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Japan (News/Activism)

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  • U.S. Government's Foreign Debt Hits Record $5.29 Trillion

    08/16/2012 10:08:11 PM PDT · by george76 · 22 replies
    CNSNews ^ | August 16, 2012 | Terence P. Jeffrey
    The money the U.S. government owes to foreign entities rose to a record $5.2923 trillion in June, according to data released by the U.S. Treasury Wednesday afternoon. In May, the U.S. Treasury had owed $5.2581 trillion to foreign entities. On net, in June, the U.S. government borrowed an additional $34.2 billion from foreign entities in order to fund U.S. government operations. The U.S. government’s indebtedness to foreign interests has grown by 72.3 percent during President Barack Obama’s term in office. In January 2009, when Obama was inaugurated, the U.S. government owed $3.0717 trillion to foreign entities, according to the Treasury...
  • Japan marks 67th anniversary of WWII surrender, as frictions with neighbors mount

    08/15/2012 3:28:47 AM PDT · by moonshot925 · 3 replies
    Washington Post/Associated Press ^ | 14 August 2012 | Staff
    TOKYO — Japan marked the 67th anniversary of its World War II surrender with a somber ceremony in the capital Wednesday, while renewed tension over territorial disputes and animosity over its wartime actions heated up across the region. Renewing Japan’s pledge to maintain its war-renouncing policy, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda mourned for the war dead and apologized to victims of Japanese wartime atrocities. “We have caused tremendous damage and pain to many countries, particularly the Asian people, during the war. We deeply regret that and sincerely mourn for those who were sacrificed and their relatives,” Noda said. “We will not...
  • China/Japan: HK activists land on Diaoyu Islands, plant flag

    08/15/2012 2:53:53 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 8 replies
    Morning Whistle ^ | 08/15/12 | Xu Weiwei
    August 15, 4:59 pm | By Xu Weiwei HK activists land on Diaoyu Islands, plant flag Pro-China activists from Hong Kong Wednesday planted the five-starred red Chinese flag on the Diaoyu islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan, according to Phoenix TV. Phoenix TV said seven activists have landed on the islands on 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday but three of them were controlled by Japan. Body conflicts didn't happen. A Hong Kong activist group of 14 people set sail on Sunday for the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, in an attempt to join forces with counterparts from the...
  • Fukushima 'caused mutant butterflies' in Japan

    08/14/2012 4:44:41 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 26 replies
    Telegraph ^ | 08/14/12
    Fukushima 'caused mutant butterflies' in Japan Genetic mutations have been found in three generations of butterflies from near Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, scientists said on Tuesday, raising fears radiation could affect other species. 10:11AM BST 14 Aug 2012 Around 12 per cent of pale grass blue butterflies that were exposed to nuclear fallout as larvae immediately after the tsunami-sparked disaster had abnormalities, including smaller wings and damaged eyes, researchers said. The insects were mated in a laboratory well outside the fallout zone and 18 per cent of their offspring displayed similar problems, said Joji Otaki, associate professor at Ryukyu...
  • Japan's Economy Slows

    08/12/2012 6:40:43 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies ^ | August 12, 2012, 8:37 p.m. ET | TAKASHI NAKAMICHI
    The Japanese economy grew at a weaker-than-expected annualized pace of 1.4% in the April-June quarter, as exports slowed and a domestic-demand led recovery showed signs of faltering. The preliminary gross domestic product data, released by the Cabinet Office on Monday, marked a sharp slowdown from the previous quarter's revised 5.5% expansion. It was the fourth-straight quarter of growth in the world's third-largest economy. Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a 2.7% annualized rise. Japan's economy minister, Motohisa Furukawa, said at a news conference that while he expects the recovery to continue in the coming quarters, the government "needs...
  • Japan's Democrats offer polls in 'near future' to save tax plan

    08/11/2012 7:26:45 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    Reuters via Chicago Tribune ^ | August 7, 2012 | Yuko Yoshikawa and Tetsushi Kajimoto
    Japan's ruling Democrats on Wednesday offered to call an election in the "near future" to save their sales tax increase plan after the opposition demanded a commitment to early polls in return for backing the bill in an upper house vote. The opposition has yet to formally respond to the pledge, but first reactions suggested it was too vague. "(Noda) will go to the people in the near future when the bill is enacted," Fumio Kishida, parliamentary affairs chief for the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), quoted his Democrat counterpart as saying. It is the first time the Democrats have...
  • Aug 6, 1945: American bomber drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima

