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Japan Watch Thread

Japan Shinzō Abe China Korea sci-tech military politics USA East Asia Pacific

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#101
Yuli Ban

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Tokyo airport is introducing robots for cleaning and luggage handling, and human staff in HAL suits

da2ca417d1b3eef0e88032ece3138b41_582_388


New robots will assist with cleaning & luggage at Tokyo Haneda Airport
It feels like every technology announcement out of Japan brings us one step closer to the robot apocalypse foreshadowed by sci-fi movies for years. But new robots in Japan could be about to make using airports there are a far more pleasant experience.
Japanese robot developer Cyberdyne (yes, Cyberdyne) will be supplying Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) with 11 robots programmed to work as cleaners and luggage transporters, due to start their duties this September.

image1(1).jpg


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And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.


#102
Yuli Ban

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Links

TheEarthquakeGuy

Hi everyone! Your earthquake perspective here. Interesting times indeed!

What you need to know:


  • Magnitude: Currently sitting at a 7.0 magnitude. Could change with more data.

  • Location: Occurred 1km WSW of Kumamoto-shi, which is the location that has been struck hard by the quakes yesterday.

  • Depth: USGS is listing this at 10km making this quite a shallow 7.0 - expect this to change with more data.

  • Intensity of Shaking: The USGS has now updated their expectations to Violent shaking (IX). The DYFI reports reflect Severe (VIII) like yesterday's events. Japan's local seismic authority has rated this a 6+ out of a possible 7. Yesterday's quakes were both 7s.

  • Type of Earthquake: The moment tensor shows that this was a strike-slip event, like yesterday's quakes. This is further evidence pointing to the previous quakes being foreshocks.

  • Aftershocks: Expect a lot of aftershocks over the next 72 hours. These will taper off, but naturally will be larger due to the larger magnitude of this main event.

  • Tsunami: Local warning now lifted. Here is the report from NOAA.
Updates:

  • 9:24pm GMT - 2 Hospitals currently being evacuated due to damage. A care home has collapsed, along with many homes and buildings. Possible dam collapse underway with other reports of damaged infrastructure. Reports also talk about trapped individuals. One hospital is reported to be treating over 200 wounded.

  • 8:22pm GMT - Updated the PAGER info. Not good at all. Still no word on actual casualties or damage. It may still be good news! I'm hopeful. I'll also be away for 10-20 minutes as I need to get ready for the day.

  • 8:03pm GMT - Reports coming in of people trapped in homes and buildings. Emergency crews responding. Prime Minister Abe is currently holding an emergency meeting with officials now.

  • 7:40pm GMT - Here is a Japanese live feed of earthquake coverage!

  • 7:25pm GMT - Updated PAGER information.

  • 7:05pm GMT - Updated with Links and local intensity information. News is still slow coming in!

  • 6:27pm GMT - Local Tsunami advisory has been lifted. Still no word from local media about the quake.

  • 6:20pm GMT - No news yet about fatalities/destruction. Added type of quake to the post. Trying to answer as many questions as possible. Any information related to this quake is welcome!

  • 6:06pm GMT - Added PAGER data.

  • 5:51pm GMT - Completion of initial post. No Pager info yet.
Links I'll be around for questions.
Stay Safe!

 

https://www.reddit.c...outhern/d246qi6
 
 
Fatalities casualties already in the 1k range.


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#103
Maximus

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Japan's May exports rise at fastest in two years, set to sustain growth

 

 

Japan's exports surged in May by the fastest in more than two years on bigger shipments of cars and steel, an encouraging sign that robust overseas demand will support economic growth.

 
The 14.9 percent annual increase in exports in May was below the median estimate for a 16.1 percent annual increase but was nonetheless the biggest rise since January 2015.
 
Exports are likely to continue rising at a steady clip as overseas economies show increasing signs of strength, which should help Japan's economy extend its recent run of solid expansion.
 
"The main scenario is Japan's exports will continue to recover," said Shuji Tonouchi, senior market economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.
 
"However, the pace of growth could slow somewhat as inventories of certain goods, like electronics, start to build up overseas."

 

Before you go getting too excited about Asia's former economic wonderkid:

 

Japan Has Surprise Deficit as Import Growth Beats Exports



#104
Maximus

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Giving Japan a Military

 

 

After 70 years, Japan may finally be on the cusp of acquiring its own military. Legally, that is. Last month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe indicated his desire to change the Constitution by 2020 to include a clause to give legal standing to the Self-Defense Forces. The revision, while historically controversial domestically, is long overdue. 

