#22 Japan-Britain navy drills, Japan-Iran bilateral talks, AI-based monitoring systems in defence, Q-STAR, imitation Semiconductors penetrated the Japanese market, Tokyo Paralympics
Here is a brief on the biweekly( 15th- 31st, Aug.).
The new US commander, Lt. Gen. Ricky Rupp, calls the US-Japan alliance "the cornerstone of stability and security in the Indo-Pacific."
Japan and Britain held joint naval drills in the Pacific waters south of Okinawa Island.
The Quad countries conducted Malabar exercise off the coast of Guam.
Japan sent Self-Defence Forces aircraft to evacuate Japanese nationals and local staff from Kabul to Islamabad.
Oki Engineering found that more than 30% of semiconductors that penetrated the Japanese market were defective items.
Japanese companies have come together to establish Quantum Strategic Industry Alliance for Revolution (Q-STAR), to promote initiatives in quantum technology.
Japan-Iran bilateral talks: Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi completed his 10-day trip to the Middle East Nations, including Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Turkey and Iraq. According to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, while on this trip, Motegi urged Iran's next foreign minister, Hussein Amir Abdollahian, to ensure the safety of Japanese vessels navigating in the Persian Gulf and surrounding areas. His request comes following the attack on a Japanese-owned tanker operated by an Israeli company near the coast of Oman. The US and Britain have hinted at the possibility of Iran's involvement in the incident. As Japan relies on the Middle East for 90% of its crude oil supplies, it must ensure the safety and security of the shipping lanes.
Rescue operations in Afghanistan: With the government collapsing in Afghanistan, the Taliban seized the Nation's power. Japan sent Self-Defence Forces aircraft to evacuate Japanese nationals and local staff from Kabul to Islamabad in Pakistan. According to the government sources, Japan is planning to withdraw its military plane after it has completed evacuation, including that of 14 Afghans.
Japan-Taiwan friendly relations: Taiwan was overwhelmed and expressed its thankfulness to Japan when it had donated 1.24 million COVID-19 vaccine shots as the country was experiencing a shortage. The year 2021 has witnessed growing ties in Japan-Taiwan relations. Taiwan was mentioned for the first time in 50 years in the Japan-US summit statement in April. Following this, there have been many instances when Japanese political leaders like Deputy Defence Minister Yasuhide Nakayama and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso have called nations to support Taiwan in combating the power struggle with China. The ties have grown politically and economically with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., setting up its first plant in Japan. Yujin Kuo, a professor at Sun Yat-sen University's Institute of China and Asia-Pacific Studies, said, "theoretically Taiwanese people should feel closer to China, but in reality, Taiwanese people feel their lifestyle, the way people act in society, is closer to Japan."
AI-based Intelligence system to track intrusions in Japan's territorial waters: According to the Japan Coast Guard officials, Japan will be testing an artificial intelligence aided system built to detect suspicious foreign vessels in its territorial waters. As Japan is increasingly experiencing maritime incursions, especially by the Chinese ships in the Sea of Japan, the development of such a system proves to be beneficial in implementing maritime law-enforcement operations. The AI-based monitoring system will infer satellite data and help identify vessels by analyzing ships' navigation data such as speed, location, and direction.
US commander emphasizes the importance of bilateral alliance: Speaking at the Yokota Air Base, headquarters of US Forces in Japan, the new US commander Lt. Gen. Ricky Rupp, who took over the former commander Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider, referred to the US-Japan alliance as "a credible deterrent" against adversaries, with the rising dominance of China. He said, "our alliance at all levels ensures we remain a credible deterrent, ready to respond at a moment's notice to any threat, crisis or humanitarian disaster." Rupp will lead around 54,000 US military personnel stationed in Japan and coordinate with Japanese Self-Defence Forces.
Japan and Britain hold joint naval drills near Okinawa island: Japan and Britain conducted joint naval exercises in the Pacific waters south of Okinawa Island. Queen Elizabeth and its strike group left Britain to make strategic port visits to express London's increased participation in the Indo-Pacific. The naval drill saw the participation of Ise, a Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force destroyer, F-15 fighter jets of Japan's Air-Self Defence Force, and a strike group of the British aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth. US and Dutch vessels that had accompanied Queen Elizabeth also joined the drill. F-35B advanced stealth fighter jets of the US Marine Corps and the US Air Force were amongst the participants. Rear Adm. Yasushige Konno of the Maritime Self-Defence Force said, "it is essential to strengthen cooperation with countries that share universal values, regardless of geographical distance." In September, the strike group will be visiting the US Navy base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo.
Malabar War Games: The Quad countries –India, the US, Australia, and Japan conducted Malabar exercise off the coast of Guam amidst China's rising military power. It reflects the increasing coordination among the four countries. Indian stealth frigate INS Shivalik and anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kadmatt participated in the complex drills, according to the Indian Navy Officials. Navy Spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said, "the Malabar-21 will witness high-tempo exercises among destroyers, frigates, corvettes, submarines, helicopters and long-range maritime patrol aircraft of the participating navies."
An estimate of more than 30% defective semiconductor items in the Japanese market: Amidst the crunch in the global supply of semiconductors, Oki Engineering discovered that low-quality semiconductors had penetrated the Japanese market. Many manufacturing companies faced issues over increasing defective items. The assemblers had a hard time assessing the authenticity of semiconductor chips sourced through online trading. A testing verification performed by the subsidiary of Oki Electric Industry Co. on request of quality checks by over 100 companies revealed that more than 30% of the checked semiconductors were imitations or defective items. According to the Japan Patent Office, it is likely that the exported items from China, South Korea and Southeast Asian countries.
Quantum technology-related Industry council established to promote domestic industries: 24 companies, including Toshiba, NEC, NTT, Fujitsu and Toyota, have launched an industry council called the Quantum Strategic Industry Alliance for Revolution (Q-STAR) to promote initiatives in quantum technology. Q-STAR will promote domestic business and focus on strengthening international competitiveness by leveraging the features of quantum technology such as high computing speed and high security.
Tokyo Paralympics in the context of building a more inclusive society: Japan is a world leader in physical mobility infrastructure. This transformation is mainly because of the 1964 Tokyo Paralympics, which changed the perception of disability. According to two Paralympians who participated in the games, the Tokyo games brought about a paradigm shift from pity to empowerment in the societal perspectives of people with disabilities in Japan. "The Paralympic movement has seen many changes since Tokyo last hosted the Paralympics in 1964. Today, disability rights, accessibility and inclusion are at the forefront of many discussions in the sporting context."
Also, listen to: "Why a more accessible Japan is better for everyone with Josh Grisdale"- Deep Dive, The Japan Times' podcast.
In the podcast - Josh Grisdale, who has cerebral palsy and runs the website Accessible Japan, shares his experiences and throws light on the scope for further improvements in the Nation.