based on real estate or stock market speculation, in China there is a less well known bubble involving an unofficial banking system that provided loans to highly speculative (and often, by Chinese standards, illegal) undertakings. These “shadow banks” were also very corrupt, doling out bribes and fees to corrupt businesspeople and government officials. The problem is that all this off-the-books financial mischief has got its hooks into legitimate assets (as collateral or a source of cash to keep operating or expand). The number of bad loans (that are not, and probably never will be repaid) has been growing and that is threatening to reduce the cash the official banks have free to keep the economy going. If the government mishandles this mess the Chinese economy could suffer widespread bankruptcies and high unemployment. It could take several years to recover and during that time there could be a popular uprising. A dip in the Chinese economy (at $8 trillion second only to the American $14 trillion) would ripple throughout the global economy. It would be 2008 all over again, but possibly worse. So it’s not just China’s problem.

 

That economic growth has been good to the military. The Chinese defense budget increased again this year by over ten percent to $132 billion. Some U.S. intelligence analysts believe the real defense spending is now closer to $200 billion. Like other communist nations the Chinese keep a lot of military stuff outside the defense budget, so their actual defense spending is much higher. Official Chinese defense spending has more than doubled in the last decade. This has triggered an arms race with its neighbors. Russia is in the midst of a new military upgrade program that would increase defense spending by a third and devote over 700 billion dollars into the next decade to buying new equipment. Japan, already possessing the most modern armed forces in the region, is increasing spending to maintain their qualitative edge. A decade ago China and Japan spent about the same on defense, but now China spends more than three times as much. Even India is alarmed. Spending only a third of what China does, the Indian generals and admirals are demanding more money to cope. India and China are actually devoting a lot of their additional spending to just bringing their troops up to date. Both nations have lots of gear that was new in the 1960s and 1970s. They don't expect to be as up-to-date as the U.S., which spends over $500 billion a year, but there's plenty of newer, much better, and often quite inexpensive equipment to be had.

 

China insists that its growing military power is for defense only. That makes sense, as a lot of money is going into the navy, which protects the imports (mainly of food and raw materials) and exports (of manufactured goods) that are driving the unprecedented economic growth. The Chinese try to explain away the military buildup opposite Taiwan as political theater. This may be true, for a failed attempt to take Taiwan by force would not only disrupt the economy (and create a lot of unhappy Chinese) but would be a major failure by the government. Dictatorships cannot survive too many such failures, or too many angry citizens. So it makes sense that the Chinese military growth is largely for defense. But those large defensive forces can also be used to bully or intimidate neighbors, which is what the neighbors are worried about.

 

Despite the official Chinese line that the growing military is only for defense, the government also maintains a list of approved (as pundits for electronic media and books) retired generals and admirals who will say things that the government approves of but does not want to openly and officially discuss. This often involves the possibility 0f war with various potential enemies. For over a decade these guys have talked about the coming war with the United States. Now they are talking about the “inevitable” war with Japan over territorial disputes and lingering Chinese anger for all the damage Japan did to China during World War II.

 

April 7, 2014: Responding to Japanese concerns about the growing ballistic missile threat from North Korea and China, the U.S. agreed to send two more Aegis ballistic missile defense ships to Japan. These Burke class destroyers will arrive by 2017 and be based in Japan.

 

April 5, 2014: China has made it clear (and rather public) to Pakistan that massive (and much needed) Chinese investment is contingent on keeping the Islamic terrorist violence away from these Chinese financed (and often Chinese run) projects. The government is taking extraordinary measures to provide the security the Chinese demand but time will tell if it is adequate.

 

April 4, 2014: After two years of negotiations India and Israel have agreed to a deal where Israeli defense firms will work with DRDO (the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization) and several state-owned defense firms to design and build an integrated anti-missile defense system. India already has a tested and proven anti-missile ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) but wants something like the anti-missile system Israel has developed and deployed over the last two decades. This new arrangement implies that Israel is willing to share some of its ABM technology (among the best in the world) with India to provide some defense against Chinese and Pakistani nuclear missiles.

