Japan working out details of missile deployment ahead of N Korea launch


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If the launch goes as planned it will never go through Japanese airspace. I figure the missile would be over 100 kilometers in height by the time it passes over Okinawa. Just how high up does a countries airspace extend?

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What a waste of money. It won't be used, and NK knows that. The missile will fly beyond the "air" space. The only benefit is the practice.

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U.S. has been working with Japan to develop a missile defense capability to counter a potential NK attack. The missile defense cannot provide Japan absolute security against a nuclear attack. However, missile defense can help Japan feel more secure and prevent them from taking more drastic steps to fend for their own security. There are problems with current capabilities and effective alternatives are possible. The advanced sensors and interceptors will someday be able to deal with missiles and decoys with a high probability of success. Missile defense eventually might be able to reduce that chance, maybe even considerably, but it will never reduce it to zero. Considering that Japan can never be certain that they can shoot down a nuclear missile, is missile defense worth the money? Would missile defense actually change Japan's strategies in a military situation that involved nuclear weapons?

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Patrick, nobody expects all of the bases to be removed. I would like to see all of the Marine bases removed. Leave the Army and the Air Force. Clean out most of the bunkers of the Kadena ammunition storage. It is just that so much of our island is taken up by bases meant to support countries that do not even like us. Japan should become neutral and stay out of America's conflicts. As for North Korea, we can defend ourselves.

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Japan working out details of missile deployment ahead of N Korea launch. What the heck announcing it all over the world. Just deploy it asap and be quitely prepared. Too much lips service and publicity won't do any good in this kind of situation. In a game, you don't advertise your game plans. "あほ”

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I am trying to point out the American Marine bases are not for defense. They are free bases for the Americans to use.

The American bases on Okinawa are part of a larger U.S. strategy to protect its interests in Asia. At the same time, Japan goes along for the ride as a junior partner, and it has largely been to the country's benefit, especially from an economic standpoint for decades. Okinawa is situated at a vital geopolitical location, so the U.S. wants forces there, and Tokyo wants them there even more than they should be, as in "out of sight, out of mind."

The central government in Tokyo uses the defense agreement with the U.S. because it is easier and cheaper than going it alone. Washington and Tokyo tried to get at least 8,000 Marines, their dependents and some support personnel off Okinawa and back to Guam to significantly lessen the burden on the island, but instead of being REALISTIC, Okinawans have forced a situation resulting in only a "half" realignment of forces.

Yuri: I have a simple question for you that JohninNaha refused to answer the other day.

If the U.S. removed all of its forces from Okinawa, do you think all the current bases and other facilities would simply be for private use? Or would there be a significant increase in SDF use of them? If so, how would the SDF planes, helicopters and other training not be a problem to Okinawans?

The simple, sad fact is that Okinawa has been a pawn in a game between more powerful neighbors and outsiders for centuries. To believe that this will radically change in the 21st century, and that some sort of utopia-like Okinawa will return after several hundred years of getting used and abused, is utterly naive.

Deal with reality and try to make the best of it, or things will get even worse.

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DoLittleBeLate and Chav Ed, I am trying to point out the American Marine bases are not for defense. They are free bases for the Americans to use. This story just keeps growing.

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It would be a bit of a freak out to see a missile flying overhead! Is their equipment reliable? Will it fail and land on a city? Can you deploy a spy sat at ground level?LOL At YuriOtani, The Chinese wouldn't want to try to take out Marines! I'm afraid of the big surprise that would happen on your soil! It would not be good! Lets try to preserve whats left of our beautiful planet!

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Why on earth would anybody want to invade Japan? Because of the "plentiful" resources? Or how about mining concrete from the "nature" parks of Japan? Paper pulp from all the manga? Discarded umbrellas in trains? The Japanese themselves can't find "living space" in Japan, how on earth is an invasion force supposed to do that?

But it's always relaxing to know that the Japanese government is ready to "consider how to respond to any contingencies" in times of, oh let's say, surprise attack on the oh so resource rich Japan.

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Patrick, there are not enough Marines to make a difference. How many of the Marines on Okinawa are combat? If the Chinese can land an invasion force, they will be able to take out the US Marines. The only defensive hope is to keep them off island.

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The deciding factor whether to shoot it down or not will depend on the trajectory. And by trajectory, they mean will the missle/rocket attain orbit or will it fall short and penetrate Japan's air space. Satellites in orbit are not deemed to be in a counties airspace, as ever minute almost all countries have satellites pass above them, but at several 100 kilometers above them in orbit..

The Aegis cruiser are equipped with sophisicated trajectory tracking systems. This decision of whether to shoot or not has probaly all ready been taken, the final decision is dependent on the above criteria.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

and has not ruled out shooting down the rocket if it violates Japanese airspace,

That's what Japan said last time. Are they starting to jump on the NKorea bandwagon and keep saying things without going through with what they are saying in the first place?

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To secure the safety for Japanese lives and properties, it's should make sense for Japan not only to mobilize some weapons but also to shoot down missiles if the government make sure the orbit is expected on the trajectory over Japan islands. In addition, with such contingency, which probably would happen in near future, Japan could learn a lot from this situation including how we should react and prepare for such situation. Looking back to the history about how Japanese government reacted to disaster or military issue first, we cannot say that it was not professional enough to treat Japanese citizen safely. For example, in case of the conflict against Chinese fisherman ship in 2010, Japanese government was too amateur to negotiate w/Chinese government. In that sense, Japan is not trained enough. It's worth having such real contingency case.

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Patrick, the Marines on Okinawa are of no help in defense against the Peoples Republic.

When you speak of China, you're wrong.

If you want to stick to the topic at hand, regarding N. Korea, you're correct-the U.S. Marines are not there to stop North Korea. North Korea has no capability to launch a sea-borne attack anywhere in Japan. They would be wiped off the face of the map if they tried.

