Asia Pacific News

Yonhap, 24.04.18.

The South Korean defense ministry reported about halted the propaganda broadcasts it blares across the border with North Korea. It was noted that a significant decision for the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and to create an atmosphere for peace negotiations. But the Defense ministry disclaimed would be a propaganda broadcasting begin after meeting in the 27th April Moon Jae-In and Kim Jong Un.

Reuters, 24.04.18.

The chief of US Fleet Forces Command Admiral Philip S Davidson reported that now Beijing cold be get by the short hairs of South China Sea's water area using it military infrastructures and military elements which were deployment in this area. He noted that Beijing after South China Sea would begin their sea's expanse to the South including the Oceania. Ph.Davidson noted that only a military conflict would stopped Beijing in the South China Sea.

The Japan Today, 24.04.18.

On 23th April outside the gates of Camp Schwab was begin the sit-in protest against relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the Henoko. Organizers noted that in it protest taking part around 300 people and it would be extend till 28 th April.

The Yomiuri Shimbun, 24.04.18.

The Yomiuri Shimbun reported that an approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet is 39 percent. Also the Cabinet’s disapproval rating is 53 percent and 62 percent of respondents said they do not trust the prime minister. The opinion poll also showed that 37 percent support the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, 10 percent - Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and another 40 percent say they have no party affiliation.

The Yomiuri Shimbun, 23.04.18.

The Japanese government reacted coolly to North Korea’s announcement on Saturday of its suspension of nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile test-launches, and scrapping of its nuclear test site. "[Pyongyang’s announcement is] not sufficient as it did not mention the abolition of nuclear weapons," Foreign Minister Taro Kono told reporters in Tokyo on Saturday. "What the international community has demanded is real action. Even though Pyongyang made such comments, sanctions will not be lifted."

KYODO, 23.04.18.

Japan and Canada on Saturday pledged to maintain "maximum pressure" on North Korea to compel it to give up its nuclear and missile programs, judging that Pyongyang’s decision to suspend nuclear tests and long-range missile launches was not sufficient to meet the demands of the international community. Meeting on the eve of a two-day meeting of the Group of Seven foreign ministers in Toronto, Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his Canadian counterpart, Chrystia Freeland, affirmed they will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry. At the outset of the meeting, Kono and Freeland signed a bilateral acquisition and cross-servicing agreement – a sharing pact for defense supplies – to strengthen cooperation between the Self-Defense Forces and the Canadian Armed Forces.

The Associated Press, 24.03.18.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is lashing out at China, Iran, Russia and North Korea for being "forces of instability" because of human rights abuses of their own citizens and others. In its annual global human rights reports released on Friday, the State Department singled out the four countries for egregious rights violations, including restricting the freedoms of speech and assembly and allowing or committing violence against religious, ethnic and other minority groups. It said that countries that undermine the fundamental dignity of people are "morally reprehensible" and harm U.S. interests.

REUTERS, 23.04.18.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine, the shrine said on Saturday, prompting criticism from Seoul as it is seen in the two Koreas and China as a symbol of Japan's past militarism. A nonpartisan group of 75 Japanese lawmakers visited the shrine in Tokyo, according to local media reports. South Korea's Foreign Ministry criticized the commemoration in a statement, noting that it came as the two nations marked the 20th year of a joint pledge to work towards a new Korea-Japan partnership. "The government expresses deep concerns and regret that leaders of the Japanese government and parliament have yet again sent an offering and paid their respects at the Yasukuni shrine, which glorifies the history of colonial invasion and war of aggression," it added.

Xinhua, 23.04.18.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold an informal meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 27–28 in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the announcement Sunday, after talks with visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. On this background, Xi and Modi decided to hold this informal meeting, which will help deepen mutual trust between the two leaders, make strategic judgement on the world pattern and China-India relations, and guide the two countries to set new goals and open up new prospects for the the bilateral ties, Wang said.

Global Times, 23.04.18.

