Posts Tagged japan

China and North Korea: A Tangled Partnership

China and North Korea: A Tangled Partnership is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By Rodger Baker
Vice President of East Asia Analysis

China appears to be growing frustrated with North Korea’s behavior, perhaps to the point of changing its long-standing support for Pyongyang. As North Korea’s largest economic sponsor, Beijing has provided the North Korean regime with crucial aid for years and offered it diplomatic protection against the United States and other powers. To outsiders, China’s alliance with North Korea seems like a Cold War relic with little reason for persisting into the 21st century. However, Beijing’s continued support for Pyongyang is not rooted in shared ideology or past cooperation nearly as much as in China’s own security calculations.

Perhaps nothing sums up the modern relationship more effectively than the oft repeated comment that the two countries are “as close as lips and teeth.” Far from a statement of intense friendship, the completion of that Chinese aphorism — “When the lips are gone, the teeth will be cold” — highlights China’s interest in propping up the North Korean regime. North Korea serves as a buffer state for China’s northeast, and though Pyongyang can exploit that need, the North Korean leadership harbors no illusion that China is truly interested in the survival of any particular North Korean regime so long as Beijing can keep its buffer. Read the rest of this entry »

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China Tests Japanese and U.S. Patience

China Tests Japanese and U.S. Patience is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By Rodger Baker
Vice President of East Asia Analysis

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has warned Beijing that Tokyo is losing patience with China’s assertive maritime behavior in the East and South China seas, suggesting China consider the economic and military consequences of its actions. His warning followed similar statements from Washington that its patience with China is wearing thin, in this case over continued Chinese cyberespionage and the likelihood that Beijing is developing and testing cybersabotage and cyberwarfare capabilities. Together, the warnings are meant to signal to China that the thus-far relatively passive response to China’s military actions may be nearing an end.

In an interview The Washington Post published just prior to Abe’s meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, Abe said China’s actions around the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands and its overall increasing military assertiveness have already resulted in a major increase in funding for the Japan Self-Defense Forces and coast guard. He also reiterated the centrality of the Japan-U.S. alliance for Asian security and warned that China could lose Japanese and other foreign investment if it continued to use “coercion or intimidation” toward its neighbors along the East and South China seas. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ferocious, Weak and Crazy: The North Korean Strategy

Ferocious, Weak and Crazy: The North Korean Strategy is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By George Friedman
Founder and Chairman

North Korea’s state-run media reported Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered the country’s top security officials to take “substantial and high-profile important state measures,” which has been widely interpreted to mean that North Korea is planning its third nuclear test. Kim said the orders were retaliation for the U.S.-led push to tighten U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang following North Korea’s missile test in October. A few days before Kim’s statement emerged, the North Koreans said future tests would target the United States, which North Korea regards as its key adversary along with Washington’s tool, South Korea.

North Korea has been using the threat of tests and the tests themselves as weapons against its neighbors and the United States for years. On the surface, threatening to test weapons does not appear particularly sensible. If the test fails, you look weak. If it succeeds, you look dangerous without actually having a deliverable weapon. And the closer you come to having a weapon, the more likely someone is to attack you so you don’t succeed in actually getting one. Developing a weapon in absolute secret would seem to make more sense. When the weapon is ready, you display it, and you have something solid to threaten enemies with. Read the rest of this entry »

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China Threatens War With Japan

From Business Insider:

A Friday press release out of China confirms the incident began when Beijing was flying a Shaanxi Y-8 on a “routine Thursday patrol” over the “oil and gas fields in the East China Sea.”

…on Thursday Japan spotted aircraft in its Air Defense Identification Zone (above the islands) that it believed to be Chinese J-7 interceptors, along with some J-10 fighters whose combat abilities rival that of Western jets. Japan responded with two F-15s scrambled from Naha, Okinawa — just a couple hundred miles away. There are minor variations from either side about who sent what first, but all agree the aircraft met above the islands.

