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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China’s Next Moves Following its East China Sea ADIZ

So what are China’s next strategy moves in the Asia-Pacific Region? What does the PLA really think about the U.S. military and its capabilities? –a bizarre perception that encourages them to push harder now.

China has now been successful at establishing its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea. In the process, we have seen a bizarre, almost schizophrenic, series of contradictory communications on the subject coming out of Washington that have enhanced China’s successful roll-out.

Following the roll-out,  China’s lone aircraft carrier (sans aircraft) departed for the South China Sea for a “show the flag” cruise. Next, we witnessed a near collision by U.S. and Chinese naval ships in the South China Sea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This program is Part 2 of the conversation between  David Day and China-Hand Michael Sacharski. Mr. Sacharski has spent some 3+ decades in China, met and worked with various members of its leadership and has fascinating perspectives to share about China’s ADIZ planning & gameplan, its unexpected success in the imposition of its new ADIZ in the East China Sea, and what strategic moves we can now expect China to make in the Asia-Pacific Region in the near term. Mr. Sacharski is the CEO of Pacific Enterprise Capital.

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China’s New ADIZ

Are there unusual crossovers of the new China ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone) with both Taiwan and South Korea? There are and the Taiwan piece is perhaps something that most people do not know.   Is China’s new ADIZ over the Senkaku islands a precursor to further ADIZs China may have in mind? What is this new Air Defense Zone that China has imposed in the East China Sea all about? How did we get here? What about the schizophrenic, wires-crossed responses coming out of the Pentagon and the State Department? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asia in Review” host David Day engages in a fascinating conversation with special guest Michael Sacharski. Mr. Sacharski has lived and worked in China as an American executive and entrepreneur for some 3+ decades and shares some interesting insights into the Chinese thinking behind this new strategy. Mr. Sacharski is the CEO of Pacific Enterprise Capital.

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Russia’s Asia “Pivot” with Focus on Energy

     In this broadcast,“Asia-in- Review” Host Hong Jiang explores Russia’s recent foreign policy and geopolitical shifts into Asia followed by its fascinating energy moves into the Region with international business lawyer & professor,  David Day.

     The program starts with the recent Russian foreign policy moves into the Middle East after the U.S. Syria debacle, followed by the new Russian military arms sales to Egypt, and some discussion of Russia’s client nuclear state, Iran. The Russian geopolitical moves into Asia are next, as Hong Jiang discusses with Mr. Day, Putin’s recent trip to Vietnam, along with Russia’s  (1) Kilo class submarine sales to Vietnam,(2)  mutual defense pact, and then (3), new joint venture operations between Vietnam’s PetroVietnam and Russian energy companies for joint oil & gas exploration efforts in both the South China (“East Sea” in Vietnam) and the Artic Seas.

     Next, the conversation turns to the critical and fascinating energy “pivot” that Russia is now engaged in, shifting its focus from its former European gas and oil pipeline customers to new pipeline developments with Japan, South Korea, and yes, even North Korea.

     Russia’s foreign policy regarding The Korean Peninsula is also probed.

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Taiwan (Republic of China) at a Dangerous Crossroads

 

America’s relationship with Taiwan has waxed and waned since 1949, when Nationalist forces fled there following defeat by the Communists on mainland China in a lengthy and bloody civil war. 

Kerry Gershaneck, former US Marine Officer stationed in Taiwan

Kerry Gershaneck, former US Marine Officer stationed in Taiwan

Following this disastrous defeat and retreat, the US provided the security umbrella and economic incentives that helped propel the Taiwan into one of Asia’s leading economic “Tigers”.  Taipei, in turn, supported US foreign policy and military policies.  In recent years, however, a number of factors have caused that once-close relationship to drift.  Some analysts say that actions by Taiwan and the US have placed Taiwan on a trajectory towards absorption by the PRC. 

 As one analyst noted, “Taipei is doing more damage to its own ability to deter mainland coercion and military attack than any weapon the People’s Liberation Army could conceive. This damage represents a serious threat to Taiwan’s national security, and by extension to the national security of the U.S. and Japan.” And the U.S., for its part, appears increasingly ready to sacrifice its national security and regional stability–and its fundamental beliefs as a nation–by refusing to reverse this drift.

David Day hosts this illuminating conversation with Kerry Gershaneck, a former US government official previously responsible for both “front line defense” of Taiwan and for developing key security cooperation programs with its military forces.

 

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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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The Korean War & Its Armistice: Unfinished Framework for a Future

Hyunh-Oh Kim, Consul for Political Affairs Consulate, Republic of Korea

Hyun-Oh Kim, Consul for Political Affairs Consulate, Republic of Korea, Honolulu

               June 25, 1950 marked the beginning of the Korean War and in Hawaii, as well as in many other locations around the globe, ceremonies of commemoration were held. The ceremony in Hawaii is the starting point for this conversation that covers a brief overview of the Korean War, its decimation of South Korea, and the uneasy truce that punctuates the DMZ–all of which has served to create a framework for the unfinished future of Northeast Asia. Korean Consul Kim discusses the rise of South Korea, literally from ashes, to the global stage and credits that rise, in significant part, to the critical involvement of the United States in the war and its assistance to South Korea in the rebuilding process.

Seongho Hong  Kelley Fellow  Pacific Forum CSIS

Seongho Hong
Kelley Fellow
Pacific Forum CSIS

Seongho Kim, talks about the missing piece in the framework for Northeast Asia–North Korea. He also emphasizes that the Korean War Armistice froze the 2 Koreas in place, along the DMZ, and effectively blocked the Korean peninsula from developing economically to its full potential. Both Counsel Kim and Seongho drill down on the missing piece and the need to somehow get North Korea back to the bargaining table for not only nuclear talks but also the discussion of economic development (for North Korea) options.

 

Kerry Gershaneck, former US Marine Officer stationed in Korea and Senior Associate and Director of Governmental Affairs, Pacific Forum CSIS

Kerry Gershaneck, former US Marine Officer stationed in Korea and Senior Associate and Director of Governmental Affairs, Pacific Forum CSIS

Finally, the discussion between Consul Kim, Seongho Hong and Kerry Gershaneck looks at Mdme. President Park’s current visit to Beijing and the interesting language issued in the Joint Communique between China and South Korea directed at North Korea.

Host: David Day

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Power, Diplomacy, Crisis, and Consuls: The Role of the U.S. Embassies

Two career diplomats, a husband and wife team: Ambassadors James and Lauren Kahea Moriarty join David Day in a conversation over the wide range of roles that US Embassy staff play, and how they work and live in countries that range from the glamorous and technologically sophisticated to the brutal and primitive.

Amb. James Moriarty

Amb. James Moriarty

The closure of U.S. embassies in 19 Middle Eastern and African cities in the face of terrorist threats highlights the important—yet often dangerous—work of the thousands of men and women serving in U.S. Embassies as they represent American interests around the world. These men and women play crucial roles in the success of American foreign policy, economic growth, national security, and international influence.  However, relatively few Americans understand what these diplomats and other Embassy staff do, nor the unique challenges and perils they face on a daily basis.

Amb Lauren Moriarty

Amb Lauren Moriarty

 

 

Program sponsored by Pacific Forum, CSIS

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