Asia Pacific News

Jiji Press, 18.02.18.

The information agency Jiji Press published an article stating that in 2022 year Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan is intended to include in study program for senior school a number of obligatory subjects including sociology and politology. According to the ministry, the implementation of new subjects will help to enlarge the knowledge of pupils on the issues of nationwide importance. In addition, the ministry said that gained by pupils of senior schools knowledge will help to increase the degree of youth involvement in political life of the country and also the settlement of the Northern Territories issue in favor of the Japanese.

KYODO, 18.02.18.

The education ministry on Wednesday unveiled its new teaching guidelines for senior high schools, which emphasize that two island groups at the center of territorial disputes are "inherent" parts of Japan's territory. New teaching guidelines will be applied to the education of newly enrolled senior high school students from the school year starting April 2022. South Korea voiced strong protest Wednesday against Japan's renewed territorial claim to Dokdo in its revised textbook guidelines for highschool students.

"Defence News", 18.02.18.

Republican Rep. Mac Thornberry, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, said that "countering China’s all-of-nation strategy is a real challenge for US". He also noticed that in recent years US have frequently read and heard admonitions to integrate all elements of America’s national power-political, economic and military, but we have not yet really done so. If China chooses a path of responsible participation in world affairs, US should welcome and encourage it. But the U.S. must also be ready, able and willing working with their allies and others, to adjust to other choices that China may make".

Xinhua, 18.02.18.

China plans to select 5,000 movie theaters to screen propaganda films and will boost their box office with group sales, discounted tickets and other financial backing. The notice from the nation’s film regulator said the policy is intended to promote specific movies at special times to create a “people’s theater front,” a throwback to language used during the era of Mao Zedong. In keeping with the ruling Communist Party’s latest initiatives, the policy intends to “guide thought and educate the people,” said the statement, which was stamped Jan. 30. Copies of it were posted Tuesday to Chinese websites that cover the entertainment industry. It also routinely manipulates ticket sales and movie release dates, including limiting the number of foreign films that can be shown and banning them entirely for certain periods.

Korea Herald, 18.02.18

Rep. Woo Won-sik, the ruling Democratic Party floor leader said that its primary task for the government to provide the resumption of military talks between two Koreas. He noted, that "thaw in inter-korean future dialogue would begin with working-level military talks and proceed gradually to a more senior level". Woo Won-sik also hopes that it would sovle the task of reunification of separated families during Korean war 1950-1953., 17.02.18.

On the 14-th of February at the administration of Hokkaido prefecture in Sapporo city was opened an annual four day exhibition of posters devoted to the Northern Territories issue. The exhibition is held under the auspices of the League of Chishima Habomai Islands Residents and Sapporo city administration. The exhibition contains works that won the last nationwide contest of posters confined to the Northern Territories Day. In addition, within the frames of the event there were organized some signatures collection posts to demand the return of the Northern Territories. According to exhibition contractors the main task of the event is to attract attention to territorial dispute over the four Kuril Islands of as many people as it possible.

Japan news, 17.02.18.

Defence and military experts are of the view that the frequent aircraft mishaps taking place in China and in its immediate neighbourhood should be seen as Beijing flexing its military might, rather than as incidents that will bring down the morale of that country's defence forces.In an article published by the Singapore-based The Straits Times, while the PLA does not openly report such incidents, there have been at least seven known crashes that have taken place in the last two years. The South China Morning Post has quoted one source, as saying, "We must recognise that in China, there is a fatal gap between the air force's combat-ready training and its imperfect aircraft development."According to The Straits Times report, the air programmes of the PLA face significant challenges, including the fact that China "is still grappling with cutting-edge jet engine production which requires high-precision manufacturing and deep materials engineering know-how," which according to analysts, it lacks.The report further states that the PLA's graft-riddled past has also compromised the quality of its fighter jet programmes.The PLA today has almost 3,000 aircraft, about the same number as that of Japan and South Korea combined, said Global Firepower, an index of countries' military strength.

Kiodo, 17.02.18.

Japan has reported a new suspected sanctions violation by North Korea to the U.N. Security Council after spotting an apparent cargo transfer between a Belize-registered tanker and a North Korean one. Japan's foreign ministry said a military patrol plane observed the apparent transfer in the East China Sea early Tuesday. "Following a comprehensive assessment, the Government of Japan strongly suspects that they conducted ship-to-ship transfers banned" by UN Security Council resolutions, the ministry said in a statement late Wednesday. Tokyo said it had reported the incident to the Security Council and shared related information with relevant countries. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono warned against countries being "blinded" by North Korea's diplomatic charm offensive at the Winter Olympics, saying the world's main goal remains ridding Pyongyang of nuclear weapons.

Stars and stripes, 17.02.18

Defense Department statement announced annual trilateral Cope North military drills exercise between the U.S, Japan and Australian forces. The exercise, which runs through March 2, will include humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief training and aerial and force employment events designed to increase readiness, an Air Force statement said. The now-annual exercise is a key drill promoting stability and security throughout the Indo-Pacific, the Air Force said.

