Archive for the ‘Japanese’ Category

Warships from Japan, U.S. Could Shoot Down North Korean Missile

March 27, 2009

North Korea says it is prepared to launch a long range missile that will put a satelliete into orbit.

The U.S. says North Korea is really testing a long range ballistic missile that could put a nuclear weapon on the United States.

japan is stuck in the middle.  If the North Korean flight fails, Japan could be under a rain cloud of debris and rocket fuel.  If the North korean flight is successful, Japan could be the victim of a North korean missle attack.

Both the U.S. and Japan have the capability to shoot down the North korean missile, experts say, and both sides have sent ships at sea in a show that they mean business.

North Koreea upped the ante Thursday by saying if their missile is shot down they will restart their nuclear weapon progam.  Previously the North koreans said  by shooting down its peaceful satellite launch the aggressor would commit an act of war.

USS Hopper, a destroyer with the Aegis radar system aboard, was scheduled for a port call in Japan in coming days. But the port call was canceled and the ship will remain in the Sea of Japan ahead of the launch. Hooper is on the missile shoot down patrol and will be joined by at least two other U.S. Navy ships and at least two from Japan that could shoot down the North korean missile.

It’s a classic stand off of politics and military.

Peace and Freedom

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TOKYO – Japan’s military mobilized Friday to protect the country from any threat if North Korea‘s looming rocket launch fails, ordering two missile-equipped destroyers to the Sea of Japan and sending batteries of Patriot missile interceptors to protect the northern coastline.

Pyongyang plans to launch its Kwangmyongsong-2 satellite April 4-8, a moved that has stoked already heightened tensions in the region. The U.S., Japan and South Korea suspect the North will use the launch to test the delivery technology for a long-range missile capable of striking Alaska.

Japan has said that it will shoot down any dangerous objects that fall its way if the launch doesn’t go off successfully. Tokyo, however, has been careful to say that it will not intervene unless its territory is in danger.

The North said earlier this month that any attack on the satellite would be an act of war.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
327/ap_on_re_as/as_japan_nkorea_missile

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/asiapcf/03/27/north.korea.us.ships/index.html

The USS Chaffee is one of two destroyers headed to South Korea for an upcoming ceremony.

The USS Chaffee is one of at least two U.S. Navy destroyers headed to patrol.

Economy, “Foreign Forces” Trying to Destabilize Russia?

March 26, 2009

Foreign forces are using the economic crisis to  destabilize the political situation in Russia, asserted State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov.
    
“We  already  see  manifestations  of  political  extremism.  I  am speaking  about  attempts to destabilize the country, taken both outside and inside Russia,” Gryzlov said at a meeting of the Supreme and General Councils of the United Russia party in Moscow on Thursday.
    
“We  are  now seeing attempts when people who are unhappy are given flags, and sometimes these are flags of foreign countries,” he said.
    
“We have seen protest rallies in Primorye, were the protesters were carrying Japanese flags. It is a fact,” Gryzlov said.

–Interfax

North Korea, China, U.S., Japan: Missiles, Missile Defense, Naval Power At Sea

March 15, 2009

Kim Jong Il is obviously uncomfortable. As tens of thousands of U.S. and South Korean troops staged an annual war-games exercise last week, he put North Korea’s military on alert. The real pea under his mattress, though, could be four battle cruisers that ply the Sea of Japan, just over the horizon from the Dear Leader’s beaches. These ships—two American, two Japanese—carry missiles capable of reaching North Korean nuclear-tipped rockets on their way to Japan, or even the satellite Kim has promised to put up any day now. U.S. Admiral Timothy Keating may have had these same missiles in mind when he threatened in late February to shoot down anything Kim felt emboldened to launch.

Related:
 US deploys warships as North Korea prepares to launch missile

By Fred Guterl
Newsweek
March 14, 2009
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The Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie launches a Standard Missile III off Kaua’i, Hawaii, 25 January 2001. The RIM-161 Standard missile 3 (SM-3) provides Lake Erie with the capability to shoot down ballistic missiles.

