Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New Agreement With Japan Boosts Military Footprint in Pacific Rim - US News and World Report

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that Japan will receive a new American AN/TPY-2 "Tippy Two" mobile radar in addition to one already in the Shariki area as part of U.S. efforts to strengthen "deterrence and a nuclear umbrella" in the region. Hagel briefed the press Monday afternoon alongside his Japanese counterpart, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, following closed-door meetings.

The defense chiefs also announced the creation of a new "Defense ISR working group" aimed at sharing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance between the two countries. A new squadron of MV-22 Ospreys will deploy to Japan this summer to "increase capabilities in the region," while the U.S. Marine Corps will move the bulk of its forces from Okinawa to Guam.

Hagel was quick to detail these efforts, which are meant to quell instability caused by North Korea's nuclear ambitions and China's increasingly expeditious navy.

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Comment: Keep this up and pretty soon we'll be able to call Okinawa the "Boston" of the Far East!



Japanese scientists build baseball-playing robot with artifical brain - SlashGear



Researchers and scientists at the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo and the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology have built a robot with quite the sports prowess, although you probably won’t see it take the field anytime soon. The robot is able to swing and hit at plastic balls, and can improve its swing over time. 

The robot only stands a couple feet tall, and it uses a giant flyswatter-like bat in order to make contact with the ball, so it essentially can’t hit like Alex Rodriguez, but maybe in the future the robot will give the all-star a run for his money. The robot features an artificial brain with the power of 100,000 neurons that allow the robot to learn and improve on its swing over time.(Click on the post title above for more)

Japan Australia: Hello Kitty Donuts at Mister Donut

Mister Donut is a popular donut chain in Japan that is famous for their Pon de ring donut line. Mister Donut is often called Misudo (ミスド) for short in Japanese, and is popular from young to old.

This month (April) they released some Hello Kitty donuts, which are just so cute and pretty tasty to boot. The packaging is typical Japan and is very simple and effective. The donuts fit inside a package with Hello Kitty eyes, whiskers and outline. You can see the donut inside and the pink white chocolate ribbon.

The donuts I tried where the French Style Orange Cream, the Green Apple Old Fashioned, the Pon-De Strawberry, Green Apple Whipped Cream Center and the Strawberry Cupcake Pop. All the donuts come with the cute pink chocolate bow (trade mark of Hello Kitty).


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Monday, April 29, 2013

Japanese Public Restrooms – A love hate relationship | OkiNinjaKitty

Sooner or later everyone’s got to go. In a number of cases, especially if you’re traveling through Japan, this means finding the closest public restroom. Public Restrooms or Public Toilets are one of the many things here in Japan that I have a love hate relationship with and so I thought that today I would share with you some of the good, bad and otherwise about Public Restrooms here in Japan.

What you probably already know: 

If you’ve found yourself researching Japanese toilets you’ve probably become familiar with two types of toilets the first being the squat toilet and the second being the electric toilet. First and foremost let’s take a moment to talk about the squat toilet.

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Comment: Remember when you were a kid and you stayed up late nite on the weekend to watch the old horror flicks? That sort of scare was a lot of fun. However, encountering a Japanese "Squat Toilet" for the first time when you gotta do a number two and mother nature isn't going to give you a reprieve isn't. It's way more scary than that ever was!

Ryukyu Shimpo – Noam Chomsky criticizes Japan-US policy

Noam Chomsky, a linguistics professor who is one of the most outspoken critics of U.S. foreign policy, which he characterizes as hegemonic, gave an interview with the Ryukyu Shimpo on the U.S. military issue in Okinawa. He criticized the governments of Japan and United States for trying to forcibly relocate the functions of the Futenma base to Henoko in Nago, saying, “It shouldn’t be moved elsewhere in Okinawa either. The people of Okinawa, as far as I can see, don’t want it, and they are the ones who should decide.”

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Comment: I feel like I'm watching an old Batman episode here. So given that, riddle me this - When is a professor of linguistics solicited for his opinion regarding foreign affairs? When the professor and the ones seeking said opinion are both ardent communists! Linguistics isn't remotely related to International Relations or even Political Science! Chomsky is at best a "useful idiot!" He's a talking head whom no-one outside of academia, because most of them are Marxists too, really takes seriously. 

Note to the folks in the news media, if you want people to take you seriously, don't just interview someone who shares your Marxist views. Instead, you'd be better served by interviewing someone who who actually studies and knows something about political science and/or international relations. If you can do that, you'll still be very likely to find someone who agrees with you. Remember, most of the people in academia are Marxists or have Marxist leanings. The difference is, the person might actually have a clue as to what they're talking about.

P.S. If anyone out there really thinks that Chomsky is an anarchist like the caption on his picture says, you should know that he only favors anarchy as the vehicle of choice to take us all to his version of a Marxist utopia...

Japan holds ceremony to mark regaining sovereignty in 1952

The move may be regarded warily by neighboring China and South Korea which are suspicious of signs of rising nationalism in Japan and have long-standing territorial disputes with Tokyo.

"I wish to mark this day as a major milestone and make this a day on which we renew our hopes and our determination towards the future, reflecting on the path we have followed," Abe said at a ceremony attended by about 400 people including Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

Referring to Japan's rapid postwar rise as a democratic, economic power, Abe said: "I believe we have an obligation to make Japan strong and robust and make it a country that the people of the world are able to depend on."

Prior to the event, the hawkish Abe said a ceremony would help younger Japanese "recognize" that the country regained independence following seven years of postwar occupation by US forces after its surrender.

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Comment: Just asking but, if the country is really truly independent, why do they have to still host so many U.S. military bases and why do they always seem to have to bow to the U.S. for just about everything?

Sovereignty Anniversary a Day of Celebration, or Humiliation? - Japan Real Time - WSJ

European Pressphoto Agency
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, delivers a speech as Japanese Emperor Akihito, in the center, and Empress Michiko listen during a ceremony in Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday, to mark the day Japan recovered its sovereignty under the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1952.
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Okinawans protest Japan policy on US occupation of Okinawa

While the Japanese mainland celebrated Sunday, Okinawans staged a protest rally over the national 61st anniversary of the country receiving its postwar independence through a treaty with the United States. 