"Times of India", 17.02.18.

India's defence budget broke into the world's top five, beating the UK for the first time, a new report by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), signalling a key shift in the military balance between the two countries. India overtook the UK as the fifth-largest defence spender in the world in 2017 at USD 52.5 billion, up from USD 51.1 billion in 2016. In contrast, the UK's defence budget fell from USD 52.5 billion in 2016 to USD 50.7 billion last year. This represents a key shift in the military balance between India and the UK, with India allocating more capabilities to develop its regional resources than the UK in a global context.

BLOOMBERG, 16.02.18.

Russia is accelerating a military buildup on islands claimed by Japan, threatening to blow a hole in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to lure President Vladimir Putin into settling the dispute. The government in Tokyo lodged a formal protest after 2000 Russian troops held military exercises last week on the four islands, called the Southern Kurils in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan. "It’s good to have warm relations at the top level, but just because you are friends doesn’t mean they will give the islands back," said Yasuhide Nakayama, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in Japan’s lower house of parliament and a member of Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party. Russia’s military exercises sent "the worst possible message," he said.

Yonhap, 16.02.18.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in during a summit with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul called for international support to ensure inter-Korean dialogue. Moon made the comments as he expressed gratitude to Norway for supporting South Korea's policy toward North Korea, saying that South Korea "hopes that a new thaw in inter-Korean relations could help set the stage for talks between North Korea and the U.S". In addition, according to a survey conducted by local pollster Realmeter, 61-point-five percent of the respondents said they support an inter-Korean summit. Thirty-one-point-two percent said they oppose it, and that sanctions and pressure must be prioritized.

Jiji Press, 16.02.18

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday sounded negative about the idea of South Korean President Moon Jae In visiting North Korea now. The important thing is whether the visit is expected to help make progress” toward North Korea’s denuclearization. However, Abe said: “It’s necessary to examine the results thoroughly. Dialogue for the sake of dialogue is meaningless.”

"Radio Korea", 16.02.18.

North Korea has pledged to advance its nuclear and missile programs on the eve of the birthday of leader Kim Jong Un's late father. The North held an assembly in Pyongyang on Thursday to celebrate the 76th anniversary of Kim Jong Il's birthday on February 16th. In the meeting, organized in the country's capital, vice chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea Choe Ryong Hae delivered a speech, during which he stressed that North Korea "should firmly strengthen its self-defensive nuclear deterrence and step up the development and production of powerful, cutting-edge military hardware". In its turn during parliamentary hearings in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of the US Congress "candidate for a position of US Assistant Secretary of State for Eastern Asia and the Pacific Susan Thornton, Democratic Gen Jinn Shahin and Republican James Risch said that US don't take into consideration the possibility of applying to the DPRK the strategy of the so-called "breaking nose" military strike, involving targeting North Korea's nuclear facilities".

"Global times", 16.02.18.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang on Thursday expressed firm opposition to the visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a disputed area of Arunachal Pradesh. Geng Shuang said that visit of Narendra Modi is a clear violation of China’s sovereignty, urging the Indian side not to take action that could complicate the boundary issue. He urged India to cherish the hard-won momentum of improvements in bilateral relations and create enabling conditions for the boundary talks and the development of bilateral relations. "Nikkei", 14.02.18.

The Japanese government will begin full-scale attraction of school excursions to the Northern Territories from the 2018 fiscal year. In order to invite Japanese junior high school and high school students in Nemuro city, Nakashibetsu town, Shibetsu town and Rausu town (Hokkaido prefecture), preliminary tours are conducted from this summer for teachers. Policy to support transportation and accommodation expenses. The aim is to encourage the next generations to deepen their interest in the territorial issue.

Yonhap, 14.02.18.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for continued reconciliatory efforts with South Korea as he received a report from his high-level delegation about their trip to the South, the North’s state-run news agency said Tuesday. “It is important to continue making good results by further livening up the warm climate of reconciliation and dialogue created by the strong desire and common will of the North and the South with the Winter Olympics as a momentum,” Kim was quoted in English by the Korean Central News Agency as saying in a meeting with the delegation Monday. After receiving the delegation’s report, Kim Jong-un expressed satisfaction and thanked the South for their efforts to prioritize the North Korean delegation’s visit which were “very impressive,” according to the news agency. Kim also “set forth in detail the orientation of the improvement of the North-South relations and gave important instructions to the relevant field to take practical measures for it,” the KCNA said.

Associated press, 14.02.18.

Britain's defense minister says his country will sail a warship through the South China Sea to assert the right of free passage hinted Chinese claims to virtually all of the strategic wterway.Gavin Williamson encouraged US and Australia to do more to exercise its leadership and protect its strategic interests in the region. Gavin Williamson was quoted by The Australian newspaper on Tuesday as saying the anti-submarine frigate HMS Sutherland will sail through the area next month after its return from a visit to Australia beginning this week.

Yonhap, 14.02.18.