 

April 1, 2014:  Japan has overturned its long-time (since World War II) ban on exporting weapons. This makes it possible for Japan to equip other members of the growing anti-Chinese coalition with the most modern weapons. Japan is immune to Chinese threats of economic retaliation, which is what China usually employs to keep its neighbors from getting modern weapons from Europe or the United States.  

 

March 31, 2014: This month China commissioned the first of twelve Type 052D destroyers. This was no surprise because in late 2013 this ship was seen on sea trials in the East China Sea. This new destroyer design appears very similar to the American Aegis equipped destroyers (especially the Burke Class). Five more 52Ds are under construction and one of them is ready for sea trials. China plans to build at least twelve. The development of the 52Ds was a deliberate, and apparently successful, effort to considerably close the quality gap between American and Chinese destroyers and do it quickly.

 

Talks between North Korea and Japan and hosted by China ended on a positive note with North Korea agreeing to actually talk about kidnapped Japanese in future sessions. These were the first such talks since 2009. Actually there was some contact in 2012 in Mongolia between Red Cross officials from both countries. Then, as now, the main topic was Japanese citizens that North Korean agents kidnapped 13 Japanese in the 1970s and 80s. The talks in Mongolia produced nothing except an agreement to continue the process later with more senior officials. That was aborted when North Korea announced the resumption of long range missile tests at the end of 2013. Obtaining more information on these kidnapping victims is a big issue in Japan, but North Korea has never been eager to release anything, other than the fact that the kidnapping program did exist. Japan refuses to resume foreign aid, which North Korea needs, until the questions about the kidnapping program are answered. This has become a big issue in Japanese politics but the North Koreans refuse to cooperate. Now North Korea says it is willing to talk about cooperating.

 

March 30, 2014: The government revealed that it had formally charged Gu Junshan, the former deputy head of logistics for the army of corruption and had already seized more than $20 million from him, friends and family members. All this began in 2012 when Gu Junshan was removed from his job and the government introduced new rules which forced senior military officers to disclose their personal financial details. It was later revealed that Gu Junshan had used numerous methods to enrich himself. This included taking bribes from suppliers and officers seeking jobs in logistics (where there were more opportunities to steal). Corruption in the military has been a problem in China for thousands of years. The communists thought they had cured it, but after they took control of China in the late 1940s the rot began to reappear. There have been several major efforts since then to keep the corruption from getting out of hand (and doing serious damage to combat capabilities). This latest public anti-corruption effort is an indicator that the government believes the generals and admirals are a little too corrupt. The investigation and prosecution of Gu Junshan indicates that the most senior military officers are not immune to justice. The government has also announced more anti-corruption inspections of military bases and those who work there. These are audits seeking to detect corrupt practices and find out who was responsible.

 

In Taiwan there have been growing public demonstrations against a proposed new law that would allow massive Chinese investment in Taiwan. For decades it has been the other way around. But allowing Chinese investors in is seen as a way for China to take over Taiwan by, literally, buying most of it. 

 

