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Japan (News/Activism)

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  • Japanese MP [claims] Obama CHEATS...looming divorce is 'an open secret'

    04/24/2014 5:12:18 PM PDT · by SoFloFreeper · 22 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | 4/24/14 | David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor
    A prominent Japanese politician has raised hackles as Barack Obama visits Tokyo by claiming it's an 'open secret' that he and the first lady are headed for divorce, and that the president has been using Secret Service agents to cover for him as he pursues extramarital affairs. Kazuyuki Hamada, who sits in the upper house of Japan's parliament, earned his PhD a half-mile from the White House at George Washington University, and emerged as a shrill commentator on America's economy and foreign policy.
  • UNITED STATES PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA BOWS TO JAPANESE ROBOT

    04/24/2014 6:15:53 AM PDT · by Hojczyk · 34 replies
    Breitbart Big Peace ^ | April24 | CHARLIE SPIERING
    TOKYO (AP) — The voice was slightly halting, childlike. "Welcome to Miraikan, Mr. President, it is a pleasure to meet you." President Barack Obama bowed, looking delighted. His greeter, after all, was a 55-inch-tall, give or take, humanoid robot with the look of a diminutive Star Wars storm trooper. "It's nice to meet you, too," Obama said, pausing to watch the robot, named ASIMO, perform during a tour of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. During his visit to Tokyo, President Obama had a chance to meet ASIMO, a Japanese humanoid robot. ASIMO, an acronym for Advanced Step...
  • Obama plays soccer with 'scary' robot in Japan

    04/24/2014 6:05:47 AM PDT · by maggief · 9 replies
    The Hill ^ | April 24, 2014 | Justin Sink
    President Obama got to play soccer with a Japanese robot on Thursday, an experience he described as both “amazing” and “a little scary.” The president visited the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo for an event designed to highlight technological collaboration between the U.S. and Japan. Obama met with students who showed off their scientific experiments, viewed a recorded message from Japanese and American astronauts aboard the International Space Station, and announced a new initiative to increase student exchanges between the two countries. But the highlight of the trip appeared to be the president’s interaction with a...
  • Caroline Kennedy on Life As Ambassador: Palace Runs, Twitter Controversy [Media Worship]

    04/24/2014 5:32:28 AM PDT · by SoFloFreeper · 15 replies
    ABC ^ | 4/24/14 | Devin Dwyer
    ..."I think that my story in a way is a great metaphor for the US-Japan alliance," Kennedy told ABC's Jonathan Karl in an interview here. "Countries that were once adversaries and enemies in war are now the best of friends and allies... ...Kennedy is a celebrated figure on the streets of Tokyo, where she received an almost royal welcome here five months ago.... Kennedy has demonstrated that she isn't afraid to rock the boat. Shortly after arriving in Japan, she stirred up controversy with a Twitter condemnation of the annual dolphin hunt, a Japanese tradition. She called the slaughter "deeply...
  • Japanese MP angry Michelle didn't join prez, claims Obama CHEATS, looming divorce 'open secret'

    04/23/2014 9:28:02 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 51 replies
    The London Daily Mail ^ | April 23, 2014 | David Martosko, US Political Editor
    A prominent Japanese politician has raised hackles as Barack Obama visits Tokyo by claiming it's an 'open secret' that he and the first lady are headed for divorce, and that the president has been using Secret Service agents to cover for him as he pursues extramarital affairs. Kazuyuki Hamada, who sits in the upper house of Japan's parliament, earned his PhD a half-mile from the White House at George Washington University, and emerged as a shrill commentator on America's economy and foreign policy. In 2009 he also joined the ranks of the so-called 'birthers,' arguing in a book titled 'Who...
  • Obama Is Eating At The Legendary 'Jiro Dreams Of Sushi' Restaurant

    04/23/2014 9:40:56 AM PDT · by SoFloFreeper · 31 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 4/23/14 | BRETT LOGIURATO
    [Obama] and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dined at a legendary sushi restaurant... Chef Jiro Ono, 87, is considered to be one of the top sushi chefs in the world. Ono prepares the sushi himself. His recommended special course — which features a rare, endangered species of bluefin tuna — starts at about $300. It includes more than a dozen courses served in about 20 minutes.
  • Obama goes stag to Asia, and Japanese don't like it (+video)

