Japan’s New Military: A Regional Player Now

A massive, but flawed Fukushima/Tohoku response, the Senkaku islands confrontation with China, proposed amendments to Japan’s post-war Constitution regarding its defense capabilities, developments in relations with other regional militaries, the successful “Dawn Blitz” joint amphibious landing at Camp Pendleton with U.S. Marines, and then the Abe/Yasukuni visit…. what is actually happening on Japan’s military side that many are  missing?

This program is about a new Japanese military with new, enhanced capabilities that have been achieved with remarkable speed over the past 18 months.

This week, Grant Newsham (formerly, Col. USMC), a Senior Research Fellow at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies in Tokyo and formerly the U.S. Marine liaison officer with the Japan Self Defense Forces joins “Asia in Review” Host David Day for a fascinating discussion on this topic.

Mr. Newsham is also a former diplomat with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and formerly a Director of a major Tokyo financial firm.

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Lessons from Fukushima: Big Changes in Japan’s Self Defense Forces

Col. Grant Newsham, USMC, U.S. Military Liaison Officer to the Japan SDF (Army)

Col. Grant Newsham, USMC, U.S. Military Liaison Officer to the Japan SDF (Army)

         

 

 

        On the Anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Col. Newsham discusses what it was like on the ground then, the shortcomings in the disaster relief efforts, and the lessons learned—including the need for Japan’s Self Defense forces to now develop an amphibious capability. The conversation also turns to the significance of this new capacity in Japan’s future role in disaster relief and humanitarian assistance actions in the Asia Pacific Region. 

A Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Landing Craft Air Cushion drives onto the beach as part of exercise Dawn Blitz,testing new amphibious operations

A Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Landing Craft Air Cushion drives onto the beach as part of exercise Dawn Blitz,testing new amphibious operations

 

 

Host: David Day

A Japanese Self-Defense Force landing craft, air cushion lands on Red Beach at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

A Japanese Self-Defense Force landing craft, air cushion lands on Red Beach at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

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Shizuoka Prefecture: Japan’s Rising Star

       A fascinating discussion with a most unusual Japanese political leader, Dr. Heita Kawakatsu, Govenor of the Shizuoka Prefecture and the home of Mt. Fuji. In terms of disaster preparation and training, Shizuoka Prefecture is now on the cutting edge for the Region.

This in-depth conversation includes discussion about Shizuoka’s renewable energy policy in the wake of the closure of its own nuclear plants, its remarkable initiative facilitating U.S. Japan disaster cooperation, and its clean energy strategy with the State of  Hawaii and Hawaii’s clean energy industry.

 

Hosted for Hawaii statewide television by international business lawyer David Day, Govenor Kawakatsu also addresses shifting public opinion in Shizuoka regarding public attitudes towards the U.S. military and Marine Corps in particular.  As the home of Japan’s icon, Mt. Fuji, Govenor Kawakatsu speaks about the cultural significance of Mt. Fuji and its upcoming designation as a World Cultural Heritage site.

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