 
Written in 1946 by the United States after Japan's devastating defeat in World War II, the Constitution legally prohibits Japan from waging war and obtaining “war potential.” Article 9—often referred to as the peace clause—renounces war as a sovereign right and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. In order to accomplish this aim, the article specifies that “land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained.”
 
In spite of the article, Japan went on to establish the SDF in 1954, building it into one of the most advanced armed forces in the world. Japanese governments were able to do this by arguing that because the SDF's exclusive purpose is defensive, including a conscious decision not to acquire offense-oriented weaponry, the SDF does not violate the “war potential” prohibition. Domestically then, the SDF is not a military. To everyone outside of Japan, the SDF is a military. As a result, the SDF exists as a military in all but name, and this is exactly why Abe's proposed constitutional revision makes sense.

 

x1497492536330.jpg.pagespeed.ic.rXVRhW9V

(Credit: Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters)



#105
Maximus

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Japan's Abe to push for constitution reform before year end

 

 

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to accelerate plans to amend Japan's pacifist constitution, saying he expects to submit a proposed revision to lawmakers before the end of the year, media reported on Sunday.

 
Abe said in a speech in Kobe city on Saturday he planned to submit a proposal for the first ever amendment of Japan's post-World War Two constitution during an extraordinary session of parliament that will be convened later this year, Japan's main daily newspapers reported.

 

Well damn, looks like Abe is going full steam ahead with the Constitutional Reform described in my previous post. I'm really curious to see how the Japanese public will react.



#106
caltrek

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With China rising as a superpower and the continued military presence of the U.S in the region, it is sad to see the Western Pacific becoming so militarized. Let us hope peace can be maintained despite these trends.  


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#107
Sciencerocks

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With China rising as a superpower and the continued military presence of the U.S in the region, it is sad to see the Western Pacific becoming so militarized. Let us hope peace can be maintained despite these trends.  

 

I pray so too as we all know to well what happened the last time.



#108
Maximus

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Playing Chicken In The East China Sea

 

 

A slow-moving crisis continues to unfold in the East China Sea, focused on the disputed Senkaku Islands, called Diaoyu in China (see satellite images at bottom), and on competition for seabed resources. With each passing year, the frequency of dangerous interactions between the two sides’ maritime and air forces grows. It is an incremental game of chicken, in which Beijing adds pressure bit by bit on Japan’s administrative control of waters and airspace over the East China Sea, while Tokyo remains determined not to cede that control.

 

An accidental collision could quickly spiral into a crisis. And even though both sides continue to use coast guard vessels as the primary actors around the Senkakus, Japan finds itself at a greater disadvantage year-by-year. Sooner or later, the law enforcement standoff over administrative control of the waters around the islands is likely to evolve into a naval standoff. As a result, China is not the only one seeking to change the game. In the face of steadily increasing Chinese pressure, Japan is taking steps to bolster its defense and coast guard capabilities in the Southwest Islands—those territories nearest to the Senkakus.

 

Tokyo does not release complete details on its forces in the Southwest Islands, but news reports and government documents provide a good overview of major existing facilities and planned upgrades. As expected, those facilities are geared toward island defense, air, naval, and coast guard capabilities, radar and signals intelligence, and air and missile defense.

 

Major Japanese Defense/Coast Guard Facilities in the Southwest Islands 

Spoiler

The linked article contains a description of defence capabilities for each base in the above graphic. There are also two charts depicting increased Chinese incursion into the Senkakus, and increased number of Japanese jets being scrambled in response to Chinese aircraft. 



#109
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Japan fitting F-35 fighters with advanced missile system brings it ‘much closer to targets’, says defence analyst

 

 

The Japanese government is planning to fit its next-generation F-35 fighters with advanced air-to-surface missiles, a development one analyst says would provide the Air Self-Defence Force with “a big step forward in stand-off capability”.

Japan has previously resisted the temptation to purchase air-to-surface missiles for its fighters out of concern that its neighbours would accuse Tokyo of deploying an offensive military capability. Given the deteriorating security in northeast Asia, however, the government has decided to upgrade its strike capabilities, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Japan is expected to purchase the Joint Strike Missile (JSM), developed primarily by Norway’s Kongsberg Defence Systems.