    04/23/2014 9:02:21 AM PDT · by george76 · 38 replies
    The Christian Science Monitor ^ | April 22, 2014 | Howard LaFranchi
    Obama travels to Japan without the first lady, and Japanese tongues are wagging about what that says about Japan's place on the US priority list. After all, Michelle Obama and daughters recently went to (gasp!) China. ... Now on the eve of Mr. Obama’s state visit to Tokyo this week, Japan is back to openly fretting about its place on America’s priority list – particularly in comparison to rising rival China. The reason? When Obama arrives Wednesday evening, he’ll disembark Air Force One solo – without first lady Michelle Obama. Obama will be the first US president to come to...
  • As China and Japan Prepare for War, American Forces Battle over Turf

    04/23/2014 9:01:30 AM PDT · by AU72 · 8 replies
    The American Thinker ^ | April 23, 2014 | David Archibald
    Many readers of American Thinker may be thinking that a war between China and Japan, with or without the US being involved, is precluded by the fact that it would be stupid and destructive. Nevertheless, the people who are actually going to fight that war are continuing to prepare for it. Chinese shaping of the psychological battle-space continues. The latest development is the seizure of a Japanese cargo ship in China with the excuse being compensation for two Chinese ships leased by Japan in 1936. The Japanese have announced the building of a radar station on the farthest of the...
  • Obama says Japan's disputed islands with China is within scope of U.S.-Japan security treaty

    04/23/2014 7:45:43 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 27 replies
    Reuters ^ | 04/23/2014
    (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said that islands at the center of a territorial dispute between Japan and China fall within the scope of the U.S.-Japan security treaty, the Yomiuri Shimbun daily said on Wednesday. Obama, who arrives in Japan later on Wednesday on the first step of a four-nation Asian visit, made the remarks in written replies to questions.
  • Preparing the US military for the 'threat multiplier' of climate change.

    04/22/2014 11:46:58 AM PDT · by machogirl · 41 replies
    Slate via Stripes.com ^ | 04-21-2014 | Eric Holthaus
    The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just completed a series of landmark reports that chronicle an update to the current state of consensus science on climate change. Its conclusion: On our current path, climate change could pose an irreversible, existential risk to civilization as we know it, but we can still fix it if we decide to work together. But in addition to the call for cooperation, the reports also shared an alarming new trend: Climate change is already destabilizing nations and leading to wars. That finding was highlighted in last week's premiere of Showtime's climate change docu-drama...
  • The U.S. Cut Military Spending in 2013, While These Two Global Powers Did the Opposite

    04/23/2014 6:26:00 AM PDT · by SkyPilot · 29 replies
    The Blaze ^ | 14 Apr 14 | Elizabeth Kreft
    Global military spending dropped by nearly two percent in 2013, led by the United States which dropped it’s spending by 7.8 percent. By contrast, the military industrial complexes in Russia and China are bustling; seeing a 4.8 and 7.4 percent increase, respectively. "For the first time since 2003, Russia spent a larger percentage of it’s Gross Domestic Product on military expenses than the United States… " The U.S. dropped spending from roughly $690 Billion in 2012, to $640 Billion in 2013, shrinking to 3.8 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. The reduction is noted in real terms, which means the...
  • Obama pledges Japan islands support as Asian tour begins [If you like your islands, keep them...]

    04/23/2014 1:54:35 AM PDT · by SoFloFreeper · 14 replies
    BBC ^ | 4/23/14
    US President Barack Obama has assured Japan that islands at the centre of its territorial dispute with China are covered by a bilateral defence treaty. In an interview ahead of his Asian tour, Mr Obama said the US would oppose any attempt to undermine Japan's control over the islands.
  • Despite Abenomics, Japan Trade Deficit Largest in History

    04/22/2014 4:53:10 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 3 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | April 22, 2014 | Mike Shedlock
    Those who think a collapsing currency is a sure-fire way to increase exports need to rethink their beliefs. Despite a falling Yen, Japan Posts Largest-Ever Trade Deficit. The gap between the value of Japan’s exports and that of its imports grew by more than two-thirds in the 12 months through March, to Y13.7tn ($134bn), according to government data released on Monday. It was the third consecutive fiscal year of deficits, the longest streak since comparable records began in the 1970s. Toyota, Hitachi and other large Japanese companies have enjoyed soaring profits as a result of the weaker yen, which has...
  • A Show of Contempt, at Home and Abroad ... Mark Steyn

