Greetings from Japan /日本から今日は!

Image Credit: Japan Ministry of Defense

This blogger has now relocated to the land of the rising sun, for professional and personal reasons. Note the location of the Ministry of Defense in the focused circle in the image above.

As a student of Japanese language, politics, economics, history culture and martial arts, I’m now enjoying being in close proximity to many places that I’ve studied, and are symbolic of the Japanese nation.

For example, my “monthly apartment” is close to Kudanshita station (九段下駅). This is right across the street from Yasukuni Shrine, which is rather famous, given that other nations such as China and Korea are somewhat critical and skeptical about Japanese nationalism. For example, this statement by the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

Yasukuni Shrine, located in Tokyo, Japan, is dedicated to over 2,466,000 Japanese soldiers and servicemen who died fighting on behalf of the Emperor of Japan in the last 150 years. It also houses one of the few Japanese war museums dedicated to World War II. The shrine is at the center of an international controversy by honoring war criminals convicted by a post World War II court including 14 ‘Class A’ war criminals. Japanese politicians, including prime ministers and cabinet members have paid visits to Yasukuni Shrine in recent years which caused criticism and protests from China, Korea, and Taiwan.

Image credit: Geoffrey Clark, Yasukuni Shrine at night

I’m planning a new series of blog posts, of the following topics:

  • East Asian military forces, Orders of Battle (OOB) – in Japan, military forces have been at the center of politics as a key item of debate during the run up to the election on 9/20 for Prime Minister; Shinzo Abe won a third term, securing his position through to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The question was about how (no longer if) to amend the post-war constitution to specify the legal status of the armed forces of Japan, euphemistically called the “Self Defense Forces” today. Abe now has enough political capital to move forward with some changes, although language is still being debated.
  • East Asian Geography – as an archipelago, Japan sits in a seemingly precarious position, close to Russia, China, the Koreas and Taiwan. Given the legacy of the Pacific War, as well as the modern economy, Japan has various ties to these countries, as well as territorial disputes. The recent discussions with Russia on a possible peace treaty to formally end the Pacific War has been in the news, and it involves islands in dispute. The implications of these types of territorial change of hands have big implications on military balance. The military implications of some of these issues will be examined in more depth through a commercial wargame.
  • Air Combat in General – On the utility of stealth, the possible outcomes of the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program in the US, the statements by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) on stealth and the Third Offset Strategy, to the advance of drones, there is much to talk about!
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Geoffrey Clark
Geoffrey Clark

Geoffrey Clark is a data modeler, database architect and business analyst primarily in the supply chain, transportation and logistics industries. He is an avid war gamer and budding defense analyst. Lucidata Informatics provides database design services, as well as data products, deployment and update services.

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  1. Having been born in the hills above Pearl Harbor, I’m struck by how much the Hawaiian Island Chain resembles the chain of islands covered by the Southwestern Composite Air Division! I wonder whether that chain was used by the Japanese Navy for practicing fleet movements toward Honolulu.

  2. Stiltzkin-san,
    私はまだ生きている、神社は戦争死者を尊重し、覚えて生きるためです。(I’m still alive, the shrine is for the living to honor and remember the war dead.)


    Its cool that you grew up in Hawaii! And yes, I agree, the Southwestern Composite Air Division does look a lot like the Hawaiian island chain. I don’t know if the Imperial Japanese Navy used that for fleet movement practice, I do know they used a lot of models to practice the air assault on Pearl Harbor. It would be fun to use the archives to find out. These islands are getting a lot of attention recently due to the strengthening of Chinese power, and rhetoric about the Senkaku / Diaoyu islands.


  3. Yes, an interesting chain of islands.

    By the way, unfortunately I didn’t spend much time in Hawaii. I was on a ship bound for San Diego when I was a few months old and then arrived in Washington, DC by the time that I was six months old. In Hawaii, I was in the neighborhood in which Barack Obama later resided (and my birth certificate looks like his : – )

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