#110
Yuli Ban

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Japan PM's party suffers historic defeat in Tokyo poll, popular governor wins big

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party suffered an historic defeat in an election in the Japanese capital on Sunday, signaling trouble ahead for the premier, who has suffered from slumping support because of a favoritism scandal.
On the surface, the Tokyo Metropolitan assembly election was a referendum on Governor Yuriko Koike's year in office, but the dismal showing for Abe's party is also a stinging rebuke of his 4-1/2-year-old administration.
Koike's Tokyo Citizens First party and its allies were on track for between 73 to 85 seats in the 127-seat assembly, according to exit polls by NHK public TV.
Later vote counts showed the LDP was certain to post its worst-ever result, winning at most 37 seats compared with 57 before the election, NHK said, while Koike's party and allies were assured a majority.


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#111
Yuli Ban

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Japan is racing against the clock to prepare for an anticipated major earthquake in Tokyo and to take damage mitigation measures by making full use of available data and artificial intelligence

Japan is racing against the clock to prepare for an anticipated major earthquake in Tokyo and to take damage mitigation measures by making full use of available data and artificial intelligence. 
Moves by the public and private sectors come as the national government estimates that there is a 70% chance of a magnitude 7-class earthquake hitting directly beneath the Tokyo metropolitan area within 30 years.
 
But many questions remain unanswered about seismic activity in Greater Tokyo because of its complex subsurface structure.


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#112
Yuli Ban

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Increasing number of Japanese men turning to rubber romance--silicone sex dolls--in a country that's lost its mojo

When the spark went out of Masayuki Ozaki's marriage, he found an unusual outlet to plug the romantic void -- a silicone sex doll he swears is the love of his life.
The life-size dummy, called Mayu, shares his bed under the same roof as Ozaki's wife and teenage daughter in Tokyo, an arrangement that triggered angry rows before a delicate truce was finally declared.
"After my wife gave birth we stopped having sex and I felt a deep sense of loneliness," the 45-year-old physiotherapist told AFP in an interview.
"But the moment I saw Mayu in the showroom, it was love at first sight," blushed Ozaki, who takes his doll on dates in a wheelchair and dresses her in wigs, sexy clothes and jewelry.

"Plug"


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#113
Maximus

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EU and Japan reach free trade deal

 

The E.U.-Japan Trade Deal: What’s in It and Why It Matters

 

BRUSSELS — The European Union and Japan announced a broad agreement on Thursday that would lower barriers on virtually all the goods traded between them, a pointed challenge to President Trump on the eve of a summit meeting of world leaders in Germany.

 
What’s in the deal?
 
The core of the agreement aims to increase the flow of Japanese cars to Europe and of European food to Japan.
 
The Europeans are expected to scrap a 10 percent tariff on passenger cars made in Japan, over a period of seven years. Duties would come down more rapidly for some car components.
 
Those are key concessions: The Japanese automotive giants Toyota and Honda have claimed a smaller market share in Europe than in other major markets like the United States.
 
Europe could still reimpose restrictions if there was a “very big increase as compared to normal” of imported Japanese cars, Cecilia Malmstrom, the European trade commissioner, told reporters later Thursday. She did not say, however, what specific level would cause that kind of reaction.
 
The Japanese, in return, are expected to lower duties on European cheeses like Gouda from the Netherlands, while retaining their unusually complex regulations on dairy products.
 
Tokyo is also likely to make it easier for European companies to bid for major government contracts, a move that could benefit train makers like Siemens of Germany and Alstom of France.
 
Accompanying the trade deal is a separate partnership agreement in which both sides pledge greater cooperation on issues like cybercrime and climate protection.

 

Damn, this was completely out of the blue for me. I had no idea this was even in the works.



#114
Yuli Ban

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Taro Aso reappointed as Japanese finance minister, new foreign minister named

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, beset by scandals and falling support, opted for safe hands over fresh faces in a cabinet reshuffle on Thursday but the changes may not boost his support to the extent he seeks.
Many ministers are being reappointed, such as Finance Minister Taro Aso, or are taking up posts they have held before, some in Abe's first 2012 cabinet.
One exception is new Foreign Minister Taro Kono, known for his willingness to criticize the ruling party and a frankness unusual for a Japanese politician.
Abe also appointed longtime ruling party policy veteran Toshimitsu Motegi as new economy minister overseeing structural reforms, which are part of the premier's "Abenomics" stimulus policies aimed at reviving the stagnant economy.


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#115
Yuli Ban

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Bureau discarded rosters of conscripted Korean laborers exposed to A-bomb

Japan's local government admits it erased documents of 3,418 forced Korean laborers in Nagasaki, who were affected by radiation and can't get compensation since the records were erased

The Justice Ministry's local bureau here has discarded the name lists of approximately 3,400 people originally from the Korean Peninsula who are believed to have been exposed to the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of this city, making it difficult for survivors to apply for medical benefits, it has been learned.