Many here see Tokyos decision in 1952 to allow the continued U.S. occupation of Okinawa while brokering mainland Japans freedom as a betrayal - a move that led to generations of unrest and political friction over the large foreign military presence on the island that continues to complicate U.S.-Japan relations today.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a conservative elected last fall, stoked anger from Okinawans and the prefectural government by deciding to mark the anniversary, which island residents call aday of humiliation”. Despite a public statement by the administration calling for the nation to remember Okinawan suffering, the islands prefectural assembly recently cast a vote unanimously opposing the Sunday's anniversary celebration. 

"Prime Minister Abe woke a sleeping dogand rekindled sorrow and disappointment, said Takeshi Onaga, mayor of Naha, Okinawas capital.

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Comment: Please take note that Mayor Onaga isn't a firebrand like that nut job, the so called Mr. Iha, the former mayor of Ginowan City! Of all the mayors in Okinawa, he's been one of the few voices of reason so when someone like him comes out vocally against something, you know that the matter must have really touched a nerve!

Nuclear arms card for Japan - The Japan Times

The United States is still haunted by a nightmare of 2006, says an insider of the Defense Ministry. But the “nightmare” he refers to is not the first nuclear test by North Korea in October that year, but rather an internal report compiled by the Japanese government a month earlier on “the possibility of domestically producing nuclear weapons.” North Korea carried out its third nuclear test on Feb. 12, 2013.

The U.S. is nervous about Japan, according to the insider. It is not publicly known that the Foreign Ministry has been conducting studies clandestinely on potential development of nuclear arms.

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Comment: I guess we can forget all about Hiroshima, Nagasaki and now Fukushima. Granted, the fallout from an atomic bomb or two like we see in the first two examples is widely dispersed rather quickly and so after the initial wave of destruction and the horrible deaths that follow, the land and lives of the survivors can get back to normal rather quickly, perhaps after a single generation. Unfortunately, as we see in the latter example, the death and destruction that follows is an insidious silent killer that will linger for many-many generations to come. Either way, we're all screwed!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ryukyu Shimpo – Fisheries Agency announces patrol vessel deployment to Miyako

It was announced on April 13 that a Fisheries Agency patrol vessel has been deployed continually at Hirara Port in Miyako-jima this month. The agency also revealed their intention to constantly deploy two fisheries patrol vessels at Ishigaki-jima, but the date for their deployment has not been finalized. This was announced by Tokuyuki Sudo, the manager of the agency’s Resources Management Department who visited Miyako-jima and Ishigaki on April 13. In response to the conclusion of the Japan-Taiwan Fisheries Agreement, the Japanese government will strengthen its crackdown on illegal fishing boats in the seas surrounding Japan.

The agency’s fisheries patrol vessels are always stationed at the mainland of Okinawa, but it is the first resident deployment in the Sakishima area.

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Ceremony an affront to Okinawans - The Japan Times

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe holds a ceremony Sunday to commemorate the day that Japan recovered its sovereignty under the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which took effect on April 28, 1952, ending the Allied Powers’ occupation of Japan.

But it must be questioned whether it is proper to hold such a ceremony. The government’s having the Emperor and the Empress attend the ceremony also smacks of political use of the Emperor.

April 28, 1952, was the day that the Okinawa, Amami and Ogasawara islands were administratively separated from Japan and placed under the administration of the United States. Although these islands have reverted to Japan, Okinawa is still suffering from a heavy presence of the U.S. armed forces.

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Groundwater at No. 1 plant tainted - The Japan Times

Samples of groundwater taken from monitoring holes around the sunken reservoirs at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant are proving radioactive, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Saturday.

Strontium and other radioactive elements were detected in samples taken from 13 of the 22 observation holes dug around the reservoirs, which were built to hold water tainted during the cooling of the reactors, Tepco said.

Some of the reservoirs are leaking.

The amount of radioactive material in the samples is small and within the range of normal fluctuations, Tepco said, but it is not known whether there is any link between the radiation and the reservoir leaks.

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Comment: Tepco's luck can't be that bad, can it? My guess is the radioactivity is probably linked to that nuclear plant on the other side of the country. You know, the one that during the nationwide shut down of all nuclear facilities, they discovered was built over a major earthquake fault line. Either that or it got picked up by the jet stream after the Chernobyl disaster, landed in Fukushima and they just discovered it now. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Michi-no Eki Yuiyui Kunigami is home of Yambaru Kuina | Japan Update

Yuiyui Kunigami in Kunigami village. The road station was built as the northernmost Michi-no Eki in Okinawa. Kunigami village is located in the northernmost part of the island, an area covered with deep woods, and includes the highest mountain on the main island of Okinawa, Mount Yonaha.

The village and these forests is well known as a treasure trove of precious wildlife with several endangered species and designated Special Natural Monuments making the area their home. Yambaru-Kuina, Noguchi-gera and Yambaru-tenaga-kogane are the best known of these. Besides, because of its abundant nature, the village promotes hands-on and community-based sightseeing excursions, and the area is recommended to visitors who enjoy wildlife and forests.

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Japan court rejects demand to evacuate children while acknowledging radiation risks on health | Fox News

A Japanese court has rejected a demand that a city affected by the fallout of the country's 2011 nuclear disaster evacuate its children.

The unusual lawsuit was filed on behalf of the children by their parents and anti-nuclear activists in June 2011. The Sendai High Court handed down its ruling Wednesday.

The case had drawn international attention because it touched the uncertainties about the effects of continuous low-dose radiation on health, especially that of children.

The court acknowledged radiation exceeded levels deemed safe prior to the disaster. But it said the government shoulders no responsibility for evacuating the schools as demanded — in effect, telling people to leave on their own if they were worried.

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Comment: This is how much the government cares for us! It's called Democide, Google it better yet, just click on the link provided! If your one of those who think the answer to our troubles is more government intervention, read this story and tell me again how they're so good and how they're going to help us! The road to hell is paved with good intentions and it looks like the ones in Sendai are paved with lots of cesium too...

Nakaima rips signing of Taiwan fishery accord - The Japan Times

Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima has slammed the fisheries accord Japan signed with Taiwan and urged that it be reviewed because it could hurt the prefecture’s economy.