    04/20/2014 2:36:00 AM PDT · by Rummyfan · 13 replies
    Steyn Online ^ | 18 Apr 2014 | Mark Steyn
    Happy Easter, Happy Passover. On this Good Friday, we mark the tenth anniversary of Mel's movie, and over the weekend we'll have something with a lighter touch. Caroline Glick, my old colleague from The Jerusalem Post, has a column using a very Steynian word, "The Disappearance of America's Will": The most terrifying aspect of the collapse of US power worldwide is the US's indifferent response to it. In Europe, in Asia, in the Middle East and beyond, America's most dangerous foes are engaging in aggression and brinkmanship unseen in decades.
  • Japan expands army footprint for first time in 40 years, risks angering China

    04/19/2014 10:24:33 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 11 replies
    Reuters ^ | April 19, 2014 | BY NOBUHIRO KUBO
    Japan began its first military expansion at the western end of its island chain in more than 40 years on Saturday, breaking ground on a radar station on a tropical island off Taiwan. The move risks angering China, locked in a dispute with Japan over nearby islands which they both claim. Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, who attended a ceremony on Yonaguni island to mark the start of construction, suggested the military presence could be enlarged to other islands in the seas southwest of Japan's main islands. "This is the first deployment since the U.S. returned Okinawa (1972) and calls...
  • Putin says oil wars with Russia will make West bleed

    04/17/2014 7:34:50 AM PDT · by kronos77 · 20 replies
    Opportunities for the West to hurt the Russian economy are limited, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday. Europe cannot stop buying Russian gas without inflicting pain on itself, and if the US tries to lower oil prices, the dollar will suffer. If the West tries to damage Russia’s influence in the world energy market, efforts will likely backfire, the Russian President said during his twelfth annual televised question and answer session. To really influence the world oil market a country would need to increase production and cut prices, which currently only Saudi Arabia could afford, Putin said. The president added he...
  • Japan's indigenous stealth fighter to fly this year amid arms race worries

    04/17/2014 5:22:10 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 35 replies
    South China Morning Post ^ | Wednesday, 16 April, 2014 | Julian Ryall
    Development of ATD-X jet part of Tokyo's effort to upgrade its defence capabilities; analysts warn it could spark claims of arms race in Asia The ATD-X's engines produce 5,000kg of thrust. Photo: SCMP A prototype of Japan's first domestically produced stealth fighter will get airborne before the end of the year, a significant development in Tokyo's efforts to improve its defence capabilities. Known as the Advanced Technology Demonstrator-X (ATD-X) fighter, the aircraft is being developed by the defence ministry's research institute and a number of private companies, primarily Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told the Diet's defence committee...
  • Obama looks to salvage Asia 'pivot' as allies fret about China

    04/16/2014 4:17:57 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 4 replies
    Reuters ^ | April 16, 2014 | BY MATT SPETALNICK AND MANUEL MOGATO
    When a Philippine government ship evaded a Chinese blockade in disputed waters of the South China Sea last month, a U.S. Navy plane swooped in to witness the dramatic encounter. The flyover was a vivid illustration of the expanding significance of one of Asia's most strategic regions and underscored a message that senior U.S. officials say President Barack Obama will make in Asia next week: The "pivot" of U.S. military and diplomatic assets toward the Asia-Pacific region is real. Washington's Asian allies, however, appear unconvinced.
  • Mammoths may roam again after 27,000 years

    08/14/2006 9:17:59 PM PDT · by peyton randolph · 129 replies · 3,440+ views
    Times Online (U.K.) ^ | 08/15/2006 | Mark Henderson
    BODIES of extinct Ice Age mammals, such as woolly mammoths, that have been frozen in permafrost for thousands of years may contain viable sperm that could be used to bring them back from the dead, scientists said yesterday. Research has indicated that mammalian sperm can survive being frozen for much longer than was previously thought, suggesting that it could potentially be recovered from species that have died out...
  • DNA scholars hope to stock Siberia 'park' with mammoths