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USS Essex completes support of Operation Tomodachi

USS EssexU.S. Pacific Fleet PACIFIC OCEAN (April 6, 2011) The amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) – Official prepares for a farewell formation steam with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Ship JS Hyuga (DDH 181). Essex, with the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, has completed operations off the coast of Kesennuma in northeastern Japan, in support of Operation Tomodachi. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mark R. Alvarez)

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Reagan (CVN-76) Cleanup

U.S.S. Reagan DECON

Marines wash the surface of an F/A-18C Hornet

Lance Cpl. Juan Olguin, from Lakewood, Calif., sprays the surface of an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Death Rattlers of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan during a countermeasure wash down on the flight deck. Sailors scrubbed the external surfaces on the flight deck and island superstructure to remove potential radiation contamination. Ronald Reagan is operating off the coast of Japan providing humanitarian assistance as directed in support of Operation Tomodachi.

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USS Essex nears the coast of Japan

 USS Essex (LHD 2)U.S. Pacific Fleet

PACIFIC OCEAN (March 27, 2011) USS Essex (LHD 2), with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard, nears the coast of Japan at sunrise. The 31st MEU and Amphibious Squadron 11 delivered food, water, comfort items and commercial repair vehicl…es to residents on the isolated island of Oshima, off the coast of Kessennuma, using U.S. Navy landing craft. Marines and Sailors of the 31st MEU are conducting humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions in northeast Japan in coordination with Japanese Self Defense Forces. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Capt. Caleb Eames)

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Reagan Crew Works to Keep Radiation Contamination Down

Navy crew members mop the flight deck March 23 to remove radioactive contamination from the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan off the Japanese coast.

From: Marine Corps Times

… “I don’t know of any aircraft carrier that’s ever been contaminated like this,” he said.

Powell, the radiation officer, said that he only got two hours of sleep from Sunday until Wednesday. By then, things had calmed down significantly.

That doesn’t mean, however, that the ship has lowered its vigilance. Visitors coming aboard even nine days later were thoroughly checked, as are crews still coming back from relief missions.

The mass cleanup of the ship’s surface Wednesday was considered largely successful, although commanding officer Capt. Thom Burke, in an announcement over the vessel’s public address system the next day, said that some “hot spots” remained.

more

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HS-4 Black Knights in Japan

Helicopter AntiSubmarine Squadron 4

Helicopter AntiSubmarine Squadron 4 Nadia Brouillette, a Navy helicopter pilot of the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN76), presents a teddy bear to a baby during “Operation Tomodachi“ to deliver supply to the evacuees in an earthquake and tsunami devastated area in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture in Japan.

 

Helicopter AntiSubmarine Squadron 4

Japanese citizens unload food and water from a Navy helicopter off of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which is providing humanitarian assistance to quake-devastated parts of Japan

From: MSNBC

When United States Navy helicopters swept down on the school in a ruined Japanese village, survivors first looked hesitantly from the windows. Then they rushed out, helping unload food, water and clothes. They clasped hands with the Americans. Some embraced them.

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Women of USS RONALD REAGAN (CVN 76)

This video from 2009 is kind of fun but the really interesting thing is all of the comments on YouTube thanking the crew for their help in the ongoing  tsunami relief effort.

This is typical:

Thank you to you all from Japan!

Japanese ppl never forget your assistance.

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Radiation Cancer Risks

Radiation Cancer Risks

U.S. Army guidelines for safety in radioactive environments.

Radiation Risks

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Red Alert: Radiation Rising and Heading South in Japan

This report is published by Stratfor.

The nuclear reactor situation in Japan has deteriorated significantly. Two more explosions occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on March 15.

The first occurred at 6:10 a.m. local time at reactor No. 2, which had seen nuclear fuel rods exposed for several hours after dropping water levels due to mishaps in the emergency cooling efforts. Within three hours the amount of radiation at the plant rose to 163 times the previously recorded level, according to Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. Read the rest of this entry »

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