The new minor opposition Bareun Future Party was launched Tuesday. The party was formed through the merger of conservative Bareun Party, and the People’s Party rooted in the traditionally progressive Jeolla provinces. The new party is headed by four term lawmakers Reps. Yoo Seong-min and Park Joo-sun. Yoo had headed the conservative opposition Bareun Party, which split off from the defunct Saenuri Party after former President Park Geun-hye’s fall from grace. Park Joo-sun is a deputy speaker of the National Assembly, and served as the People’s Party’s interim leader after Ahn Cheol-soo’s defeat in last year’s presidential election. As for Park Joo-sun, he focused on the party’s self-appointed task of political reform, and rebuffed concerns that the new party may align itself with the rightwing. With neither the ruling Democratic Party nor the main opposition Liberty Korea Party holding majority, Bareun Future Party hopes to play a decisive role despite its minor status. The party’s policy directive focuses on national security, economic reform, justice and human rights.

Korea Herald,14.02.18.

Japan's Coast Guard says 3 Chinese patrol ships temporarily entered Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea on Tuesday. Coast guard officials say the ships breached waters off Uotsuri Island of Okinawa Prefecture shortly after 10 AM.The 3 ships remained there for about 90 minutes before moving to the contiguous zone just outside of Japanese waters by noon. It is the 3rd day this year that Chinese government vessels have entered Japanese waters off the Senkakus. The previous incursion was on January 15th.

"Hokkaido Shimbun", 13.02.18.

At the city of Yamanashi (Yamanashi Prefecture) took place an exhibition devoted to the problem of "northern territories" at the building of the local administration. The event was organized with the participation of the Yamanashi Prefectural Council of Residents for the Return of the Northern Territories, as well as the assistance of the administration of the prefecture. The exhibition contained several information stands on the nature and history of the Southern Kurils, the history of the "problem of the northern territories", as well as the measures taken by the government of Japan to address it. In addition, at some major cities in Japan were placed street banners with slogans about Japan's sovereignty of the Southern Kurils and information about Northern Territories Reversion Month in the country. These banners were placed on administrative buildings in the cities of Gifu (prefecture of Gifu), Hiroshima (prefecture of Hiroshima), Osaka and Sakai (both in Osaka prefecture). All banners will be shown until the end of February this year.

Associated Press, 13.02.18.

President Donald Trump has named Vice Adm. John Aquilino as the new U.S. Pacific Fleet commander. He would succeed in office Adm H.Harris which expected would be ambassador of USA in the Australia.

Yomiuri Shimbun, The Stars and Stripes, 13.02.18.

Stars and Stripes reported that government of Japan planning to buy USA's 20 – 40 F-35B fighter jets for 2024 year. Noted it's necessary for opposition rising of China's military in the region. It's planning that fighter jets would carry out of patrolling East China Sea since 2026 financial year. It's expected that the ASDF's Nyutabaru Air Base in Shintomi, Miyazaki Prefecture, would named as a possible base for the F-35B to be deployed.

The Stars and Stripes, 13.02.18.

The Stars and Stripes reported that 13th February in the Thailand beginning international military drills Cobra Golg which would end at 23th February. The target drill is a team building between militaries of USA and Thailand. It's noted that in the drills would take part 6125 American's military persons, a 4007 it is a Thailand's military persons and smalls units of Japan, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Republic of Korea and China. The drills would be in the Chon Bun, Rayong, Chachoengsao and Chanthaburi.

Yonhap, 13.02.18.

South Korea's military said Tuesday it will abolish or scale down hundreds of routine, non-combat activities as part of a reform drive. Especially, the Ministry of National Defense has decided to ditch 60 of them and reduce the size of 299 other events. Noted that measures for force multiplication on the back of North's Korea military aggression. The move is expected to cut the military's budget by around US$346,000., 12.02.18.

Naval Criminal Investigative Service has opened an investigation into reports that a number sailors on board the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and ashore in Yokosuka, Japan have been using and distributing drugs, the Navy said Friday. Wall Street Journal first reported that at least 12 sailors based in Japan were being investigated for allegedly selling and using illegal drugs, including LSD and Ecstasy. The outlet reported the investigation includes an inquiry into whether the sailors were distributing the drugs to Japanese civilians.

" Xinhua ", 12.02.18.

China on Friday accused Japan of violating the one-China principle under the pretext of disaster relief efforts after a powerful earthquake struck Taiwan's Hualien County. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang made the remarks in response to a question saying that some senior Japanese official sent condolences to Taiwan politicians addressing them by the so-called official titles. "The Japanese side openly attempted to create 'one China, one Taiwan' under the pretext of disaster relief and condolences," Geng said, adding such move went against the one-China principle as well as Japan's commitment on the Taiwan issue. He said China was strongly dissatisfied and had lodged representations to Japan. "We urge the Japanese side to abide by the principles set in the four China-Japan political documents, immediately correct its wrong practice, and not make new obstacles for bilateral ties," the spokesperson said., 12.02.18.

