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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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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.

Dec 07 08:56

PEARL HARBOR - MOTHER OF ALL CONSPIRACIES

President Roosevelt (FDR) provoked the attack, knew about it in advance and covered up his failure to warn the Hawaiian commanders. FDR needed the attack to sucker Hitler to declare war, since the public and Congress were overwhelmingly against entering the war in Europe. It was his backdoor to war.

FDR blinded the commanders at Pearl Harbor and set them up by -

denying intelligence to Hawaii (HI) on Nov 27, misleading the commanders into thinking negotiations with Japan were continuing to prevent them from realizing the war was on

having false information sent to HI about the location of the Japanese carrier fleet.

Dec 07 08:53

The Bones of Station H

One week before the attack on Pearl Harbor, a US Navy listening post on the other side of Oahu intercepted Admiral Yamamoto's message to the AJapanese fleet to sail to Hawaii. Today, the remains of that radio station can still be seen.

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Dec 07 08:25

Pearl Harbor: An Orchestrated Event?

Today is the 79th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the event that brought the US into the war against Germany and Japan. Eight American battleships were sunk or put out of action, and about 3,600 American sailors were killed or wounded.

Washington needed scapegoats, and Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short were saddled with the blame for American unpreparedness for the Pearl Harbor attack. As time passed circumstantial evidence came to light that President Roosevelt knew of the attack and permitted the devastation in order that the American people would be so outraged by the attack as to give up their resistance to being dragged into another European war. The controversy continued for some years. I am unsure that it was ever resolved.

Dec 07 08:24

FDR provoked the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

Dec 07 07:51

Japan's capsule with asteroid samples retrieved in Australia

A Japanese capsule carrying the world's first asteroid subsurface samples shot across the night atmosphere early Sunday before landing in the remote Australian Outback, completing a mission to provide clues to the origin of the solar system and life on Earth.

The spacecraft Hayabusa2 released the small capsule on Saturday and sent it toward Earth to deliver samples from a distant asteroid. At about 10 kilometers (6 miles) aboveground, a parachute was opened to slow its fall and beacon signals were transmitted to indicate its location in the sparsely populated area of Woomera in southern Australia.

Dec 06 08:23

For the second time ever, an asteroid sample returns to Earth

Early on Sunday morning, the skies above a secluded military complex in central Australia will be brightened by a fireball plummeting to Earth. It will be a flamboyant homecoming for the sample return capsule from Hayabusa2, a Japanese spacecraft launched almost exactly six years ago on a mission to shoot an ancient asteroid and steal some of its dirt. If the capsule survives its fiery descent, its payload of pristine space rock will help scientists understand the earliest days of our solar system, shed light on the mysterious origins of meteorites, and may even provide clues about the emergence of life on Earth.

Dec 06 07:25

Sorry Sergey, you’re Shinzo now! US tells 20,000 Russian islanders from disputed Kurils that it considers them to be Japanese

Russian citizens of the disputed Kuril Islands are, according to US officials, actually Japanese – a result of the US’ policy of insisting much of the archipelago, governed by Moscow since World War II, rightly belongs to Tokyo.

Japanese newspaper Hokkaido Shimbun reported on Friday that Russians born on the islands of Habomai, Shikotan, Kunashir and Iturup are, for the purposes of drawing up green cards, considered Japanese by the US immigration authorities. The islands are, however, governed by Moscow and their 20,000 residents include people of Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian and Tartar descent, as well as an indigenous Ainu population.

Dec 04 07:45

Huge meteor streaks across Japan lighting up the night sky across HUNDREDS of miles

A brightly burning meteor was seen plunging from the sky in wide areas of Japan, capturing attention on television and social media.

The meteor glowed strongly as it rapidly descended through the Earth's atmosphere on Sunday.

Many people in western Japan reported on social media seeing the rare sight, which lasted for a few seconds.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Another large meteor appeared over several US states yesterday!