These four cruisers aren’t the only ships that act as a de facto antimissile defense. The U.S. Navy has 73 Aegis ships around the world equipped with missiles that can reach space targets—whether the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that carry nuclear warheads or satellites that fly in low earth orbit. As the Obama administration shows signs of backing away from plans to put missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic, this fleet of “Aegis” cruisers, as they’re called, may be called upon to take up the slack. U.S. Representative Ellen Tauscher, head of the House strategic forces subcommittee, praised recent progress on Aegis in hearings last month. “This was a major accomplishment that we should all take pride in,” she said. “The same cannot be said of the long-range” ground-based missile defense. However, there are reasons to doubt that relying on Aegis will be an effective military strategy in the long run.

Compared with land-based missile defense, Aegis has the advantage of proximity. Ships can go, with minimal diplomatic hassle, wherever the threat is greatest. Kim’s saber rattling, in fact, led the United States to supply Japan with Aegis equipment and know-how. Aegis, a combination of radars and interceptor missiles, was originally designed to defend battle cruisers against fighter jets. Technological improvements over the years gradually extended its range. The Bush administration funded a new interceptor—SM-3, for “standard missile”—capable of reaching the ICBMs Russia and China have and North Korea and Iran want. Tests suggest that it can fly fast and far enough to catch an ICBM shortly after leaving the atmosphere. That’s an impressive feat, but experts caution that these tests were “scripted” and didn’t take into account countermeasures an enemy might invoke. By the time a rocket leaves the atmosphere, it’s almost impossible for an interceptor missile to tell the difference between the warhead and a decoy balloon. “If I were to throw a rock at you, but warn you ahead of time, you’d probably be able to deflect it,” says Philip Coyle, former assistant deputy of defense in the Clinton administration and now an adviser to the Center for Defense Information in Washington, D.C. “But that’s not to say you could get every rock thrown in the room, or in the whole country.”

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORL
D/asiapcf/03/12/nkorea.launch/in
dex.html#cnnSTCText

File:USSLeyteGulfCG-55.jpg
Aegis cruiser USS Leyte Gulf

Tokyo is now developing a lighter, faster and more nimble version of the SM-3 that would come closer to hitting an ICBM at the end of its “boost phase,” before it had time to throw up decoys. The new version, expected to be ready in a few years, will travel twice as fast as the current one, but still too slow by half, says MIT missile expert Theodore Postol. The Navy has an Aegis missile on the drawing board designed to attain such speeds, though funding has yet to be approved.

This missile wouldn’t be a silver bullet either, says Postol. Even if the new interceptors hit their targets 100 percent of the time, they would still allow some warheads through. That’s because the warhead occupies a small volume of the missile, usually at the tip, and interceptors aren’t close to being able to sniff them out and make a direct hit. An airtight defense would require layers of redundancy—throwing lots of missiles at each ICBM—and could be countered easily by launching more ICBMs. “Missile defense encourages the enemy to do exactly what you don’t what them to do—build more missiles,” says Coyle. “I don’t know if Kim is worried, but he shouldn’t be.” Postol argues that putting missiles on drone planes, which could shoot down on ICBMs while they’re still rising off the launchpad, would work better than firing missiles from ships.

In one respect, Aegis is a completely effective weapon: it could easily take out low-flying military intelligence satellites. Does that confer a significant military advantage? Shooting down a nation’s satellite would be so provocative it’s hard to envision a scenario in which it would be a smart move. Besides, a hit on a 15-ton spy satellite would more than double the amount of space debris currently in orbit. That would make everybody uncomfortable.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/189255

 Sun Setting On American Superpower?