President Donald Trump has named US Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris as his pick to serve as the American ambassador to Australia. The naval officer has served in the military for 39 years and is in his seventh command assignment as head of the US Pacific Command, according to the White House. Harris is also known for his combative views on Beijing's South China Sea expansion and a strong supporter of so-called freedom of navigation operations under which US ships and aircraft challenge other countries' maritime claims.

scmp, 12.02.18.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Hong Kong on Sunday demanding that justice minister Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah step down. The demonstrators accused Cheng of “lying” about illegal structures at her properties. They also accused her of censoring localist pan-democrat candidates in next month’s Legislative Council by-election. The crowds shouted “Down, down Teresa Cheng” and “Secretary of Justice has no integrity” as they marched some 1.2km (about three-quarters of a mile) from Southorn Playground in Wan Chai to Justice Place in Central, where Cheng’s office is located.

"The Sanyo Simbun", 11.02.18.

About 250 people attended Okayama Prefecture Rally to demand the return of the Northern Territories. The participants of the rally summed up prefecture administration's and local public organizations activities to promote the Tokyo's position among Okayama Prefecture citizens regarding the territorial dispute over Kuril Islands and also adopted the declaration demanding the return of the Northern Territories.

Kyodo, 11.09.18.

Fukushiro Nukaga, the head of the third largest intraparty faction of the ruling Liberal Democrat Party, told a top faction member from the Upper House that he will resign next month in line with demands by many bloc members, faction sources said Thursday. LDP general council chairman Wataru Takeshita, the 71-year-old half brother of the faction’s late founder, Noboru Takeshita, is now expected to take over as the bloc’s head.

Kyodo, 11.09.18.

The new intelligence-gathering version of the Kawasaki C-2 transport aircraft was spotted in Japan. In social media were released some photos of new Japanese C-2 ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) aircraft, also called the RC-2, undergoing taxi tests at the Japan Air Self-Defense Force base at Gifu. According to a local source, the new aircraft is a special version of Kawasaki C-2 transport aircraft designed for gathering electronic intelligence (ELINT) and long-range, long-endurance reconnaissance missions.

Xinhua, 11.02.18.

U.S. President Donald Trump's approval rating hit 40 percent, the highest since June 2017, the latest Quinnipiac University poll showed. In addition, 48 percent of Americans polled credited Trump with the state of country's economy, according to the poll. This poll also indicated a high point in approval of the economy, with 70 percent of respondents saying the economy is "excellent" or "good". However, as many as 55 percent of U.S. voters still said they didn't approve of the job Trump was doing.

Nikkei, 10.02.18.

The Japanese government is set to push forward an urban development scheme for Vladivostok in Russia's Far East, using the nation's corporate technologies as part of the two countries' economic partnership plan. The proposal which is being prepared by Japan implies, in particular, creating tourist infrastructure, modernization and development of areas adjacent to the city's railway stations. In addition to that, Tokyo wants to offer repair of old sewer piper without earthwork and building incineration facilities in accordance with Japanese patterns, which make it possible to reduce harmful emissions into the atmosphere. The Nikkei newspaper note that, thanks to the implementation of the economic cooperation plan, japan wants to help shape Russia's more favorable stance on promoting negotiations on the southern Kuril Islands whose ownership is disputed by Tokyo. The Japanese government has compiled the proposals for the Vladivostok development ahead of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's scheduled visit to Russia in May.

The South China Morning Post, 10.02.18.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi for a working lunch on Thursday amid tensions over a possible US–China trade war and North Korean nuclear threats. Speaking before the meeting, Tillerson said: "We’ve had many, many good discussions, and we’re going to continue these very important discussions about US-China relations. And I very much warmly, warmly welcome him here." Yang responded by thanking Tillerson and promising to "carry out the agreement between our two heads of state and push forward our very important relationship."

Manila times, 10.02.18.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, a US think-tank, analyzing of photos takes on June and December 2017, said that China is almost finished building of military infrastructure on the Fiery Cross Reef, Cuarteron, Gaven, Johnson South, Panganiban Mischief, Subi and Hughes reefs. Former National Security Adviser Roilo Golez said that the Philippines should not stay silent on China’s massive buildup in the strategic waterway. But President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque said the government was monitoring the situation and China's reclamation and military build-up started while Mr Duterte's predecessor Benigno Aquino was in office.

BLOOMBERG, 10.02.18.

China defense spending to eclipse rest of Asia-Pacific by 2030: report. China has been spending more and more on modernizing its defense systems and technologies. So much so that its budget is set to surpass the rest of the Asia-Pacific region combined by 2030. Last year, the region’s largest economy spent about $193 billion on defense — close to half the entire Asia-Pacific expenditure, and almost four times India’s $52.4 billion, according to Jane’s by IHS Markit. That compares with the $643 billion the U.S. spent in 2017. While overall spending in Asia Pacific slowed in 2017, it should pick up in the next two years as conflicts over the South China Sea and North Korea boost defense budgets, Jane’s principal analyst Craig Caffrey said in a report.

JIJI, 10.02.18.

