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Broadcasters report Ospreys’ arrival caught GOJ by surprise

NHK’s “News Watch Nine,” Asahi-TV’s “Hodo Station,” and TBS’s “News 23” reported on the arrival in Yokohama of five CV-22 Ospreys earlier in the day, suggesting that this came as a surprise to the Japanese side because the U.S. military had previously announced that they would be deployed in 2020. On “Hodo Station” former Kyodo News managing editor Goto took issue with the 11th-hour notification by the U.S. side. The journalist also highlighted a view offered by an unnamed former defense minister, who attributed the last-minute announcement by the Defense Ministry to poor coordination within the ministry. Explaining that Japan’s communications with the U.S. military have primarily been conducted lately by SDF uniformed officials following the disbandment of the Bureau of Operational Policy staffed by civilians a few years ago, the ex-defense chief reportedly noted that MOD civilians have sometimes been left out of the loop regarding U.S. military operations. Goto speculated that the GOJ’s moves to empower uniformed officials in the past decade or so may have come at the expense of civilian control of the military. On “News 23,” a Japanese security analyst said since the CV-22s are primarily used for special operations, their training in Japan will probably be more intense than that of the MV-22s and thus could be more dangerous.   

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