Kyle Mizokami

About Kyle Mizokami

Kyle Mizokami writes on defense and security issues in Asia, particularly Japan. He is the founder and editor for the blogs Japan Security Watch, Asia Security Watch and War Is Boring. Contributor at Medium, The Atlantic.com, Salon, The Japan Times and The Diplomat.


Recent Posts By the Author


Japan’s ‘Increasingly Severe’ Security Environment

Japan’s ‘Increasingly Severe’ Security Environment

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Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) soldier advances positions while his squad member provides cover during an amphibious assault at Pyramid Rock Beach on July 1, 2014. US Navy Photo

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) soldier advances positions while his squad member provides cover during an amphibious assault at Pyramid Rock Beach on July 1, 2014. US Navy Photo

Japan’s security environment is “increasingly severe”, according to the Ministry of Defense released its annual defense policy white paper. The report singles out China, Russia and North Korea as potential security threats involving cyber attacks, provocations on the high seas and nuclear weapons. Read More

Peace Ark: Onboard China's Hospital Ship

Peace Ark: Onboard China’s Hospital Ship

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Chinese hospital ship Peace Ark. Xinhua Photo

Chinese hospital ship Peace Ark. Xinhua Photo

ONBOARD HOSPITAL SHIP PEACE ARK — In 2012, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus visited the People’s Republic of China for talks with China’s defense ministry. During the visit, Mabus invited the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) to the 2014 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises. Held every other year in Hawaii since 1971, RIMPAC is the world’s largest naval exercise, with 22 nations participating in 2012. Read More

Marines Test Heavy Duty Landing Craft Prototype at RIMPAC

Marines Test Heavy Duty Landing Craft Prototype at RIMPAC

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A prototype of the Marine Corps' Ultra Heavy-Lift Amphibious Connector (UHAC) on July 11. Kyle Mizokami Photo

A prototype of the Marine Corps’ Ultra Heavy-Lift Amphibious Connector (UHAC) on July 11. Kyle Mizokami Photo

MARINE CORPS TRAINING AREA BELLOWS, HAWAII — The Marine Corps recently tested a prototype for heavy-duty amphibious landing craft that could one-day transport up to three M1A1 Abrams from ship to shore at 20 knots. Read More

Japanese Government Recommends Major Defense Policy Change

Japanese Government Recommends Major Defense Policy Change

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A government advisory panel, convened by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, recommended today that Japan make major changes to its defense policy. Prompted by recent tensions with China and North Korea, the panel recommended a reinterpretation of the national Constitution allowing Japan to exercise its right to collective self defense. Read More

Two Koreas, Three Navies

Two Koreas, Three Navies

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Republic of Korea Navy sailor holding U.S. flag

Republic of Korea Navy sailor holding U.S. flag

The Korean War of 1950-1953 was concluded by a cease-fire, not a peace treaty, and the three powers—South Korea, North Korea and the United States—are still technically at war. A new conflict on the Korean peninsula would see the commitment of a new, reinvigorated Republic of Korea Navy, an aging, weakened North Korean Navy and an American fleet providing the only ballistic missile defense capability for the region. Read More

How Taiwan Would Defend Against a Chinese Attack

How Taiwan Would Defend Against a Chinese Attack

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Taiwanese troops following an undated exercise.

Taiwanese troops following an undated exercise.

On March 6, Taiwan’s Minister of National Defense Yen Ming told the national legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee the country’s military could hold out “at least one month” alone against a Chinese invasion. Read More

Inside Japan’s New Defense Plan

Inside Japan’s New Defense Plan

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 JDS Myoko (DDG 175) pulls out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to support Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. US Navy Photo

JDS Myoko (DDG 175) pulls out of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to support Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012. US Navy Photo

This week Japan approved its latest five-year defense plan. The Mid Term Defense Plan (MTDP) defines Japan’s defense policy and capabilities for 2014 to 2018. The MTDP is meant to give policymakers, politicians, and the public an understanding of Japan’s defense priorities and the direction national defense is taking. Read More

Asia's Submarine Race

Asia’s Submarine Race

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Last week’s delivery of the improved Kilo-class submarine Ha Noi to the government of Vietnam was just the latest undersea-vessel acquisition of Asian navies. Asia is in the midst of a submarine buying spree, with most of the major powers planning substantial fleet increases over the next two decades. Two countries, Malaysia and Vietnam, have recently acquired their first submarines while a third, Thailand, is pushing to purchase its first submarines in the near future.

Read More

Japan's Amphibious Buildup

Japan’s Amphibious Buildup

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Members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force put on camouflage face paint before conducting a beach landing exercise with Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit on Feb. 10, 2012. US Navy Photo

Members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force put on camouflage face paint before conducting a beach landing exercise with Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit on Feb. 10, 2012. US Navy Photo

Japan recently has been in the news as a result of several high-profile territorial incidents with its neighbor China. The incidents involve what Japanese call the Senkaku islands—the Diaoyu islands to the Chinese. Japan has legal ownership of the islands, which China disputes. The incidents have involved non-government activists and the coast guards of both nations, with many fearing an escalation could lead to some form of armed conflict. Read More

A Brief History of Naval Wargames

A Brief History of Naval Wargames

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navalwargamesFor more than 100 years, the U.S. Navy has simulated naval warfare with simulations, or games. As far back as the 19th century the Navy recognized that gaming and simulations are an inexpensive and bloodless way to learn lessons that typically are imparted only during wartime.

The use of games traditionally has had multiple purposes. The foremost is to train for war. Simulating warfare gives those involved the closest possible experience they can have to actual warfare, thus giving them a modicum of experience under fire. It is an inexpensive way to train without the expense of taking ships and aircraft to sea, particularly in periods of austerity. Read More