The training of SDF personnel has become more diverse due to an increase in new duties, such as participation in U.N. peacekeeping missions abroad and the defense of Japan’s remote islands, said International University of Japan Vice President Noboru Yamaguchi – a former GSDF helicopter pilot who later served as deputy head of a GSDF aviation school. Last May, a GSDF reconnaissance plane crashed in a mountainous area of Hokkaido, killing four crew members. In August, an MSDF patrol helicopter crashed into the sea off Aomori Prefecture, killing three crew members. In October, an ASDF search and rescue helicopter crashed off Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, claiming the lives of four personnel.

"Sankei Shimbun", 12.02.18.

On the Northern Territories Day at Shizuoka prefecture under the auspices of local authorities was held the lecture of the chairman of the Parliamentary League for the Return of the Northern Territories Morio Sugiyama about Japanese citizens' deportation from the South Kuril Islands after islands were captured by the Soviet Army in 1945. The participants of the lecture included former Japanese residents of the Kuril Islands. In the course of the lecture M.Sugiyama underlined that "perspective to resolve territorial dispute between Russia and Japan is very close and Japanese government should continue its policy directed on national interests protection".

Associated Press, 09.02.18.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in plans to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister and other senior North Korean officials who are coming to the South on Friday for the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Analysts say her inclusion in the Olympic delegation shows North Korea's ambition to use the Olympics to break out from diplomatic isolation by improving relations with the South, which it could use as a bridge for approaching the United States.

Associated Press, 09.02.18.

Mike Pence, who will lead the U.S. delegation to the games' opening ceremonies on Friday, met Thursday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to press for a more clear-eyed approach toward the nuclear-armed neighbor to the north. Pence avoided public criticism of Moon, congratulating South Korea on hosting the games and pledging continued support in addressing the North's nuclear threat. Moon, for his part, took the opportunity to highlight the visit of North Korean officials to the global competition, referring to the "Olympic Games of peace." He added his hope that it becomes "a venue that leads to dialogue for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

Xinhua, 09.09.18.

Chinese President Xi Jinping's special envoy Han Zheng met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday and discussed issues related to bilateral ties and the improved situation on the Korean Peninsula. Guided by the consensus of the two leaders, China is willing to work with South Korea to insist on mutual respect and support, fully embark on communication and dialogue at all levels, further stimulate exchanges and cooperation, properly handle sensitive issues, and increase mutual understanding and trust, in order to push for constant progress in bilateral relations, Han told Moon. For his part, Moon asked Han to convey his cordial greetings to Xi and thanked Han for attending the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. South Korea and China are important neighbors and cooperative partners and bilateral ties are now at a new starting point, said the South Korean president. South Korea is willing to work in a positive manner with China to enhance political mutual trust and friendship, boost exchanges at all levels, deepen pragmatic cooperation, strengthen coordination on international and regional affairs and push forward the development of the South Korea-China strategic cooperative partnership, Moon said.

Kyodo, 09.09.18.

The number of detected fraud cases in Japan rose 28.6% from a year earlier to 18,201 in 2017 for the seventh consecutive yearly gain, with many elderly people falling prey to such crimes, the National Police Agency said Thursday. The losses in so-called special fraud cases, however, such as swindling old people by impersonating their children and asking for urgent money transfers over the phone, dropped 4.3% from a year before to some 39.03 billion yen ($357 million), the agency's preliminary data showed. Both the number of fraud cases and the amount of damage increased in 16 prefectures, mainly in Tokyo, Kanagawa and other metropolises, according to the NPA.

"Japan Times", 08.02.18.

Senior Japanese and Russian diplomats agreed to further promote negotiations over planned joint economic activities on four disputed islands off Hokkaido. The vice ministerial talks in Tokyo over the Russian-held islands came ahead of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s scheduled visit to Moscow in May. "We held detailed discussions on five possible activities, based on the principle that they will not undermine legal positions" of the two nations on the islands, Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Takeo Mori and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told reporters after the meeting.

KYODO NEWS, 08.02.18.

Abe, Pence vow to keep pressure on North Korea over nuclear ambition. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence agreed Wednesday to work closely with each other and with South Korea to maximize pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile development programs. Pence said his presence in Pyeongchang will serve partly to cheer on U.S. athletes and partly to "stand with our allies and remind the world that North Korea is the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet," The Abe-Pence meeting comes as Tokyo and Washington are sharing concerns that South Korea is leaning toward an excessively conciliatory stance with North Korea in the run-up to the Olympics. "We will continue to intensify our maximum pressure campaign until North Korea takes concrete steps for complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization," Pence said. Abe and Pence agreed on the importance of the joint drills from the standpoint of strengthening pressure on North Korea, a Japanese official who attended the meeting said without elaborating. Noting that North Korea reportedly plans to conduct a large-scale military parade in Pyongyang on Thursday, Abe said they shared the view that the North's provocative acts are continuing and that they cannot accept a nuclear-armed North Korea. The Japanese official said Abe explained the situation in Okinawa to Pence and the two "shared an awareness of the importance of efforts to ensure the safe operation of U.S. military aircraft." Pence showcased the tight U.S.-Japan security alliance in the face of the threat from North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

Yonhap, 07.02.18.

