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Oct 28 06:31

USS Carl Vinson operates in South China Sea with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force

The aircraft carrier Carl Vinson and a Japanese helicopter destroyer have teamed up to operate in the South China Sea — the first time the Vinson and Japanese forces have done so during the Vinson’s 2021 deployment.

The Vinson and units from Carrier Strike Group 1 are conducting flight operations, coordinated tactical training between surface and air units, refueling-at-sea evolutions, and maritime strike exercises with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s JS Kaga helicopter destroyer as of Oct. 25 in the South China Sea, according to the U.S. Navy.

Oct 19 07:23

China, Russia navy ships jointly sail through Japan strait

A group of 10 naval vessels from China and Russia sailed through a strait separating Japan's main island and its northern island of Hokkaido on Monday, the Japanese government said, adding that it is closely watching such activities.

It was the first time Japan has confirmed the passage of Chinese and Russian naval vessels sailing together through the Tsugaru Strait, which separates the Sea of Japan from the Pacific.

While the strait is regarded as international waters, Japan's ties with China have long been plagued by conflicting claims over a group of tiny East China Sea islets. Tokyo has a territorial dispute with Moscow, as well.

Oct 18 10:52

Russia scrambles fighter jet to escort U.S. military plane - TASS

A Russian MiG-31 fighter jet has been scrambled to escort a U.S. B-1B strategic bomber over the Sea of Japan, TASS news agency reported on Sunday citing the Russian military, just days after an incident with a U.S. naval destroyer in the same region.

It said the bomber had not breached the Russian border.

Russia said on Friday one of its military vessels chased away a U.S. destroyer that attempted to violate Russian territorial waters during Russian-Chinese naval drills in the Sea of Japan, something Washington said was false.

Oct 16 06:24

Moscow summons US military attache after Russian Navy ‘intercepts’ American warship close to country’s borders in Sea of Japan

America’s military attache has been summoned to the Russian Defense Ministry to explain an “unprofessional” incident in which a US destroyer reportedly attempted to violate the country’s territorial waters, Moscow said on Friday.

“The representative of the US Armed Forces was informed of the position of the Russian military in connection with an attempt by the US Navy destroyer Chafee to violate the state border of the Russian Federation in the Peter the Great Bay area on October 15,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer belonging to the US Pacific Fleet attempted to cross into the Russian waters around 5pm local time on Friday, before it was forced off-course by the Russian Navy’s anti-submarine vessel Admiral Tributs.

Oct 14 06:15

US strengthens Asia-Pacific defences by deploying floating base for helicopters and hovercraft to Okinawa

The United States navy is strengthening its defences in the Asia-Pacific amid ongoing tensions with China by deploying its newest giant landing dock to Okinawa.

The USS Miguel Keith, an expeditionary staging base designed to transport large quantities of equipment and serve as a floating base for helicopters and hovercraft, was deployed to the White Beach naval base on the Japanese island on Friday, the US Navy said in a statement.

It will join the Seventh Fleet’s Expeditionary Strike Group and Marine Expeditionary Force, the statement added.

Oct 14 06:14

US, Japan, Australia, India holding Malabar joint naval exercise in Bay of Bengal

The naval forces of the United States, Japan, Australia and India have started a joint exercise, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby confirmed, in the face of China’s maritime assertiveness in the region.

The four nations, known as the “Quad”, are holding the Malabar exercise from Tuesday until Thursday in the Bay of Bengal in the northeastern Indian Ocean, according to the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force.

The exercise involves two Japanese escort vessels, the US Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, an Australian frigate and an Indian destroyer, the MSDF said.

Oct 12 11:37

Russia Launches Missiles During Warship Drills Inside Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone

Russia's military has announced details and released video of major war drills in the Sea of Japan by its Pacific Fleet, which included at least a dozen warships. Japanese media has said the drills took place in part inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

The live fire drills are being described as a military "show of strength" in the vicinity of the disputed Kuril Islands. Moscow has exercised control over the Kuril archipelago going back to Soviet rule at the end of World War II - which Tokyo has never recognized. Japan refers to the islands as the Northern Territories and claims historic ownership.

Oct 08 07:34

Japan Reportedly Making ‘Preparations’ for Possible Chinese Attack of Taiwan

According to reports, Japan is preparing for a possible attack from China on Taiwan.

On Tuesday, Japan's foreign ministry revealed that they will consider their "options" and make necessary "preparations" to support Taiwan if China does attack.

Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu told reporters that he hopes “this matter is resolved peacefully between the two parties through direct talks" as China ramps up its military intimidation on the island.

“Additionally, instead of simply monitoring the situation, we hope to weigh the various possible scenarios that may arise to consider what options we have, as well as the preparations we must make,” he said during a press briefing on Tuesday.

“Motegi’s comments on Taiwan mark a departure from the past by explicitly speaking of possible involvement, and were also aimed at drawing international attention to the issue and pressing China,” Reuters observed on Tuesday, citing the analysis of political experts.

Oct 06 09:06

Biden Tells Japan’s New PM That the US Will Defend Senkaku Islands from China

President Biden told Japan’s new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in a phone call on Monday that the US would defend the Senkaku Islands in the event of a Chinese attack.

The Senkakus, known as the Diayous in China, are a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. They are currently controlled by Japan and are also claimed by China and Taiwan.

In a statement on the call, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said that Biden had “reaffirmed the US’s unwavering commitment to the defense of Japan including the application of Article V of the Japan-US Security Treaty to the Senkaku Islands.”

Article V is the section of the US-Japan Security Treaty that outlines the mutual defense agreement between the two countries. Kishida told reporters on Tuesday that President Biden had given “strong remarks on the US commitment to defend Japan, including Article V.”

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Oct 06 07:56

China warns World War Three could be triggered 'at any time' after it sent dozens of warplanes into Taiwan's airspace as Big Lizzie joins TWO US carriers and Japanese warships in huge Philippine sea exercise

China has warned that World War Three could be triggered 'at any time' after it sent dozens of warplanes into Taiwan's airspace.

An article in the state-backed Global Times newspaper on Tuesday said that 'collusion' between the US and Taiwan was so 'audacious' that the situation 'has almost lost any room for manoeuvre, teetering on the edge of a face-off.'

It claimed that the people of China were ready to back all-out war with the US, warning the island nation against 'playing with fire'.

Almost 150 Chinese warplanes have breached Taiwan's airspace since Friday, including 56 jets on Monday in a dramatic escalation of Chinese aggression against the self-governing democracy.

Joe Biden said he had spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping about Taiwan and they agreed to abide by the Taiwan agreement as tensions continue to ratchet up between Taipei and Beijing.

Oct 06 07:48

Japan Making ‘Preparations’ for Possible Chinese Attack of Taiwan

Japan’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday it would consider its “options” and make necessary “preparations” toward supporting Taiwan if China continues to ramp up its military intimidation of the island.

Asked by reporters how Tokyo views Beijing’s record-breaking flyovers through Taiwanese airspace in recent days, Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu said he hoped “this matter is resolved peacefully between the two parties through direct talks.”

“Additionally, instead of simply monitoring the situation, we hope to weigh the various possible scenarios that may arise to consider what options we have, as well as the preparations we must make,” he said at an October 5 press briefing.

Oct 03 07:50

Okinawa Marines coordinate air, surface strikes with a Navy aircraft carrier for first time

The Marine Corps has taken a big step in developing the commandant’s island-fighting doctrine by coordinating simulated air and surface strikes with sailors aboard an aircraft carrier.

Exercise Noble Jaguar began Sept. 28 and involved approximately 60 Marines from the 3rd Marine Division, 12th Marine Regiment, rocket crews from 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines, and the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, regiment operations officer Lt. Col. Joshua Montero told Stars and Stripes at Camp Hansen on Thursday.

For the first time, Navy planners and intelligence officers from the USS Carl Vinson joined the staff at 3rd Marine Division headquarters for the exercise. Meanwhile, the nearby carrier’s crew took part in the communications exercise alongside other units of the 7th Fleet.

