Saturday, October 13, 2007
Nobody wants to get this one in his Japanese garden. So, how to screen any incoming missile on the northern coast? Here is the added defense jewel. After the big station, little ones. Still some Japanese seem or pretend to be unsatisfied in spite of the US Japan military alliance. Details on quotes, local press & agencies:
"US forces deployed a mobile missile-tracking station in Japan for the first time Friday, officials said, as part of efforts to defend against a potential attack from North Korea. The Joint Tactical Ground Station was being set up at the Misawa base in Aomori, the northernmost prefecture of Japan's most populous island of Honshu. But local authorities and media had criticised the deployment, saying they were not sufficiently informed. "The US military might not be able to disclose military secrets. However, we should not just let it be," the local To-o Nippo newspaper said in an editorial before the deployment. "The mayor must press the US military and the (Japanese) government to give us detailed explanation."
The mobile missile-tracking system is designed to receive launch data from early warning satellites, analyze the projected destination of missiles and forward the information to the U.S. military and Japan's Defense Ministry.
It is the first time the US military has deployed the mobile unit in Japan, although one is already in South Korea, said Yutaka Shirasawa, an official at Japan's defence ministry. The system consists of a vehicle equipped with three satellite antennas and information-processing equipment, which is meant to send news of any incoming missile to the US military and Japanese defence ministry.
It will be operated by 18 US servicepeople from an army base in the western US state of Colorado, Shirasawa said, adding the local government was informed of the deployment Thursday. Tokyo and Washington launched work on a missile defence shield for Japan after North Korea shocked the world in 1998 by firing a long-range missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean. In March, Japan for the first time installed Patriot surface-to-air missile interceptors in the Tokyo area.
Japan will conduct its first missile test in mid-December, from an Aegis-radar equipped destroyer off Hawaii, "to confirm its ballistic missile defense capability," the Defense Ministry said separately in a statement.
Japan deployed its first advanced U.S.-developed Patriot missiles earlier this year, and plans to introduce SM-3 interceptors on its destroyers in the next few years, including one in December. The two countries held a regional ballistic missile defense drill in July. Another round of exercises is scheduled for November, followed by a test launch of the U.S.-developed SM-3 missile interceptor from Japan's Aegis-class destroyer Kongo during the week of Dec. 17 off a Hawaiian island of Kauai, the ministry said.
The United States last year installed Japan's first anti-missile system on the southern island of Okinawa, the hub of the 40,000 US troops in Japan."
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Japanese journalist, Nagai Kenji, on the road, killed during Burmese demonstrations.
Tandis que la junte birmane brûle les cadavres de ses opposants, victimes des tirs de ses soldats, Tokyo évite de s'impliquer, perdant une nouvelle fois l'occasion de faire entendre sa voix, et le poids de ses sanctions, sur le régime militaire narco - trafiquant, et pendant ce temps, plusieurs centaines de personnes, dont de nombreux ressortissants birmans, ont assisté aux obsèques du cameraman japonais Kenji Nagai, abattu à l'âge de 50 ans le 27 septembre pendant les manifestations pro-démocratiques à Rangoon. L'hommage à Nagai s'est déroulé dans un cimetière du centre de la capitale japonaise.
Le cameraman été tué quand les militaires ont ouvert le feu sur les protestataires. Des images du drame semblent montrer que Nagai a été tué à bout portant par un soldat. L'autopsie a indiqué que Nagai aurait été tué dans le dos d'une ou plusieurs balles ayant atteint le foie et divers organes vitaux. Le régime militaire au pouvoir en Birmanie affirme qu'il a été tué par accident. La police japonaise a effectué une autopsie pour déterminer les circonstances exactes de la mort du cameraman, ce qui pourrait conduire Tokyo à réduire son aide au Birmanie à hauteur de 500 millions de yens (4,27 millions de dollars).
Le Japon, le principal donateur de la Birmanie, a déjà restreint son aide économique à la Birmanie, notamment son aide humanitaire. Il "considère maintenant la possibilité de la diminuer encore", a déclaré le chef de la diplomatie japonaise Komura. Jusqu'ici le Japon finançait principalement des programmes destinés à la santé, à l'éducation et des projets humanitaires. En 2005, ses subventions ont atteint 1,3 milliard de yens (11,2 millions de dollars, 7,9 millions d'euros), alors que l'aide technologique était de 1,7 milliard de yens (14,7 millions de dollars, 10,3 millions d'euros), selon les chiffres du gouvernement.
La nouvelle des manifestations en Birmanie n'avait pas alarmé les autorités japonaises comme j'ai pu le constater, une fois la "révolution safran" couverte et reprise par la presse internationale. Cette crise a été révélée lors de la session des Nations Unies a New York et monté en épingle par la présidence américaine, ce qui a fait dire que G. Bush souhaitait occulter le drame irakien des débats onusiens et agiter l'opinion sur le sort des Birmans...
Durant les journées d'agitation médiatique, insufflée par les agences de presse américaines, le Japon marchait sur des oeufs ainsi que les diplomates nippons et les services du premier ministre le laissaient entendre. Il a fallu attendre la mort d'un vidéo - reporter de 50 ans, monsieur Kenji Nagai, employé d'une société de production japonaise du nom de A.P.F., pour que le gouvernement Fukuda réagisse avec un peu de vigueur une fois l'annonce de la mort du journaliste.