Pyongyang slams S. Korean conservatives' rally against N.K. art troupe. North Korea slammed anti-North Korea activists Wednesday for having held a rally against the North's participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics when its art troupe arrived in South Korea a day earlier for performances. The Samjiyon art troupe traveled to the South by ferry Tuesday to perform in celebration of the Winter Games. Members from conservative civic groups held a rally against the art group's arrival at the Mukho port on the east coast, burning North Korea's flag and a photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. North Korea's state media condemned them for having staged "a never-to-be-condoned farce of confrontation."

Associated Press, 07.02.18.

Pentagon: Trump ordered D.C. military parade. U.S. President Donald Trump has asked the Pentagon to plan a grand parade of the U.S. armed forces in Washington this year to celebrate military strength, officials said Tuesday. The Washington Post, which was first to report the plan, said Trump wants an elaborate parade this year with soldiers marching and tanks rolling, but no date has been selected.

Yonhap, 07.02.18.

North Korea has denounced the U.S.’ recently-released Nuclear Posture Review(NPR), saying that with the report the U.S. has declared a nuclear war on the entire world. A spokesperson for the Institute for American Studies under the North’s Foreign Ministry told the state-run Korean Central News Agency on Tuesday that with the release of the report, the Trump administration has bluntly revealed its wicked ambition to take over the world and threaten major countries with nuclear weapons. The spokesperson said that the U.S. stated in the latest report that it is developing new nuclear weapons, including tactical nuclear warheads with low explosive power, and that it will engage in preemptive nuclear strikes against enemy attacks regardless of whether such attacks are nuclear or not. The spokesperson said the report clearly shows that the Trump administration is begging for a nuclear war before claiming that the North was undoubtedly doing the right thing by honing its nuclear deterrence.

The Hankyoreh 07.02.18

South Korean newspaper "The Hankyoreh" announced that Kim Yong-nam, the president of the Presidium of the North Korean Supreme People's Assembly, will be leading a delegation of high-level North Korean officials to South Korea from Feb. 9 to 11. It said that Kim Yong-nam will meet president of Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in and lso expected to make an appearance at the opening ceremony itself. Notable that Kim Yong-nam is the highest-ranking North Korean official who will visit the South since 1953.

South China Morning Post 07.02.18

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford said that US presence in Asia-Pacific remains undiminished. He rejected any concerted efforts to portray the United States as a declining power. He also pointed, that US military presence in region is needed for countering nuclear threat from DPRK and providing defense for its allies. Furthermore he pointed the importance of economic and diplomatic pressure campaign, but also added that using of military option remains possible.

Yonhap 07.02.18

South Korean Yonhap new agency quoting US Center for Strategic and International Studies said that North Korea appears to be on track to complete a new hovercraft base, with some of the key facilities being in Sasulpo and Yonbong-ni. Yonhap pointed that threat to the South Korean islands in the West Sea and ports along the coast and potentially a political calculation that the ROK is too weak to counter such a move. It said that construction is likely be completed during 2019.

Korea Times 07.02.18

Rep. Kim Tae-nyeon, chief policymaker of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea said Tuesday that South Korea is already paying enough for the presence of U.S. forces here. He said that the U.S. demand that South Korea pay more for U.S. Forces Korea is unreasonable. He pointed that South Korea covers at least 50 percent of the costs for the troops. Also, Seoul bore over 90 percent of the expenditure for the expansion of Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek. Kim Tae-nyeon added that Korea’s cost sharing is exceptionally high compared to other U.S. allies, Korea pays 0.061 percent of its GDP to cover the costs for the USFK. This is higher than Japan’s 0.038 percent and Germany’s 0.013 percent.

KNCA 07.02.18

North Korea warned Tuesday that a resumption of South Korea and the United States' annual joint military exercises. KNCA said that "U.S. and South Korea resume the large-scale joint military exercises, the situation on the Korean peninsula will again be pushed back to the grim phase of catastrophe and the provokers will have to bear all responsibilities". "This sinister military act aimed to chill the hard-won atmosphere for the improvement of the North-South ties and reverse the trend of development is an outright challenge to the sincere efforts made by the DPRK to defuse the tension on the Korean Peninsula and create a peaceful environment," it added. And pointed that "The situation clearly proves that the U.S. is a harasser of the peace on the Korean Peninsula, a chief culprit escalating tensions and a main stumbling block standing in the way of Korea's reunification," it also argued, adding that, "The U.S. and the South Korean military warmongers will have to ponder over the consequences to be brought about by their nuclear war saber-rattling.", 06.02.18.

At the 12 railway stations of Wakayama prefecture under the auspices of the prefectural subdivision of International Youth Chamber in Japan was organized a publicity event devoted to the Northern Territories issue. During the event 50 members of subdivision, including the chairman of the office of the Northern Territories Issue Countermeasures Association in Wakayama prefecture Taro Yamazaki, gave to bypassers propaganda leaflets with an appeal to Russian Federation to return the Northern Territories.