Sep 16 05:50

Taiwan and Japan's joy at AUKUS submarine pact to take on China: Relief among the West's Pacific allies while furious Beijing warns it 'undermines peace', France fumes over 'stab in the back' and anti-nuke New Zealand BANS Aussie subs

Taiwan and Japan have welcomed a new three-way nuclear submarine pact between the US, UK and Australia aimed at combatting China - saying it is necessary to provide 'security' for the region.

The countries are both threatened by Beijing and North Korea respectively, and said the new naval alliance dubbed AUKUS would help keep the region 'free and open' and increasing 'peace and security'.

Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and Scott Morrison were also careful not to mention China when they announced the new pact - which will see Australia provided with its first ever fleet of at least eight nuclear subs - on Wednesday night, though made their intentions clear with references to 'democracy, freedom of navigation, and security'.

Sep 13 15:52

Japan Scrambled Recon Aircraft & Destroyers After Chinese Submarine Surfaced Near Its Territory

Japan's defense ministry has announced that it believes a Chinese submarine is in waters near its southern islands, saying the submarine was spotted Sunday traversing to the northwest just outside Japanese territorial waters near Amami Oshima island.

During the same sighting a Chinese destroyer was also spotted in the area. It's unclear whether the submarine ever breached Japan's waters - based on official statements it doesn't appear so - and the incident comes after years of Tokyo complaining of such aggressive Chinese incursions.

According to Reuters, the weekend announcement indicated Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force "identified the vessels in a contiguous zone, which is outside territorial waters where vessels are required to identify themselves." Amami Oshima Island is far south off the Japanese mainland.

Sep 10 11:01

Japan Drops Moderna For Un-Authorized COVID-19 Vaccine

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited announced on September 7, 2021, the Government of Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW) will purchase 150 million doses of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate (NVX-CoV2373, TAK-019 in Japan).

Takeda will be responsible for the Japanese clinical trial and regulatory submission to Japan's Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency and will distribute TAK-019 in Japan if approved by the MHLW.

Takeda confirmed these COVID-19 vaccines would be manufactured in Japan by Takeda, subject to licensing and approval.

Additionally, Novavax is licensing and transferring technologies to enable Takeda to manufacture the vaccine antigen and supply the Matrix-M TM adjuvant to Takeda to fill/finish together with the antigen.

Previously, Takeda had partnered with the Government of Japan and Moderna to help accelerate the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

Sep 10 05:28

"It Has Arrived": Uranium ETF Sees Record Inflows Amid Retail Buying Frenzy; Japan Hints At Restart Of Nuclear Power Plants

One week ago, and about a year after we turned bullish on the uranium sector which has more than doubled since despite Democrats' unwillingness to include uranium in their ESG umbrella...

... we presented readers with a unique take from Harris Kupperman, who explained how the Sprott Physical Uranium Trust could serve as a springboard to substantial further gains not only in the price of uranium itself but also uranium-linked stocks and ETFs. Comparing its action to the positive feedback loop that emerged in the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which served as the springboard allowing bitcoin to rise from $10,000 a year ago to over $60,000 earlier this year, Kupperman said that the Sprott Trust had the potential to "upend" the illiquid uranium market by creating an actual physical shortage that would then translate to much higher prices, to wit:

Sep 02 06:15

Japan Halts 2.6M Moderna Doses as Officials Say Two Deaths Possibly Linked to Vaccine

Over 2.6 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine have been suspended in Japan as of Sunday, following reports that two people died after some vials were found to be contaminated with foreign substances.

The country's health ministry said Sunday that an additional one million doses have been suspended after contaminated vaccine vials were found in both the Gunma prefecture near Tokyo, and the southern prefecture of Okinawa. The latest suspension comes after 1.63 million doses were halted last week over similar concerns.

In Gunma, a tiny black substance was found in a Moderna vaccine vial by a local official, while in Okinawa, black and pink substances were spotted in syringes and vials, Reuters reported.

Sep 01 08:11

Japan Planned to Evacuate 500 From Afghanistan. It Evacuated 1

Japan is unlikely to be able to evacuate several hundred Afghans who assisted at Tokyo’s embassy in Kabul, and with a number of Japanese NGOs, ahead of Taliban’s Tuesday deadline for foreign forces to leave the country.

The Japanese government has been criticised for failing to act more swiftly when it became clear the Taliban was sweeping into the Afghan capital, and that the United States and other nations would be withdrawing their troops.

Analysts also said it was shocking that more was not being done to rescue people who had served Japanese interests faithfully for many years, along with their families, or to assist the tens of thousands of people looking to escape the country.

Some observers said the delay in sending evacuation aircraft was due to debate in Tokyo as to what the Japanese military could do overseas under the terms of its constitution. [Which did not prevent them from taking part in occupation of Iraq in a “reconstruction” capacity.]

Aug 30 07:42

Japan has discovered what is probably 3 different variants of the Pfizer shot

This can’t happen if not intentional. Japan discovered: 1. Shots with pink stuff in them. 2. Shots with black stuff in them. 3. Shots with shiny metallic magnetic stuff in them. And it was not just a few shots, it was millions that had EACH PROBLEM. That means it was not a problem.

I saw and ignored a post by “someone who works for pfizer” saying there were 10 different varianst of the shots, each designed to do something different to the recipient. I blew the post off as B.S. However, if Japan found three different “contaminants” in the pfizer shot, and each event had thousands of vials involved, perhaps that post was accurate because that can’t happen in a factory if it was not intentional and no individual could ever hand contaminate that many vials. That employee said one of the 10 possibilities was saline. That would mean Japan has discovered 4 out of 10 variants.

Aug 29 05:30

2 Dead In Japan After Receiving Moderna Jabs From Contaminated Batches

Just last week, data from a leaked Canadian study revealed that the Moderna jab led to harmful side effects like myocarditis and pericarditis (harmful swelling of the heart) almost 2.5x as often as the Pfizer-BioNTech jab.

The news alarmed millions of Americans who received the Moderna jab, and also rattled Moderna's stock price, putting a damper on what had been a market-leading bull run.

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Since then, critics of the jab have been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Now, it looks like the time has finally arrived: Two people died after receiving Moderna vaccine shots that were among lots later suspended following the discovery of contaminants, Japan's health ministry said on Saturday.

The contaminated batches were first publicized earlier in the week.

Aug 27 06:18

Iranian press review: Tokyo expected to mediate between Tehran and Washington

The latest visit to Tehran by Japan's foreign minister, Toshimitsu Motegi, has triggered speculation about Tokyo's potential future role as a mediator between Tehran and Washington for a return to the nuclear deal.

In his visit on 22 August, Motegi held meetings with Iran's outgoing foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, and President Ebrahim Raisi.

Aug 27 05:47

TOKYO'S MEDICAL ASSOC. CHAIRMAN HOLDS LIVE PRESS CONFERENCE RECOMMENDING IVERMECTIN TO ALL DOCTORS

Aug 26 07:32

Japan suspends 1.63 million Moderna doses over contamination

Japan has suspended the use of 1.63 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine after reports of contamination in several vials, drugmaker Takeda and the health ministry have said.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, which is in charge of sales and distribution of the Moderna shot in Japan, on Thursday said it had “received reports from several vaccination centres that foreign substances have been found inside unopened vials”.

Aug 25 10:32

Japan And Taiwan To Discuss China Aggression Amid Invasion Threats

The probabilities are increasing that China will try and seize Taiwan by force amid America's disorganized exit from Afghanistan has tarnished U.S. prestige. Allies of the West, such as Japan and Taiwan, are set to hold a meeting about an increasingly aggressive China.

The Financial Times spoke with Masahisa Sato, a parliamentarian who manages foreign affairs for Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), on Tuesday, said discussions are needed about the implications of a China invasion of Taiwan because it would have "a serious impact" on Japan's security and economy.

"That is how important we feel the situation in Taiwan is at the moment," Sato said.

Aug 21 05:43

Biden to nominate Rahm Emanuel as ambassador to Japan

Rahm Emanuel, formerly a White House chief of staff and Chicago’s mayor, is President Joe Biden’s pick to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Japan, the White House announced Friday.