March 29, 2014: The Philippines defied a Chinese blockade of Second Thomas Reef and evaded a large Chinese coast guard ship that was literally blocking the approach of Filipino ships. China was angry at the Philippines because of the continued presence of eight Filipino marines on Second Thomas Reef. Today’s successful resupply mission leaves the marines well stocked. China says this is an intolerable affront to Chinese sovereignty. This sort of statement is how China warns victims that an attack is coming and the Philippines has asked the United States for some backup here. The U.S. responded by saying it supported peaceful resolution of this dispute. By that the Americans mean they want the Chinese to wait for the recent submission of the dispute to the Permanent Court of Arbitration. This could result in a legal decision by 2015 but China has indicated that it will not abide by any such ruling. Challenging such a decision exposes China to trade sanctions, which would stall economic growth and create a recession that could cause unrest. The Chinese leaders are eager to avoid that. A military assault on the Filipino LST would also create the risk of legal and economic backlash as well as the lesser risk of military escalation. The next step appears to be a tighter blockade of the Filipino garrison to starve them out. Chinese civilian and military ships blocked two earlier efforts by Filipino supply ships to deliver food and water to Second Thomas Reef and stationing more ships there to enforce the blockade might work. The supplies can and have been air dropped. Resupply by air is expensive and uncertain during bad weather. For the last year China has been increasing pressure on the Philippines to remove small detachments of sailors and marines stationed on nine islets and reefs in the Spratly Islands. In particular the Chinese want this detachment, stationed on a World War II era landing ship (the BRP Sierra Madre) removed. The Filipino navy deliberately grounded the LST on Second Thomas Reef in 1999 to provide a place for an observation team. In 2013 Chinese patrol ships came within nine kilometers of the LST, which China insists is there illegally. The Philippines warns China that it will resist any attempts to use force against the grounded ship. The initial response from China was constructing more buildings (on stilts) on nearby Mischief Reef (which is only 126 kilometers from the Philippines’ Palawan Island). Second Thomas Reef and nearby Reed Bank are 148 kilometers west of the Philippines (Palawan Island) and well within the Philippines’s EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone). Although the EEZ is recognized by international law (and a treaty that China signed and uses to defend waters off its own coast) China says that does not apply here because all the islets in the South China Sea belong to China and there is no room for negotiation on that point.  Most countries in the region (except Japan, which would rather not dwell on this) note that this was how Japan behaved before World War II. Official U.S. policy is to try and get everyone to calm down and be less provocative. American P-3C maritime patrol aircraft regularly fly over the Spratly Islands and photograph Chinese installations and naval activities. This data is shared with the Philippines and perhaps others. China is the biggest offender in the Spratly Island disputes and shows no sign of slowing, or backing, down. Now China is warning the world that it is ready to escalate but is afraid that the world will call their bluff.

 

March 22, 2014: In the United States it was revealed that the United States had been hacking into one of China’s major computer hardware companies (Huawei Technologies) in order to secretly plant Cyber War software to be activated in wartime or to deal with any Chinese aggression. This was no surprise to the Chinese and revealing details enabled China to improve its Cyber War defenses.

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source Japan MoD

source Japan MoD

 

Apr 8, 2014 ASDNews (AFP)

 

Closer defence ties between Japan and Australia should not raise concerns in regional superpower China, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Tuesday, after sealing a major free trade and security deal with Tokyo.

 

Canberra and Tokyo struck the agreement Monday to enhance trade and security ties, including joint development of defence equipment, elevating the bilateral relationship to a new level.

 

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8 avril 2014 2 08 /04 /avril /2014 07:35
Thales place le Bushmaster au Japon

Un Bushmaster hollandais en opération en Afghanistan

 

7 avril, 2014 Frédéric Lert (FOB)

 

Bon d’accord, la bateau qui apportera les véhicules blindés au pays du soleil levant sera moins chargé que ceux qui en ramènent des Toyota et autre Nissan… Thales Australia, qui a la responsabilité de la fabrication du véhicule, annonce la vente de seulement… quatre véhicules qui seront mis en œuvre par l’armée de terre japonaise (Japan Ground Self-Defence Force). Cette vente n’en constitue pas moins un beau succès pour pour la filiale australienne du groupe Thales, le Bushmaster ayant semble-t-il été opposé au M-ATV d’Oshkosh dans cette compétition. Les blindés, qui seront tous en version transporte de troupe, seront livrés fin 2014. Que vont pouvoir faire les Japonais de ces véhicules et s’agit simplement d’un échelon précurseur avant une vente plus large ? Le communiqué de presse de Thales rappelle que le Bushmaster « lors des déploiements sur les théâtres afghans et irakiens (…) a démontré toute son efficacité à la fois en milieu urbain mais aussi dans les régions plus montagneuse. Il est ainsi parfaitement adapté aux différents environnement géographiques du Japon ». Faut il donc croire comme le laisse entendre ces deux phrases que les Bushmaster seront utilisés sur le  territoire national japonais, où le bush est maigre et le niveau de menace