Someone throwing rocks at us now? :)

Dec 03 09:53

Strong explosion at Sakurajima volcano, Japan

After a few months of low-level activity, a strong explosion took place at Japan's Sakurajima volcano at 02:55 UTC on December 2, 2020.

Part of the eruptive column was obscured by a meteorological cloud, making height estimate difficult.

Sakurajima's Volcanic Alert Level remains at 3 (do not approach the volcano) since February 5, 2016.

On July 1, 2020, a panel organized by the Japan Meteorological Agency warned Sakurajima may erupt on a larger scale sometime in the future.

The frequency of eruptions at Minamidake summit crater has been on the decrease, while the volume of volcanic ashes remains constant-- indicating that the upcoming eruption may be bigger than usual, JMA said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sakurajima was the volcano used in the James Bond film, "You Only Live Twice."

Dec 03 07:52

Australia To Sign Military Pact With US Ally Japan Amid Spiraling China Tensions

Australia is using its formative military alliances as the only leverage it has in the worsening trade spat with China which has grown into a full-blown crisis for Aussie commodities exports.

It also comes after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to India and southeast Asian countries last month seeking to shore up coordinated regional resistance against Chinese economic and military influence and hegemony.

"Australia plans to sign a military exchange deal with U.S. ally Japan so troops from both sides could pool their firepower if needed to counter China, which has become enmeshed in disputes with Australia over the past two weeks," reports state-funded Voice of America.

Dec 02 08:44

Russia deploys advanced S-300 missiles to disputed islands near Japan

Russia said on Tuesday it had deployed a number of its new S-300V4 missile defence systems for combat duty on a disputed chain of islands near Japan, a move that is likely to anger Tokyo.

The Russian Defence Ministry’s Zvezda TV station said the mobile air defence system designed to counter ballistic and aerial attacks was on Iturup, one of four islands held by Russia that Japan claims and calls the Northern Territories.

“Short-range anti-aircraft missile systems are already on duty on the island of Iturup in Sakhalin Region. Now the air defence ‘heavy artillery’ has arrived. The so-called large air defence system: the S-300V4,” Zvezda said.

Dec 02 03:28

Nike's diversity advert causing a backlash in Japan

Nike is facing a backlash in Japan over an advert which highlights racial discrimination in the country.

The video shows the "real life experience" of three young soccer players from mixed heritage.

It has about 25 million views on social media and almost 80,000 shares.

But it has sparked fierce debate as Japan is unaccustomed to openly discussing sensitive issues such as race, with some questioning whether a foreign brand should have waded in.

Nike Japan said the ad highlights how people "overcome their daily struggles and conflicts to move their future through sports".

But some comments on social media said Nike was exaggerating the scale of discrimination, arguing that it was unfair to single out Japan. Other users threatened to boycott Nike products.

One comment said: "It's as if they are trying to say this kind of discrimination is everywhere in Japan."

Nov 28 08:33

Russia Warns US It Will "Respond" To Future Border Violations In Sea Of Japan

Russia's foreign ministry said Friday that it's lodged a formal protest with the United States over this week's incident in the Sea of Japan, calling it a "provocation designed to disturb the peace".

Russia further said Friday it's military won't hesitate to "respond" the next time the US Navy brazenly violates its maritime borders. During the Tuesday encounter a Russian warship was described as chasing the US destroyer out of the area.

"We warn the US not to repeat the violation. We reserve the right to respond in the future," a foreign ministry statement said.

The incident happened Tuesday and involved a Russian destroyer threatening to ram the USS John S McCain warship which the Kremlin alleged violated sovereign Russian waters by up to 2km:

Nov 27 09:17

Rare Footage Shows Russian Warship 'Chasing' US Destroyer In Border Incident

The department clarified that the US Navy destroyer went 2 km beyond the border line, invading the territorial waters of the Russian Federation. The Russian military warned the Americans that they were ready for a ramming maneuver.