The president announced his intent to nominate two other ambassadors, as well. R. Nicholas Burns, a former member of the Foreign Service, is Biden’s choice for ambassador to China, and Michael Battle, who formerly served as the U.S. ambassador to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will be the president’s nominee as ambassador to Tanzania.

Aug 19 11:21

OKINAWA, JAPAN: 64 DEAD FROM "COVID" -- ALL FULLY VAX'D

A total of 64 patients at a hospital in Okinawa Prefecture have died in a coronavirus cluster infection. ALL of them were fully vaccinated.

Patients and staff at Uruma Kinen hospital started contracting the Delta variant around mid-July. Infections spread rapidly and developed into the largest-scale cluster infection recorded in the prefecture.

Prefectural officials say 173 hospitalized patients and 23 staff members have so far been confirmed infected.

Hospital officials say five deaths were confirmed as of July 30 and the number of fatalities continued to rise. As of August 17, the death toll has hit 64 of this group. ALL of the dead were fully vaccinated; the vaccine either did not protect them, or __ it __ caused them to die.

Aug 14 06:37

Japan issues highest emergency alert for over 1mn people as heavy rain ‘like never before’ triggers evacuations

Japan's meteorological service has put three prefectures and the city of Hiroshima on the highest possible emergency alert, which means it’s too late to evacuate elsewhere, as torrential rains cause flooding and mudslides.

The highest-possible Level 5 “special” weather warning was issued for Saga, Nagasaki and Fukuoka prefectures in the country's southwest on Saturday, as rains continue to batter parts of Japan. Earlier, the same warning was issued for the city of Hiroshima after several rivers running through the region were deemed at high risk of overflowing.

In its advisory on Saturday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said that “there is a high possibility that some kind of disaster has already occured” in the areas that are especially prone to mudslides and flooding. “It's been raining heavily like never before,” the agency noted.

Aug 11 07:23

Japan-Russia islands dispute: fears tensions are dragging in US and China as jets scramble

Japan’s fighter aircraft have been scrambled to respond to a sharp increase in Russian military planes approaching Japanese airspace north of Hokkaido in recent weeks, as tensions escalate over a disputed island chain.

Experts say that Moscow’s activities are meant not only as a message to Tokyo in its long-running territorial dispute over the islands – referred to as the Northern Territories by Japan and the Southern Kurils by Russia – but as a show of strength for a domestic audience.

They also believe the Russian flights are aimed at gauging Washington’s position on the dispute, amid concerns that what was once a bilateral issue between Moscow and Tokyo is swiftly evolving into a multilateral one concerning the United States and China, too.

Aug 10 06:46

Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the Big Historical Lie

It is perceived wisdom throughout the Western world – particularly America – that the dropping of two nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was “necessary” to end the war with Japan. Printed throughout textbooks in the post-war world, the understanding is that, had these targets not been struck, the war would have waged on indefinitely, with potentially untold American soldier and Japanese civilian deaths.

As the world commemorates the 68th anniversary of the attacks, however, it is important to take a step back and view the catastrophic event not through the prism of propaganda and mythologizing, but instead through the lens of historical scrutiny. For, as is often the case, the disparity between “Official History” and reality is characterized by lies and deceptions bolstered by patriotism and American exceptionalism.

Aug 09 05:36

Japan Orders Evacuation of 300,000 People From 3 Prefectures Over Lupit Typhoon, Reports Say

Japan has ordered the evacuation of some 300,200 people from the prefectures of Hiroshima, Shimane and Ehime over the Lupit typhoon, media reported on Monday.

Japanese airline canceled 63 flights in the southwestern part of the country over the typhoon, the NHK broadcaster reported.

The Lupit's central atmospheric pressure is 985 hectopascals, with winds reaching 23 meters per second (51 miles per hour) and maximum gusts of up to 35 meters per second. The experts warn of stronger winds and higher waves.

Aug 07 05:19

The US-Japanese Alliance Against China Risks World War

In 2003, when several lawyers, including myself, visited North Korea to learn more about socialism there, we were shown US Army documents captured in 1950 by the communist forces when they seized control of Seoul and overran the American Army headquarters. The documents confirmed that it was the US and its puppets in South Korea that invaded the north, not the other way round, with the objective of crushing the local communist forces and then attacking China. Their plan failed and ended in an American rout. But what did surprise me was the evidence in the documents that the Americans also had the help and advice of Japanese Army officers who had remained in Korea at the end of the war between the US and Japan that ended in 1945.

Aug 06 06:01

Rejection of US Hiroshima Myths Long Overdue

Hiroshima was "a military base." The US atomic bombings "ended the war," and they "prevented an invasion and saved lives." Our government’s tests of atomic weapons on people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki 76 years ago were rationalized using these myths which transformed indiscriminate destruction into a "good thing." This mythology stands as a roadblock to the elimination of nuclear weapons.

The "good bomb" story is still believed by many in the United States because of decades of deliberate myth-making started by President Truman. He announced after Hiroshima, "The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians." Some 140,000 people were killed in Hiroshima, another 70,000 in Nagasaki. Almost all were civilians. The bombs were dropped miles from the nearest military base in both cases.

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Aug 05 07:31

Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - 1945

On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. The bomb was known as "Little Boy", a uranium gun-type bomb that exploded with about thirteen kilotons of force. At the time of the bombing, Hiroshima was home to 280,000-290,000 civilians as well as 43,000 soldiers. Between 90,000 and 166,000 people are believed to have died from the bomb in the four-month period following the explosion. The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that after five years there were perhaps 200,000 or more fatalities as a result of the bombing, while the city of Hiroshima has estimated that 237,000 people were killed directly or indirectly by the bomb's effects, including burns, radiation sickness, and cancer.

Jul 30 08:03

Two Crew Members Killed Off Oman in Attack on Ship Operated by Israeli Businessman

A Japanese-owned vessel managed by a company run by an Israeli businessman was targeted in an attack off Oman in the Arabian Sea, resulting in the death of two crew members, Zodiac Maritime, the U.K.-based company operating the ship said on Friday.

The two people killed were from Romania and the U.K., Zodiac Maritime said, adding that it wasn't aware of harm to any other personnel.

Jul 25 07:48

Tropical Storm Barrels Towards Japan as Olympics Begin

The long-awaited Tokyo Olympics is underway this weekend, and in addition to facing COVID challenges, a weather disturbance may disrupt the Games next week.

Tropical Storm Nepartak developed in the Philippine Sea and is barrelling towards mainland Japan by Tuesday, with Tokyo in the forecast cone.

Japan Meteorological Agency said Nepartak could bring "hazardous phenomena such as heavy rain, strong winds, and high waves." Winds speeds could reach over 50 mph on Monday, with potential landfall Tuesday north of Tokyo.

Jul 25 06:22

‘Go To Hell Olympics’: Protesters Pack the Streets Before Opening Ceremony

Hundreds of Japanese citizens furious that the Olympics are still being held despite the coronavirus crisis gathered to protest outside the opening ceremony in Tokyo on Friday.

According to the New York Daily News, the protesters paraded outside the Games about an hour before the ceremony kicked off and shut down a major roadway.

The shouts of “Go to hell IOC” and “Go to hell Olympics” were loud enough to be heard inside the National Stadium.

Jul 23 06:41

UK's Sending 2 Warships To Japan Infuriates China - Warns Against "Flexing Muscles"

China is urgently warning Britain against "flexing muscles" in and around its claimed territorial waters after the UK confirmed it is sending two warships to be permanently stationed off Japan to patrol Asian waters.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said in the wake of the announcement earlier this week that Beijing "firmly opposes the practice of flexing muscles at China." His Wednesday comments to reporters further described that any 'permanent' UK military presence "undermines China's sovereignty and security, and harms regional peace and stability."

As we described previously, Britain's Defense Minister Ben Wallace this week unveiled that the UK will keep two warships in the region while in Tokyo meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Nobuo Kishi. "Following on from the strike group’s inaugural deployment, the United Kingdom will permanently assign two ships in the region from later this year," he had said.