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#116
Yuli Ban

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Japan wants record US$48 billion weapons budget as threats grow

Japan’s Defence Ministry has asked for a record-high budget for fiscal 2018 to bolster missile defences against North Korea’s escalating threats.
The 5.26 trillion yen (US$48 billion) request announced on Thursday, is a 2.5 per cent increase from the previous budget. A big chunk of it will be spent on missile interceptors.
The request comes amid growing fear about North Korea’s missile threat and rising tensions between the US and North Korea.
On Tuesday, Pyongyang fired a missile that flew over Japan and landed in the northern Pacific Ocean. It tested two intercontinental missiles in July and threatened to fire missiles near the US colony of Guam, where Washington has military bases.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called Tuesday’s missile firing an “unprecedented, grave and serious threat”.
Visiting British Prime Minister Theresa May said the leaders “condemn North Korea in the strongest words possible”.


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#117
BarkEater93

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A Pacifist Japan Starts to Embrace the Military

 

 

GOTEMBA, Japan — The Japanese soldiers jumped out of the jeeps, unloaded the antitank missiles and dropped to the ground. Within minutes, they aimed and fired, striking hypothetical targets nearly a half-mile away.

 
The audience of more than 26,000, crammed into bleachers and picnicking on camouflage-patterned mats on the ground, clapped appreciatively, murmuring “Sugoi!” — or “Wow!” — during live-fire drills conducted over the weekend by Japan’s military here in the foothills of Mount Fuji.
 
Pacifism has been a sacred tenet of Japan’s national identity since the end of World War II, when the United States pushed to insert a clause renouncing war into the country’s postwar Constitution. But there are signs that the public’s devotion to pacifism and its attitude toward the Japanese military, known as the Self-Defense Forces, have begun to change, in part at the urging of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

 

https://www.nytimes....sm.html?mcubz=1

 

In the aftermath of the horrors it committed in WW2 Japan has been in a pacifist state. It has been satisfied with others protecting its national interests and not meddling a lot in world affairs. It has been unpretentious about its power.

 

But Japan is still a major power. Despite its economic stagnation it remains one of the world's largest economies, and most advanced. Despite its demographic decline its society remains strong and able to weather many crises. Despite its pacifism it has a re-surging and highly advanced military.

 

The extraordinary thing about Japan is its ability to undergo rapid changes without any major social uprisings. It went from an agrarian society to one of the world's biggest industrial powers in just a few decades. A highly militarized society to a pacifist one in an even shorter time. A boldly rising economic power to a humble, stagnant one. All this in just a century. All this without any social revolutions.

 

So it shouldn't be assumed that Japan's state of pacifism is eternal. It has national interests, like any other country. It has undergone the strategy of having others protect it so it doesn't have to involve itself much in global affairs. That can only be a temporary strategy. Eventually, as has been increasingly been the case, when it faces more security threats, it will have to take matters into its own hands. It'll have to control its own fate and reassert itself. And when it reasserts itself, that's when the true face of its power begins to show.



#118
bgates276

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Nothing like another war to get a country out of stagnation.



#119
Yuli Ban

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Japan's Abe claims landslide with tough North Korea policy

Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and his ruling coalition retained a two-thirds majority in Sunday's national elections, an outcome he said shows support for a stronger military and a hard line on North Korea.  
“I think the results reflected the voters’ preference for a solid political foundation and their expectations for us to push polices forward and achieve results,” Abe told public broadcaster NHK after exit polls predicted a landslide victory.


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#120
Yuli Ban

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Tens of thousands of people across Japan were advised to evacuate, hundreds of flights were cancelled and train services disrupted on election day on Sunday as a typhoon roared towards the coast, bringing heavy rain and strong winds.

Tens of thousands of people across Japan were advised to evacuate, hundreds of flights were cancelled and train services disrupted on election day on Sunday as a typhoon roared towards the coast, bringing heavy rain and strong winds.
Typhoon Lan, classified as an intense Category 4 storm by the Tropical Storm Risk monitoring site, was south of Japan and moving northeast at 50 kph on Sunday night, speeding up slightly, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.
Lan appeared to have weakened slightly from its peak, but it was still a powerful storm that could pound parts of Japan with more than 80 mm (3 inches) of rain an hour, an agency official told reporters.
It is set to make landfall on Japan's main island of Honshu, possibly near Tokyo, early on Monday, at which time it is likely to have weakened to a Category 2 storm.


And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Japan, Shinzō Abe, China, Korea, sci-tech, military, politics, USA, East Asia, Pacific

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