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 and Asia Security Watch. Contributor at The Daily Beast, The Atlantic.com, Salon, The Japan Times and The Diplomat.


Recent Posts By the Author


Essay: Understanding Japan's Shifting Defense Policy

Essay: Understanding Japan’s Shifting Defense Policy

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reviews members of Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) Oct. 26, 2014. Reuters Photo

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reviews members of Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) Oct. 26, 2014. Reuters Photo

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed major changes in Japan’s defense policy, with strong implications for the United States and U.S. armed forces in the Pacific. The changes, designed to shift Japan away from an isolated, pacifistic defense posture to a more dynamic one based on bilateral and even multilateral relationships, are controversial but not uncommon to most nations. Read More

Inside the New U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines

Inside the New U.S.-Japan Defense Guidelines

A soldier with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) during the Rim of the Pacific 2014 Exercise. US Navy Photo

A soldier with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) during the Rim of the Pacific 2014 Exercise. US Navy Photo

On Monday the United States and Japan agreed to the most sweeping changes to their bilateral alliance in more than fifty years. The so-called “2+2” Security Consultative Committee (SCC), consisting of the U.S. secretary of state, and secretary of defense, and Japan’s foreign minister and defense minister agreed to a series of initiatives that will draw the two allies even closer in defense and security matters. Read More

Japan's Emerging Defense Export Industry

Japan’s Emerging Defense Export Industry

 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works of Kobe Harbor in Kobe, Hyogo prefecture, Japan in 2006. via Wikipedia

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Kobe Shipyard & Machinery Works of Kobe Harbor in Kobe, Hyogo prefecture, Japan in 2006. via Wikipedia

The recent relaxation of Tokyo’s ban on arms exports has introduced Japan as a budding player in the international arms market. The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has given the go-ahead for Japanese firms to compete internationally for arms contracts. Read More

Russia Playing Politics With Alleged Submarine Confrontations

Russia Playing Politics With Alleged Submarine Confrontations

Oyashio-class submarine

Oyashio-class submarine

CORRECTION: This post has been amended to revise the description of the Oyashio-class submarine. A previous version of this post incorrectly described the Oyashio-class with the characteristics of the newer Soryu-class. USNI News regrets the error.

Confrontations—and alleged confrontations—between the Russian armed forces and those of the United States, Europe and Japan have been on the uptick in recent weeks. The encounters have paced a general decline in relations between Russia and the West over events in the Ukraine. Read More

Japan’s ‘Increasingly Severe’ Security Environment

Japan’s ‘Increasingly Severe’ Security Environment

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

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

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

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