Jul 23 06:00

Protests Against Olympic Games Hit Tokyo

The Summer Olympics in Tokyo were originally set to take place in 2020 but had to be postponed in the spring of last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sputnik is live from Tokyo, Japan, where people are gathering to protest against the Olympic Games, held in the country despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The rally is taking place near the Tokyo City Hall, where the final leg of the Olympic torch relay occurred, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Friday.

"The government must allocate this money for fighting the coronavirus, not for the Olympics. We do not need these games", a protester stated.

Jul 21 12:34

Tokyo Olympics hacked: Ticketholders’ IDs, passwords posted online

The login IDs and passwords of people who purchased tickets for the Tokyo Olympics have been leaked online, according to a new report on Wednesday.

According to the Japanese news agency Kyodo, a government official said the same information belonging to those who bought Paralympic tickets, as well as individuals who used a volunteer portal for the Summer Games, was also leaked online. The official, speaking on a condition of anonymity, noted that organizers of the Tokyo Olympics have launched an investigation into the leaks.

The number of personal identifiers leaked is “not large,” the official said, adding that certain measures have already been put in place to stop the information from spreading.

Jul 16 05:41

CCP Vows to Nuke Japan Continuously Until It Surrenders Unconditionally for the Second Time

Jul 08 11:23

Japan opens air bases to bring in the US near South China Sea after China repeatedly harass Taiwan

Jul 08 07:47

Japan Orders 4th Tokyo State Of Emergency Likely Barring Spectators From Olympics

With the Summer Olympics in Tokyo set to begin later this month, the Japanese government has acquiesced to growing public pressure to declare another state of emergency in Tokyo as the number of new COVID cases has continued to climb over the past month, even as vaccinations have accelerated.

The order is Tokyo's fourth emergency decree since April 2020, and comes after the Tokyo confirmed 920 new cases on Wednesday, the capital's highest daily tally since May 13.

Tokyo had lifted the previous state of emergency on June 20, though the metropolis has since been under a "quasi" emergency order that's set to end on Sunday.

The new state of emergency is set to remain in effect from July 12 until Aug. 20, covering the entirety of the summer Olympics.

Jul 08 06:43

Tokyo to declare state of emergency amid Covid-19 rise just weeks before Olympic Games

A new state of emergency is set to be declared in Tokyo, the Japanese government has decided, amid a rise in Covid-19 cases less than three weeks before the capital is due to host the Olympic Games.

The measures will be applied in the Tokyo area from July 12 to August 22, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced on Wednesday.

Suga said the number of people in Tokyo infected with Covid-19 is on the rise, and the emergency measures – less strict than a full lockdown – should help to control the spread of the virus and alleviate the pressure on hospitals already struggling to provide enough beds.

The PM told reporters he would “take all possible measures” to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Jul 07 07:12

Beijing issues protest after Japan signals that it would join US to defend Taiwan in case of Chinese attack

Beijing has warned Tokyo against damaging bilateral relations after Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso suggested that his country should work with the US to defend Taiwan in case of a Chinese invasion.

“If a major incident happened [in Taiwan], it would not be strange at all if it touches on a situation threatening survival,” Aso said during a speech in Tokyo on Monday. “If that is the case, Japan and the US must defend Taiwan together.”

He claimed a Chinese attack on Taiwan would threaten Japan’s territorial sovereignty, saying that “Okinawa could be next.”

Aso, who also serves as Japan’s finance minister, is one of four cabinet members who serve as members of the country’s National Security Council.

Jul 02 06:01

US-Japan 'Top Secret War Games' Create Unnecessary Tension in South & East China Seas, Scholars Say

The US and Japan are reportedly carrying out secret drills for a possible conflict scenario with China over Taiwan. What's behind the supposed exercises and how could they affect the status quo in the Indo-Pacific region?

Washington and Tokyo started preparing contingencies for a potential confrontation with China over Taiwan in the last year of the Trump administration. The preparations have involved "top-secret tabletop war games and joint exercises in the South China and East China seas," according to The Financial Times.

Jul 02 05:44

Japanese Government Officially Recommends 4-Day Work Week

While the Covid scourge is gradually fading away from the collective consciousness one day at a time, its consequences have forever changed the work landscape for many companies, and more and more institutions - and also nations - are starting to experiment with a four day work week.

Three months ago we reported that Awin CEO Adam Ross, who recently allowed workers at his company to leave early on Fridays, told Bloomberg that "we firmly believe that happy, engaged, and well-balanced employees produce much better work. They find ways to work smarter, and they’re just as productive."

It's not just Awin. It's a trend that is growing much larger around the globe. For example, according to ZipRecruiter, postings that have mentioned a four day work week have tripled over the last three years, to 62 per 10,000 postings. Major companies like Unilever are even experimenting with the four day work week.

Jul 01 12:03

Russia, China could launch Pearl Harbor-style attack on Hawaii: Senior Japanese defence official

“We have to show the deterrence towards China, and not just China but also the Russians, because, as I told you, that they are doing their exercises together,” Japanese deputy Yasuhide Nakayama told the Hudson Institute this week, according to Washington Examiner.

“Seventy years ago, we attacked Pearl Harbor, but now the U.S. and Japan [are] very good allies, one of the best allies all over the world,” he said, noting that Russia is conducting naval drills in the Pacific this week. “I don’t want to remind [us of the attack] 70 years ago, but we have to be careful of the exercising of the Russians. They are taking place [off] the western side of that, Honolulu, I mean, in Hawaii.”

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Your daily dose of BOOGA BOOGA!

Jul 01 05:51

US, Japan Reportedly Conduct 'Top Secret War Games', Plan For Possible Taiwan Conflict

The maritime region of the South China Sea is a subject of dispute between Japan and China, with Tokyo administering the area of the Senkaku Islands, but Beijing and Taiwan - as the two share rising tensions - also claiming the territory.

The United States and Japan have been conducting joint military drills for a possible conflict scenario with China over Taiwan, The Financial Times reported, citing military officials.

According to six unnamed people cited in the report, American and Japanese military officials started "serious planning" for a possible conflict during the final year of Donald Trump's presidency. Alongside the planning, Washington and Tokyo reportedly conducted "top-secret tabletop war games and joint exercises in the South China and East China seas".

Jul 01 05:04

US, Japan hold war games amid escalating tensions between China and Taiwan

The United States and Japan are conducting joint war games and exercises in the event of a conflict with China over Taiwan, amid mounting concerns about the assertive activity of the Chinese military.

US and Japanese military officials began serious planning for a potential conflict in the final year of the Trump administration, according to six people who asked not to be identified. The activity includes top-secret tabletop war games and joint exercises in the South China Sea and East China

Shinzo Abe, then Japanese Prime Minister, decided in 2019 to significantly expand military planning due to the Chinese threat to Taiwan and the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. This work has continued under the administrations of Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Jun 15 11:27

G-7 Gives Japan Its Blessing For Moving Ahead With Tokyo Olympics

The head of the 20202 (2021) Summer Olympics recently acknowledged by both Japan and the IOC ware s reluctant to cancel the Olympics: At this point, too much time and money has already been invested, and even without legions of international travelers looking to spend money on souvenirs, meals and hotels, there's still too much money at stake. Not to mention the damage to Japan's national pride, particularly at a time when demographic decline has diminished its influence in the region, as its arch-rival China rises.

With the Olympics Games set to begin in roughly five weeks, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga managed to secure support from President Joe Biden and the other G-7 leaders for the hosting of the Tokyo Games next month, what Bloomberg described as a major boost for the Japanese government's decision to move ahead with the Games.

Jun 13 20:54

FEATURE: More young Japanese look to Marx amid pandemic, climate crisis

As the global challenge of climate change mounts and the coronavirus pandemic magnifies economic inequalities, Karl Marx, who pointed to the contradictions and limitations of capitalism, is gaining new admirers in Japan, particularly among the young.

The boom has been ignited by a 34-year-old associate professor at Osaka City University who reimagined the theory expounded in the 19th-century German thinker's seminal "Das Kapital" from the perspective of environmental conservation in a bestselling book published last September.

