SDF

Defense minister says Osprey purchase planned for new SDF unit
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera prepares for a test flight on an Osprey at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., on July 10. (Shinobu Konno)
WASHINGTON--The Defense Ministry intends to purchase several U.S. Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft in the next fiscal year as part of a plan to establish an amphibious...
Sour relations with Japan lead to cancellation of 2 events in S....
Visitors pack the Osaka Tenpozan special gallery in Osaka's Minato Ward for the "One Piece" exhibition in November 2012. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
SEOUL--A South Korean hotel banned a Japanese Embassy event while a museum in the capital scrapped a Japanese manga and anime exhibition, two last-minute decisions that...
MAJOR SECURITY SHIFT: Former top LDP official lambasts Abe's move...
Former Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Hiromu Nonaka criticizes the Abe Cabinet in a meeting in Nagoya’s Nishi Ward on July 6. (Hwang Chul)
NAGOYA--A former secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party blasted the Abe Cabinet for approving a constitutional reinterpretation to allow Japan to exercise the ...
MAJOR SECURITY SHIFT/ COMMENTARY: Can Japan say 'No' to the United ...
Ground Self-Defense Force members on patrol near Samawah, Iraq, in 2004. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Washington, quick to embrace the Abe administration's shift in defense policy, appears to expect that Japanese soldiers will fight alongside U.S. troops in future military...
MAJOR SECURITY SHIFT/ COMMENTARY: Japan must not become a military ...
Protesters in front of the prime minister's office on July 1 shout their opposition to the Abe Cabinet's move to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense. (Hikaru Uchida)
July 1 will be remembered as the darkest day in the history of Japan's constitutionalism because of the Abe Cabinet's approval to change the government interpretation of the...
MAJOR SECURITY SHIFT: Cabinet opens door for SDF to use force...
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks at a news conference on July 1 after the Cabinet approved a document that changes the government's interpretation of the Constitution. (Shogo Koshida)
Despite huge protests around the country, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet on July 1 approved changes to Japan’s postwar security policy that could lead to the...
MAJOR SECURITY SHIFT: Abe putting SDF in mortal danger, retired...
Kyoji Yanagisawa, a former Defense Ministry official, has established Jieitai wo Ikasu Kai (Group for utilizing the SDF). (Mari Endo)
A former senior Defense Ministry official is warning that members of the Self-Defense Forces could die in international conflicts if Prime Minister Shinzo Abe allows Japan to...
MAJOR SECURITY SHIFT: Use of military force proposed in U.N.-led...
Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Masahiko Komura speaks with Shigeru Ishiba, the party secretary-general, in the Lower House on June 19. (Shogo Koshida)
In another marked shift from postwar national security policy, the Abe administration is considering allowing the use of military force when Japan takes part in collective...
PROMETHEUS TRAP/ THE EMPEROR AND 3/11 DISASTER (9): Imperial...
Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko arrive at Fukushima Airport on May 11, 2011. (Pool)
Editor's note: This is the ninth part of a new series under The Prometheus Trap heading. It centers on the involvement of imperial family members with victims of the Great East ...
MAJOR SECURITY SHIFT: Abe tells ruling coalition to consider SDF...
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe eats curry and rice prepared with locally grown beef in Hoki, Tottori Prefecture, on June 14. He was visiting the town on an inspection tour. (Shohei Sasagawa)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe advised the ruling coalition to discuss allowing minesweeping missions by Japanese ships in the Middle East under permissible collective self-defense...
MAJOR SECURITY SHIFT: Even New Komeito considers contradictory...
New Komeito vice chief Kazuo Kitagawa, center, and LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba, right, attend a coalition meeting on national security on June 13. (Shogo Koshida)
Under pressure from its coalition partner, New Komeito is considering giving its consent for Japan to exercise its right to collective self-defense but only in limited...
Beijing: SDF fighters approached first in East China Sea encounter
An image released by Beijing shows an Air Self-Defense Force F-15 fighter jet allegedly approaching a Chinese patrol aircraft. (From the Chinese Ministry of National Defense website)
BEIJING--China rejected Japan’s reports of a close encounter in the East China Sea, claiming Japanese fighter jets buzzed a Chinese patrol plane first.
MAJOR SECURITY SHIFT: Abe's collective self-defense plan based on...
Protesters at Nagasaki Peace Park on June 9 oppose Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan to reinterpret the Constitution to allow Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense. (Kyosuke Yamamoto)
The Cabinet’s approval for allowing Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense will be based on part of a 1972 government view whose conclusion actually...
MAJOR SECURITY SHIFT: Abe administration to set 'guidelines'...
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe listens as New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi asks a question at an Upper House session in January. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
In a bid to gain the support of its reluctant junior coalition partner, New Komeito, the Abe administration is preparing "guidelines" to limit the activities of the...
MAJOR SECURITY SHIFT: Former SDF officer critical of 'minimum'...
U.S. Marines and Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force members participate in Dawn Blitz on San Clemente Island off the California coast in June 2013. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
A former high-ranking Self-Defense Forces officer at a June 7 symposium raised doubts from his experience in the SDF about the effort by the Abe administration to allow Japan...
PROMETHEUS TRAP/ THE EMPEROR AND 3/11 DISASTER (5): SDF came to...
In a prerecorded program, Emperor Akihito delivers a speech on March 16, 2011. (Provided by Imperial Household Agency)
Editor's note: This is the fifth part of a new series under The Prometheus Trap heading. It centers on the involvement of imperial family members with victims of the Great East ...
EDITORIAL: Move to expand SDF role in U.N. missions raises fresh...
Ruling Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito officials gather on June 3 to discuss the government’s proposal to significantly expand the extent of activities of the Self-Defense Forces in multinational force military operations. (Satoru Semba)
The Abe administration has made a radical and worrisome new proposal concerning the scope of the Self-Defense Forces’ support to U.N.-authorized military operations by...
Beijing defends scrambling of fighters against SDF aircraft in...
An OP-3C surveillance plane of the Maritime Self-Defense Force (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
By scrambling two fighter jets to go nose to nose with Japanese surveillance planes, Beijing is apparently trying to gain recognition of its air defense identification zone in...
MAJOR SECURITY SHIFT: Eight scenarios up for coalition discussion...
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe explains cases in which Japan needs to exercise the right to collective self-defense at a news conference on May 15. (The Asahi Shimbun)
The government has offered eight possible situations requiring Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, hoping the junior coalition party will approve just one...
EDITORIAL: Plight of residents neighboring military bases deserves ...
A jet fighter flies over a residential area in Yamato, Kanagawa Prefecture, in April, as it approaches Atsugi air base. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Military bases for national defense obviously have great public importance. Even so, it is unreasonable to expect residents around those facilities to simply put up with the...