"The Admiral Vinogradov, a large anti-submarine ship of the Pacific Fleet, which is directly tracking the American destroyer, warned the foreign ship through the international communication channel about the inadmissibility of such actions and the possibility of using a ramming maneuver to force the intruder out of the territorial waters," the Defense Ministry said.

After that, the John McCain immediately went into neutral waters: "the American destroyer did not make repeated attempts to enter them."

Watch footage of the rare confrontation in the Sea of Japan below:

Nov 17 07:00

Biden’s Pledge To Japan Creates Tensions With China Over Senkaku Islands

After his self-proclaimed victory as the new president-elect of the US, Joe Biden was congratulated by some heads of state and government. In this regard, on Wednesday (November 11), the Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, telephoned Biden with the intention of congratulating him on his victory and during the conversation they discussed several matters of strategic importance for both nations.

The American Democrat has strongly stated his commitment that the US will support Japan’s claims on the disputed Senkaku Islands. Biden and Suga also agreed to coordinate joint efforts related to several global challenges, such as combating the new coronavirus pandemic and global warming, as well as other environmental issues. However, the most important point is the issue of the islands due to the delicacy of the topic, which involves an old dispute between Japanese and Chinese.

Nov 02 08:41

Japan's Nidec Plans $2 Billion EV Motor Factory in Europe

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Nov. 1, 2020 NIDEC Corp will spend 200 billion yen ($1.9 billion) on a new plant in Serbia to build motors for electric vehicles as it seeks to win more business from automakers turning away from internal combustion engines, the Nikkei newspaper reported.

Nidec founder Shigenobu Nagamori has said he wants a 35% market share for energy-saving electric motor technology know as e-axle or e-drive by 2030, which is expected to have grown ten times by then to as much as $30 billion a year.

Oct 29 08:36

US Commander Provokes China: Troops Can Be Sent To Defend Japan's Senkaku Islands

Two weeks ago we detailed the latest flare-up in maritime tensions between Japan and China after Chinese ships intruded into the Japanese-claimed Senkaku Islands area in disputed East China Sea waters, staying for a record amount of time according to Japan's Defense Minister, who previously called the situation "intolerable".

The stakes have now been raised as of early this week given the head of US forces in Japan has said the Pentagon could send American troops to defend the Senkaku Islands from future Chinese aggression.

Oct 28 05:57

Japan Order To Shoot Any China Fishing Boats, After Increasing Number of China Fishing Boats in EEZ

Oct 20 05:59

US Military Bases Are Poisoning Okinawa

Host to 31 U.S. military bases, Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost prefecture, is no stranger to the risks of bearing the burden of the U.S.-Japan alliance. In 1959, the U.S. military accidentally shot a nuclear rocket into a local harbor; six years later, it lost a hydrogen bomb in nearby seas; then in 1969, a leak of nerve agent on the island so shocked the world that President Richard Nixon was forced to renounce his nation’s first-use policy on chemical weapons.

But these incidents pale compared to what Okinawans are facing today: the U.S. military has polluted the drinking water for 450,000 people – a third of the prefecture’s population – in the worst case of environmental contamination in the island’s history.

Oct 07 08:58

Pompeo Slams China in Tokyo Visit, Seeks Asian Alliance

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continued his crusade against Beijing on Tuesday in a meeting with representatives from Japan, India, and Australia in Tokyo. Trump administration officials are openly considering formalizing an alliance with the four nations, known as the Quad, to counter China in the Pacific.

Ahead of the meeting, Pompeo delivered a speech directly calling out Beijing, something the representatives of the other countries avoided in their remarks.

“As partners in this Quad, it is more critical now than ever that we collaborate to protect our people and partners from the CCP’s [Beijing’s] exploitation, corruption and coercion,” Pompeo said. “We see it in the South and East China Seas, the Mekong, the Himalayas, the Taiwan Strait.”

Sep 20 05:18

Britain, France, and Germany Spurn US Plan for Iran Sanctions

Trump Administration officials have been saying this for weeks, but on Friday reiterated their intentions to try to enforce a UN Security Council resolution that includes broad sanctions against Iran. Officials say they expect every nation to comply.