 

sensiblement moins élevé qu’en Irak ou en Afghanistan (sauf à considérer les soubresauts de la Terre). Ou bien ces véhicules seront-ils plutôt associés aux interventions extérieures des JGSDF ? Rappelons que depuis 2004, rompant avec sa traditionnelle politique de non-intervention  depuis la fin de la seconde guerre mondiale, Tokyo a déployé à travers le monde plusieurs contingents dans des opérations de maintien de la paix. Le premier contingent avait d’ailleurs été envoyé en… Irak

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Japan's New Export Rules Broaden Global Role

 

 

Apr. 5, 2014 By PAUL KALLENDER-UMEZU – Defense News

 

Defense Export Rule Change Could Balance China Threat

 

TOKYO — Japan’s recent decision to set up a regulatory system to export arms should boost Tokyo’s future role in global weapons consortiums and potentially help balance against the threat of China, analysts say.

 

An April 1 decision by the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved principles that continue to prohibit Japan from exporting arms to countries involved in conflict and that violate UN resolutions. But they also create a screening mechanism to allow weapons makers to sell arms if they contribute to international cooperation and security interests, and to alliance partners who agree not to resell them to third nations without Japan’s approval.

 

Under the new rules, the ministries of Defense, Foreign Affairs, and Economy, Trade and Industry will screen applications for sales, with the National Security Council making the final decision. The council was set up in December to speed decision-making on defense policy.

 

The new rules codify export relaxations first announced in 2011 under previous Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, but with two critical changes, said Satoshi Tsuzukibashi, director of the Defense Production Committee (the Japan Business Federation), Japan’s most powerful industrial and business lobby.

 

New guidelines mandate “strict examination” of all export cases, but with a “flexible” approach that contains a caveat allowing quicker decisions in cases of emergency, for example a contingency on the Korean Peninsula.

 

A second critical change relaxes the 2011 stipulation that every potential sale to a third country be written into any initial development, co-production or licensing deal in advance. Now, applications for sales to third countries will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

 

“This is an important first step forward, as it means, for example, we can export parts for the F-35, which we couldn’t and which Noda didn’t understand, and build in the principle of the ability to export to a range of countries in future deals. We can now negotiate with more countries in good faith. It means we now have a system that opens new doors,” Tsuzukibashi said.

 

An ability to cooperate on programs will be critical because countries are leaning on cost sharing as defense spending in many places falls, said Phil Finnegan, an analyst with the Teal Group.

 

“Cooperation, that is a direction that the industry is going,” Finnegan said. “Japan is now moving in that direction as well.”

 

But Finnegan said opportunity for economic gain through military equipment sales is likely years down the road because of the high manufacturing costs Japanese companies face.

 

“Nothing is going to change quickly; maybe in the long run, they can play a role in the international market,” he said. “It’s a very insular industry, and by its nature, it’s going to be expensive.”

 

Japan’s actions have become a hotly debated regional issue, with both South Korea and China signaling concern that the rule changes show Japan is on the path to remilitarization, and calling for “transparency.”

 

Jun Okumura, a visiting scholar at the Meiji Institute for Global Affairs, said the new regulations represent a significant change for Japan, not because Japan is remilitarizing but because the decision draws Japan closer to the US and to other global partners, a worrying development for China.

 

“Yes, Abe is chipping away at the postwar pacifist regime, and the question is how far Abe wants to change Japan. But he won’t go ‘all out’ ” and remilitarize, Okumura said. “The point is, he is aware of the repercussions for the Japan-US alliance, and anything that reinforces that alliance is a negative for China as they extend a more aggressive policy of projecting their military power.”

 

Critics offer both prosaic and deeper concerns that they avoid mentioning publicly, said Narushige Michishita, director of the Security and International Studies Program at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.

 

“China and South Korea are proactive in selling their weapons overseas, and in a way, they are concerned about Japan becoming a competitor,” he said.

 

Michishita said Japan wants to play a more active role in maintaining Asia’s balance of power, so the changes will build a “win-win-win” situation not only for the US, but for Japan’s increasingly important partnerships with Australia, South Korea and India. This extends to emerging Southeast Asian countries, particularly the Philippines and Vietnam, all of whom are increasingly concerned about China, he said.