    08/22/2002 9:12:32 AM PDT · by Korth · 23 replies · 648+ views
    Japan Times ^ | August 20, 2002 | JULIAN RYALL
    "Jurassic Park" was a work of fiction. Pleistocene Park is in the process of becoming fact. A joint team of Japanese and Russian scientists arrived in the Siberian province of Yakutsk late last month to excavate a number of creatures that have been extinct for millennia -- including mammoths and woolly rhinoceroses. They plan to extract DNA from the frozen remains, cross-breed the retrieved nuclei with the creatures' modern-day counterparts and return the resurrected dinosaurs to a vast "safari park" in northern Siberia. "It probably sounds a little far-fetched, but it's absolutely possible to do this," said professor Akira Iritani,...
  • Mammoths may roam again after 27,000 years

    08/15/2006 10:23:52 AM PDT · by freedom44 · 34 replies · 972+ views
    Times UK ^ | 8/15/06 | Times UK
    BODIES of extinct Ice Age mammals, such as woolly mammoths, that have been frozen in permafrost for thousands of years may contain viable sperm that could be used to bring them back from the dead, scientists said yesterday. Research has indicated that mammalian sperm can survive being frozen for much longer than was previously thought, suggesting that it could potentially be recovered from species that have died out. Several well-preserved mammoth carcasses have been found in the permafrost of Siberia, and scientists estimate that there could be millions more. Last year a Canadian team demonstrated that it was possible to...
  • Japanese Films about WWII Spark Controversy

    04/14/2014 11:57:40 AM PDT · by Saint X · 84 replies
    USNI News ^ | April 14, 2014 | USNI News
    A film about kamikaze pilots has been playing to packed theaters from Hokkaido to Kyushu since its release in December of 2013, becoming one of the top-grossing Japanese productions of all time. In addition to attracting the admiration of Prime Minster Shinzo Abe, “The Eternal Zero” has drawn a fair amount of criticism for being the latest in a string of recent films that mythologize the Japanese role in World War II.
  • Looks Like China’s Building a Giant New Warship

    04/10/2014 9:16:00 PM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 10 replies
    War is Boring ^ | 04/07/2014 | David Axe
    Possible missile cruiser could outweigh rival surface combatants There is evidence that China is in the early stages of building a positively enormous missile cruiser—one that could be bigger and potentially more powerful than any equivalent American or Japanese vessel. On April 6, China Defense Blog—an Internet forum for close observers of Chinese military developments—republished a series of photographs that recently circulated on China’s firewalled national Internet. The photos, reportedly snapped at the Wuhan Technical College of Communication, depict what appears to be a mock-up of a large surface warship—the kind of mock-up used for testing radars and other sensors....
  • This Japanese toilet should make Americans very worried

    04/10/2014 7:16:24 AM PDT · by C19fan · 141 replies
    The Week ^ | April 9, 2014 | Noah Smith
    I remember about 10 years ago, I was watching a National Geographic show about a hunter-gatherer tribe in Papua New Guinea. The men were running around in loincloths with spears, hunting animals, making offerings to the gods — you know, typical primitive-tribe stuff. But okay, I don't judge... we're all descended from people like that. ......................................................... I suspect that the real reason we don't adopt Japanese toilets is the very fact that people are so eager to give reasons not to. We've grown used to the idea that everything good is invented in America. If it wasn't invented here, it...
  • China Might Actually Seize Japan's Southern Islands

    04/09/2014 12:09:51 PM PDT · by mojito · 42 replies
    Foreign Policy ^ | 4/8/2014 | James Holmes
    ....The southern tip of the Ryukyu Islands sits only about 80 miles east of the Senkakus. Unlike the uninhabited Senkakus, the Ryukyus host not only roughly 1.5 million Japanese residents, but also the U.S. Marine and Air Force bases that anchor the U.S. presence in the East China Sea. Occupying the Ryukyus would fracture the U.S. strategic position in East Asia -- separating U.S. forces based in Japan (to the north) from those at Bahrain, the other permanent U.S. hub in Asia, far to the west. At a bare minimum, U.S. ships and aircraft would have to detour around Chinese-held...
  • Green 'smear campaign' against professor who dared to disown 'sexed up' UN climate dossier

    04/09/2014 7:54:15 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 15 replies
    Daily Mail UK ^ | 05 April 2014 | David Rose
    The professor who refused to sign last week’s high-profile UN climate report because it was too ‘alarmist’, has told The Mail on Sunday he has become the victim of a smear campaign. Richard Tol claims he is fighting a sustained attack on his reputation by a key figure from a leading institution that researches the impact of global warming. Prof Tol said: ‘This has all the characteristics of a smear campaign. It’s all about taking away my credibility as an expert.’ Prof Tol, from Sussex University, is a highly respected climate economist and one of two ‘co-ordinating lead authors’ of...
  • The Japanese Sales Tax Hike Verdict Is In: Disaster As Sales Plunge 25% (Are you watching, America?)