All of the Marine bases can be shut down and not impact defense.

Not until their Japanese countrerparts are ready, and legally capable, of doing so.

The self defense force can do the job.

I worked with SDF for years. They are not ready to do the job. They could've have been, I think, if Japan had taken the necessary steps gradually to remove the constitutional constraints from twenty years ago, better prepared the Japanese public as whole, and gotten more young Japanese to serve.

Not sure withholding food to the hungry is good as well.

If the food aid goes to the fat cats running the country, including the military, and those truly in need get little, if anything, then what would have been accomplished?

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There is one thing that is a puzzle, if they are indeed launching a satellite. The test is only so useful as a missile test. The guidance packages are different, there is no heat shield and there is no test to explode a warhead.

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Patrick, the Marines on Okinawa are of no help in defense against the Peoples Republic. What can they do to shoot down a missile? The US Army has a PAC III battery set up so they are helpful. The Marines are just more targets. They are somewhat helpful to defend the outer islands but only if they get there in time. Really the majority of Okinawa's defense by America comes from the Army and USAF. All of the Marine bases can be shut down and not impact defense. The self defense force can do the job. Am not sure shooting it down is such a good ideal. Not sure withholding food to the hungry is good as well. China could make a big difference but they will not do this. Please note the little fat man is over weight. He eats well no matter what.

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If anyone is the poodle, it's NK.

Yeah, NK is like one of those little yapping "kawaii" dogs. They're better served with ramen and a spicy peanut sauce. Which is what Japan should do to this missile test.

I'm sure if the decision is to shoot down the missile if it violates Japanese airspace then the commanders of the ships would have their orders well in advance. I hope the order is given. The "new" NK regime needs to be taught a lesson early that they either play by the rules or they get spanked.

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@yuri: If you want the U.S. military out of your country, or at a minimum a greatly reduced presence there including on Okinawa, then Japan needs to prepare accordingly. One step it could take towards this is by showing it can deal effectively with North Korea this time.

Think "big picture" on this one, instead of unrealistic aspirations for Okinawa to go it alone, and you might just start getting some progress made. Of course, you had a chance to get a better deal-i.e. more Marines and their dependents off the island and to Guam and elsewhere, but your intransigence on this issue will leave a bunch of them behind for the time being. Be REALISTIC.

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almostshat, it has been that way for the last 50 plus years. The cold war my officially be over but it is not over. Nothing like waiting around the alert bunker waiting to perform your duty. If the North launched an attack on Japan there would be only a few minutes to respond.

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There are plenty of interceptors already positioned properly around Japan. There always are, especially when taking into account U.S. military capabilities all around Japan.

The point here is that the U.S. wants Japan to take the lead in dealing with the situation, at least publicly. Japan paid tons of money some years ago for the Patriot missile systems. Put them to use, if necessary.

This is not just about dealing with the yo-yos in North Korea. China, South Korea and Russia are involved in seemingly intractable territorial disputes with Japan. How Japan goes towards reacting to a North Korea missile launch would say a lot to them.

If Japan does nothing but appear spineless, or calls on Big Brother the U.S. to stick up for the country, then neighbors controlling and/or wanting areas Japan claims, will feel emboldened to stick to their guns, when necessary.

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This cat and mouse games is nothing new. NK just wants to be in the spotlight and to further engage the USA so it can further negotiate food aid and other concessions. As is with any Japanese government, the same when the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant was critical, I doubt there would be a quick response to any TOMORROW surprise launch scenario. Japan has a consensus government, not a government of leadership or action orientated.

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I would love it if Japan grew a pair and shot it down, I really would. Not a country in the world would condemn them for it, either. What country in their right mind fires missiles over their neighbors land to 'test' things? Well, besides North Korea.....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Its jolly decent of NK to give Japan lots of advance warning about this missile launch, so that there is plenty of time for all the meetings that are needed to reach consensus and make a decision about how to respond.

What if they're actually having a laugh and launch an unannounced, dare I say it, Pearl Harbour-style, military strike TOMORROW, and the powers that be have only minutes to respond?

Chotto.. (sharp intake of breath...)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Only in this case, Japan is a poodle barking and NK is a tiger with a mouth full of teeth.

If anyone is the poodle, it's NK.

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Hurry Japan or this launch will come & go with yr pants still down!

We dont need another of these flying over Japan into the pacific

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SushiSake3: Sputnik was a hollowed out Russian warhead... Just replace the "satellite" with anything else and you have a weapon. They are testing their "delivery" capabilities of their already existing nuclear weapons.

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People need to relax.

1/ NK is launching a satellite for peaceful purposes. (We've been through all this before!)

2/ By the time a consensus decision is reached by the Noda administration, all relevant parties have been consulted and all hanko's have been stamped it'll be 2020.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So IF it fly's over Japan who is actually the one person that says fire or not fire? The PM? They wont have time for a joint discussion meeting.

I think the best would be to have a JapanToday Poll over it?

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So IF it fly's over Japan who is actually the one person that says fire or not fire? The PM? They wont have time for a joint discussion meeting.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Relax people. Japan isn't going to shoot down anything. It's like 2 cats with their hair up hissing at each other. Only in this case, Japan is a poodle barking and NK is a tiger with a mouth full of teeth.

Truth be told, almost 80% of the country won't even know it's happening. They'll be at travel agencies getting ready for Golden Week.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I didn't realize that "Japan mobilized its interceptor units and issued a similar warning to North Korea before a rocket launch in 2009, but did not follow through."

... History is going to repeat itself won't it? Of course they don't want to start a war, but at the same time Japan is going to make North Korea think that they can be walked all over with their empty threats and that they'll never actually do anything to stop it.

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