    08/06/2012 6:08:40 AM PDT · by BO Stinkss · 59 replies ^ | 08/06/2012 | STAFF
    On this day in 1945, at 8:16 a.m. Japanese time, an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, drops the world's first atom bomb, over the city of Hiroshima. Approximately 80,000 people are killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 are injured. At least another 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout. U.S. President Harry S. Truman, discouraged by the Japanese response to the Potsdam Conference's demand for unconditional surrender, made the decision to use the atom bomb to end the war in order to prevent what he...
  • ANALYSIS: Okinawa the front line of Japan's defense

    08/01/2012 8:02:57 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 13 replies ^ | August 01, 2012 | NANAE KURASHIGE
    Okinawa serves as a vital bulwark against China as the giant neighbor presses territorial claims and flexes its military muscle in waters around Japan, according to this year's defense white paper. By emphasizing the strategic importance of Okinawa, the Defense Ministry apparently seeks to highlight the deterrence power of U.S. military forces stationed in the southernmost prefecture. It says the U.S. military presence is a "lifeline" for Japan in terms of the Japan-U.S. alliance. The document, released July 31 at a Cabinet meeting, cites the importance of defending the Nansei Islands, which extend some 1,000 kilometers near major sea lanes...
  • Harry Truman grandson to visit Hiroshima

    07/30/2012 5:10:13 PM PDT · by moonshot925 · 38 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 30 July 2012 | Martin Foster
    Clifton Truman Daniel will visit Japan from August 2, and attend ceremonies in Hiroshima August 6, and Nagasaki on August 9, according to Kyodo News as reported in the Nihon Keizai Shinbun. It is the first time a member of the late president’s family will attend the ceremonies, and will holds a deep symbolic meaning for the Japanese. Public papers from his time in office reveal a man with no regrets about using the A-bomb, but his grandson told Kyodo News that the late-president was horrified by the destructive power of the Bomb.
  • "US Fouls Up Again On Prime Minister's Name"

    07/30/2012 2:21:37 AM PDT · by AmericanInTokyo · 15 replies
    Pic courtesy another major Japanese national TV network, TBS For those who have been following this, the Japanese press is filled with snippets, chortling and stories and about the keystone-cop-ish US White House (specifically the National Security Council under Tom Donilon) and the White House website, which mistakenly listed the first name of Japan's Prime Minister (the third largest economy in the world you recall) as a common Japanese "female first name", "Yoshiko" (sic), and now the Chunichi Shimbun News off a Kyodo News Agency story (which is the blue ribbon equivalent of AP), has run an article saying...
  • As China Eyes Indian Ocean, Japan and India Pair Up on Defense

    07/28/2012 10:40:01 AM PDT · by James C. Bennett · 4 replies
    The New York Times ^ | July 27, 2012 | The New York Times
    For two days last month, ships from the Indian and Japanese naval forces held joint military exercises in waters off Tokyo. By military standards, the exercises were small in scale. But they were heavy with symbolism and brought to light another facet of the growing relationship between the two countries — defense. Such joint exercises might be standard practice in international military-to-military exchanges, but with growing regional tensions — like in the South China Sea, located between India and Japan — they take on a more complex meaning. “If you look at it through a containment of China prism, it...
  • Japanese equestrian defies Father Time as the oldest competitor at London Olympics

    07/28/2012 12:32:29 PM PDT · by DFG · 11 replies
    Yahoo ^ | 07/28/12 | Martin Rogers
    The oldest competitor at the 2012 Olympic Games has revealed the extraordinary sacrifices he has made in order to remain a medal contender well past retirement age. Hiroshi Hoketsu, who will represent Japan in the equestrian discipline of dressage at the age of 71, told Yahoo! Sports how chasing a slice of history and becoming the oldest Olympian in the last 92 years is the result of a fanatical commitment to the sport.
  • F-16C jet crashes off coast of Hokkaido [USAF from Misawa AFB]

    07/23/2012 9:17:10 PM PDT · by Excuse_My_Bellicosity · 8 replies ^ | 7/22/2012 | Asif Shamim
    July 22, 2012 (by Asif Shamim) - An F-16C crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of northern Japan today. The pilot ejected and was rescued according to the Japanese Coast Guard some six hours after the aircraft went down. The jet from the 35th Fighter Wing, took off from Misawa air base in Aomori and crashed about 11.30hr Japan time (02.30 GMT) some 200 miles North-East of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, the spokesperson said. "One person, the pilot, was on board. Efforts are currently underway to retrieve the pilot," she said, reading from a statement. Reuters have gone...
  • TEPCO subcontractor used lead to fake dosimeter readings at Fukushima plant