“I feel extreme indignation” about the agreement, which was signed without regard for the wishes of Okinawa’s local fishery industries, Nakaima said in a meeting with Ichita Yamamoto, state minister in charge of issues related to Okinawa.

Yamamoto said he took the request for a review seriously and would convey it to Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida.

Tokyo and Taipei signed the accord earlier this month to allow fishing boats from Taiwan to operate in part of Japan’s exclusive economic zone around the Senkaku Islands.

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Comment: If anyone thinks that either of the people pictured here give a crap about the people they're supposed to be serving, you need to lay off the Kool-Aid. All this is going to do is make the local economy more dependent upon the U.S. military industrial complex...

Cost of the American dream - The Japan Times

Economists and other pundits in the United States played the guessing game and got it most dreadfully wrong early this month. The consensus was that 180,000 new jobs, give or take a few thousand, would be added in March. Instead, only 88,000 jobs were created. Though the monthly numbers are sometimes erratic, this suggests that the U.S. economy is in a big mess.

More worryingly, if you scratch below the surface, there are good reasons for alarm about the American economy, both in the short term, where the political deadlock is beginning to do harm, and the medium term, where President Barack Obama above all people should be asking, “What price the Great American Dream?”

The answer is that the American dream is becoming unaffordable for too many people. That fits with the classic answer: If you have to ask the price of something, you cannot afford it.

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Comment: Admittedly yes, he did inherit a mess. Bush's corporate welfare and that massive handout to the military industrial complex  known as the Global War on Terrorism a.k.a. "War Without End" took a big bite out of the nation's wealth. But, that doesn't excuse the Obama-Nation of Desolation as spoken of by Daniel the Profit! By doubling down on the corporate handouts with too big to fail and all his vote buying with cash from his stash and the now famous Obama-Phones, he's done nothing but exacerbate it!

Mike's Ryukyu Gallery: Closing out the Month of April 2013: Too Many Things to Do

April has always been a hectic month for a cameraman in Okinawa. This year it didn't get any easier.  It's not over, yet and, there's plenty more to do.
This morning, I ran down to the print shop early, trying to stay ahead of the game. That's not a scrapbook, I'm making.  Just some prints I'll be delivering to people.

There's a Bit of Madness to My Method

Magazine editors and some of my best friends, don't always get it. Sometimes, neither do I but, it seems to work. When I hear of an event, about to take place, I research, all I can, about it. Visit the village days, weeks or, months before and meet people. That way, I'm not a stranger, in town, when it's time to use the cameras. Most of the places I go, people are friendly.

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Comment: Looks like Mike has added a couple of new girlfriends to his collection. You know that when it comes to dealing with the Okinawan locals, it doesn't hurt to Charm them with a smile and a bit of "uchinaaguchi" (Okinawa Hogen) too. That always brings a smile to their faces and melts away any resistance too. Speaking the local language shows you care about people and aren't just there to exploit them for selfish purposes. They get enough of that from the retards running the show in Tokyo and DC!

U.S. not backing down, Dempsey tells troops at Yokota - The Japan Times

America’s top military officer told U.S. troops based in Japan on Thursday that “the best way to avoid war is to prepare for it.”

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, made the comments at Yokota Air Base amid heightened tensions in the region after repeated threats from North Korea.

In response, the U.S. has deployed an anti-ballistic missile battery to Guam, while the Japanese government has deployed Aegis-equipped cruisers and land-based missile interceptors around Tokyo.

While there has been a lull in rising hostility between the two Koreas in the past few days, prospects for dialogue dimmed after North Korea demanded the lifting of U.N. sanctions and the end of U.S.-South Korea military drills as conditions for resuming long-suspended talks aimed at defusing tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

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Comment: "I'm not backing down" isn't that typically the sort of thing the neighborhood bully says right before he gets punched in the nose, turns tail and runs home to mommy. Most bullies are really just paper tigers, all bluff and bluster but, when the SHTF, they're either nowhere to be found or they have an excuse as to why they won't back up their fighting words. 

The question to be asked right now is, who's the bully. I don't think it's North Korea. At best, they're just a toady on one side while Japan and South Korea fill that role on the other. That leaves China and the U.S. as the BMOC looking to be the HMFIC for the Far East. There's plenty of bluster going on on all sides. 

The question might be who is more likely to turn tail and run when the fir starts to fly and perhaps more importantly, depending on who's toady you are, what are you going to do about it when it happens???

Thursday, April 25, 2013

H7N9 flu 'one of most lethal' says WHO as virus spreads to Taiwan ‹ Japan Today

International experts probing China’s deadly H7N9 bird flu virus said Wednesday it was “one of the most lethal influenza viruses” seen so far as Taiwan reported the first case outside the mainland.

China has confirmed 108 cases and 22 deaths since the first infections were announced on March 31 and Taiwan Wednesday confirmed its first infection in a man who had recently returned from working in eastern China where most cases have been reported.

“This is definitely one of the most lethal influenza viruses we have seen so far,” said Keiji Fukuda, one of the leading flu experts for the World Health Organization, which has led a team on a week-long visit to China to study H7N9.

Fukuda told a news conference that the H7N9 virus was more easily transmissible than the more common H5N1 strain of bird flu. Experts had previously remarked on the “affinity” of H7N9 for humans.

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Comment: With all the Chinese tourism that takes place in Okinawa, it means Okinawa is a likely candidate for having someone catch this disgusting little bug. Though viruses are small, they can pack quite a wallop so don't take this too lightly. The Spanish flu that immediately followed WWI was quite deadly. Will the flu that precedes WWIII be just as nasty? Given the numbers coming out of China, this thing has a 20% mortality rate so I would take that as a yes...

Top U.S. general tells China U.S. committed to defending Japan ‹ Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion

The top U.S. military officer told China’s leaders on Wednesday that Washington is committed to defending Japan, as Beijing and Tokyo engage in intensified rhetoric over a territorial row.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is visiting China just as the dispute between Beijing and Tokyo over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea is again heating up.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed Tuesday to “expel by force” any Chinese landing on the islands, which are administered by Japan as the Senkakus but also claimed by China as the Diaoyus.