The glaring problem with this is that the resolution doesn’t exist, at least not as an active resolution the US wants. The P5+1 nuclear deal gave the US the authority to reimpose sanctions on Iran, but the US had withdrawn from that pact years ago. Though the Trump Administration argued that didn’t matter, the UN has virtually unanimously rejected their interpretation, and rejected the UN Security Council resolution. The US believes the resolution becomes active Sunday, but the reality is it just doesn’t exist legally.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These actions spell desperation on the cusp of madness, and the world is not following suit; so, what is next here, an invasion of Iran?!?

Considering just how "brilliantly" the other US occupations around the world are going, you might imagine it might just be time for a "re-think" on this; but of course, Israel's Bibi Netanyahu will not allow that to happen; he wants the US waging war against Iran, so Israel will not have to.

Sep 15 08:52

North Korea's virus and economic woes may open door to Suga-Kim meeting

North Korea’s economic plight in the wake of the new coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters may give Japan’s next prime minister a chance to meet with the nuclear-armed country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, foreign affairs experts say.

As the global virus outbreak has stifled North Korea’s trade with its major economic ally of China and massive flooding triggered by powerful typhoons has devastated the agricultural sector, Kim could extend an olive branch to Japan to receive aid to rebuild the stagnant economy.

Outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has failed to resolve the issue of North Korea’s abduction of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s, but his successor, Yoshihide Suga, might push forward negotiations on it in a better way than his predecessor has done.

Sep 13 07:40

Japan PM Wants First-Strike Capabilities

Outgoing Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has taken the Japanese defenses policy away from its post-war pacifism to a growing military with an increasingly loose sense of self-defense. A week before stepping down, he’s talking taking it a step farther.

Abe now says he wants Japan to have “first-strike” capabilities to attack enemy bases around the area. Abe argued that would increase deterrence, meaning this is the ultimate extension of “self-defense,” where the nation would be flagrantly attacking other countries and claiming defense.

Abe suggested intercepting missiles was no longer sufficient, and called for a new revised defense policy. With Japan’s two main rivals being China and North Korea, any Japanese first strikes would likely start a major war.

Sep 09 04:40

Sex life... and death: Japanese artist offers funerals for love dolls (overseen by a porn actress) and lets customers live out fantasies as a murder victim, blow-up doll or dead girl

Leiya Arata, a Japanese photographer, has turned her studio into a room for customers to live out fantasies
She holds funerals for sex dolls, encourages people to dress up as murder victims and turns people into dolls
She charges up to £630 for the services overseen by a transgender porn actress turned Buddhist monk
The artist says her customers are looking for a place where they are loved, accepted and approved

Aug 28 06:13

Abe bows out: Japanese PM bows as he quits due to ill health for a second time and apologises for failing to achieve his targets

Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe bowed in apology today as he announced his resignation on health grounds after a record eight years in power.

Abe, 65, revealed he had suffered a relapse of a chronic bowel condition - saying he had 'lost a lot of my energy and strength' and would need regular medical treatment that would prevent him from tackling the coronavirus crisis.

'I have been struggling with my illness and I have to get treatment. Poor health should not lead to wrong political decisions,' he told a press conference, offering his 'sincere apology' for abandoning ship during the pandemic.

Aug 25 06:54

Japan confirms scrapping U.S. missile defense system

Japan has scrapped the deployment of a multi-billion-dollar anti-missile system, the government confirmed Thursday, days after saying the program had been suspended.

Interceptors for the Aegis Ashore system were to be placed in two regions under the costly and controversial program.

But the government reversed course under pressure from local residents concerned about the risks posed by a missile defense system in their backyard.

Aug 20 06:26

Japan's Hayabusa2 asteroid sample-return capsule cleared for landing in Australia

Japan's asteroid-sampling mission is officially clear to return its precious cargo to Australia in December, according to statements from both countries' governments.