Two recent books, including bestseller "Capital in the Anthropocene" (R), released by Kohei Saito are pictured on April 14, 2021. (Kyodo)
In it, Kohei Saito argued that the realization of sustainable development goals set by the United Nations is as impossible as "drawing a round triangle" under modern-day capitalism.

Jun 10 08:51

We've got your back: Japan throws its support behind Australia and blasts China's 'illegal territorial claims' and extraordinary tariffs on our exports - amid fears we're on the brink of war

  • Foreign and defence ministers of Japan and Australia held talks on Wednesday
  • They released a joint statement criticising Chinese 'economic coercion'
  • Beijing has blocked several key Australian exports such as beef and barley
  • Scott Morrison has warned 'conflict' in the Indo-Pacific is growing more likely

Japan has thrown its support behind Australia to slam Chinese 'economic coercion' and 'destabilising' actions in the Indo-Pacific amid fears the region is on the brink of war.

Foreign and defence ministers from the two allied countries held online talks to strengthen their security ties on Wednesday in the face of an increasingly assertive Beijing.

Jun 08 05:58

Shiro Ishii, Head of Unit 731's Horrific Human Experiments, Was Never Punished

Medical scientists, on Ishii’s orders, drained the blood from POW’s bodies, replacing it with horse and monkey blood (in an effort to create “artificial” bloods). Japanese soldiers tied POWs to stakes and exploded germ bombs overhead, while timing their deaths with stopwatches. Medical examiners even dissected live POWs!

No abomination was indecent enough to halt the heightening fervor of experimentation. Prisoners-of-war and the surrounding population were deemed expendable by the Japanese who believed their loss wouldn’t be missed. The use of human guinea pigs was widely known within Japan’s medical community, but prompted no ethical outrage.

Jun 02 09:59

Japan Is Sending This Tiny Transforming Robo-Ball Straight to the Moon

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has teamed up with Sony, Doshisha University, and toymaker Tomy to send a transforming rover roughly the size of a baseball to the Moon. What a time to be alive, amirite?

And this little bot has a huge responsibility: It’ll gather comprehensive data about the lunar surface so that JAXA’s crewed rover, set to launch in 2029, can get around. To further develop the autonomous driving technology and cruising technology that the rover will use on its voyage, JAXA needs to study the potential impacts of the Moon’s gravity, which is one-sixth of that on Earth, and the layer of regolith, aka Moon dirt, that covers its surface, the agency said in an announcement this week first spotted by The Byte.

Jun 02 05:11

Visualizing The Snowball Of Government Debt

Ranking the Top 10 in Government Debt
Government debt is often analyzed through the debt-to-GDP metric because it contextualizes an otherwise massive number.

Take for example the U.S. national debt, which currently sits at over $27 trillion. In isolation this figure sounds daunting, but when expressed as a % of U.S. GDP, it works out to a more relatable 133%. This format also allows us to make a better comparison between countries, especially when their economies differ in size.

With that being said, here are the top 10 countries in terms of debt-to-GDP. For further context, we’ve included their 2019 and 2020 values as well.

Japan tops the list with a ratio of 257%, though this isn’t really a surprise—the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio first surpassed 100% in the 1990s, and in 2010, it became the first advanced economy to reach 200%.

May 30 18:12

Ship Carrying Auto Parts Sinks Off Japan Coast

A search is ongoing for three crew members reported missing from a roll-on/roll-off (ro/ro) vessel that sank off the coast of Japan early Friday morning. The MV Byakko sank at about 2:40 a.m. local time after colliding with the chemical tanker Ulsan Pioneer just before midnight in the Seto Inland Sea, Reuters reported. The Byakko reportedly sank about 2.5 miles off the coast of Imabari.

Nine of the Byakko’s 12 crew members were said to have been rescued by the Japanese coast guard and nearby ships.

May 29 05:02

China Warns Australia's Military Is "Weak", Will Be "First Hit" In Any War With Western Alliance

Following now completed joint war games held by the US, Japan, France and Australia in the East China Sea off the southwest coast of Japan earlier this month, China has lashed out particularly at its large regional neighbor Australia, calling its military "weak" and "insignificant" at a moment the two are locked in a severe trade and diplomatic tit-for-tat dispute.

Beijing voiced specific threats and warnings via its state-run English language mouthpiece Global Times, which recently wrote, "Australia's military is too weak to be a worthy opponent of China, and if it dares to interfere in a military conflict for example in the Taiwan Straits, its forces will be among the first to be hit."

"Australia must not think it can hide from China if it provokes," the report continued with its threats. "Australia is within range of China's conventional warhead-equipped DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missile."

May 28 06:17

America's Lone Carrier In Asia-Pacific Will Depart Region For Afghan Troop Withdrawal

Currently the sole US aircraft carrier based out of the Asian-Pacific, specifically with a home port in Yokosuka, Japan, is the USS Ronald Reagan - but it's now set to depart the region for the first time in years in preparation for the complete withdrawal of US troops in Afghanistan.

Pentagon officials told The Wall Street Journal the new carrier mission will see the Reagan depart Asian-Pacific waters this summer in support of ensuring a safe US troop exit from Afghanistan by the time of Biden's Sept. 11 deadline. There's growing concern that given Americans are now staying well past the previously agreed upon May 1st exit (based on the prior deal under the Trump White House), departing soldiers could face severe Taliban attacks, a scenario which is more likely the longer they stay. But now Congressional hawks worry abo

May 16 10:25

Japanese Investigation Finds 700 Chinese Land Purchases Near Military Bases

The government of Japan completed an investigation Thursday that found a disturbing number of Chinese-funded land purchases near Japanese defense facilities, including the Japanese Self-Defense Force (SDF), coast guard, and space research laboratories, as well as bases used by the American military.

According to a report at Japan’s Sankei Shimbun newspaper translated by Hong Kong’s Apple Daily on Friday, the Japanese government launched the investigation last year after hearing “rumors in recent years that Chinese capital was being used to buy sites within 10 kilometers of defense facilities and on Japanese islands at the periphery of the country.”

The investigators discovered at least 700 land purchases funded or directed by China near military bases — evidently much more than they were expecting to find, judging from the stunned tone of the Sankei Shimbun report, and even more Chinese land buys are in the works.

May 03 06:02

Japan is rethinking how to use its tanks to prepare for a potential clash with China

Despite a few successes early in World War II, Japanese armor was hopelessly outclassed by Allied tanks as soon as they arrived in large numbers.

Those experiences and the threat of a Soviet invasion led the Japanese to put much more effort into post-war tank designs. By the 1990s, Japan had a large and capable armored force.

But the Japan Self Defense Force (JSDF) has had to recalibrate in recent decades.

The threat from a rising China has forced Japan's Ground Self Defense Force (GSDF) to shift from an armor- and artillery-intensive force based in its north — where it would've responded to a Soviet invasion — to a more mobile one able to reach southwestern Japan at a moment's notice.

May 02 07:43

Countries Spending the Most on War

According to a new report, total global military expenditure rose to $1.8 trillion in 2018, a 2.6% increase from the previous year.

Military spending in China rose for the 24th year in a row. While overall military spending in the U.S. is down compared to a decade prior, due largely to the conclusion and de-escalation of two of the most expensive wars in its history, but military spending in the United States increased for the first time in seven years. These two countries account for such a substantial share of total global arms expenditure that their two increases in military spending alone largely explain the global increase.

The United States and China are by no means the only world powers that spend billions each year on the military. The top 14 military spenders, after the United States, can be found on five continents, and each has its own vast web of military and political alliances. Some are allies; others bitter enemies.

May 01 07:22

Very strong mag. 6.8 earthquake - Near East Coast of Honshu, Japan, on Saturday, 1 May 2021 at 01:27 (GMT) - information

Apr 29 05:16

The New Cold War US-Japanese Summit

Amidst the national fixation on the outcome of the trial of George Floyd’s murderer and political jockeying over the president’s mega infrastructure proposal, the significance of President Joe Biden’s first new Cold War summit with a foreign leader was lost to most Americans. In politics, symbolism is often substance, and such was the case when the U.S. and Japanese heads of state convened to demonstrate their common military, economic, diplomatic and scientific front against China’s rising power and influence.

