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Japanese Defence Ministry Increases its 2017 Budget

Posted by Dan on Aug 19, 2016 in Politics

Japan is scaling up its defence budget for 2017 as the military request of about ¥5.17tn (£39bn) for spending, research, maintenance and purchases is approved.

The Japanese government had agreed to have Japan’s military defences ready as tensions increase in the East China Sea and North Korea has improved its missile threat with continuous research.

The budget is at a 2.3 per cent hike compared to the ¥5.05tn budget the Japanese government had approved the previous year.

The Defence Ministry intends to focus on ballistic missile defence technologies as North Korea’s ballistic missile threat continues.

Anonymous sources said Japan intends to improve its PAC-3 Missile Defence System against these possible ballistic missile threats. The improvement can double the missile’s range to more than 30kms.

Another would be the improvement of the Block IIA version of the Standard Missile-3 system Japan is jointly building with the United States to shoot down missiles at high altitudes.

The last improvement would see the purchase of several upgraded F-35 stealth fighters from the United States’ Lockheed Martin Corporation.

Currently, Japan, China and South Korea are in talks to reduce the disputes between the islets in the South China Sea.

 
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Japan, South Korea on High Alert During North Korean Missile Testing

Posted by Dan on Jun 21, 2016 in Politics

North Korea is to repeat its test of the “Musudan” missile from its failure in May. South Korean government intelligence reports that North Korea’s forces had moved to an intermediate-range missile to test the Musudan.

Meanwhile, Japan is on high alert with its military on standby regarding a possible projectile incursion towards the island nation. All forces were commanded to fire upon spotting any projectile reaching Japanese waters.

A UN representative said that if North Korea pushes through with its missile testing it would be violating UN resolutions and repeated warnings by the international community.

This would mean further isolation for the North Korean nation as it may incur additional sanctions.

In April, North Korea launched and tested the Musudan missile only to fail three times according to South Korean and United States intelligence. A May attempt failed a day after Japan placed its military on high alert.

According to sources, North Korea may have about 30 Musudan missiles. The missiles were first deployed in 2007 but only a few of them have been tested.

 
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Japan’s Earthquake Victims Receive Help From Unlikely Group

Posted by Dan on Apr 25, 2016 in Economy

Japan’s ‘Yakuza’ is feared worldwide. Similar to the tunes of the West’s Mafia and mafioso, the Yakuza plays by honour among criminals and organised crime.

But the Yakuza did something that the Mafioso might not have done.

In mid-April, a gigantic earthquake had struck southern Japan. Witnesses have seen Japanese soldiers, firemen and police work with the feared Yakuza gangsters, who had handed out bottled water, canned food ,tissue paper to hundreds of residents in the Kumamoto Prefecture.

Today, about 1,350 residents have received treatment for their injuries. The tremors that struck Kyushu island had killed about 48 people. Two individuals in the prefecture are still missing.

The Yakuza branch known as Daimon-kai is bound to the Yamaguchi-gumi in Central Kyushu. The underworld crime group had advanced quickly to help with the disaster.

An anonymous Daimon-kai gang member said:

“I don’t want to sound like I’m trying to glorify the yakuza, but ‘assisting the weak’ is part of our code”, a member of the gang said.

“Even if our own house is damaged, we consider it natural to provide assistance to respectable people”.

It wasn’t the first time the Yakuza had helped in disasters and troublesome times.

The Yamaguchi-gumi groups have helped set up soup kitchens in Kobe after the 1995 earthquake that killed 6,000 people.

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The Force Awakens Loses To Animated Movie In Japan        

Posted by Dan on Dec 22, 2015 in Tourism

Star Wars: The Force Awakens defeats former one-day blockbuster Jurassic Park in ticket sales worldwide for a single day. As it crushes box office records in the United States and Europe, it failed to break records in Japan.

The Force Awakens was defeated by Yo-Kai Watch the Movie 2: King Enma and the 5 Stories, Nyan!

It is part of a game/anime series that has won Japan over since Pokemon. This places The Force Awakens to number 2.

It has defeated Star Wars by 175,000 tickets. Star Wars had drawn 800,000 people to cinemas while Yo-Kai Watch 2 had drawn 975,0000 people for the weekends.

Japan is known for having a neutral stand on Western cultural icons. While it has its own fanbase in the country for Star Wars and other Western media, often, support for local films or media will overcome foreign-produced material.

As Japan uses a ticket counting-based system to track sales instead of cash values, The Force Awakens had won the competition entirely. Yo-Kai Watch 2 provided cheaper children’s tickets. If you count two to three children per parent watching, you could double the numbers of ticket sales.

 
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Corporate Japan Pushes Envelope To Rescue Economy

Posted by Dan on Oct 25, 2015 in Business

Japan’s corporate leaders said Japan’s current economic situation is dire and it would need more investment and wage increases to stabilise its recent sluggishness.

According to Keidanren business group Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara, Abenomics worked for the last three years but it had recently come into question with slow growth.

He said:

“The virtuous cycle in the economy has slowed a little and looking to next year the importance of wage rises to keep it moving is something we fully recognise.

“Of course, our stance will be a matter of vigorous debate between now and January, taking the whole economic situation into account. But we recognise the importance,” he said.

Weak Economy

Consumer activity has been weak in Japan. Accompanied with China’s economic slowdown, Japan’s economic progress in the past three years made the slowdown significant despite increase in wages the last few years.