    04/09/2014 9:39:24 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 24 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 04/09/2014 | Tyler Durden
    On April 1, as was widely known, Japan raised its sales tax from 5% to 8% - a move many dread could unleash a recession as happened the last time Japan hiked a consumption tax in 1997. A week later the verdict on just how much consumption was frontloaded ahead of the hike is in, as we get the first sales data on the ground. The result is, in short, a disaster: overnight the Nikkei reported that Japanese department store Takashimaya’s revenue in April 1-7 period crashed 25%!  We for one can't wait to see what Japan's Q2 GDP...
  • Japan fighters scrambled 415 times against Chinese aircraft in FY2013

    04/09/2014 8:38:26 AM PDT · by mojito · 5 replies
    Nikkei/Kyodo ^ | 4/9/2014 | Unattributed
    TOKYO - Japanese fighter jets were scrambled a record high 415 times in response to Chinese aircraft approaching Japanese airspace in fiscal 2013, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday. That surpassed the previous record of 306 times the previous year, said the ministry which began releasing such data by country in fiscal 2001.
  • Another South Korean superlative: Most draft dodgers in prison

    04/09/2014 7:37:18 AM PDT · by wetphoenix · 13 replies
    CSM via Yahoo! ^ | April 8, 2014 | Donald Kirk
    Kim Ji-gwan has a succinct explanation for why he, his father, and two brothers all chose to go to jail rather than be drafted into the South Korean armed forces. “It is very simple,” says Mr. Kim, chatting in a coffee shop in the city’s posh Kangnam district. “Jesus commanded all his followers to love your neighbor.” In the past, the US and many other countries accepted religious beliefs as grounds for opting out of military service. Not so South Korea, where men still serve a minimum of 21 months in the military. The UN Human Rights Council reports that...
  • A Nightmare Presidency

    04/09/2014 2:26:35 AM PDT · by Unam Sanctam · 62 replies
    American Spectator ^ | 4/9/2014 | Ben Stein
    This is a bad morning. I was greeted by a headline in the New York Times that said Defense Secretary “Chuck Mullet” Hagel was planning to submit a budget to Congress to cut the size of the military to a level not seen since 1940, before the U.S. entered World War II. The article went on to say that the Pentagon realized that this would be an inadequate force for even very small wars and certainly would not allow the U.S. to police the world and keep control of contingencies like a North Korean attack on the South or a...
  • US sending 2 warships to Japan to counter N. Korea

    04/06/2014 1:30:46 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 36 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Apr 6, 2014 12:10 PM EDT | Lolita C. Baldor
    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivered a two-pronged warning to Asia Pacific nations Sunday, announcing that the U.S. will send two additional ballistic missile destroyers to Japan to counter the North Korean threat, and saying China must better respect its neighbors. In unusually forceful remarks about China, Hagel drew a direct line between Russia’s takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea region and the ongoing territorial disputes between China, Japan and others over remote islands in the East China Sea. “I think we’re seeing some clear evidence of a lack of respect and intimidation and coercion in Europe today with what the Russians...
  • New agreement to share military technology will boost ties with Japan (Australia)

    04/06/2014 1:22:28 PM PDT · by Dundee · 2 replies
    THE AUSTRALIAN ^ | APRIL 07, 2014 | DAVID CROWE
    AUSTRALIA will deepen its ­security alliance with Japan in a new agreement to share military technology as Tony Abbott moves to strengthen the relationship beyond an imminent deal to boost trade. The defence agreement opens the way for Australian access to advanced systems that could greatly increase the power of a new submarine fleet while saving billions of dollars. The agreement will be announced in Tokyo today as the Prime Minister also finalises a trade deal that will cut the price of Japanese cars, and increase exports of Australian beef and dairy products. Mr Abbott will highlight the security alliance...
  • U.S. Response to Crimea Worries Japan’s Leaders

