SNS: Asia Letter, Q2 2010: Japan’s Strategic Space Development

SNS: Asia Letter, Q2 2010: Japan’s Strategic Space Development


Volume 13, Issue 43
Week of December 6, 2010

In This Issue

Feature: Japan’s Strategic Space Development

  • Meet the New Program, Same As the Old Program
  • About Paul Kallender-Umezu

Publisher’s Note: For several years now, we have been watching, predicting, and documenting the basic military profiles of China and Japan, but only as they have affected international trade and markets. The latest aspect of this would be the firing of a submarine-based intercontinental missile off the coast of Los Angeles on November 5th, most likely by a Chinese submarine –  an event the Pentagon continues to deny publicly.

As we’ve seen the result of China’s sustained 19%+ compound annual growth rate in military spending, it has been obvious that her neighbors in the ASEAN world have become increasingly uncomfortable. The advent of a “blue water navy,” built around a new air-carrier capacity, coming soon, will only add to this unease.

At the same time, we continue to witness China’s client state, North Korea, acting with increasing belligerence and apparent lack of care. One is reminded of a small-minded bully trying to cause trouble in the schoolyard, and then running back under the protection of some larger kid as soon as things get hot.

The peace requirements of the Japanese constitution have long been a matter of debate and contention inside Japan, and the legal modifications mentioned in today’s issue by author Paul Kallender-Umezu appear to have opened the door to a conversion of defensive hardware, software, and budget into the offensive category.

As any modern military expert will tell you, space represents the high ground in coming global conflict. As you are about to discover, the Japanese have used a large number of peaceful programs, in concert, to allow a flip-the-switch space offensive capability beyond almost anyone’s current estimation.

I have no doubt that all of our members will be surprised and awakened to a new military space power they previously had underestimated. I think this issue of the SNS Asia Letter lives up to a well-earned reputation for clearly describing a major strategic issue that other media have yet to touch. If you want to understand Japan’s response to China’s military buildup, this letter provides an excellent place to start. And given the positioning of these second- and third-largest global economies, and their recent and growing skirmishes, this understanding should be required of all people doing business in Asia.

Americans didn’t take much notice when North Korea fired missiles over the country a few years ago – but the Japanese did. The results follow. – mra.

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