His statement came after a flotilla of eight Chinese government vessels sailed into the disputed waters, the biggest number to do so in one day since Tokyo’s nationalisation of some of the islands in September.

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Comment: Somehow all this saber rattling and war mongering rhetoric really doesn't make me feel better about the whole situation...

Ryukyu Shimpo – Okinawa asks Tokyo to correct land reclamation application

On April 12, the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) asked the Okinawa Defense Bureau to make corrections to the written application that the central government has submitted to the Governor of Okinawa. This is part of the process for seeking approval for the landfill in Henoko, Nago, to build the alternative facilities for the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. The OPG pointed out that the application had a total of 33 flaws in 13 sections, including insufficient detail. Before the agency submitted the application, the OPG asked the bureau to clearly specify the amount of sediment to be used for the landfill, the location for collecting this and the access route to be used. Despite being asked to do so, the bureau did not specifically provide these details in the document. The OPG has requested that the central government submit the corrections by June 11.

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Comment: This is just another round in the waiting game and it looks like this one goes to Team Okinawa. Unfortunately, this is at best a delay tactic which will very likely be followed by more delay tactics until there are no more delay tactics in their bag of tricks. This is a lot like calling a time out in an effort to "ice" the kicker right before a game winning field goal attempt. Yes, it's true that this deal isn't done yet but unless something happens that dramatically changes the game like a fumble or muffed kick, U.S. economic collapse or defeat in a war with the Chinese, Russians and Iranians, this game is essentially over...

Golden Kings run roughshod over Cinq Reves | Japan Update

It was not even a level playing field as the Ryukyu Golden Kings–already the Western Conference Champions in the Basketball Japan League and with their eye on yet another league championship showed little mercy in Tokyo as they whipped the Tokyo Cinq Reves 86-56 and 97-60 to run their season record to 40-10.

In the first tilt, Jeff Newton returned to the court after missing a month with a knee injury that required surgery.  The

five-time title winner scored three points, eight rebounds, one assist and one block, but motivated his teammates.  Anthony McHenry led the squad with 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Terrance Woodbury picked up 19. Naoto Kosuge and Dzaflo Larkai both had 13, while Narito Namizato added seven assists for Okinawa.

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Kobe jazz singer recovers war remains in Okinawa - AJW by The Asahi Shimbun

Most Japanese tourists travel to the country’s southernmost prefecture for its beautiful beaches and subtropical climate. But Maiko Masaki has spent her last nine visits inside dark caves, searching for the past rather than seashells.

The tiny bones of an infant, glass bottles melted by the intense heat of flamethrowers by U.S. troops, water flasks, eyeglasses and fountain pens are just some of the countless remains that she has found in the island’s caves.

With nowhere else to run, imperial Japanese troops and islanders took shelter in these natural tunnels in the closing days of World War II. The fighting that began in late March 1945 lasted until June 23, when the Japanese soldiers stopped their collective defense. A quarter of the population in Okinawa at that time perished. In all, about 200,000 Japanese and Americans lost their lives.

Nearly seven decades later, efforts to recover the remains of the dead and their belongings continue.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mike's Ryukyu Gallery: Some Photos and a Short Tribute to Ernie Pyle

In the Ryukyu Islands people don't call it World War II. They don't call it the War of the Pacific, either. It is simply called the Okinawa Senso.  The Okinawa War. The battle began April 1, 1945.

The photo above shows the Ernie Pyle Memorial Stone on Ie Jima. Ernie was respected by the Army, Navy and Marines because he walked with them. He walked the walk and, talked the talk.  He was a war correspondent.

He traveled and reported the war through Africa, Europe and the Pacific. Ernie was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for correspondence in 1944. He died on Ie Jima August 18, 1945.

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Abe vows to expel by force any Chinese landing on disputed isles ‹ Japan Today

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday vowed to “expel by force” any Chinese landing on islands at the center of a territorial row, after eight government vessels from China sailed into the disputed waters.

The latest clash over the islands came as 168 Japanese lawmakers visited the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in central Tokyo, seen as a potent symbol of Japan’s imperialist past, riling its neighbors China and South Korea.

Tokyo summoned the Chinese ambassador to Japan on Tuesday after the eight state-owned Chinese ships sailed into its territorial waters. The flotilla is the biggest to sail into the disputed waters in a single day since Tokyo nationalised part of the archipelago in September.

Abe vowed to “expel by force” any Chinese landing on the archipelago in the East China Sea.

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Eight Chinese vessels enter Senkaku area - The Japan Times

Rocking the boat: Ships from China's State Oceanic Administration, the Japan Coast Guard and boats carrying members of a Japanese nationalist group sail in Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands on Tuesday morning. In the foreground, a Japan Coast Guard cutter stays between a Chinese vessel at left and a boat carrying the nationalists.

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Senkaku row getting in way of cooperative effort on PM2.5 - The Japan Times

The need for cooperation between Japan and China to tackle air pollution is increasing, but the territorial tension over the Senkaku Islands is getting in the way.

Health concerns are growing in Japan, especially in Kyushu, where steep rises in the amount of the toxic air pollutant PM2.5 have been confirmed since the start of the year.

PM2.5, or hazardous particulate matter measuring below 2.5 microns — 2,500th of a millimeter — in diameter, is found in automobile exhaust. Levels, however, have increased sharply as air pollution in China has worsened since January, with thick smog in Beijing resulting in expressway closures and flight cancellations.

An Environment Ministry panel concluded that recent increases in the amount of PM2.5 in Kyushu are attributable to air pollution from the Chinese mainland. PM2.5 levels are also increasing on remote islands.

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Comment: B.S. ALERT B.S. ALERT!!! That first line is all wrong. The fishing in Tokyo Wan (bay) and many of the rivers that flow into it is quite good. Japan has done a lot to clean up their act. With the exception of Fukushima and getting their $#!+ together on nuclear clean up in general, there really is no need for Japan to work on the whole pollution thingy. On the other hand, there is a clear need for China to get their $#!+ together on the matter. Bringing the Senkaku situation into this story is just a bait and switch tactic to take our eyes off the ball of what the government is getting ready to do to us...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Okinawa Assembly protests accord - The Japan Times

The Okinawa Prefectural Assembly lodged a protest with the central government Monday over the signing of a fishery accord with Taiwan that could hurt the local economy.

