The British Perfected the Art of Brewing Tea Inside an Armored Vehicle
This story originally appeared on April 27, 2014. There are few things more British than tea, even if it was originally a Portuguese tradition of brewing South Asian leaves. The culture of tea-drinking permeates British society—including the military. But tea-break culture posed a big problem for the generals in... 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
Ground Self-Defense Force light armored vehicles leave Tsushima Garrison to take part in rescue efforts in Kumamoto. GSDF photo Evacuees number in the thousands by JAMES SIMPSON Earthquakes are rattling Japan’s western island of Kyushu. A magnitude-6.2 quake struck the town of Mashiki in Kumamoto Prefecture at 9:26 p.m. on April 14.... 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
Do North Korean Missiles Really Threaten Japan?
On Feb. 7, North Korea launched a Unha-3 rocket from its launch site at Dongchang-ri on country’s northwest coast. The rocket successfully placed the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite into orbit, but most foreign observers see the launch as an intercontinental ballistic missile test. Any North Korean weapons test comes with great... Read more
Japan’s Stealth Fighter Prototype Should Finally Fly in February
Japan’s Advanced Technology Demonstrator-Experimental, also known as the ATD-X or X-2, will fly from Nagoya Airport to Gifu Air Base at the end of February, according to the Japanese defense ministry. This will be the first flight of the high-tech testbed and a major step toward Tokyo’s plans for... Read more
El Super Glue se utilizó para fabricar aviones y armas nucleares y le salvó la vida a muchos soldados
El Super Glue puede pegar casi cualquier cosa. Los modelistas lo utilizan para montar sus miniaturas, y los aficionados al bricolaje confian en él para solventar rápidamente muchos problemas. Pero el cianoacrilato, que es como se llama la familia química de este pegamento, supuso un gran avance en los... Read more
The U.S. Military Risks Forgetting Its Hard-Earned K-9 Skills
On Dec. 4, Spc. Andrew Brown and the bomb-sniffing dog Rocky of the 226th Military Police Detachment searched a compound in Helmand province, Afghanistan. An explosive device detonated, spraying out deadly shrapnel. Brown and Rocky — who had worked together for two years and deployed in October — sustained injuries, luckily... Read more
Super Glue Built Planes, Nukes and Saved Soldiers’ Lives
Super glue can stick almost anything together. Model-makers use it to assemble their miniatures, and DIY enthusiasts can rely on it as a quick-fix. But the discovery of cyanoacrylate — the chemical family of super glue — was a breakthrough for industrial adhesives that owes a lot to military research. Military... Read more
One Soviet Defector Shoved Japan Into the Superpower Struggle
On Sept. 6, 1976, a Soviet MiG-25P Foxbat bearing the markings of the 513th Fighter Regiment swooped down onto a small Japanese civilian airport. The top-secret jet narrowly missed a Boeing 727 and landed on the runway, drogue chutes bursting out from its rear. A tire blew out but the... Read more

James Simpson


Japan-based writer covering Japanese security news and military history.

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