Blackeagle (cdupchurch@hotmail.com)
Sun, 23 Apr 2000 00:02:27 MST


>Tomonaga wrote:
> > defence. That means those ground attack fighters aren't capable of
> > reaching any ground other than Japan. There is really no long range
> > attack/transport hardware.
>
>Ah... that helps ease my concerns. What are they? A-10? They can reach
>Korea at least? And Japan don't have any aircraft carrier right?

Right now they're the F-1, an indigenously built fighter in service since
the 70s. The F-1 will be replaced by the FS-X, a stretched version of the
F-16.

Japan does not have an aircraft carrier, but they are considering acquiring
an airborne refueling capability, which would extend the legs of their
fighters considerably.

> > The difference between a self defence force and a regular military is
> > that the self defence force will never been deployed outside the
> > homeland(as prohibited by the constitution), and as such do not have
>
>Well the constitution is a piece of paper, if people decide to do
>something, a piece of paper isn't gonna stop them.

You're right, the constitution is just a piece of paper. I'd say the
attitudes of the Japanese people are a much more important factor in shaping
their international policy.

> > the hardware for it to be deployed overseas or fight a war in another
> > country.
>
>That's a good thing... But the F-15J can be configured as bombers right?
>And surely Japan has a bunch of C-150?

I think you're probably referring to the C-130. Japan does operate some
C-130s, but military airlift is considered one of the areas in which the
JSDF is deficient. They don't have much sealift capability either.

> > You may have heard that a few years ago due to the urging of the
> > United Nations and the US, Japan did deploy personnel outside Japan
>
>yeah I remember that.
>
> > However, the US has been for some time, trying to get Japan to take
> > more responsibility for it's own defence and change the constitution.
>
>This could be the most stupid thing for the US to do.

Why? For that matter, I don't think U.S. pressure will show much results one
way or the other. What's happening in Japan is a slow, inevitable evolution
away from it's ardently pacifist postwar roots toward being a normal
"Western" democracy, at least in terms of it's defense policy. Japan does
have interests outside its shores, just like the U.S., France, the UK and
other nations. Since the end of WWII, Japan has relied entirely on the U.S.
to protect these interests. However, the end of the cold war means the U.S.
is not quite so ardent at protecting other countries interests. Our
inaction during the East Timor crisis threw this fact into stark relief for
both Japan and Australia. Acquiring the ability to protect it's own
interests, at least on a limited basis when the U.S. isn't interested, is
the logical step for Japan to take.

________________________________
Chris Upchurch a.k.a. Blackeagle
cdupchurch@hotmail.com

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