The Hayabusa2 spacecraft is trekking back to Earth with a sample capsule full of material snagged from a near-Earth asteroid called Ryugu. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which runs the mission, has long planned to deposit that capsule in the vast desert of Australia, but the new announcement marks that country's official approval of the plan.

Aug 20 06:04

The US and Japan just teamed up for multiple joint air and sea exercises in a message to China

In an implicit message to China, the Japanese and U.S. militaries teamed up this week for a number of joint exercises involving warships, heavy bombers, advanced fighter jets and an aircraft carrier in the waters and airspace near Japan.

The scale and tempo of the multiple joint exercises was noticeably large and came as Sino-U.S. tensions continued to spiral over security, economic and human rights concerns.

Aug 20 06:03

U.S., Japan to build network of missile-intercepting satellites, report says

The United States and Japan are to jointly build a network of small satellites capable of detecting new missiles, as Tokyo warns of increasing threats from North Korea.

The purpose of the satellites would be to complement the currently existing system of missile defense, which includes Japan's PAC-3 missile interceptors, the Nikkei reported Wednesday.

Jul 15 11:28

‘Imminent Threat’: Tokyo’s Defense White Paper Frets at Rising DPRK, Chinese Military Power

A new defense white paper published by the Japanese Ministry of National Defense takes aim at Chinese expansionism and North Korean weapons tests, claiming they pose major threats to Tokyo. The paper claims Beijing is taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to further its regional ambitions.

The annual white paper, which the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved on Tuesday, criticizes Beijing for “relentlessly” challenging Tokyo’s control over the disputed Senkaku Islands, which China claims are its own and calls the Diaoyu Islands.

“Despite protests by our country, Chinese official ships repeatedly intruded into our territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands,” the paper said, according to Kyodo News Agency.

Jul 01 06:29

India-Japan naval exercises: a message for China?

Joint exercises by the Indian and Japanese navies in the Indian Ocean at the weekend suggest the two countries are drawing closer to face what they perceive as a common threat from China, analysts say.

While joint military exercises involving the two countries are not uncommon, the latest activity comes amid tensions both are experiencing with Beijing.
Indian and Chinese troops remain locked in a face-off along the disputed Himalayan border where 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a recent clash with their Chinese counterparts, while Japan and China are locked in a war of words over a Japanese move to change the administrative status of the Senkaku Islands, which China claims and refers to as the Diaoyu Islands.

Jun 25 08:47

Japan scraps plans for US-made anti-missile sites, but mulls pre-emptive strike options instead

okyo has aborted plans to go ahead with the Aegis Ashore missile defense sites, having deemed them both unsafe and too costly. Its alternative to the defensive option is quite the opposite: striking enemy firing positions first.
Following “deliberations” at Japan’s National Security Council, the government decided “to cancel the [Aegis] deployment in the Yamaguchi and Akita prefectures,” Defense Minister Taro Kono told ruling Liberal Democratic Party members on Thursday.

He said it had borne in mind the ballooning costs of the $4.1 billion contract signed with the US to build, supply, and maintain the two Aegis Ashore sites during their 30-year lifespan. The central government also seems to have listened to the views of local politicians and residents in Akita and Yamaguchi, who feared the Aegis launch sites would make their neighborhoods the target of a retaliatory strike in an all-out conflict.

May 01 23:02

China's Surveillance Tech-Centric Society Is Far Superior, Is Desireable, & Gov't, Tech, & Corp Media Believe The US Should Switch NOW — & Will Try To Convince You Any Way They Can

Did you know that the Chinese model of Total Government Domination & Control Of The Socio-Political Sphere & Its Discourse (Online & Off) is objectively betterl -- that, as the Atlantic puts it, one thing we learned from the coronavirus pandemic was that "China was right?"

WHAT?!

This PDF may very well blow your mind.

Links available at source: Fulltext (PDF, JPG, HTML); context; background, textual and videographic analysis; & a detailed graphic mosaic representation of Society therein described.

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