Dans les journées qui ont suivi, le Japon a modéré ses commentaires afin de contenir l'impact déplorable de la mort d'un "Nihonjin" sur les médias et la fragile société nippone plus soucieuse de son bien être insulaire que des questions humanitaires et des graves enjeux de la politique internationale. Pire, les commentaires des autorités Tokyoites étaient évasifs concernant l'impact sur les violations des droits de l'homme en Birmanie avec lequel le Japon entretient de bonnes relations depuis la seconde guerre mondiale et la colonisation de l'Asie du sud-est. Des relations douteuses au point que Tokyo reçoit régulièrement les dirigeants de la junte birmane. Motif? Le Japon a des relations industrielles avec la Birmanie et ses gisements gaziers. A ce propos, cliquer sur le titre pour accéder a cet article :"Companies doing business in Burma".
(Anglais): "Burma's gas industry brought more than 2 billion dollars in revenue to the country's military last year, providing its single largest source of income. Most of this money was generated from just two gasfields, Yetagun and Yadana. The latter, situated in southern Burma, has been developed by a consortium led by Total, since 1992. Human Rights Watch pointed out this week that there is no transparency about how income derived from gas sales is used, although the military is believed to receive the lion's share, with a comparatively paltry sum reserved for health, education and other social services. Investors in the Burmese oil and gas sector hail from such countries as Australia, China, the British Virgin Islands, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Russia, France, the U.S., Japan, Singapore and India. " (Sources IPS) http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=39496/)
"Japan, which generously provided aid to Burma over decades, imposed cuts in 2003 when pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest. Yet, during 2006, Japan’s grants amounted to 1.35 billion yen (11.1 million US dollars), besides technical assistance worth 1.73 billion yen (14 million dollars). Historically, the financial flow goes back to the two-billion-dollar war reparations paid by Japan to Burma for having invaded the country during World War II. Gen. Ne Win, who engineered a coup in 1962, successfully developed pro-Burma sentiments among Japanese leaders and reaped huge aid programmes. Japan was among the first countries that approved the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), set up by the military junta that seized power in l988. " (Sources IPS http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=39559/)
Monday, October 08, 2007
I read this article in the press on Sunday, and even if there is a trade context in the back stage, I felt it would again cause uproar in the columns and the assemblies:
"A Shizuoka Prefecture railway firm on Sunday restarted regular operations of a Japanese-made steam locomotive used in Thailand until 1979 to mark the 120th anniversary of the signing of the 1887 Japan-Siam amity treaty. Oigawa Railway Co held a ceremony at the platform of its Shinkanaya Station to mark the restart of the Class C56 locomotive's operations, with its exterior color returned from black to green, the same exterior color when it was used in Thailand. Popular Thai actress Kanyarat Jiraratchakit celebrated the resumption of the operation at the ceremony by opening up a "kusudama" decorative ball which had been hung from the platform's ceiling."
Then I received an email from a friend who sent me this blog address Tokyonodoko: From there, here I quote:
"On entering the Yasukuni shrine, where some of the worst war criminals are enshrined, the museum foyer visitors are greeted by a Model C56 Locomotive 31, a large restored stream engine sitting peacefully next to the escalators, (the same type of steam loco as the Kanchanaburi Thailand River Kwai museum, Added by Jlk.)
"In the Yasukuni museum (Yushukan) a plaque informs the visitor that locomotive 31 was produced in 1936 by Nippon sharyo and operated in the Nanao region of Ishikawa prefecture until being commandeered to the ‘south’ for the Greater East Asian War. The engine played an important role in Thailand including the opening of the Thai-Burma Railroad.
After the war it was used by the Thai national railroad until retirement in 1977, where members of the southern forces field railroad section who were involved in the construction of the Thai-Burma railroad gave money to have the engine shipped back to Japan, restored, and placed in Yasukuni Jinja."
"A question arises whether it is important that the Thai-Burma Railway is also know as the Death Railway. It was built from Thailand to Burma (now Myanmar) by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II to complete the route from Bangkok to Rangoon and support the Japanese occupation of Burma. It was so called ‘The death railway’ because of the human cost of its construction.
About 100,000 conscripted Asian laborers and 16,000 Allied prisoners of war, 6,318 British, 2,815 Australians, 2,490 Dutch and the remainder from the USA or unknown died while being enslaved. And, theirs was no ordinary death. Most of the slave prisoners were weakened by malnutrition before succumbing to disease, medical treatment being withheld. Many were brutally murdered."
I know! People will think that Foreign round eyes look for the evil everywhere. But was it necessary to reactivate such infamous nightmares for millions of people around the world and in particular Asian nations who fell victims of the imperial armies whose heirs, among them some politicians, historians, right wingers of the worst caliber, not so much offending their "elites", pretend as if nothing else than an Asia liberation from the "whites" had happened? Preposterous. Comfort the sanitized sleepy society with an infamous strategic history is all it takes to build a modern society? Many would object.