Some members of the assembly visited Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato in Tokyo to hand over a letter of protest, which was unanimously adopted last week by the assembly.

Japan and Taiwan signed the accord earlier this month to allow fishing boats to operate in part of Japan’s exclusive economic zone around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

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Comment: I don't know about you but, this is proof enough to me that a bad day fishing is always going to be better than doing something else! So the question is; what are you going to do protest or fish???

Prensa Latina News Agency - Okinawa: Protests against U.S. Military Plans

Thousands of people protested in Okinawa, southwest Japan, against the U.S. plan of sending Osprey military aircrafts to Kadena air base. The protest was organized by a council that includes Okinawa city and Kadena and Chatan towns, where the base is located, underlined NHK World television network website.

Okinawa city Mayor Mitsuko Tomon told the protesters the Osprey aircrafts sent to U.S. Marines' Futenma air base, continue disrespecting operating regulations.

According to the official, the presence of the planes is detrimental to the health of locals due to the noise they cause.

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Comment: If it hadn't been for the signs, I'd a thought that they opened a new soba shop nearby. Seeing the mayor of Okinawa City there would have only confirmed my suspicions. Anyone who knows the mayor knows that she hasn't passed by a soba shop without stopping in, in years....

Marianas Variety - US committed to relocating Marines to Guam despite sequestration

Okinawa-based Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit are seen participating in certification exercises on Tinian last year.  Photo by Alexie Villegas ZotomayorThe United States remains committed to moving 5,000 U.S. Marines out of Okinawa and relocating them to Guam despite sequestration.

In an interview with Variety, Col. Pete Ponte, branch head for plans, policies and operations, Pacific Division, Headquarters Marine Corps at the Pentagon, said, the Marine Corps and the Department of Defense are “still committed to the relocation of the Marines regardless of sequestration.”


Ponte said, “Some aspects of it may take a little bit longer, but we are still committed and we are still determined.”


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Comment: I agree, there are many in the U.S government who "are" committed and there's a significant number of government officials who should be. Anyone who believes this happy horse$#!+ about the government following through on their promises needs to be committed too!

Over 80 Japanese nationalists approach disputed islands ‹ Japan Today

EAST CHINA SEA — A flotilla of boats carrying more than 80 Japanese nationalists arrived on Tuesday in waters near disputed islands at the center of tensions between China and Japan, risking further straining Tokyo’s fraught relations with its Asian neighbors.

The boats were shadowed by at least 10 Japanese Coast Guard vessels, while three Chinese government surveillance ships moved near the islands, according to the JCG.

Last year, members of the same group landed on one of the islets and triggered anti-Japanese protests in China, while lingering regional friction over Japan’s wartime aggression also resurfaced in recent days.

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Comment: Why should we let the government lackeys have all the fun!!!

The Wonder of Abenomics, Part 2: Its Critics - The Japan Daily Press

The current mood of Japan is all for Abenomics. It is very surprising to hear many commentators and columnists writing so positively about Abenomics and its monetary policy. It was not too long ago that many of them were quite hesitant to welcome Mr. Abe and the Reflationists’ policy. It is as if the whole nation repented and converted.

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Comment: In this piece, the author eludes to some alleged statement or warning by economist Paul Krugman, a well known blathering idiot a.k.a. Princeton University professor and N.Y. Times columnist who thought that 400 plus billion dollar deficits in America under a reprobate administration were dangerous while at the same time 1.6 trillion dollar deficits under a demagogue regime aren't large enough. Needless to say, I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock in anything he says! 

What's worse is the statement doesn't tell the reader clearly whether Krugman thought well or ill of the idea. Something that blathering idiots with PhD's are known for, the ability to be non-committal while sounding somewhat affirmative in the negative, semi-intelligent and say absolute nonsense. 

What is real is that Abenomics, like Obamanomics is really nothing more than fool-hardy Keynesian Kool-Aid nonsense that's been lifted out of the garbage bin, reheated and reserved to an unsuspecting public on a clean looking plate. The problem is, it's a lot like Marxism, it doesn't matter how well you repackage it, it didn't work then and it won't work now. When the Japanese finally wake up and realize that they've been enslaved by the banksters, it will be too late. They'll be just as bankrupt as the American's and Europeans.

Fuel-rod cooling halted by rats at Fukushima plant ‹ Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion

Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant halted cooling of a spent fuel pool at the site on Monday to remove two dead rats, the third time cooling equipment has gone offline in five weeks because of rodents.

Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) said it halted cooling of the No. 2 unit pool, which stores spent uranium fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi site, for a few hours to remove the rats and install a net to stop further such intrusions.

Last month, TEPCO lost power to cool fuel rods for 29 hours, an outage it later blamed on a rat that had shorted a temporary switchboard.

Two weeks later, workers attempting to install a net tripped the system again.

A tsunami crashed into the plant in March 2011, causing fuel-rod meltdowns at three reactors and triggering the evacuation of 160,000 people.

Monday’s incident follows a string of mishaps including four leaks of contaminated water from underground storage pits.

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Comment: Any rats and other animals that are getting in or near this facility are being exposed to massive amounts of radiation. Given that, the questions remains, how many rats are running around inside this nuclear facility and what is being done to contain them. A follow on question might also include, is there a problem with similar rat infestations at other nuclear facilities in Japan or elsewhere around the world...

Ryukyu Shimpo – Third generation Okinawan descendant donates CDs to Peace Memorial Museum

On April 9, Derek Ichiro Shiroma, a third-generation Okinawan descendant who teaches sanshin in Hawaii, donated 100 CDs of his original song Uchinanchu nu chimugukuru to the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum. At the Memorial Park, he also gave a live performance facing towards the Cornerstone of Peace monument. Derek said, “Okinawa suffered terribly from the battle, but did really well to rebuild itself after the war. I hope people who listen the music sense that.”


