Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I Need a Life, But in the Meantime, Interesting Facts and Figures on the Refueling Issue

Shisaku points to some interesting numbers on the refueling issue. (So that's where the October 1 Yomiuri got those non-attributed numbers for its chart.)

Panel 10 shows that the amount of fuel oil that the JMSDF vessels provided dropped precipitously from 119,000 KL in FY 2001 and 175,000 KL in FY 2002 to 53,000 KL in FY 2003, and has stayed more or less in that ballpark (albeit with large fluctuations) since then. This, despite the fact that the number of refueling occasions leapt from 58 in FY 2001 to 130 in FY 2002, jumped further to 188 in FY 2003, and has also stayed in that neighborhood. Moreover, the number of U.S. and non-U.S. vessels were: 98 and 2 in FY 2001, 96 and 4 in FY 2002, and 56 and 44 in FY 2003 (and in that vicinity since then), respectively.

In other words, in FY 2001 and FY 2002, the JMSDF vessels for the most part serviced large U.S. vessels and, from FY 2003 on, have been provisioning smaller vessels of mixed origin (roughly half-U.S. and declining and half non-, of which Pakistani ships so far form a large plurality).

The Iraqi War officially began on March 20, 2003 (did they declare war before they attacked?) near the end of the Japanese fiscal year 2002 (April 1, 2002-March 31, 2003). Clearly, there are many dots to be connected here, helped along with a little bit of Diet investigation authority.

So, are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Yes, Ichiro Ozawa does owe Shisaku a nice lunch.


The average amount of fuel provided per operation was highest in FY 2002, at 2,052 KL. The amount of fuel involved in the (mainly) U.S.S. Kitty Hawk discrepancy was 800,000 gallons, or, more accurately, 2,973 KL. The two KL figures are in the same ballpark.

I believe that the authorities will try to explain all this as merely topping up, as the ships arrived for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) surveillance and interception activities. But can they sort out the ships and operations dedicated to OEF and those to Operation Southern Watch (OSW) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and match the right ones to JMSDF refueling activities? Will the numbers add up?

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