File:DDG-178MakingAshigara.jpg
A Japan Navt Aegis ship of the Kongo class

Related:
Obama Backs Off, Japan Ready To Shoot Down North Korean Missile

China:
China’s Love/Hate Relationship With The U.S

Obama Wasting America’s Strategic World Power; China Surges Despite Economy
.
Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

Stimulus: China Will Fund U.S. Debt But “We Hate You Guys”

Behind the U.S. and China At Sea Incident

China Buying Oil, Uranium, Gold, Other Products At Bargain Prices

Russia, “Desperate For Cash,” Sells Oil to China In “Very Bad Deal”

What’s China’s Long Term Global Strategy?

North Korea appears to be readying missile test

February 11, 2009

North Korea appeared to be gearing up Wednesday for another long-range missile test, the latest in a series of provocative acts seemingly aimed at stoking tensions with South Korea and winning the attention of the new U.S. president.

In recent weeks, Pyongyang has declared it will scrap peace agreements with Seoul and warned of war on the Korean peninsula. Reports that it could be preparing to test a missile capable of reaching the western United States have added to the anxiety.

By KELLY OLSEN, Associated Press Writer

A South Korean Army soldier walk by displays of models of mock ... 
A South Korean Army soldier walk by displays of models of mock North Korea’s Scud-B missile, right, and other South Korean missiles at Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009. North Korea has been moving equipment necessary for firing a missile to a launch pad, an indication that the country is taking steps toward conducting a test launch, a news report said Wednesday.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said Wednesday that a vehicle carrying radar equipment was seen moving to a launch site on the North’s eastern coast from a munitions factory near Pyongyang.

“It can be analyzed that the North is proceeding with a missile launch preparation in stages,” Yonhap quoted a South Korean government official it did not name as saying.

South Korean and Japanese media said last week that intelligence agents had spotted a train carrying a long, cylinder-shaped object — believed to be a long-range missile — to the launch site at Musudan-ni.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has played down reports of possible North Korean missile launch preparations, noting Tuesday that Pyongyang’s last such test in 2006 was a failure and that the U.S. could shoot down a North Korean missile “should we deem it necessary.”

Nevertheless, North Korea’s saber-rattling has been interpreted as an attempt to grab President Barack Obama’s attention; U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is scheduled to visit South Korea next week.

Obama has expressed willingness for direct talks with the North — including possibly meeting with leader Kim Jong Il. The stalled multi-national dialogue to disarm North Korea resumed late last year after the U.S. removed the country from its list of nations that sponsor terrorism. Those talks also involved China, Russia, South Korea and Japan.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman warned Wednesday that North Korea’s actions could disrupt the disarmament process.

“I think activities of this nature, should they be taking place, would be harmful to the ongoing efforts, the diplomatic efforts within the six-party talks,” Whitman said. “It’s always been our position that North Korea should refrain from provocative actions that might aggravate tensions in the region.”

The foreign ministers of South Korea and Japan said they were mindful about the possibility of another North Korean missile test.

“Both of us shared concerns about North Korea’s intentional acts of stoking tension … and urge North Korea to behave in a way that contributes to regional stability,” South Korean Foreign Minster Yu Myung-hwan said at a news conference in Seoul with his Japanese counterpart, Hirofumi Nakasone.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009021
1/ap_on_re_as/as_nkorea_missile_5

Volcano erupts near Tokyo; Alaska Next?

February 2, 2009

A snowcapped volcano northwest of Tokyo erupted early Monday, sending up a huge plume of smoke and gas and raining fine, powdery ash on parts of Japan’s capital.

There were no reports of injuries or damage from the eruption of Mount Asama, which is about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northwest of Tokyo.

The volcano erupted at 1:51 a.m. (0451 GMT, 11:51 p.m. EST) Monday, belching out a plume that rose about a mile (1.6 kilometers) high, according to Japan’s Meteorological Agency. The plume was still roiling over the volcano’s crater late Monday.

Chunks of rock from the explosion were found about 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) away from the volcano. Ash was detected over a wide area, including central Tokyo. In the town of Karuizawa, southeast of the volcano, the ash was thick enough to obscure road markings in some areas, town official Noboru Yanagishi said.