 

“If it’s possible to sell arms to the US [that South Korea might not want to buy from us], Australia, India and partners in Southeast Asia, our targets include the Philippines and Vietnam; it’s a great step forward. By providing arms to these countries we can make money, we can balance China, and strengthen and institutionalize our partnerships and empower these countries. It’s a win-win-win situation,” Michishita said.

 

Since Japan’s defense industrial base accounts for less than 1 percent of the country’s industrial output, and its defense products often cost multiples of the prices of US gear, it may be some time before the Mitsubishi conglomerate’s three diamonds are emblazoned on radar kits globally.

 

“Japanese weapons are not battle tested, and problems with Sumitomo Heavy Industries machine guns were covered up for many, many years, so we don’t know if potential buyers can trust Japanese systems,” Michishita said.

 

Nonetheless, Japan has a smorgasbord of specific, component level and small systems technologies, wrapped in a huge swath of dual-use technology that it can bring to future partnerships.

 

Just recently, for example, Japan politely walked away from attempts by Turkey to buy Type 10 (TK-X) lightweight main battle tanks, which one analyst said contained capabilities that emerging countries are eager to obtain. Other technologies include the Type 99 155mm self-propelled howitzer, specialized armor, and sensor and radar technologies.

 

They also extend to aero and marine engine technologies, including Soryu-class diesel-electric submarines fitted with air-independent propulsion systems, which are sought after by Australia in particular, Michishita said.

 

“Japan’s defense budget is due to grow an extra 2 percent annually over the next five years, but while that is small in real terms, this growth will be augmented when and if Japanese companies engage in [international] consortiums in the joint development of next- or next-next generation weapons,” Okumura said.

 

There also is great potential in Japan’s dual-use capabilities, he said, which range from electronics and sensors to information technology products to advanced materials and carbon and composite technologies. These include excellence in partially or highly integrated technologies like those found in Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ advanced MRJ commercial passenger jet.

 

“The good news is [that] in parallel with this progress in terms of arms sales, the Japanese government has made a decision to promote dual-use science and technology,” Michishita said.

 

“Certainly, in a best-case scenario, as we’ll be able to purchase more, unit costs will go down and we might be able to exercise some kind of influence on international security while we can ease our fiscal difficulties,” he said. “But by also engaging in international joint research and procurement, we can boost our competitiveness, and make and procure better weapons systems at lower prices.”

 

But Paul Giarra, president of Global Strategies & Transformation, warned that the change won’t necessarily tie Japan to feeding the US, and it could, in fact, help Japan emerge as a competitor.

 

“This is a most important development. Whatever the government manages will be consequential, but developments will not work out in a straight line,” Giarra said.

 

“Also, many appear to think that somehow this will give priority to American interests, but I disagree. American defense technology and industrial interests will have to compete with other global alternatives from which Japan will choose. This will be an uncomfortable competition for some,” he said.

 

Tsuzukibashi said such concerns would take a long time to materialize, although such a scenario is possible.

 

“There is this image of the Zero-sen [fighter plane], but that was a long time ago during World War II,” he said. “Japan’s defense base is not that strong, we don’t have the size, and [in] the technology to compete with companies such as Lockheed Martin or BAE, we are no threat.”■

 

Zachary Fryer-Biggs contributed to this report.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 16:35
Bushmaster - photo Thales

Bushmaster - photo Thales

Déployé en Irak et en Afghanistan, le Bushmaster a été vendu à plus de 1.000 exemplaires, à l'Australie, aux Pays-Bas et à la Jamaïque, explique Thales.

 

07/04/2014 latribune.fr 

 

Thales va vendre des blindés Bushmaster au Japon. Ils seront fabriqués par la filiale australienne du groupe français pour un montant inconnu.

 

Le groupe français d'électronique et de défense Thales a annoncé lundi la vente de quatre de ses blindés Bushmaster au Japon, confirmant ainsi le succès de ce véhicule fabriqué en Australie à l'exportation.