    07/22/2012 12:32:55 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 26 replies
    THE ASAHI SHIMBUN TEPCO subcontractor used lead to fake dosimeter readings at Fukushima plant Workers at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant were ordered to cover their dosimeters with lead plates to keep radiation doses low enough to continue working under dangerous conditions, the Asahi Shimbun has learned. Some refused the orders. Others raised questions about their safety and the legality of the practice. But the man in charge, a senior official of a subcontractor of Tokyo Electric Power Co., warned them that they would lose their jobs--and any chance of employment at other nuclear plants--if they failed to...
  • Navy eyeing off new Japanese submarines (Australia)

    07/09/2012 5:18:39 AM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 2 replies
    The Canberra Times ^ | July 9, 2012 | Hamish McDonald
    Navy eyeing off new Japanese submarines THE admiral in charge of planning for Australia's next generation of submarines and the chief defence scientist are studying an advanced new submarine in service with the Japanese navy. Rear-Admiral Rowan Moffitt, head of the Royal Australian Navy's Future Submarine Program, and Dr Alexander Zelinsky, the Chief Defence Scientist, travel to Japan this month to look at the Soryu-class submarines, which started service with the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force three years ago. Access to the Soryu technology was discussed during a visit to Australia last month by the Japanese navy's chief, Admiral Masahiko Sugimoto....
  • Militarizing Japan Frightens Allies

    07/08/2012 4:32:31 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 60 replies (via Korea Times) ^ | July 5, 2012 | Donald Kirk
    Since the end of World War II, the U.S. has managed to hold revanchist Japanese military aims in check while the Japanese pursued economic success. The rise of China, however, poses a threat that Japanese militarists believe requires a response. Would a military build-up be what’s needed to jumpstart the stagnating Japanese economy? … Then there’s the historic question of the era of Japanese colonialism and militarism. Those days may be long gone, but the memory lingers on. Fears of a Japanese renaïssance as an aggressive imperial power won’t go away. Under the circumstances, it’s easy to understand widespread worries...
  • Japan: Fukushima plant "great risk": head of nuclear accident probe panel(fragile structures)

    07/06/2012 11:51:28 PM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 8 replies
    Kyodo News ^ | 07/06/12
    Fukushima plant "great risk": head of nuclear accident probe panel TOKYO, July 6, Kyodo The head of a Diet-appointed panel to investigate the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster said Friday that the crippled plant in northeastern Japan remains in a dangerous situation because of its fragile structure. "Fukushima remains at a very high risk, not only because of the spent fuel issues, but also because of its fragile structure," Kiyoshi Kurokawa, also professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo, told a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, noting that another huge earthquake like the one last...
  • Japan to go broke by October? Standoff threatens to 'collapse' budget

    07/06/2012 5:28:18 AM PDT · by John W · 3 replies
    Reuters via MSNBC ^ | July 6, 2012 | Reuters
    TOKYO - Japan's government could run out of money by the end of October, halting all state spending including salaries, pensions and unemployment benefits, because of a standoff in parliament that has blocked a bill to finance the deficit. The deficit financing bill, which would allow the government to sell bonds needed to fund almost half of the budget, has languished in parliament as the ruling Democratic Party tussles with opposition parties that can use their control of the upper house to reject legislation. "Without this bill, the budget will collapse," Finance Minister Jun Azumi said on Friday, pleading for...
  • Japan switches on Ohi nuclear reactor amid protests

    07/01/2012 4:22:06 PM PDT · by matt04 · 8 replies
    Japan has restarted the first nuclear reactor since the meltdown at the Fukushima power plant last year. Hundreds gathered near the plant in the town of Ohi to protest against the move, which has divided public opinion. Last month, the prime minister urged support, saying a return to nuclear power was essential for the economy. All 50 of Japan's nuclear plants were shut after the meltdown at Fukushima, which was triggered by a tsunami and earthquake. The crisis was regarded as the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. Road blocked It will take until Wednesday before the No 3...
  • Japanese Manufacturing Output Falls for First Time in 2012

    07/01/2012 7:52:52 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 3 replies ^ | July 1, 2012 | Mike Shedlock
    The short term effect of Japanese stimulus following the earthquake and tsunami has now worn off. All Japan has to show for that stimulus is a bigger pile of debt, proving once again the Broken Window Fallacy. In the real world, Japan has a debt-to GDP ratio of 225% and rising. Japan's export machine has stalled. So has Japanese manufacturing in general. Markit reports Japanese manufacturing output falls for first time in 2012 to date June data pointed to the first month-on-month reduction in manufacturing output since December 2011, as both new business and new export orders fell. Backlogs of...