Not lost on the Japanese public as it faces September elections were the photos and headlines trumpeting the honor given to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga as the first foreign head of state to be welcomed to Washington, D.C., by Biden.

Apr 28 10:43

Toyota to invest $803 million in Indiana to build new SUVs

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp said Wednesday it will invest $803 million and add 1,400 jobs at an Indiana assembly plant to build two new larger sport utility vehicles (SUVS).

The Japanese automaker declined to say if the eight-passenger vehicles would be electric, hybrid or traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, but said one will be a Lexus model. Both will also include a semi-automated driving system allowing for periods of hands-free driving, the company said. Toyota currently builds Sienna minivans and Highlander SUVs in Indiana and employs 7,000 people at its Princeton, Indiana plant.

The company said in February it will unveil two new electric vehicles that will go on sale next year in the United States. Toyota said one the new EVs in 2022 will be an SUV.

Apr 26 08:04

FLASHBACK - Japanese people want the US military out, and they’ve rioted over it in the past

“Military bases on Okinawa are hotbeds of serious crimes!” read one sign at a protest in Okinawa on Sunday. And the protester had a point: in May, a Marine veteran was arrested in connection with the murder of a 20-year-old Japanese woman, whose body was found in the woods near a US air base. And in June, a US Navy sailor was found responsible for a drunk driving crash that left two Japanese civilians injured.

Okinawans say they’ve have had enough. On Sunday, 65,000 people assembled to protest the American military presence in their backyard. That’s more than the number of US service members in Japan, but not by much: We currently have 50,000 troops and military-adjacent citizens stationed in Japan, the majority on Okinawa.

Apr 26 08:03

Can the “Okinawa Problem” Ever Be Resolved?

In the coming months, Japan and the United States will negotiate over the Special Measures Agreement (SMA), a cost-sharing arrangement for American military presence. These talks will influence the future of Indo-Pacific security and America’s role in the region.

In 2019, reports suggested that the US could demand a five-fold payment increase from the current $8.7 billion. A year later, on the sixtieth anniversary of the Japan–US Security Treaty, President Trump expressed his confidence that “Japan’s contributions to our mutual security will continue to grow.”

In response, Defense Minister Taro Kono stated that the alliance’s value was priceless. Japanese officials believe the country cannot afford a large increase; the country already pays all Japanese workers at US bases, 61 percent of annual utility costs, and 75 percent of training relocation costs.

Apr 26 08:02

FEATURE: Okinawan women's civic group chronicles sex crimes by U.S. military

In a book by an Okinawan women's civic group documenting sex crimes by U.S. soldiers in Japan, a 9-month-old infant girl is listed as the youngest rape victim.

Among a litany of cases the group began compiling after the rape of an Okinawan elementary schoolgirl by three U.S. soldiers in 1995, the 1949 crime by a U.S. serviceman who was an acquaintance of the baby's mother stands out as arguably the most heinous and unimaginable -- the baby reportedly died soon afterward.

But the acts of sexual violence by U.S. servicemen are likely to be even more extensive than research has so far uncovered, according to the group, called Okinawan Women Act Against Military Violence.

"We need to uncover how much pain has been caused to people because of the military stationed here," said Suzuyo Takazato, 80, co-chair of the group. It has published a chronology titled, "Postwar U.S. Military Crimes Against Women in Okinawa."

Apr 19 06:28

China Reacts After US and Japan Challenge it in Five Regions and Washington Pledges To Defend Japan With Nuclear Weapons

Yesterday U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga met at the White House to hold a joint press conference reaffirming and expanding bilateral relations between the two nations. A statement was released after the press event which has raised the ire of China.

Both the press conference and the statement addressed a multitude of issues from economic to security to environmental to cyber concerns, but what caught the attention of many, especially Chinese, observers is this sentence: “The United States restated its unwavering support for Japan’s defense under the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, using its full range of capabilities, including nuclear.” The treaty marks its seventieth anniversary this year, first having been signed during the height of the Cold War, as the war in Korea raged, in 1951.

Apr 19 05:04

US, Japan Show United Front On China In Biden's First Summit

The United States and Japan vowed Friday to stand firm together against an assertive China and to step up cooperation on climate change and next-generation technology as President Joe Biden made his first summit a show of alliance unity.

After waiting nearly three months for his first foreign guest due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Biden told Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga that Japan enjoyed the United States' "iron-clad support" on security issues and beyond.

"We're going to work together to prove that democracies can still compete and win in the 21st century," Biden, affectionately calling the Japanese leader "Yoshi," told a socially distanced news conference in the White House Rose Garden.

A joint statement called for "candid conversations" with China and did not hold back, raising concerns over Beijing's growing maritime moves, its clampdowns in Hong Kong and Xinjiang and growing tension over Taiwan.

Apr 18 07:55

China Reacts After US and Japan Challenge it in Five Regions and Washington Pledges To Defend Japan With Nuclear Weapons

Yesterday U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga met at the White House to hold a joint press conference reaffirming and expanding bilateral relations between the two nations. A statement was released after the press event which has raised the ire of China.

Both the press conference and the statement addressed a multitude of issues from economic to security to environmental to cyber concerns, but what caught the attention of many, especially Chinese, observers is this sentence: “The United States restated its unwavering support for Japan’s defense under the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, using its full range of capabilities, including nuclear.” The treaty marks its seventieth anniversary this year, first having been signed during the height of the Cold War, as the war in Korea raged, in 1951.

Apr 17 07:05

China denounces US-Japan statement in which Washington vows to defend its Asian partner with NUCLEAR ‘capabilities’

Beijing has blamed Washington and Tokyo for undermining stability in the Asia Pacific region after they released a joint statement saying “regional challenges” would be addressed by all means, “including nuclear.”
The statement by US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the first foreign leader to officially visit Biden at the White House, was released on Friday. It criticized China, suggesting its actions “are inconsistent with the international rules-based order” and impact “peace and prosperity” in the region.

The alliance between Washington and Tokyo, on the other hand, “has become a cornerstone of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world,” and the two countries “are more prepared than ever to address regional challenges,” the statement continued. Beijing’s activities in the South China Sea were mentioned among the challenges, as well as issues in Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan.

Apr 14 06:26

China Threatens Retaliation Over Japan's Decision To Dump Radioactive Fukushima Waste Water

Out of all Japan's major allies and neighbors, it appears the US is the only one to support Tokyo's decision to dump

As we noted yesterday, with nuclear waste and fuel rods still contaminating the area, more than one million tons of radioactive waste water has seeped from the facility, and more seeps out every day, forcing authorities into what Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga describes as the "unavoidable" position of having to dump the water. After more than 10 years and a containment effort that the government branded a "success", Japan has decided to start dumping the radioactive water back into the ocean.

Apr 06 11:24

Japanese destroyer shadows Chinese aircraft carrier group entering Pacific

In a deployment not seen since April last year, a Chinese carrier strike group was spotted passing near Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands to the south of Japan, and heading towards the Pacific at the weekend.

The group consists of the aircraft carrier Liaoning, three guided missile destroyers, one multi-role frigate and one fast combat support ship.

In response, Japan has sent a destroyer, a maritime patrol aircraft, and an anti-submarine-warfare patrol aircraft to “gather information and monitor the movements of the Chinese vessels,” the Japanese joint staff said in a statement published on Sunday according to the South China Morning Post.

The Chinese passage follows military exercises conducted by the US Navy and allies in the region last week, including a two-day joint drill with the Australian navy in the Eastern Pacific.

Apr 06 08:04

Japan Poised To Allow Coast Guard To Fire On Chinese Vessels In New Legislation 

New legislation being considered that would radically alter current Japan Coast Guard policy toward how it engages foreign vessels in Japan's waters could inadvertently hurl the region toward a hot conflict involving China.