    04/05/2014 11:02:40 AM PDT · by mojito · 31 replies
    New York Slimes ^ | 4/5/2014 | HELENE COOPER and MARTIN FACKLER
    TOKYO — When President Bill Clinton signed a 1994 agreement promising to “respect” the territorial integrity of Ukraine if it gave up its nuclear weapons, there was little thought then of how that obscure diplomatic pact — called the Budapest Memorandum — might affect the long-running defense partnership between the United States and Japan. But now, as American officials have distanced themselves from the Budapest Memorandum in light of Russia’s takeover of Crimea, calling promises made in Budapest “nonbinding,” the United States is being forced at the same time to make reassurances in Asia. Japanese officials, a senior American military...
  • Japan to intercept any North Korea missile deemed a threat

    04/05/2014 8:39:30 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind
    Yahoo News ^ | 04/05/2014 | Nobuhiro Kubo
    Japan will strike any North Korean ballistic missile that threatens to hit Japan in the coming weeks after Pyongyang recently fired medium-range missiles, a government source said on Saturday. Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera issued the order, which took effect on Thursday and runs through April 25, the day that marks the founding of North Korea's army, the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Following the order, meant "to prepare for any additional missile launches," a destroyer was dispatched to the Sea of Japan and will fire if North Korea launches a missile that Tokyo deems in danger of striking...
  • Hagel: US strongly committed to protecting Japan

    04/05/2014 2:53:30 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 18 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Apr 5, 2014 4:19 AM EDT | Lolita C. Baldor
    Against the backdrop of Russia’s takeover of Ukraine’s Crimean region, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Saturday a key message he will deliver to leaders in Tokyo this weekend is that the U.S. is strongly committed to protecting Japan’s security. Hagel said it is understandable for nations to be concerned as they watch the events unfold in Ukraine, where Russian troops are still massed along the border. The issue reverberates in Asia where China, Japan and other nations are locked in bitter territorial disputes, including over disputed islands in the East China Sea. …
  • Japan orders military to strike any new North Korea missile launches

    04/04/2014 9:06:22 PM PDT · by MeshugeMikey · 68 replies
    Reuters ^ | April 4 | No Attribution
    Japan has ordered a destroyer in the Sea of Japan to strike any ballistic missiles that may be launched by North Korea in the coming weeks after Pyongyang fired a Rodong medium-range missile over the sea, a government source said on Saturday.
  • U.S. Warns China Not to Attempt Crimea-Style Action in Asia

    04/04/2014 8:22:30 PM PDT · by kristinn · 54 replies
    Reuters via Yahoo! News ^ | Thursday, April 3, 2014 | David Brunnstrom
    China should not doubt the U.S. commitment to defend its Asian allies and the prospect of economic retaliation should also discourage Beijing from using force to pursue territorial claims in Asia in the way Russia has in Crimea, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday. Daniel Russel, President Barack Obama's diplomatic point man for East Asia, said it was difficult to determine what China's intentions might be, but Russia's annexation of Crimea had heightened concerns among U.S. allies in the region about the possibility of China using force to pursue its claims. "The net effect is to put more pressure...
  • Mazda recalling cars due to potential spider web damage

    04/04/2014 12:48:19 PM PDT · by smokingfrog · 41 replies
    WTVQ ^ | 4-3-14 | AP story
    DETROIT (AP) — Mazda announced on Friday that it is recalling more than 40,000 Mazda 6 cars in the United States, because spiders can weave a web in a vent hose and cause the fuel tank to crack. The recall involves cars from the 2010 through 2012 model years equipped with 2.5-liter engines. Mazda recalled cars in 2011 for the same problem, for which it put covers on the vent line, but has since discovered that spiders can still get past them.
  • Adultery site big in Japan where marriage reigns (“Ashley Madison”)

    04/02/2014 10:14:02 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 17 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Apr 2, 2014 12:54 PM EDT | Yuri Kageyama
    Ashley Madison, the world’s biggest online hookup site for married people, works only when monogamy is the rule on the surface but, deep inside, couples want to cheat. That’s why it is scoring big in Japan. The nation that prides itself on conformity and proper appearances reached a million users in eight and a half months, the fastest pace among any of the 37 countries where the adultery site operates. The previous record was Brazil at 10 months. The U.S., which has the biggest number of users at 13 million, took a year to achieve the one million mark. Spain...
  • Japanese institute says "breakthrough" stem cell study was fabricated