Derek donated his CDs hoping to hold an event called “Children’s Peace Message Exhibition in Hawaii” which the Museum hosted this January. The proceeds from the sale of the CDs by the Peace Memorial Foundation will be used for another exhibition next year.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Japan Australia: Cherry Blossoms at Sunomata Castle

Sunomata Castle, also known as Ichiya-jo is a Japanese castle located in Ogaki in Gifu Prefecture. The castle is a replica of the famous original, which according to legend is said to have been built in one night. “Ichiya” literally means “one night” and hence the name “One Night Castle”. The original was constructed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, one of the generals of the famous warlord Oda Nobunaga during the build-up to the siege of Gifu Castle in 1566.

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Comment: Of course here in Okinawa we can claim to be number one in castles and cherry blossoms as our Nakijin Castle hosts the very first Cherry Blossoms in Japan!

A Japan Photo per Day - History and Anime, remembering the Shinsengumi at Mibu-dera, Kyoto

Ema, Mibu-dera, Kyoto
Ema are wooden votive plaques used at Shinto shrines and at some temples: the wishes are written directly on the ema, which is then hung on a special rack, to be “read” by the gods. I love to collect them, especially the ones with unusual shape…

These days, I was visiting Mibu-dera, a small temple from Kyoto related to the history of Shinsengumi, the famous police force of the Bakumatsu period, and to my delight I found here a special ema, shaped like the well-known Shinsengumi haori, with mountain stripes on the sleeves. But there was more to it, because talented fans of the manga, anime and video series Hakuōki are drawing beautiful manga-style characters on them: in the ema from my photo, the drawing from the lower part represents the statue of Kondo Isami, located right inside the temple, while the drawing from the upper part represents Saito Hajime, as it is drawn in the anime series…
Click on photo for higher resolution:


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Sunday, April 21, 2013

"Yuri Matsuri - The Lily Festival, Ie Island" - Map It! Okinawa

From late April to the first week of May, Ie Island (Ie Jima – sometimes written as Ie Shima) host the Yuri Matsuri (ゆり まつり), also known as the Lily Festival. Here you will see arrays and arrays of white trumpets along an entire open field in a small section of Ie Jima's northeastern corner. The area couldn't be any more perfect with the open ocean in the immediate background accompanied by the nice ocean breeze. It is one of the more scenic flower festivals you will find here on Okinawa Prefecture. These flowers (Lilium longiflorum) are better known by their common name, the Easter Lily, which are actually native to the Ryukyu Islands. If you are looking for a small off-island adventure to another small island then this will be the perfect trip. Ie Jima has many beautiful areas that can be seen during a one-day-stay such as Wajee Viewpoint, Mt. Gusuku, and the Niyathiya Cave.

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There are no shortcuts to enlightenment, but plenty of laughs on the journey - The Japan Times

Spring in Japan: a time to re-evaluate, to explore spiritually the choices of the upcoming fiscal year. A season of pilgrimage. As the weather becomes warmer, but before the heat of summer can intrude, many Japanese don the white pilgrim’s vest, grab their prayer beads and head out. The most famous pilgrimage, the 88 Buddhist temples pilgrimage in Shikoku, has attracted many foreigners throughout the years, but in typical quirkiness, Japan Times columnist Amy Chavez decided to gain her enlightenment more quickly than walking. “Running the Shikoku Pilgrimage” is her witty but often wise record of her attempt in 1998.

 RUNNING THE SHIKOKU PILGRIMAGE: 900 Miles to Enlightenment, by Amy Chavez. Volcano Press, 2013, 220 pp., $18.95 (paperback)

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Live Long And Healthy The Okinawan Way

Friday marked the 116th birthday of Jiroemon Kimura of Okinawa Japan, the oldest man in the world. Some of the longest living and healthiest people are from the islands of Okinawa. This chain of islands located southwest of Japan has the largest population of people over one hundred years old. Okinawa centurions follow a lifestyle that consists of nutritious meals, exercise and low stress levels. The secret to living a long and healthy life is revealed in the nutrition habits of Okinawa. You too can be on the path to a long and healthy life by following these steps:

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Sovereignty ceremony plan under fire over emperor's presence - AJW by The Asahi Shimbun

A government plan to hold a ceremony this month to mark the day Japan recovered its sovereignty under the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1952 has triggered a firestorm because Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko will attend the event.

The Cabinet led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided the ceremony will be held April 28, the 61st anniversary of the day on which the peace treaty that restored Japan's sovereignty went into effect.

However, protests have arisen in Okinawa, site of a bloody land battle in 1945 and lingering resentment over the huge U.S. military presence there, because many inhabitants consider the date to be a "day of humiliation" when their prefecture was forsaken by the Japanese government. The United States did not return Okinawa to Japanese control until 1972, a full 20 years after the peace treaty went into effect.

Because of that division in public opinion, some are concerned about involving the emperor in such a controversial event. Others are saying the Abe administration is simply trying to use the emperor for its own political ends.

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Comment: Governments exploit people all the time to get what they want. Just think about how the Obama-Nation of Desolation as spoken of by Daniel the Profit danced all over the graves of the Sandy Hook elementary school victims to try and push through unconstitutional gun confiscation legislation in the U.S.. 

Think about it, this is Japan so when it comes to exploiting people, the government here seems to be pretty equal opportunity of you ask me. It would seem to me that the Abe Administration seems to be thinking to themselves, "why should the Emperor be any different than the guy who owns the Yakitori shop down the street?"

So, for those of you who are getting your panties in a wad over this, just remember that it's OK to be upset over the way you've been treated by the mainland Japanese over the years but, I don't think it's right to blame the current Emperor for the sins of his father. In fact, I think that he seems to be a pretty nice guy! After all, he hasn't held a grudge even though some radicals threw a Molotov Cocktail at him and his wife when he visited Okinawa as the Crown Prince, a visit his father should have made but was too cowardly to do.

IMHO, cut him some slack, you're barking up the wrong tree on this one. If you're going to be mad at anyone, be mad at Abe. It's his administration doing the whole exploitation thingy! It's getting to be about time for some forgiveness don't you think???

Mike's Ryukyu Gallery: 15 Hibiscus Photos from Ie Island in Okinawa

In all fairness, I have to give Map It Okinawa Dude credit for this idea. Going to Ie Jima to explore the island and checkout the lilies was the original plan. The great outdoors is where we usually can be found hanging out not, in greenhouses. These hibiscus flowers are too pretty to describe so, I'll just ramble about how we got there.