 

"premier contrat de plateformes au Japon"

Ces blindés à roues, en version transport de troupes, doivent être livrés d'ici la fin de l'année à la force d'auto-défense terrestre du Japon, indique Thales dans un communiqué, sans révéler le montant du contrat. Chris Jenkins, PDG de Thales Australia commente :

"Ce nouveau contrat à l'export démontre le succès grandissant et la polyvalence du Bushmaster. (...) Il s'agit pour Thales du premier contrat de plateformes au Japon. Notre objectif est de fournir des technologies et des services qui répondent parfaitement aux besoins du ministère de la Défense japonais. Nous nous réjouissons de travailler en étroite collaboration avec la force d'auto-défense terrestre japonaise dès que les véhicules seront en service."

 

1.000 exemplaires vendus

Déployé en Irak et en Afghanistan, le Bushmaster a été vendu à plus de 1.000 exemplaires, à l'Australie, aux Pays-Bas et à la Jamaïque, ajoute Thales.

Le groupe français, qui a réalisé en 2013 un chiffre d'affaires de 14,2 milliards d'euros, travaille sur les marchés de l'aérospatiale, de la défense, de la sécurité et des transports. Sa filiale Thales Australia a enregistré des ventes de 1 milliard de dollars australiens (677 millions d'euros) l'année dernière.

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7 avril 2014 1 07 /04 /avril /2014 08:35
Japan buys Thales Bushmasters
 
April 7, 2014 Thales Group

 

The Japanese Ministry of Defence has ordered four Bushmaster vehicles for deployment with the Japan Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF).

The vehicles, all troop carrier variants, will be manufactured at the company’s facility in Bendigo, Victoria in Australia, for delivery in late 2014.

Thales Australia CEO Chris Jenkins said: “This new export order demonstrates the ongoing significance and versatility of the Bushmaster vehicle.  

With effective operational deployment across Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bushmaster has proven its effectiveness across urban landscapes as well as mountainous regions, making it uniquely suited to Japan’s geographic and urban environments.

This is the first time that Thales is providing platforms to Japan. Our aim is to be customer focused and to offer Thales Group’s seamless and convenient services and technologies to our customers in Japan. We look forward to working closely with the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force as these vehicles enter service.”

The Thales Bushmaster is a true success story with over 1,000 vehicles already sold in Australia, the Netherlands and Jamaica

 

About Thales Australia

Thales Australia is a trusted partner of the Australian Defence Force and is also present in commercial sectors ranging from air traffic management to security systems and services. Employing around 3,200 people in over 35 sites across the country, Thales Australia recorded revenues of AUD 1 billion in 2012.

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6 avril 2014 7 06 /04 /avril /2014 20:35
Iliouchine 20 Coot-A

Iliouchine 20 Coot-A

 

TOKYO, 6 avril - RIA Novosti

 

Pour la troisième fois depuis trois jours, les chasseurs des forces aériennes japonaises ont été mis en état d'alerte suite aux vols d'avions militaires russes à proximité du territoire du pays, rapporte dimanche l'état-major unifié des Forces japonaises d'autodéfense.

 

Tout comme vendredi dernier, ce dimanche, un Il-20 russe a effectué un vol au-dessus de la mer du Japon. Par ailleurs, samedi, deux avions de lutte anti-sous-marine Il-38 ont perturbé le calme des radars japonais. Bien que les appareils russes n'aient pas violé l'espace aérien nippon, les avions de chasse des Forces japonaises d'autodéfense ont décollé sur alerte.

 

Les militaires nippons expliquent cette activité accrue des avions militaires russes par le risque de nouveaux tirs de missiles nord-coréens. Depuis le 26 mars, le jour où Pyongyang a tiré deux missiles en direction de la mer du Japon, les avions militaires russes ont fait huit apparitions dans la région.

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6 avril 2014 7 06 /04 /avril /2014 16:35
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Japanese Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera photo US DoD

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Japanese Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera photo US DoD

 

06.04.2014 Le Monde.fr (AFP)

 

Le secrétaire américain à la défense, Chuck Hagel, a annoncé dimanche 6 avril que les Etats-Unis allaient envoyer au Japon deux navires en plus de ceux déjà présents afin de répondre à la menace nord-coréenne. L'annonce a été faite après la rencontre du secrétaire américain avec son homologue japonais, Itsunori Onodera, à Tokyo.