NK News, Reuters, 06.02.18.

Reuters reported about that in the Seoul were found DPRK's propaganda leaflets focused calls for rapprochement on terms closely linked to North Korea’s inter-Korean policy position and resume operation of Kaesong and Kumgang mountains. It supposed these leaflets were launched by balloons. In the article don't noted about total leaflets.

NHK, 06.02.18.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga voice protest about that Republic of Korea and DPRK would use unified Korean Olympic flag at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The flag shows Takeshima in the Japan sea is a part of South and North Koreas. He declared it "unacceptable" and urge Seoul to deal with the case "appropriately" for Japan.

NHK, 06.02.18.

Japan's Department of Defense reported about the crash of a Ground Self-Defense Force helicopter AH-64 in the city of Kanzaki in Saga Prefecture on Monday afternoon. In the issue one crewmember was dead and the other missing. Also one house was destroyed house and injured 11-year-old girl who lived in the destroyed house suffered.

Xinhua, 06.02.18.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated the Japanese government's commitment to relocate a controversial US air base within Okinawa, Japan's southernmost prefecture is a unchangeable. He noted that now relocation go ahead with the base transfer plan in accordance with the Supreme Court's ruling By gaining the understanding of local citizens. Shinzo Abe express hope for local citizens and local self-determination.

"Sankei Shimbun", 05.02.18.

Tokyo made a diplomatic protest to Moscow over its decision to station Russian aircraft on the island of Iturup, referred to as Etorofu in Japan, and claimed by Tokyo, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in interview. "We are aware of the Russian government decree. We are collecting information on the activities of Russian troops in the Northern Territories. We have delivered the position of our country through diplomatic channels, saying that this is leading to the military build-up by the Russian army on the four northern islands and is incompatible with our position on these islands," Suga told reporters.

"Asahi", 05.02.18.

China on Sunday criticized a U.S. government report that cast Beijing as a potential nuclear adversary and called on Washington to reduce its own much larger arsenal and join in promoting regional stability. A Defense Ministry statement said China's nuclear arsenal is the "minimum level" required for security. It pledged never to be the first to use nuclear weapons "under any circumstances." "The Chinese side expresses firm opposition" to the report, said a ministry spokesman."We hope the U.S. will abandon a Cold War mentality and earnestly shoulder its special and prior responsibility for its own nuclear disarmament," said ministry. In its turn the Japanese government said that it “highly appreciates” the Trump administration's new U.S. Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which expands the possibility of the use of nuclear weapons, because it emphasizes that the United States will strengthen its commitment to the security of its allies.

"38 North", 05.02.18.

According to "38 North", a website run by the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, satellite images taken last Sunday show preparations for a military parade at the Mirim Parade Training Facility with a "noticeable increase" in the number of personnel and vehicles present. Satellite images of North Korea’s preparations for a military parade show at least 12,000 troops and 110 artillery pieces, tanks and other armored vehicles practicing on training grounds on the outskirts of Pyongyang. There were no signs of ballistic missiles or unmanned aerial vehicle launchers on the parade grounds, wrote the website. Thus the military parade will likely be "relatively smaller in scale" compared to previous parades because there were no signs that the North erected additional housing for its vehicles and equipment.

NHK, 05.02.18.

An independent newcomer Taketoyo Toguchi backed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government defeated the anti-U.S. base incumbent in the Nago mayoral election Sunday, an outcome which could give impetus to the central government's controversial plan to transfer an air base to the southern Japan city. T.Toguchi's victory in a two-man race against Susumu Inamine is also expected to deliver a blow to the anti-base campaign of Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga whose term will expire in late 2018.

Jiji Press, 05.02.18.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in Tokyo will ask the United States before heading to the opening ceremony of the Olympics to agree on the need to conduct the drill as normal, a Japanese government source said. Abe and Pence will convey their shared view to South Korean President Moon Jae In when they hold talks in Pyeongchang, according to the source. It is known, that earlier U.S. and South Korea agreed to delay joint military exercise for time Olympic and Paralympic Games, being carried out until the 18-th of March.

PLA Daily, 03.02.18.

According to the Chinese military experts, China must expand its nuclear stockpile. In the PLA Daily, a commentary said China had enough nuclear weapons to prevent "bullying" by other nuclear powers but still needed to respond to changes in US strategy. "To enhance China's strategic counterbalance in the region and maintain China's status as a great power, and protect national security, china has beef up and develop a reliable nuclear deterrence capability," it said. The commentary comes as the administration of US President Donald Trump is expected to unveil its new military weapons policy later this week.

Stars and Stripes, 02.02.18.

The Japanese government will send inspectors to Marine Corps bases on Okinawa to verify the safety of U.S. aircraft after a spate of recent incidents drew pointed criticism from lawmakers across the country. "The Ministry of Defense will promptly confirm and verify the state of inspections and maintenance conducted by the U.S. side utilizing the Self-Defense Forces’ professional and technical knowledge," Onodera said. "In any case, the safety of U.S. military flights is the major premise for their deployment and we will continue to strongly urge the U.S. side to take fundamental measures to prevent it from happening again."