The trip to the island was a three day event. Camping on a beach overnight and in a cave entrance the second evening, is what happened. Like islands everywhere, the weather can get wet, at times. So, we got plenty of experience, building campfires with rain-soaked wood.

On the last morning of the trip, the plan was to get photos of the lilies. But we didn't think it would be a good idea to take the photos in the rain.  Duh. One of the travel brochures had this Hibiscus Park listed in it. There are over 1,000 different kinds of hibiscus plants in that place! So, if anyone goes to the Lily Festival, and it starts raining, here's what they should do. Checkout the Hibiscus Garden

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Get set for boating in Naha and Itoman - The Japan Times

May and June are the months in which to visit Okinawa if your aim is to witness the spectacle of fiercely contested races between crews paddling dragon boats or the Ryukyu Islands’ small traditional fishing boats called sabani.

During Golden Week, from Friday, May 3 to Sunday, May 5, Naha Hari festival will feature dragon-boat races in the city’s Tomari fishing harbor between large haryusen powered by 30 paddlers each.

This year’s festival will be the 39th of the modern era, in which pop concerts, Ryukyu singing and dancing, a youth sumo competition and a fireworks display combine with the intensely competitive races to create a truly carnival atmosphere enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.

From morning to evening during the three-day event, crews representing schools, companies, civic organizations and military units compete using the three traditional Naha dragon boats. Symbolically representing the three ancient towns that make up modern Naha, these dragon-prowed vessels with trailing tails are Naha’s dark-green-painted boat, the yellow one of Kume and the black beast of Tomari.

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Senate continues to deny Futenma transfer funding - The Japan Times

The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee advised this week that funding for the U.S. military realignment in the Pacific continue to be denied due to the lack of a clear timetable and cost estimate for the completion of a replacement facility for the Futenma airbase in Okinawa.

“Uncertain time lines for completing necessary projects, such as a replacement facility for Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, will likely lead to additional U.S. costs,” a report by the panel released Wednesday says. “Uncertainty about those costs cautions against lifting congressional restrictions on Department of Defense spending to implement some of the posture changes until detailed estimates are completed and provided to Congress.”

Despite the recent reaffirmation by Tokyo and Washington that they will stick to a 2005 agreement to build Futenma’s replacement on reclaimed land in Henoko, and despite Abe’s announcement earlier this month that Futenma would be returned to Japan sometime after 2022, the Senate committee expressed deep skepticism this will ever happen.

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Comment: Where's Jackson Browne when you need him??? I'd like to send all them Senators to the place he called vacation land for Lawyers in Love but, if that's not possible, I hear GITMO is lovely this time of year. BTW, it seems as though there may be some vacancies down there soon as those guys in the news finish their weight loss regimens!

Mike's Ryukyu Gallery: 2013 Lily Festival on Ie Jima Starts Tomorrow

This Just In: A Million Lilies Blooming !

Three days were spent out on Ie Island in Okinawa, checking things out. We were busy doing other things but, made sure the white lilies were in bloom.

The five photos you see here, were taken this morning. Weather has been a bit unpredictable but, some blue skies did manage to peek through.

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Friday, April 19, 2013

China angered by Japan's increased jet scrambles | The Wire |

China accused Japan of raising regional tensions with its increased use of fighter jets to monitor Chinese aircraft that approach a cluster of islands claimed by both countries.

The remarks from Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Thursday came one day after Japan's Defense Ministry said it dispatched fighter jets in response to Chinese planes 306 times during the 12 months through March 2013, up from 156 the previous year.

Chinese aircraft have steadily increased patrols in the East China Sea, where the Japanese-controlled islands are located. There has been only one report of a Chinese plane violating Japanese airspace over the uninhabited islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

"We all know Japan has continuously provoked and escalated tensions over the Diaoyus," Hua told reporters at a regularly scheduled news conference.

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Comment: That last line is an important clue in this mess. My guess is that the Japanese have been provoking the Chinese and escalating tensions over the Senkaku Islands of Okinawa Prefecture Japan by enticing the Chinese to illegally use their Maritime Surveillance and naval Warships to cruise through Japanese territorial waters on an almost daily basis. Since Chinese have been so regularly enticed into these daily illegal incursions into sovereign Japanese territory and airplanes, specifically warplanes, are so much faster than naval vessels, it seems that the Japanese have had to scramble their jets to investigate the matter a little more frequently than they have in years past and this has the Chinese concerned... 

I really feel sorry for the Chinese. It would seem that through all this, their intentions to steal a couple of islands that just so happen to be Japanese sovereign territory which are proven to be rich beyond anyone's wildest dreams with oil, natural gas and other valuable mineral deposits that an energy starved China so desperately needs and would gladly kill to get their hands on is obviously being misunderstood!

China calls on Japan to stop scrambling its fighters ‹ Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion

China called on Japan on Thursday to stop sending jets up against Chinese aircraft after Japan said it had scrambled its fighters twice as often in the past year amid a territorial dispute.

The number of scrambles against Chinese planes nearly doubled to 306 in the year that ended in March. That accounted for the increase in the overall number from 425 to 567, the highest level in 22 years, Japan’s Defense Ministry said.

China and Japan have been involved in an increasingly acrimonious stand-off over a group of uninhabited but, Japanese rightfully owned islands in the East China Sea, called the Senkaku.

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Comment: The question now is, will Japan call on China to stop threatening to steal Japanese sovereign territory?

Seamen’s Club creates community event focusing on Ishigaki Beef | Japan Update

Ishigaki Beef is Japan’s finest, coming from the Yaeyama Islands in the southern part of the prefecture, and the Seamen’s Club Naha is hosting a three-day Ishigaki Beef Festival to provide more exposure for the special beef.

Friday, Saturday  and Sunday the Seamen’s Club doors are open to the entire community.  “It’s an Okinawan ~ American Friendship Event,” says the Seamen’s Center senior director, Walt Christiansen.  “Ishigaki beef is hard to come by here, and we’ve teamed with Kinjo Cattle Ranch in Ishigaki to introduce it to the entire Okinawa community.”

The three-day Ishigaki Beef Festival at Seamen’s Club in Naha focuses on the famed island beef that is offered for ¥500 a plate straight from the barbeque grill.