The Bank of Japan said wage rises could not drive up inflation despite the increase of 2.52 per cent at large companies this year.

Sakakibara said that investment is active in Japan with about 18.7 per cent set to improve the situation in 2015. However, Sakakibara mentioned implementation being the biggest problem.

Plus and Minuses

Sakakibara said:

“Consumption and business investment are vital factors to fuel a virtuous cycle in the economy. It’s important to keep them moving steadily.”

The business leader has discussed with 23,000 Japanese companies with overseas operations. He said China’s economy might be slow in the short term, but in the long term, investors and companies are still confident about China’s economy and its recovery.

 
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Japanese Prime Minister Declines Offer To Attend China’s ‘Victory Day’

Posted by Dan on Aug 25, 2015 in Politics

Japan had conquered parts of China for years during the second World War. But everything has been forgiven since then for both sides. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had no reason to decline Chinese Prime Minister Xi Jinping’s offers except for the massive Chinese military build-up near its waters.

Abe had publicly announced his decline to attend China’s ‘Victory Day’. Chief Cabinet Secretry Yoshihide Suga said Abe decided against attending the events as he is occupied with the passage of security legislation in Japan.

The upper house of Japan’s parliament is debating a controversial security legislation that would expand the role of the country’s military. Spearheaded by Abe himself, the legislation would include fighting overseas for the first time since the end of the second World War.

Local newspapers quoted that Abe was concerned about China’s military build-up and the proposal is a natural reaction to the situation.

China is currently building artificial islands in areas of the South China Sea. Along with Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and other Asian countries are protesting against China’s actions.

The Chinese Victory Day parade in Tiananmen Square will featured a parade of 12,000 troops, conventional and nuclear missiles and more than 100 aircraft. Russian President Vladimir Putin, along with 10 other leaders would be attending the September 3 event, one day after the allies formally won against Japan, Germany and Italy.

 
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EU Official Considers Greek Proposal “Good Basis For Progress”

Posted by Dan on Jun 22, 2015 in Economy, Politics

Amidst the general European opposition against Greece’s proposal for bailout, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker believes the latest Greek proposal is a “good basis for progress.”

According to EC Chief Of Staff Martin Selmayr, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ proposal was well received by Juncker, ECB Chief Mario Draghi and IMF Head Christine Lagarde.

However, it does not guarantee that Greece may find itself in safe waters just yet. It was recently given a six-month bailout reprieve to give Tsipras time to respond to the huge debts. The six-month bailout includes €18bn (£12.8 bn) in rescue funds.

Greek lender negotiators are proposing to pledge debt relief for the country. However, the decisive outcome of Greece’s fate relies heavily on Tsipras’ response.

If Greece is unable to bailout, it might exit the Eurozone with a debt of €1.6bn against the International Monetary Fund. Tsipras is not expected to make an optimal decision on Monday.

From his office:

“The prime minister presented [Merkel, Hollande and Juncker] with Greece’s proposal for a mutually beneficial agreement that will give a definitive solution and not a postponement of addressing the problem.”

Should Tsipras agree to the new terms, Greece gains a new form of debt restructuring, but with European supervision and influence.

 
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Japan’s Technologically-Advanced Train Breaks World Speed Record

Posted by Dan on Apr 21, 2015 in Economy

The Japanese “Maglev” train has set a new world speed record with a whopping 603 km/h.

Maglev-Train-Japan-2-1
The magnetically-levitated train, shortened to Maglev, has broken another speed record as it reached 603 km/h after a test run near Mt. Fuji.

The Maglev uses electrically-charged magnets to levitate carriages four inches above its tracks. With levitation, the train could reach very high speeds. It is not slowed down by friction and instead travels through the air.
The Central Japan Railway who created the Maglev, held the previous record of 590 km/h the previous year. It had held the record since 2003 with 581 km/h.

Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would be campaigning to the United States for an adoption of the technology. He would be drumming up interest in the American market for a Washington to New York train link that travels within seconds.

 
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Everything You Need To Know About Japan! [Infographic]

Posted by Dan on Feb 20, 2015 in Tourism

Planning a trip to Japan? Here’s some information we think you’ll definitely need!

 
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Sony Japan’s Sense in Saying No for “The Interview”

Posted by Dan on Dec 21, 2014 in Politics

When one thinks about it, it does seem silly that Hollywood’s bickering about Sony Pictures’ cancellation of “The Interview” is either an offence or defence of Western values. After all, the movie is intended to be a comedy hit.

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According to the Japan Times, the United States is right to say that it is the centre of free speech in the world. However, because of pro and anti-Kim Jong-Un sentiments between the contenders of cyberspace, the US is in a very volatile situation where everything rests upon a silly movie and a borderline, manic dictator.

According to The Japan Times’ opinion post, Sony America had invoked a self-righteousness similar to the statements of the CIA torture record opinions. Holywood also hasn’t the slightest bit of moral to show their niceties; they also have a long history of self-censorship, power tripping and vested interests.

In all essence, nobody has a say to protest against showing “The Interview” in theatres. It is perceived by the American public as an act of “cowardice” for folding under the actions of pro-North Korean supporters. But despite the threats made by hackers about watching the film, America is only a pretender and a setting of double standard for free speech.

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