    04/01/2014 4:20:40 PM PDT · by mojito · 2 replies
    CBS News ^ | 4/1/2014 | Unattributed
    TOKYO -- Data in a widely lauded stem-cell research paper was falsified, a Japanese government-funded laboratory said Tuesday, as the lead researcher accused of the malpractice denied any wrongdoing. The research from the Riken Center for Development Biology in Kobe, western Japan, had been hailed as a possible breakthrough for growing tissue to treat illnesses such as diabetes and Parkinson's disease using a simple lab procedure. But significant discrepancies in the "game-changing" research published in January in scientific journal Nature led a panel of scientists at Riken to conclude they stemmed from falsified data. They said researcher Haruko Obokata, the...
  • Will Americans Buy Toyota Motor Corporation's Hydrogen Car?

    04/01/2014 10:59:40 AM PDT · by kingattax · 53 replies
    Motley Fool ^ | March 31, 2014 | John Rosevear
    Hydrogen-powered cars are coming to U.S. dealerships. But will Americans buy them? Toyota (NYSE: TM ) is betting that at least a few Americans will be willing to pay for a car that runs on hydrogen. The company is expected to launch a production version of its FCV Concept vehicle in Japan, the U.S., and Europe next year. The FCV Concept is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. Essentially, it's an electric car that extracts its energy from compressed hydrogen, instead of a battery. Advocates of fuel-cell-powered cars say they're just as clean as battery-electrics -- their only "exhaust" is...
  • ZUBRIN: The folly of blocking natural-gas exports

    04/01/2014 10:39:49 AM PDT · by thackney · 9 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | 3/31/2014 | Robert Zubrin
    The boom in American natural-gas production during the past several years, and the consequent crash of domestic natural-gas prices, has caused many to call for the liberation of U.S. natural-gas exports. The ongoing Russian invasion of the Crimea and threat to the rest of Ukraine has added still greater urgency to these calls, as the need take action to weaken Russian President Vladimir Putin’s natural-gas stranglehold over Europe has become vital. Despite these economic and national security imperatives, there are still those who maintain that allowing American natural-gas producers to export their product would damage the national interest. According to...
  • For MSDF's newest 'ninja' submarines, it's all about stealth (Japan)

    03/31/2014 9:02:57 PM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 22 replies
    The Asahi Shimbun, Japan ^ | April 01, 2014 | FUMIAKI SONOYAMA
    Known as the “ninja of the seas,” Japan’s Hakuryu submarine carries enough firepower to knock out an aircraft carrier with a single blow. But the Type 89 torpedo is not the vessel’s most effective feature in strengthening Japan’s warning and surveillance operations in its waters. “A submarine’s greatest weapon is stealth,” Maritime Self-Defense Force Capt. Kaoru Yoshida said. “Our mere presence that makes (the enemy think) ‘there might be a powerful submarine out there’ is a deterrent.” In the National Defense Program Guidelines formulated at the end of last year, Japan decided to increase its submarine fleet from the current...
  • Barrasso Wants To Use Wyo. Gas As Weapon Against Russia

    03/29/2014 3:05:57 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 28 replies
    wyomingpublicmedia.org ^ | March 29, 2014 | Matt Laslo
    Lawmakers in Washington are debating whether to export more natural gas to combat Russian threats to cut off its gas supplies to Europe. Our D-C reporter Matt Laslo has a look at what that could mean for Wyoming’s economy – and environment… MATT LASLO: Wyoming's junior senator, John Barrasso, made waves when her first came to Washington. And while he's now in the Republican leadership team in the U-S Senate, he's starting to get brushed aside by many reporters and politicians because of his near singular focus on dismantling what he terms Obamacare. But this week lawmakers of all stripes...
  • World's 'Longest-Serving' Death Row Inmate Granted Retrial

