Japan Won't Join US-Led Maritime Coalition in Gulf
Japan will not join a U.S.-led security mission to protect merchant vessels passing through key Middle Eastern waterways, but will consider deploying its naval force independently, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Tuesday.Though the United States is Japan's most important ally, Tokyo has fostered economic ties with Iran, and Japanese firms had been major buyers of Iranian oil until U.S. sanctions forced them to find other suppliers.Citing unidentified government sources, the…
Japan: No Maritime Force Proposal Discussions
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper did not have any particular exchange on the U.S.-proposed maritime coalition in the Middle East, Japan's top government spokesman said on Wednesday.Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that the premier and Esper confirmed the two nations would work on peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region as well as further strengthen the alliance between Japan and the United States.Suga also met Esper separately and the two didn't discuss the maritime coalition in the Middle East, either. (Reporting by Kaori Kaneko;
Two Tankers Attacked in Gulf of Oman
Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, leaving one ablaze and both adrift, shipping firms said, driving oil prices as much as 4% higher over worries about Middle East supplies.The Front Altair, carrying petrochemical feedstock, was on fire in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran after an explosion that a source blamed on a magnetic mine. The Norwegian owner said its crew were safe.A second Japanese-owned tanker was abandoned after being hit by a suspected torpedo, the firm that chartered the ship said.
Interview: Shuichi Iwanami, Commandant, Japan Coast Guard
As the Japan Coast Guard celebrates its 70th anniversary, Maritime Reporter & Engineering News offers insights on the current status and future direction of the JCG courtesy of an interview with Shuichi Iwanami, Commandant, Japan Coast Guard.*Note: At the time this interview was conducted, Shuichi Iwanami was still Vice Commandant for Operations.Could you please tell us the history and future development of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG)?The JCG, in 2018 celebrates the 70th anniversary of its foundation. When it was founded, the Japanese waters were in an eclipse period.
Japan, Russia Join for Trans-Siberian Rail Transportation
Japan and Russia plan to officially develop a freight transport route between the two countries via the Trans-Siberian Railway, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.The report said that the two governments aim to foster mutual economic cooperation by energizing the “third distribution channel,” after sea and air routes.Now cargo between Japan and Russia are delivered mainly either by air or by sea. According to the Japanese Ministry of transport, terms of delivery of goods by sea ranged from 53 to 62 days.
Tiny Japan Shipping Shares Jump on North Korea Detente Hopes
Shares of small Japanese shippers jumped this week after the historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sparked hopes of news business ties with the reclusive country.Japanese retail investors are snatching up shares of the firms that may benefit from a potential thaw between Tokyo and Pyongyang, even though the Japanese government has been a staunch supporter of "maximum pressure" on North Korea.Shares of Rinko Corp, a marine transportation company…
Macroeconomic Trends Signal Good News for Shipping
The current global economic growth (GDP) looks like it may be as good as it gets, with indicators across the globe signaling healthy expansion, but at a slower pace compared to the levels seen in the last half of 2017.Global economic growth seems on track to reach its highest level since 2011, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) maintain its projection for the world GDP at 3.9 percent and expects the global economic growth to be supported by a strong momentum, favorable market sentiment and accommodative financial conditions in 2018 and 2019.
Japan, China Agree Trade War Will Harm Global Economy
Japan and China agree that a trade war will have serious consequences for the world economy, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Monday after a high-level economic dialogue between the world's third- and second-largest economies. Concern is growing about a trade row between China and the United States in which the two nations have threatened each other with tariffs. Japan has been criticised by U.S. President Donald Trump on trade and been hit with tariffs on steel and aluminum, but it has not yet threatened counter-tariffs.
Oil From Sunken Iranian Tanker May Have Reached Japan
Clumps of oil have washed up on the shores of southern Japan and there are fears they may be leaking from an Iranian crude tanker than sank in the world's worst such disaster in decades, the Japanese Coast Guard said on Friday. Black clumps have reached the shores of the island of Amami-Oshima, a coast guard official told Reuters by phone. Authorities are checking to see if it is from the Sanchi (IMO:9356608) tanker that sank in the East China Sea last month, after being alerted to its presence by the public.
Economic Indicators Pointing Up -BIMCO
The recent months’ uptick in global indicators, which implies a strengthening in the global economy, is not sufficient for the patient to be discharged yet. The state of the global economy is still uncertain, despite stronger growth dynamics in advanced economies, and not least in China. When the IMF updated its outlook for advanced economies for 2017 and 2018 in January, it was the first time since 2007 that an IMF January update lifted expectations for the present and coming years.
China Says Hopes New Japanese Carrier Doesn't Mark Return to Militarism
China said on Thursday that it hoped the entry into service of Japan's second big helicopter carrier, the Kaga, did not mean a return to the country's past militaristic history. The ship, along with its sister the Izumo, gives Japan's military greater ability to deploy beyond its shores as it pushes back against China's growing influence in Asia. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that in recent years Japan had exaggerated the "China threat" as an excuse to expand its military. "I also want to say that the Kaga was sunk by the U.S. military in World War Two. Japan should learn the lessons of history," Hua told a daily news briefing.
Japan Plans to Send Largest Warship to South China Sea
Japan plans to dispatch its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea beginning in May, three sources said, in its biggest show of naval force in the region since World War Two. China claims almost all the disputed waters and its growing military presence has fueled concern in Japan and the West, with the United States holding regular air and naval patrols to ensure freedom of navigation. The Izumo helicopter carrier, commissioned only two years ago, will make stops in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka before joining the Malabar joint naval exercise with Indian and U.S. naval vessels in the Indian Ocean in July. It will return to Japan in August, the sources said.