“Some people said they heard a strange noise in the morning when the eruption occurred,” he said.

The eruption was not big enough to disrupt daily life near the volcano, though many people awoke to find their cars covered in a fine layer of powder. National broadcaster NHK showed people in Tokyo lining up to get carwashes, or wiping the ash from their windows.

Smoke billows from a crater of Mt.Asama, central Japan early ... 
Smoke billows from a crater of Mt.Asama, central Japan early Monday, Feb. 2, 2009. The mountain spewed volcanic smoke earlier this morning. The country’s Meteorological Agency warned Sunday that the volcano was in danger in erupting after detecting an increase in seismic activity.(AP Photo/Kyodo News, Shigeyuki Inakuma)

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With 108 active volcanos, Japan is among the most seismically busy countries in the world. The country lies in the “Ring of Fire” — a series of volcanoes and fault lines that outline the Pacific Ocean.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090202
/ap_on_re_as/as_japan_volcano

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Alaska’s Mount Redoubt continued to rumble and emit steam Sunday but showed no dramatic burst of energy from the previous day, geologists monitoring the volcano said.

Geologist Tina Neal at the Alaska Volcano Observatory said scientists still believe an eruption is highly likely.

“It could erupt later today or in two weeks – or not at all,” Neal said. “It looks like a volcano that wants to erupt and our general impression is that it’s more likely to erupt than not. But there’s still a possibility that this one could just go back to sleep. There’s a lot of uncertainty.”

As a precaution, Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage – 100 miles northeast of Redoubt – was moving some of its aircraft to McChord Air Force Base in Washington. Officials said the base was starting with five C-17 cargo planes and could relocate other aircraft if deemed necessary.

“We’re just trying to be proactive and protect our assets,” said 1st Lt. Erin Slaughter. “Our aircraft support other missions, such as delivering supplies to Iraq and Afghanistan, and this relocation will allow them to still do all those missions even if the volcano does erupt.”

From AP

Read the rest:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/
2008696369_apalaskavolcano1stldwritethru.html?
syndication=rss

Japan to tourists: Please don’t lick the tuna

January 26, 2009

Tourists are known for acting silly, but licking the tuna?

Overwhelmed by a growing number of misbehaving tourists, Tokyo fishmongers banned all visitors from one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations — the pre-dawn tuna auctions at the world’s largest seafood market.

The ban, imposed during the peak New Year buying season, was front-page news before it was lifted last week. Now, the tourists are back, but the debate goes on: Can tourists be trusted around the tuna?

By SHINO YUASA, Associated Press Writer

“We understand that the sight of hundreds of frozen tuna looks unique and interesting for foreign tourists,” said Yoshiaki Takagi, deputy director of the market. “But they have to understand the Tsukiji market is a professional place, not an amusement park.”

One of the more notorious recent cases was that of a tipsy British tourist — caught on tape by a Japanese TV crew — who licked the head of a frozen tuna and patted its gill. Two others, also caught on video, rode around on a cart used by wholesalers. “Get out! Get out!” an irate market official shouted in English.

“Tuna is a very expensive fish,” Takagi said. “One tuna can easily cost more than 1 million yen ($11,000). But some tourists touch them and even try to hug them.”

Fed up, the market decided to impose the ban.

So, when on Jan. 5, a premium bluefin tuna fetched 9.63 million yen — more than $107,000, the highest price in nearly a decade — no tourists were anywhere in sight. The restriction was lifted on Jan. 19, despite some grumbling from the fishmongers.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090126
/ap_on_re_as/as_japan_fishy_tourists

USA ‘Family Planning’ and ‘Choice,’ Japan Encourages More Children, China: Forced Abortions

January 26, 2009

In the U.S. we accept and even encourage abortions; but when it seems to tricky to say so we call abortion “choice or “family planning.”  Nancy Pelosi even says ‘family palling” money will be in the economic stimulus bill.

China has a “One Child” rule per family.  If you don’t get an abortion after the first one, forced abortions can be available.