 

« En réponse aux provocations et aux actions déstabilisatrices de Pyongyang, y compris les lancements récents de missiles en violation des résolutions du Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU, je peux annoncer aujourd'hui que les Etats-Unis prévoient de déployer deux navires équipés du système antimissile Aegis supplémentaires au Japon en 2017. Ces mesures vont fortement élever notre capacité à défendre le Japon et le sol américain des menaces de missiles balistiques nord-coréen », a déclaré Chuck Hagel.

 

Ces navires viendront s'ajouter aux cinq navires équipés de système antimissile déjà stationnés au Japon, où les Etats-Unis disposent d'importantes bases et de près de 50 000 militaires. En octobre dernier, les Etats-Unis avaient décidé de déployer un second radar d'alerte au Japon, à Kyoto (ouest), et d'augmenter le nombre de missiles antimissiles basés en Alaska (nord-ouest des Etats-Unis).

 

Ces dernières semaines, la Corée du Nord a multiplié les gestes de provocation, lui ayant valu d'être condamné par l'ONU. Pyongyang a notamment testé en mars deux missiles balistiques de moyenne portée capables de frapper le Japon. D'après la presse, Tokyo a ordonné à son armée de détruire tout missile nord-coréen qui traverserait son espace aérien, et a déployé ses propres navires équipés du système Aegis en mer du Japon (appelée mer de l'Est par les Coréens).

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6 avril 2014 7 06 /04 /avril /2014 11:35
Le chef d’état-major du Canada, Tom Lawson, a rencontré son homologue japonais

Le général Shigeru Iwasaki (à droite), le chef d’état-major du conseil d’état-major interarmées des forces d’autodéfense du Japon, visite le général Tom Lawson (à gauche), chef d’état-major, le 4 avril 2014, au Quartier général de la Défense nationale, 101, promenade du Colonel-By, Ottawa (caporal Heather Tiffney/Unité de soutien des Forces canadiennes)

 

5 avril 2014 par Jacques N. Godbout – 45eNord.ca

 

Le général Tom Lawson, chef d’état-major de la Défense (CEMD), a reçu à Ottawa vendredi 4 avril son homologue japonais, le général Shigeru Iwasaki, chef d’état-major, État-major interarmées de la Force japonaise d’autodéfense (FJA), pour «discuter d’enjeux de haut niveau relativement à la paix et à la sécurité sur la scène internationale».

 

Cette rencontre constitue la première visite du général Iwasaki au Canada à titre de chef d’état-major de l’État-major interarmées de la FJA, dit le communiqué de la Défense canadienne sur cette rencontre.

Les généraux Lawson et Iwasaki se sont rencontrés précédemment dans le cadre du Sommet sur la sécurité en Asie, qui s’est tenu à Singapour en mai dernier.

Lors de leur rencontre à Ottawa, ils ont notamment discuté de la coopération en matière de sécurité maritime, la formation pour les opérations de maintien de la paix de l’ONU, l’aide humanitaire et les interventions en cas de catastrophe.

Le chef d’état-major du Canada et son homologue reconnaissent l’importance d’élaborer et de mettre en œuvre des programmes de coopération et d’échange en matière de défense entre les deux forces militaires, souligne aussi le communiqué de la Défense canadienne.

«En tant que nation du Pacifique, le Canada a une relation étroite avec le Japon sur une base de principes et d’intérêts communs. Des rencontres comme celle-ci nous permettent de renforcer notre relation en matière de défense, favoriser la compréhension et la confiance entre nos deux pays», a déclaré le général Tom Lawson.

De plus, sur le front économique  lancée en mars 2012, des négociations sur la signature d’un accord de partenariat  se poursuivent entre le Canada et le Japon.  La cinquième série de négociations a eu lieu à Tokyo pendant la semaine du 24 mars 2014 et des progrès importants dans de nombreux domaines ont été réalisés selon le ministère canadien des Affaires étrangères.

Le Japon entretient aussi d’étroites relations économiques et militaires avec son principal allié, les États-Unis, officialisées par le traité de coopération mutuelle et de sécurité entre les États-Unis et le Japon de 1960.

