Skip to comments.Japanese Navy chief sacked over blunders that shamed proud service
Posted on 03/21/2008 10:21:51 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
The head of the Japanese Navy was dismissed yesterday and scores of officers and civilian bureaucrats punished after a series of fiascos that have heaped humiliation on what was once the proudest of the countrys armed services.
Admiral Eiji Yoshikawa, chief of staff of the Maritime Self-Defence Force (MSDF), was one of 88 people disciplined one month after an incident in which a 7,750-tonne ship crushed a fishing boat while the officers on watch were sheltering from the rain and its captain was asleep.
Yesterday Shigeru Ishiba, the Defence Minister, published a report revealing that the ships lookouts were inside and its radar unmonitored at the time of the collision, which killed a father and son crew in the Pacific Ocean off Chiba prefecture. A 34-year-old officer was in charge of the destroyer Atago, after its commander and his deputy had retired to their quarters to sleep.
In the aftermath of the incident, the Defence Ministry whisked the Atagos navigator off the ship for questioning, without permission of the investigating coastguard, in what some suspect was an effort to cover up responsibility for the incident. According to Japanese news reports, the officer in charge of the ship will be prosecuted when the coastguard has finished its inquiry.
We deeply apologise to the people, Mr Ishiba said yesterday. We will promptly and continually carry out effective measures to prevent a recurrence.
The MSDF is the successor to the wartime Imperial Navy, the most respected of Japans armed services, which won glory for its audacious and devastating attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Throughout the war, naval officers counselled caution in the face of the rash and overconfident ambitions of the Imperial Army.
Japans American-drafted post-war Constitution banned it from having an army, navy and air force, hence the emergence of the euphemistically named MSDF. Since 2003, it has worked alongside the allied forces in Iraq and its ships refuel allied vessels engaged in bombing the Taleban in Afghanistan.
The past year has brought as much shame as glory. Seventeen ministry staff were suspended for 40 days for their part in a leak in 2002 of secret data about the US-designed Aegis weapons system. Last December, a fire broke out on the Japanese destroyer Shirane, which gutted its operations room and injured four crew members. An investigation established that it was caused by a drinks machine brought on board without permission.
McHiro’s Navy ? : )
Imperial Navy ace (and in later years, friend and companion on the lecture tour of our own Joe Foss) Saburo Sakai, wrote of the savage, brutal discipline in the Imperial Navy in his war memoir: “Samurai!”
They don’t need to return to that but they do need SOME discipline. I suggest they start at the top.
the ships lookouts were inside and its radar unmonitored
In their usual fashion, the lamestream media make several errors.
The lookouts that were “sheltering from the rain” would not have been officers, but junior enlisted men.
The “officer in charge of the ship” would be the Officer of the Deck.
Surface search radar should have been monitored in CIC and intermittently by the OOD and JOOD on the bridge.
The law of the sea requires that a ship maintain a proper lookout.
If that wasn’t done, the Captain, OOD, and whoever was supervising the watch in CIC are going down for the count.
Of course, there is always the possibility that this report resembles the facts in no way. Every time there is a collision involving the JMSDF, the forces of darkness work overtime to blame and discredit the military.
The Admiral wasn't on the boat. Wonder what other fleet ranks took it in the shorts?
Could be politics, no? The Japs had a big deal in parliament recently about just refueling coalition boats.
“Could be politics, no?”
Well, the circumstances described are unacceptable, and are a clear violation of the laws of the sea.
However, I would expect the forces of darkness to seize on any pretext for political gain.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.