The new proposed law comes at a moment of more frequent and heightened incidents between Chinese and Japanese vessels around the contested Senkaku islands near Taiwan (and which happen to also be claimed as Taiwan's). Currently Japan doesn't have a mechanism which would activate its Self-Defense Forces in any entanglement with Chinese fishermen landing on the islands, which might escalate to involve Chinse military patrols.

Apr 05 12:07

China sent its carrier near Japanese waters because Tokyo and Washington’s encroachment unties Beijing’s hands

With the US and Japan all but officially teaming up in trying to encircle China in the Pacific, Beijing has made the most significant military display yet, sending an aircraft carrier group between Japanese islands and Taiwan.

On Monday morning, China announced it sent an aircraft carrier group through a location known as the Miyako Strait, an island chain which bridges the gap between the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea. The area largely consists of Japanese waters and has several strategic islands such as Okinawa, the disputed territory of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, and bridging down to Taiwan itself. As Beijing sent the Liaoning steaming through this location, Tokyo sent a destroyer to monitor it. The Global Times later posted a triumphant article stating that China intends to do more of these exercises, and that its naval capabilities will only continue to grow.

Mar 31 01:21

US Air Force Base Polluting Drinking Water of Half a Million Okinawans

US Air Force’s Kadena base in Japan’s Okinawa prefecture is reportedly contaminating the island’s drinking water, used by almost half a million people.

The base, home to over 20,000 US and Japanese employees, allegedly uses per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a chemical linked to cancers of the kidneys and testicles, high cholesterol, and decreased vaccine response, according to the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease.

PFAS, which is highly resistant to heat, oil, and water, is mainly used in the production of food wrapping, nonstick cookware, and military firefighting foams, the Diplomat said.

The presence of PFAS in the island’s water was first noticed in 2016 when the Okinawa Prefectural Enterprise Bureau announced that the chemical’s presence is higher in drinking water that comes from a river flowing along the Kadena base, the largest US Air Force installation in the Pacific.

Mar 26 06:11

US Spent $34 billion to House Troops in South Korea and Japan From 2016-2019

A report that was released by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) last week found that the US spent more than $34 billion to maintain its massive military presence in Japan and South Korea between 2016 and 2019.

In Japan, Washington has approximately 55,000 troops, the largest forward deployment of US forces anywhere in the world. From 2016 to 2019, the GAO report found that the Pentagon spent $20.9 billion on its presence in Japan, and Tokyo contributed $12.6 billion to support the US presence.

The US has about 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea. From 2016 to 2019, the US military obligated $13.4 billion to house troops in the country, and Seoul contributed about $5.6 billion in support.

Mar 24 05:10

Japanese Semi Plant Fire To Have "Major Impact" On Already-Bottlenecked Auto Industry

Semiconductor supply shortages continue to sting the automotive industry globally.

On Monday morning a fire at a semiconductor factory in Japan had the entire industry jumpy and was sparking "further concerns over chip supply shortages for the industry," according to Bloomberg. The fire took place at a clean room at Japanese company Renesas, a major provider of auto chips.

Renesas' CEO, Hidetoshi Shibata, said that "the incident is likely to have a major impact on the car industry".

Mar 16 08:27

A Japanese spacecraft bombed an asteroid and it barely flinched

In 2019, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 spacecraft bombed the asteroid Ryugu, using explosives to shoot it with a 2.5-kilogram lump of copper to create an artificial crater. Scientists expected this impact to shake the ground, but its actual effect was far milder.

Mar 15 07:46

Exclusive: Myanmar’s First Satellite Held By Japan On Space Station After Coup

Myanmar’s first satellite is being held on board the International Space Station following the Myanmar coup, while Japan’s space agency and a Japanese university decide what to do with it, two Japanese university officials said.

The $15 million satellite was built by Japan’s Hokkaido University in a joint project with Myanmar’s government-funded Myanmar Aerospace Engineering University (MAEU). It is the first of a set of two 50 kg microsatellites equipped with cameras designed to monitor agriculture and fisheries.

Human rights activists and some officials in Japan worry that those cameras could be used for military purposes by the junta that seized power in Myanmar on Feb. 1.

That has put the deployment on hold, as Hokkaido University holds discussions with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the two Hokkaido University officials said.

Mar 04 08:55

Scientists Stimulate Brain To Remove Fear, Boost ‘Confidence’

If modern science conceived of a way to “pluck” unwanted fears, thoughts, and preferences from your mind, is that that something you would be interested in? It sounds impossible, but a new study on non-conscious brain stimulation may just make it a reality. Via a combination of artificial intelligence and brain scanning technology, scientists in Japan say they’ve discovered avenues to remove specific fears, boost confidence, and even alter individual preferences.

They believe that in the future these techniques may lead to new treatments for patients dealing with issues like PTSD or generalized anxiety disorder.

All of this is incredibly promising, but researchers admit they haven’t perfected their approach just yet. While the treatment they developed has proven effective with many, some individuals haven’t seen the same benefits.

Mar 03 07:56

Japanese billionaire to fly eight members of the public on SpaceX moon flight

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa announced on Tuesday that he will choose eight members of the public to join him on a trip around the moon, scheduled to fly on SpaceX’s Starship rocket in 2023.

“I’m inviting you to join me on this mission,” Maezawa said in a video.

Maezawa, who announced the mission in September 2018 alongside SpaceX founder Elon Musk, said that the plan has evolved from flying artists on a trip to lunar orbit.

His project, called dearMoon, will now fly “10 to 12 people in all,” with eight of the crew coming from members of the public who Maezawa plans to pick.

Feb 19 07:54

Japan's Incredibly Shrinking Population Is A Big Problem

As the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to limit the number of foreign workers entering Japan, new government data has revealed that the nation’s population contracted by a record four hundred twenty thousand people last year.

That hefty figure shattered the previous mark of nearly three hundred thirty thousand, which was set just the year prior, and continued the downward trend seen over the past decade.

According to the Health Ministry, Japan’s population now sits at roughly one hundred twenty-six million.

The 60% decrease in the number of foreign workers entering the East Asian nation over the past year has been largely blamed for the sharp drop in the population.

Even with the pandemic cutting jobs across many sectors, many companies and small businesses, including those in the hard-hit restaurant and hotel industries, have reported consistent labor shortages.

Feb 17 07:06

Severe snowstorm hits northern Japan, JMA warns it could become the strongest in years

A severe snowstorm started affecting northern Japan on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, causing flooding and transport disruptions. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) warned it could become the most powerful blizzard in years and cause whiteout conditions through Wednesday, February 17.

A rapidly developed low pressure system is advancing westward over the Sea of Okhotsk, bringing extremely strong winds and causing storm surge that already flooded many homes in western parts of Hokkaido.

Wind gusts of up to 162 km/h (101 mph) were recorded at Cape Erimo, Hokkaido, 135 km/h (84 mph) in Sakata city, Yamagata Prefecture, and 111 km/h (69 mph) in Akita City, Tohoku.

The blizzard triggered the closure of nearly 600 schools, the cancelation of about 70 flights, and the disruption of more than 200 train services, according to the Kyodo News.

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Feb 13 08:27

Tsunami Warning Reportedly Issued as 7.1 Magnitude Quake Shakes Japan's Fukushima Region

Japan often suffers earthquakes, as it is located within the Ring of Fire - a notorious area in the Pacific Ocean with extremely high seismic activity.

A powerful earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale jolted the Fukushima Prefecture in Japan, the United States Geological Survey reported on Saturday.

Feb 11 05:38

Japanese TV report sparks speculations in China that COVID-19 may have originated in US (2/23/20)

A report from a Japanese TV station that suspected some of the 14,000 Americans died of influenza may have unknowningly contracted the coronavirus has gone viral on Chinese social media, stoking fears and speculations in China that the novel coronavirus may have originated in the US.

Feb 09 07:46

US Hosts Pacific War Games With Australia & Japan Aimed At Countering Russia, China Attack

The United States military has kicked off joint war games with Australian and Japan on the Western Pacific island of Guam which will specifically focus on countering a theoretical future aerial attack from Russia or China.

The joint exercises, dubbed 'Cope North 2021' began last Wednesday and are scheduled to run all the way to February 19. Crucially the exercises will included F-35A joint strike fighters, marking the first time the advanced stealth jets are deployed to Andersen Air Force Base at Guam.