Jiji Press, 02.02.18.

Okinawa Prefecture’s assembly unanimously adopted a resolution on Thursday demanding an immediate end to operations at the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station in the prefecture, following a spate of incidents involving U.S. helicopters. The strong resolution came after three such incidents, including an emergency landing, occurred in Okinawa in the last couple of weeks. The resolution criticized this as an “abnormal situation.” The local assembly also demanded that Marines be promptly transferred out of Okinawa or Japan.

South China Morning Post, 02.02.18.

At least 12 crew members of a Chinese military aircraft were killed when it crashed during a training exercise early this week, a media report said February 1, 2018. The crashed aircraft was a new type of refueling plane modified from the air force's Y-8 transport aircraft, it said. “There are no ejection seats on those aircraft, so the pilots and crew members would have been relying on the parachute packs on board. But they wouldn’t have had enough time to jump because the aircraft fell so fast”, the source said. Another Chinese military aircraft crashed in the southwestern province of Guizhou during a training exercise on Monday.

The Associated Press, 02.02.18.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday that China and Russia were assuming "alarming" roles in Latin America, and he urged regional powers to work with the United States instead. "Latin America doesn't need new imperial powers that seek only to benefit their own people," Tillerson said in a speech at his alma mater, the University of Texas in Austin, before embarking on his first multination trip to South America. He said regional governments should protect themselves against "predatory actors that are now showing up in our hemisphere," specifically mentioning China.

The Asahi shimbun, 02.02.18.

More than 50 weapon manuals of the Ground Self-Defense Force have been auctioned online, prompting an internal investigation by the Defense Ministry. The ministry said the materials put on the block do not include state secrets or confidential information specified under the Self-Defense Forces Law and other legislation. However, the ministry prohibits such manuals from being used for purposes other than education and training. And only GSDF members are allowed to buy the manuals. About half of the textbooks sold are still used by GSDF units, according to ministry officials.

Jiji Press 30.01.18

Nago city, Okinawa Prefecture is preparing for mayoral election on Sunday for the Feb. 4 with its two candidates Susumu Inamine, who is seeking a third four-year term and Taketoyo Toguchi, a former city assembly member. Susumu Inamine is calling for block the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station, located in a congested area of Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to the Henoko coastal area of Nago and supported by Democratic Party, the Japanese Communist Party, the Liberal Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan. Taketoyo Toguchi is backed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition, which wants to push ahead with the base transfer under a Japan-U.S. agreement.

JIJI PRESS, 02.02.18.

Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev said that "the development of Japanese-Russian relations in the joint development of the southern Kurils remains in pre-launch condition." According to Y.Trutnev, " Japanese side only declares intentions, but does not take real steps of the joint development of the South Kuril Islands."

The Huffington Post, 02.02.18.

The Huffington Post published an article stating that the tour of the traditional Japanese kabuki theater, which will be held in Russia as part of the cross-cultural year of the Russian Federation and Japan, will be one of the most striking events of the year's program. This was stated by the special representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi, speaking at a press conference on the upcoming tour. According to M.Shvydkoi, the cross-country program of the Russian Federation and Japan, coordinated by him on the Russian side, includes activities in the fields of politics, economy, ecology, science and culture.

Nikkei, 02.02.18.

Japan's House of Representative approved budget for fiscal 2017 in sum 2.7 trillion yen. Out of this amount would finance record sum in 234.5 billion yen ($2.14 billion) for defense that accounting for 8.6%. Expected that main part of defense budget would delivered for buy Aegis Ashore land-based missile interception system.

Japan today, 02.02.18.

According to Japan today, Japan's serviceman of Yokosuka naval base was arrested for committed lewd acts with the girl, then 14, in Kanagawa Prefecture last Aug 17. Also, other Japan's serviceman was arrested for similar accusation for a lewd act with the same girl in Yokohama.

Stars and stripes, 02.02.18.

Department of Defense reported that the Carl Vinson Strike Group arrived on the Guam in the late of January. It noted that the Carl Vinson Strike Group would conduct maritime security operations, promote freedom of the seas, and work with partners and allies to enhance regional security and stability after end of deployment.

Kyodo News, 02.02.18.

Department of Defense reported about test failure of SM-3 Block IIA ballistic missile interceptor on the Kauai Island in Hawaii in the later of January. Japan's Department of Defense disclosed a decision conduct an investigation of that cause for assure oneself of it ballistic missile interceptors against North' Korea military threat.

Radio Free Asia, 02.02.18.

Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said VPN operators must be licensed by the government, and that unlicensed VPNs are the target of new rules which come into force on March 31. It noted that overseas VPN would use for cracking Great firewall.

Jiji Press, 02.02.18.

According to the survey results released by Japan's Finance Ministry 71 percent of responding companies said they feel manpower shortages. 67 percent said they experienced shortages a year earlier. Also 87.8 percent of those seeking nonregular staff said sales personnel and field workers, including at factories and construction sites. Meanwhile, 84 percent said they will strengthen recruitment efforts.