    03/28/2014 4:25:51 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 21 replies
    Emirates 24/7 ^ | Friday, March 28, 2014
    Hideko Hakamada, sister of former boxer Iwao Hakamada who has been on death row in Japan for 48 years, holding a picture of her young brother Iwao during an interview outside the Tokyo Detention House in Tokyo. (AFP) A man believed to be the world's longest-serving death row inmate was Thursday granted a retrial in Japan over multiple murders in 1966, decades after doubts emerged about his guilt. Shizuoka District Court decided to "start the retrial over the case" of Iwao Hakamada, 78, who was convicted for the grisly murder of his boss and the man's family, a court official...
  • Condi Rice Blasts Obama on Weakness, Leadership

    03/27/2014 12:57:31 PM PDT · by ColdOne · 27 replies
    weeklystandard.com ^ | 3/27/14 | STEPHEN F. HAYES
    Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accused Barack Obama of dramatically weakening the United States' position in the world, drawing a straight line between Obama’s ever-yielding foreign policy and the increasing troubles around the world. Rice “Right now, there’s a vacuum,” she told a crowd of more than two thousand attending the National Republican Congressional Committee’s annual dinner last night in Washington, D.C. “There’s a vacuum because we’ve decided to lower our voice. We’ve decided to step back. We’ve decided that if we step back and lower our voice, others will lead, other things will fill that vacuum.” Citing Bashar...
  • North Korea fires 2 missiles as its rivals meet

    03/26/2014 12:55:01 AM PDT · by F15Eagle · 9 replies
    AP via Yahoo! ^ | 2 hours ago | Associated Press By JUNG-YOON CHOI and FOSTER KLUG
    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea test-fired two medium-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday, South Korea and the U.S. said, a defiant challenge to a rare three-way summit of its rivals Seoul, Tokyo and Washington that focused on the North's security threat. The launch of the Rodong missiles — for the first time since 2009 — violates U.N. Security Council resolutions and marks a big escalation from a series of shorter-range rocket launches the North has staged in recent weeks to protest ongoing annual military drills by the U.S. and South Korea that Pyongyang claims are invasion preparation. The missiles...
  • Beyond the Crimea Crisis: Comprehensive Next Steps in U.S.–Russian Relations

    03/25/2014 11:16:45 AM PDT · by 1rudeboy · 16 replies
    The Heritage Foundation ^ | March 25, 2014 | Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Jack Spencer, Luke Coffey and Nicolas Loris
    AbstractOn February 28, Russian troops, aided by pro-Russian local militia, occupied important sites across the Crimean Peninsula under the pretext of “protecting Russian people.” Now Crimea is under Moscow’s de facto control and the Russian parliament has voted to annex the region into the Russian Federation. The failure of the Obama Administration’s Russian “reset,” the unilateral disarming of Europe, and the U.S. reduction of forces and disengagement from Europe have led Russia to calculate that the West will not respond in any significant way. The Administration can demonstrate America’s commitment to its NATO allies and support for the Ukrainian...
  • G7 Boots Russia from G8 -- What a relief

    03/25/2014 2:42:33 AM PDT · by No One Special · 11 replies
    New Republic ^ | March 24, 2014 | Julia Ioffe
    Today, the G8 minus 1 met in the Hague and, rather than kick out Russia outright, simply reformed as the G7, thereby punishing (in their minds) Russia for annexing part of the sovereign nation of Ukraine. ("Countries of the G7 end their membership in the G8," read the headline of the Soviet-era wire agency ITAR-TASS.)Really, though, it was the organization--and Russia--returning to a more natural state: The G8 just went back to being the organization it was until 1998, when Bill Clinton invited Russia in, hammering what he hoped would be the final nail in the Cold War coffin. Since then, Russia underwent...
  • Japan plans to turn over plutonium, uranium to United States

    03/24/2014 11:12:03 PM PDT · by deks · 14 replies
    Fox News ^ | March 24, 2014 | AP
    THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS Japan plans to turn over to the United States more than 700 pounds of weapons grade plutonium and a supply of highly-enriched uranium, a victory for President Barack Obama's efforts to secure nuclear materials around the world. Despite its international pledge not to possess excess stock of plutonium, Japan has large amounts of the weapons-grade material. The amount to be returned to the U.S. this time is a fraction of Japan's overall stockpile. Even though the majority of Japan's public favor nuclear phase-out, the government recently introduced a draft long-term energy policy proposing maintaining nuclear power as...