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Okinawa’s governor calls for base return changes | Japan Update

Okinawa’s governor is calling up Japan and the United States to modify the agreement made for return of U.S. military bases, facilities and land used on his island.

Governor Hirokazu Nakaima says “even if we are told that we should implement it because it has been decided between the governments, it would be hard to do so for something that has been decided without local involvement.”  Nakaima’s come in response to the April 5th agreement that land south of Kadena Air Base should be returned between this fiscal year and 2028 or later.

Some municipalities in Okinawa are already raising hefty concerns about the deal, leaves them bearing the burden of additional sites that will replace those being returned.  The agreement sets a schedule for returning land now used by the U.S. Marines at Futenma Marine Corps Air Station in “fiscal 2022 or later.”

Replacing Futenma with a new facility at Camp Schwab in Henoko, a district of Nago City, has been a contentious issue between the central government and Okinawa.  Nakaima emphasized again his opposition to that plan for moving Futenma has not gone away.

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Ryukyu Shimpo – 60877 Japanese travelers go abroad from Naha Airport in 2012

According to the Ministry of Justice, the total number of Japanese nationals going abroad from Naha Airport in 2012 was 60877, the highest total since 2006. With a number of new international routes opening in 2012, it can be said that demand for foreign air travel has grown, a trend driven mainly by Okinawan local people.

The newly opened routes are, one to mainland China on the Beijing-Naha route flown by Air China, two to Taiwan using the Taipei-Naha route flown by TransAsia Airways and the Taizhong-Naha route flown by Mandarin Airlines, and a route to Korea provided by the low-cost airline Jin Air. The opening of these routes sees the passenger capacity of international flights out of Naha Airport increase to 854548, up 44.6 percent compared to 2011.

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Sequestration could slow Marines’ move from Okinawa to Guam, Hawaii - Pacific Business News

The Marine Corps’ top brass has told Congress that sequestration could slow the Marines movement from Okinawa to Guam, a move that is expected to also bring as many as 2,700 additional Marines to Hawaii.

The Pacific Daily News in Guam reports that Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos told the House Armed Services Committee that the automatic spending cuts that took effect March 1 will slow down the move of thousands of Marines to Guam, and that Congress has frozen federal funding for that effort.

Navy officials were also quoted as saying the move may not be completed until 2020.

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Comment: So much for that so-called timeline, agreed to by the U.S. and Japan and posted here just last week for returning those properties in Okinawa to the rightful owners...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Japan scrambles jets for Chinese incursions 306 times in 12 months ‹ Japan Today

Japan scrambled fighter jets in response to Chinese aircraft a record number of times in the year to March 2013, mostly after the nationalisation of disputed islands, the government said Wednesday.

Jets were sent airborne 306 times over the 12 months, double the previous year and more than the number of times they reacted to Russian planes—247—for the first time on record, the Defense Ministry said in a press release.

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Chinese warships sail between Okinawa islands, steer clear of Senkakus - The Japan Times

The Defense Ministry said Wednesday that two Chinese warships steamed through waters between Okinawa Island and Miyako Island on Tuesday night but did not intrude into Japan’s territorial waters.

The Chinese vessels did not approach the Senkaku Islands or enter Japan’s contiguous zone around the islets in the East China Sea, according to a government official in Tokyo. The islets are administered by Japan but claimed by China.

“If that were the case, the Defense Ministry would be responding, but I haven’t been given any such report,” the official said.

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Comment: I think a better headline might have been along the lines of, "China Doesn't Try to Provoke Japan into War!" The reason of course is this is probably the first time in over a year that they haven't gone out of their way to stir the pot of hate and discontent...

Ryukyu Shimpo – Rich biogeocenosis located offshore from Camp Schwab

On April 8 and 9, staff of the Ryukyu Shimpo took underwater photographs in the area of Oura Bay where the U.S. military plans to construct the alternative facility for Futenma Air Station. The Oura River provides nutrients to help cultivate a rich biogeocenosis including naturally growing seagrasses that serve as food for dugong and massive Porites australiensis coral formations.

The Ryukyu Shimpo staff took photographs at several locations about 100 meters offshore from Camp Schwab, and 200 meters offshore from the Abu district of Nago, which is on the opposite side from where the alternative facility is scheduled to be constructed.

The staff confirmed the presence of seagrasses that feed dugong, Sargassum seaweeds that are akin to hijiki or Sargassum fusiforme seaweed, and akamoku or brown alga sargassum horneri.

They also found that young coral is growing offshore from Abu in the Porites australiensis formations.

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Comment: I wish they would have just used a coule of 50 cent words and said "abundant sea life" instead of using that $2.00 word that even a Ph.D. can't spell and would have to spend at least five pages of a scientific study just trying to define it in language that would likely confuse the typical graduate level "Honors" student in advanced marine biology...

Hiji camping area re-opened after typhoon damages cleared | Japan Update

The Hiji camping area has re-opened for business on Apr. 15. The area was severely damaged by the typhoons of 2012, and camping site has been closed until now.

The first day of the re-opening was a great fine day, and more than 100 people had fun trekking or camping.

The typhoons last year caused severe damage to the camping site such as fallen trees and falling rocks blocking off paths so that visitors could not walk around. The staff of Kunigami Sightseeing Department and Kunigami Village Office cleared the fallen trees and paths over the winter, making it possible to re-open the camping site. However, some paths still remain closed because of landslides, and there are some detours.

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Comment: Cool, just in time for this year's typhoon season! Of course with all the rain we've had as of late and with the rainy season coming up, be careful of the potential for more landslides!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Neo Park – Walk With The Animals | OkiNinjaKitty

Neo Park is one of the places that I have driven past hundreds of times, fully aware that it is there but never visiting for one reason or another. However, this week during an on island vacation we decided that there was no better time than to go on in and see what the park had to offer.

For my husband and I the first step to enjoying a location is researching information ahead of time. Researching ahead of time not only gives you a clear understanding of what it is that you can expect from the attraction but can also give you a clear understanding of costs and how much of your day will be spent there. To be honest I would say that in general not researching before visiting attractions in Okinawa is putting yourself at a great disadvantage and you’re more likely to be disappointed with your visit.

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