Il a aussi signé un pacte de sécurité avec l’Australie en mars 2007 et avec l’Inde en octobre 2008.

Le Japon est de plus en plus présent dans les «affaires du monde».

Après sa défaite lors de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale,le Japon avait adopté une Constitution pacifiste qui lui interdisait de déclarer la guerre ou d’utiliser sa force militaire comme moyen de règlement des différends internationaux.

Puis, à l’époque de la Guerre froide, le Japon s’est doté d’une armée non officielle nommée «Force d’autodéfense», composée d’une force terrestre, maritime et aérienne.

Et avec la guerre d’Irak en 2003, la Constitution japonaise a été aménagée pour pouvoir déployer des troupes hors de son territoire dans le cadre d’opérations à caractère strictement non militaire (reconstruction, aide humanitaire…) et, aujourd’hui, le Japon participe aussi aux missions de maintien de la paix sous mandat de l’ONU.

Le Japon joue maintenant un rôle diplomatique de plus en plus en rapport avec sa puissance économique.

Changement majeur et entorse au pacifisme officiel inscrit dans la Constitution, l’ex «Empire du soleil levant», de retour aux affaires du monde, a officiellement mis fin la semaine dernière à cinquante ans d’auto-interdiction d’exporter des armes et entend dorénavant occuper de plus en plus une place dans le monde en rapport avec sa puissance économique.

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5 avril 2014 6 05 /04 /avril /2014 22:35
Le Japon se dit prêt à réagir à tout nouveau tir de missile balistique nord-coréen

 

05 Avril 2014 Par Marine & Océans (zonebourse.com)

 

Un destroyer de la marine japonaise a reçu l'ordre de détruire tout missile balistique tiré de Corée du Nord, a-t-on appris samedi de source gouvernementale à Tokyo, dix jours après l'essai d'un vecteur nord-coréen Rodong de moyenne portée qui s'est abîmé en mer.

L'instruction a été donnée jeudi par le ministre de la Défense Itsunori Onodera, mais n'a pas été rendue publique pour préserver les négociations entre le Japon et la Corée du Nord, renouées après un gel de plus d'un an.

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5 avril 2014 6 05 /04 /avril /2014 11:35
Atalante : Le commandant de la force rencontre le commandant de la 4e division d’escorte japonais

 

05/04/2014 Sources : EMA

 

Le 30 mars 2014, le commandant de la force Atalante, le contre-amiral Hervé Bléjean, a reçu le capitaine de Vaisseau Hiroaki Tajiri, commandant la 4e division d’escorte japonaise et commandant de la frégate Samidare, à bord du transport de chalands de débarquement (TCD) Siroco.

 

Cette rencontre au milieu du golfe d’Aden a permis aux deux commandants de force de faire connaissance plusieurs semaines après leur coopération fructueuse des 17 et 18 janvier derniers, lors de l’interception d’un boutre « piraté » au large des côtes omanaises. L’amiral Bléjean a tenu à féliciter et à remercier de vive voix le commandant Tajiri pour son rôle « décisif lors de l’intervention».

 

La frégate Japonaise Samidare est déployée dans la  zone au profit de la Combined Maritime Force (Task Force 151), coalition internationale de lutte contre la piraterie. L’action des moyens navals japonais, essentiellement concentrés sur l’accompagnement de convois de navires a permis le transit de milliers de navires en toute sécurité dans le corridor de transit recommandé internationalement dans le Golfe d’Aden.

 

Depuis le 6 décembre 2013, la France assure le commandement de la Task Force (TF) 465, force maritime européenne engagée dans l'opération de lutte contre la piraterie Atalante. La France participe à l’opération Atalante avec le déploiement quasi-permanent d’au moins une frégate de la marine nationale. Le dispositif peut être renforcé ponctuellement par un avion de patrouille maritime Atlantique 2 (ATL 2), de surveillance maritime Falcon 50, ou par un avion de commandement et de détection E3F.

Atalante : Le commandant de la force rencontre le commandant de la 4e division d’escorte japonaisAtalante : Le commandant de la force rencontre le commandant de la 4e division d’escorte japonais

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