The 1937 Battle of Shanghai Was Asia’s Stalingrad
Open Road Media sponsored this post on March 23, 2016. Today Shanghai is a hub of international trade and culture and one of the world’s great cities. But in 1937, it was a battlefield. Imperial Japanese troops fought the Chinese Nationalist army in the seaside metropolis in one of... Read more
The Canine Heroes of the Imperial Japanese Army
This story originally appeared on Feb. 6, 2014. In the corner of the Enmei Buddhist Temple grounds in the coastal city of Zushi in Japan’s Kanagawa Prefecture, stands a stone cenotaph that reads “Monument to the Protection of Animals.” The inscription dates back to 1958, but before that time... Read more
Kongo Versus the Earthquake
This story originally appeared on Feb. 27, 2014. This month marks the third anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Much of the country, myself included, felt the shaking that day—but it was the subsequent tsunami that did the most damage. On March 11, 2011, the sea swept across... Read more
Japanese Stealth Fighters Could Get Land-Attack Cruise Missiles
Japan’s strict commitment to self-defense meant that for decades its military lacked certain weapons and equipment such as precision-guided munitions, land-attack missiles and true “power projection” aircraft such as refueling tankers and long-distance transport planes. In the first several decades after World War II, this made sense—Japan’s pacifistic military... Read more
That One Time the Nazis Helped China Fight Japan
This story originally appeared on Jan. 3, 2014. Most people who stayed awake for at least half of their high school history class knows that the Axis Powers in World War II consisted of Germany, Italy and Japan. But few know that German tactics and weapons—not to mention some... Read more
Hubris Led to the Japanese Carrier Fleet’s Doom at Midway
A devil’s advocate is a precious commodity. That has to be one of the takeaways from revisiting the Battle of Midway 75 years on, and it should be etched on the internal workings of any martial institution that wants to survive and thrive amid the rigors, danger and sheer orneriness... Read more
In 1905, Japanese Battleships Pulverized a Russian Fleet
In late May 2017, it will be 112 years since the Imperial Japanese Navy’s catastrophic defeat of the Imperial Russian Navy during the Battle of Tsushima. The clash in question was a result of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 and 1905 — a conflict provoked by the Russian search... Read more
Drone Wingmen for Japanese Fighter Jocks
The Japanese military wants a drone wingman to accompany its future F-3 fighters into combat starting in the 2030s. The concept — similar to the U.S. military’s own “Loyal Wingman” drone initiative — and could help Japanese fighter pilots make up for the numerical superiority of potential enemies. The Japanese defense ministry’s Acquisition,... Read more
Under Food Nerds’ Watchful Gaze, Japan Attempts a Combat Rations Makeover
Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force is about to ditch canned rations in favor of boil-in-the-bag packets similar to American ration packs. Japan’s canned Type I Combat Rations have fed the nation’s troops since the army’s founding in 1954. For the past 16 years, the military has also fielded the Type... Read more
In 1990, the U.S. Government Accidentally Gave Up a Nuclear Secret
In mid-February 2016, the U.S. government finally admitted what observers had long known — that the Pentagon stashed atomic weapons on the Japanese island of Okinawa during the Cold War. This despite repeated official denials and Tokyo’s long-standing opposition to nuclear weapons. The National Security Archive at George Washington... Read more
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