Japan, Indonesia to Strengthen Maritime Ties
Indonesia and Japan have agreed to step up maritime security and start discussions on a major railway project to link the Southeast Asian nation's capital and second-biggest city, reported Reuters. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said during a visit to Indonesia that the two Island nations would bolster their cooperation in maritime security and military affairs. "As a fellow maritime country, Japan is prioritizing maritime cooperation with Indonesia. Japan is encouraging active…
Japan to Provide Patrol Ships to Vietnam
The Japanese government said on Wednesday it is ready to provide Vietnam with new patrol ships, in its latest step to boost the maritime law-enforcement capabilities of countries locked in territorial rows with China. On Tuesday, Japan agreed to provide two large patrol ships and lend up to five used surveillance aircraft to the Philippines, another country at odds with China over sovereignty issues in the South China Sea. Japan itself has been at loggerheads with China over a group of tiny, uninhabited East China Sea islets. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, of Tokyo's intention in their meeting on the sidelines of ASEAN-related meetings in Vientiane.
Russia, Japan Discuss Islands Dispute 'In-depth'
Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed on Friday to draw up proposals this year to end a row over a group of disputed islands that has bedevilled relations between their countries for over 70 years. The dispute stems from the Soviet Union's decision, in the final days of World War Two, to seize the islands - known in Japan as the Northern Territories and in Russia as the Southern Kuriles - that Tokyo says are its sovereign territory. Concessions over the islands would carry risks for Putin but could boost Japanese investment in Russia at a time when Moscow, battered by low global oil prices and Western sanctions, badly needs an injection of cash.
Australia Warns DCNS after Security Breach
Australian defence officials warned French naval contractor DCNS to beef up security in Australia, where it is preparing to build a A$50 billion ($38.13 billion) fleet of submarines, in the wake of a massive data leak, a government spokesman said on Friday. DCNS was left reeling after more than 22,000 pages outlining details relating to submarines it is building for India were published in The Australian newspaper earlier this week, sparking concerns about its ability to protect sensitive data. A senior Australian defence official, acting on orders from Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne, warned DCNS that the government was deeply concerned by the implications of the leak, a spokesman for the minister told Reuters.
Japan, Vietnam Agree South China Sea Ruling Must Be Observed
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed with his Vietnamese counterpart that an arbitration court's decision this week on the South China Sea must be observed, Japan's Kyodo news agency said on Friday. The court in The Hague ruled China has no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea and that it has breached the Philippines' sovereign rights with its actions, infuriating Beijing, which dismissed the case as a farce. Abe and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc were in Mongolia for a summit of Asian and European leaders, known as ASEM. (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka)
Chinese Navy Ship Irks Japan
Japan has lodged a protest with the Chinese ambassador in Tokyo, after a Chinese ship sailed close to contested islands in the East China Sea. Chinese navy has made an unprecedented entry into waters around the disputed Senkaku Islands, called Diaoyu in China. Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki responded swiftly, summoning the Chinese ambassador to Tokyo Cheng Yonghua to register a formal protest. Japan's top government spokesman expressed "serious concern" about the entry of a Chinese naval ship, saying it would escalate tension unilaterally.
Japan, Canada Share "Serious Concerns" on South China Sea-PM Abe
Japan and Canada share "serious concerns" over reclamation and militarisation in the South China Sea, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday, in an apparent reference to China's maritime activity. China and the United States have traded accusations of militarising the South China Sea as Beijing undertakes large-scale land reclamation and construction on disputed features while Washington has increased its patrols and exercises. Abe's comment, made at a joint news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, came ahead of a Group of Seven summit later this week, where maritime security, along with the global economy and terrorism, will be among main issues.
French PM: Aussie Subs to be built in Australia
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Monday he was committed to building all of a new Australian submarine fleet in Australia, apparently contradicting the French contractor who said last week the deal would create jobs in France. Valls stopped off in Australia while headed to New Zealand for a scheduled visit, just days after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said France had beaten out Japan and Germany for the A$50 billion ($38 billion) contract. Valls said he would personally oversee the drafting of the contract, one of the world's biggest defence deals, between France's state-owned naval contractor DCNS Group and Australia over the next few months. "We would like to conclude as soon as possible this contract," Valls told reporters through an interpreter after meeting Turnbull.
How France Sank Japan's Sub Dream
Ousting of Japan ally PM Abbott opened door to rivals; Tokyo slow to respond to new competitive process. In 2014, a blossoming friendship between Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe looked to have all but sewn up a $40 billion submarine deal. Then French naval contractor DCNS hatched a bold and seemingly hopeless plan to gatecrash the party. Almost 18 months later, France this week secured a remarkable come-from-behind victory on one of the world's most lucrative defense deals. The result: Tokyo's dream of fast-tracking a revival of its arms export industry is left in disarray. Interviews with more than a dozen Japanese…
France sinks Japanese, German Sub Bids
Fleet of 12 submarines to be built in South Australia; decision has political implications at home, abroad. France has beaten Japan and Germany to win a A$50 billion ($40 billion) deal to build a fleet of 12 submarines for Australia, one of the world's most lucrative defence contracts, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced on Tuesday. The victory for state-owned naval contractor DCNS Group underscored France's strengths in developing a compelling military-industrial bid…
China Slams G7 on Maritime Disputes
China reacted with anger Tuesday after the Group of Seven foreign ministers released a statement a day earlier voicing strong opposition to “unilateral actions” in the East and South China seas. "China is strongly dissatisfied with relevant moves taken by G-7," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said. His statement added: “We urge the Group of Seven member states to honor their commitment of not taking sides on issues involving territorial disputes and respect the efforts by regional countries…