In Japan, some companies are encouraging couples to have more sex and more children.

So we different cultures deal with sex and life and death….

Related:

Japan Wants More Children:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiap
cf/01/26/canon.babies/index.html

Birth Control is Part of Economic ‘Stimulus,’ Where Is My Viagra?

Japan To Jobless Immigrants: Just Go Home; Global “Reverse Migration”

January 23, 2009

As the global economy continues to worsen , and more people are unemployed, a kind of reverse migration has started.

Chinse migrants that have traveled for decades to far away jobs are leaving places where jobs no longer exists and heading into the countryised where they were born.

“This is no longer home.  This was my parents home was.  But there is no job for me anywhere else.  So I come back home,” said Qang Le.

In Japan, immigrats not born in Japan are being told to “just go home” when they lose their jobs.

Hundreds of millions of people are now starting a kind a new migration, some experts say.

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From UPI:

Some immigrants in Japan say they are leaving for their homelands because of the impact the economic crisis has had on the Asian country.

 

Brazilian national Paulino Onuma said his family of four is relocating from Japan to Brazil after he and his wife lost their jobs, The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO) said Friday.

“We have no desire to go home,” Onuma, 29, said. “We are only going back because of the situation.”

“The feeling of the city is that if foreigners have lost their jobs, then they should leave the country,” fellow Brazilian immigrant Kooji Horinouti said of the situation in the Japanese city of Ueda.

The Japanese government has actually begun implementing programs designed to help jobless immigrants remain in Japan despite the economic downturn, the Post reported.

Japan Immigration Policy Institute director Hidenori Sakanaka told the newspaper that marks a drastic change in standard policy.

“Japan has a long history of rejecting foreign residents who try to settle here,” he said. “Normally, the response of the government would have been to encourage these jobless people to just go home.”

Toyoto Passes GM in Sales; GM Fears Cash Collapse

January 21, 2009

Poor GM.  It may run out of money before March 31st, and for the first time ever, Toyota sold more cars than the stuggling U.S. automaker.

General Motors sold fewer cars globally than Toyota last year, as the Japanese automaker passed the Detroit company for the first time. GM says it sold 8.356 million cars and trucks in 2008, falling about 616,000 vehicles short of Toyota’s total of 8.972 million.  General Motors Corp. posted an 11 percent drop for the year, while Toyota’s sales fell 4 percent.

Associated Press

And now GM needs some money – quick!

The target date for General Motors Corp. to get its second installment of government loans passed last week, but a top company executive says he expects the money to arrive in the next several days.

Fritz Henderson, GM’s president and chief operating officer, said without the second installment of $5.4 billion, the company would run out of cash long before March 31.

In December, the Treasury Department authorized $13.4 billion in loans for GM and another $4 billion for Chrysler LLC to keep both automakers out of bankruptcy.

Read the rest:
http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2009/01/2
1/2009-01-21_general_motors_may_run_out_o
f_cash_by_ma.html

Claims of discrimination renewed in Japan

January 21, 2009

As the United States welcomes its first African-American to its highest office, Japan is still dealing with prejudice that some say has kept this country from breaking ancient taboos and installing a minority as its leader.

Nearly a decade ago, seasoned politician Hiromu Nonaka was on the verge of becoming prime minister in a heated battle with the man who now holds the post, Taro Aso.

The issue took an ugly turn when Nonaka’s roots as a “burakumin,” or the descendent of former outcasts, was allegedly raised by Aso, the scion of a wealthy, establishment family.

By MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press Writer

The burakumin are the descendants of people who were considered under Buddhist beliefs to be unclean — butchers, tanners, undertakers — and were separated from the general population.

Though Japan did away with its caste system several years after the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery in 1865, discrimination against the burakumin remains strong, affecting employment, marriage and social interaction. Maps detailing the areas where the burakumin were once forced to live together in enclaves are still used to “out” people who don’t want their roots known.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009012
1/ap_on_re_as/as_japan_outcasts_2