"Exercise Cope North 21 aims to provide an opportunity for the forces to hone their combined air tactics while enhancing support to the Indo-Pacific region," according to a US military statement. "Australia is participating for the 11th time in the US Pacific Air Forces’ largest multilateral exercise."

Feb 08 08:20

How US plans for first Quad summit with leaders of Japan, Australia and India could be first steps towards ‘mini-Nato’ to counter Chinese influence

The US has proposed the first summit between the leaders of the “Quad” group, media reports said on Sunday, as the new administration looks to strengthen a framework that some observers believe could develop into a “mini-Nato” designed to counter China’s growing power in the Asia-Pacific.

Washington has already proposed an online meeting with the leaders of Australia, India and Japan, the Japanese news agency Kyodo reported on Sunday.

Joe Biden’s administration has already said it will build on the previous administration’s work in setting up the group, one of the few Donald Trump policies it has decided to continue.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said last week that the White House sees the Quad as “fundamental, a foundation upon which to build substantial American policy in the Indo-Pacific region”.

Jan 27 07:43

Biden’s SecDef Promises Will Keep Defending Island Rocks Japan Grabbed From China in 1895

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with Japan’s defense minister for the first time and reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to defending Japanese sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands, or Diaoyu Islands as they are known in China.

The Senkakus are uninhabited islands in the East China Sea that are currently administered by Japan but are also claimed by China and Taiwan. After Austin spoke on the phone with Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi on Saturday, the Pentagon released a readout of the call.

“Secretary Austin further affirmed that the Senkaku Islands are covered by Article V of the US-Japan Security Treaty, and that the United States remains opposed to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea,” the readout says.

Article V is the section of the US-Japan Security Treaty that outlines the mutual defense agreement between the two countries. The US will come to the defense of Japan if any territory administered by Tokyo is under attack.

Jan 19 08:45

Japan: One dead as snowstorm causes 130-car pile-up

A huge snowstorm has struck a highway in north Japan, causing a 130-car pile-up, killing one person and injuring 10.

The storm blanketed a stretch of the Tohoku Expressway in Miyagi prefecture at around noon (03:00 GMT) on Tuesday.

Some 200 people have been caught up in the pile-up and rescuers are currently at the scene, officials said.

Japan has been hit by severe snow storms in recent weeks with some parts of the country seeing double the average expected snowfall.

Authorities had already enforced a 50km (31mile) speed limit on the road due to visibility.

There was a maximum wind speed of about 100km/h (62mph) at the time of the incident, local weather officials said.

Those who were involved have been given drinking water and food, and have been provided with blankets to keep warm, NHK News reports (in Japanese).

The snow has affected some of Japan's high-speed railway network, with a number of train services in the Tohoku region cancelled.

Jan 19 06:50

Study: Japan’s Suicides Jump 16% in Coronavirus Second Wave

Monthly suicide rates in Japan increased by 16 percent from July to October 2020 compared to the same period the previous year, Japanese researchers have found. The three-month interval coincided with Japan’s second wave of Chinese coronavirus outbreaks, Reuters reported Sunday.

Published by researchers at Tokyo’s Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology and Hong Kong University in the scientific journal Nature Human Behavior on January 15, the study found a larger increase in the suicide rates “among females (37 percent) and children and adolescents (49 percent).”

Jan 12 07:29

Snow storms bring deadly chaos to Japan

Japan has been hit by severe snow storms, killing at least eight people and bringing parts of the country to a standstill.

The snowfall in the Hokuriku region is more than double the average expected for this time of year.

Dec 30 07:17

New York Approves Its First Publicly Available Japanese Yen Stablecoin

The New York State Department of Financial Services, the Bitlicense regulator, has authorized GMO to issue U.S. dollar and Japanese yen-pegged stablecoins. The latter “will be the first of its kind available to the public.” To date, the regulator has given out 27 charters and licenses for companies engaged in crypto activities.

First Regulated Yen Stablecoin Approved in NY

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has granted a charter under New York Banking Law to GMO-z.com Trust Company Inc., a subsidiary of the Japanese giant GMO Internet. This enables the company to operate as a limited liability trust company, the regulator announced Tuesday, elaborating:

Dec 28 09:15

Japanese spacecraft's gifts: Asteroid chips like charcoal

They resemble small fragments of charcoal, but the soil samples collected from an asteroid and returned to Earth by a Japanese spacecraft were hardly disappointing.

The samples Japanese space officials described Thursday are as big as 1 centimeter (0.4 inch) and rock hard, not breaking when picked up or poured into another container. Smaller black, sandy granules the spacecraft collected and returned separately were described last week.

The Hayabusa2 spacecraft got the two sets of samples last year from two locations on the asteroid Ryugu, more than 300 million kilometers (190 million miles) from Earth. It dropped them from space onto a target in the Australian Outback, and the samples were brought to Japan in early December.

Dec 22 07:47

US, Japan, and France Hold Naval Exercise in Philippine Sea

Last week, a US Navy guided-missile destroyer held anti-submarine warfare drills with a French submarine and a Japanese carrier in the Philippine Sea. The drill was a rare joint exercise with France in the Pacific and is a sign of things to come as both the US and its European allies are looking to counter China in the region.

“Although one of the US’s long-standing allies, it is a rare opportunity for US Navy maritime forces to conduct operations with their French Navy counterparts in the Seventh Fleet area of operations,” The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet said in a statement. The fleet is based out of Japan and operates across the Indo-Pacific region.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that the US, Japan, and France will hold their first joint land and sea military exercises in May 2021. In comments to Japan’s Sankei newspaper, a French naval leader made it clear that the future exercises are aimed at Beijing.

Dec 17 12:32

THROUGH THE EYES OF A ROBOT, SCIENTISTS SEE AN ASTEROID IN UNPRECEDENTED DETAIL

ON FEBRUARY 21, 2019, Japanese astronomers performed a theft that made history. A Japanese spacecraft touched down on asteroid Ryugu, quickly snatched a piece of the space rock and fled the scene.

The act was caught on camera, and in May of this year, scientists from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency released the footage, giving us our first up-close-and-personal encounter with the surface of an asteroid. As the year comes to a close, researchers around the world are starting to look forward to getting even closer — by analyzing the sample itself.

Dec 17 11:11

Japan: Heavy snowfall leaves thousands stranded

Communities have been isolated, 10,000 households have suffered power outages and 1,000 cars got stuck. The country's meteorological agency has issued warnings for avalanches and further disruptions in several areas.

Around 1,000 cars have been stranded in a snowstorm in Japan, according to local media. The vehicles were stuck on the Kan-Etsu Expressway between Tsukiyono town and Yuzawa town, north of Tokyo, Kyodo News reported on Thursday.

About 200 vehicles were also temporarily stuck in heavy snow on another expressway.

The snowfall also cut off power to about 10,000 households.

Dec 09 12:15

Japan Planning To Build Missiles Capable Of Striking North Korea

Japan is planning to build new missiles that would allow it to preemptively strike North Korea in the event of a credible threat from the communist regime there.

The proposal was approved by lawmakers in Tokyo Wednesday, according to the Wall Street Journal. Officials in Japan have been reviewing their military defense capabilities against North Korea in light of further missile development by Kim Jong-Un’s regime, the WSJ reports.

Dec 08 07:40

Japan to fund AI matchmaking to boost birth rate

Japan plans to boost its tumbling birth rate by funding artificial intelligence matchmaking schemes to help residents find love.

From next year it will subsidise local governments already running or starting projects that use AI to pair people up.

Last year the number of babies born in Japan fell below 865,000 - a record low.

The fast-greying nation has long been searching for ways to reverse one of the world's lowest fertility rates.

Boosting the use of AI tech is one of its latest efforts.

Many already offer human-run matchmaking services and some have introduced AI systems in the hope they will perform a more sophisticated analysis of the standardised forms where people submit their details.

A few of the existing systems are limited to considering criteria such as income and age, only producing a result if there is an exact match.

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