A People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy flotilla including the aircraft carrier Liaoning conducted confrontation exercises on Friday in the sea east of the Bashi Strait in the west Pacific, with a military expert saying that the exercises sent a tough message to "Taiwan independence forces." The Chinese mainland's military drills not only tested and showed the PLA's strength, but also sent a warning to "Taiwan independence groups," Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Sunday. "An aircraft carrier formation will play an important role in hypothetical future military operations against Taiwan," Song said, noting that the formation could form a blockade and conduct military strikes against the island.

South China Morning Post, 22.04.18.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is expected to visit Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido next month, in a sign of warming relations between two countries. Li was expected to attend the trilateral summit with Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the morning of May 9 and hold bilateral talks with Abe in the afternoon, the sources said. The two leaders might agree on the implementation of a "Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism" in the East China Sea.

The Global Times, 22.04.18.

The Chairman of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping has written a directive aimed at tightening discipline measures among PLA servicemen and the People's Armed Militia (PAM) of China. In particular the directive notes that Chinese military personnel have the right to use personal cell phones and social networks of China only outside of office hours. At the same time, the directive notes that servicemen of the PLA and PAM must register in social networks using their real names, as well as their cell phone numbers. In addition, this directive allows Chinese soldiers to invite their relatives to military events, such as getting another rank or military award.

NBC News, 20.04.18.

The Ministry of Defense reported that Americans military which many times took part in the foreign military missions in duration six months most of all stand to suicide. So in the period 2004 – 2009 years in the Army were fixed 593 cases of suicide among militaries which took part in the foreign military missions. In the report note that suicides were increased for durations of wars in the Iraq and Afghanistan. Also from 1,3 millions of militaries around 160 thousand people see duty out of bounds USA and takes part in the foreign militaries conflicts.

The Military Times, 20.04.18.

Lockheed Martin to win the $928 million contract to develop a hypersonic conventional strike weapon for the US Air Force. Expecting that Boing's X-51A Waveride missile would be like a basis.

KYODO, 21.04.18.

The country's population stood at 126.71 million as of Oct 1, down 227,000 or 0.18 percent from a year earlier, with 40 of the country's 47 prefectures recording population declines, according to the data from the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry. The number of Japanese nationals stood at 124.65 million, down 372,000 or 0.30 percent from a year earlier. The number of registered foreign residents rose to 2.06 million, exceeding 2 million for the first time, apparently due to an influx of workers. In a sign of the country's deepening labor shortage, the working-age population from 15 to 64-years-old totaled 75.96 million, or 60 percent of the total, the second lowest level after 59.7 percent in 1950. Those aged 75 or older totaled 17.48 million, accounting for a record-high 13.8 percent of the total, while those under 15 totaled 15.59 million or a record-low 12.3 percent.

NHK, 21.04.18.

Japan's Defense Ministry says a Chinese BZK-005 drone has flown near the Senkaku Islands. The ministry says an unidentified aircraft was spotted on April 10th. Air Self-Defense Force fighters were scrambled in response. The officials note that the drone flew south to about 160 kilometers north of the Senkakus in the East China Sea and later headed back north. They also say it did not enter Japan's airspace.

The Yomiuri Shimbun, 21.04.18.

Japanese government is planning to create special commission which will conduct fact-finding survey of private land on 98 remote border islands. Finding territories which have strategic importance for the protection of territorial waters and maritime interests of Japan is the goal of this commission. As soon as the survey results are compiled, the government will also promote discussion on measures to protect the land. The government’s survey of private land on remote border islands was prompted by mounting concern about national security, as shown in cases in which part of land sold by island residents was resold to foreigners or purchased with foreign funds. For example, in 2008 on Tsushima Island in Nagasaki Prefecture, land near the Maritime Self-Defense Force base was purchased with South Korean capital.

South China morning post, 21.04.18.

US-China Economic and Security Review Commission urged US government to address growing threats posed by “nefarious actors” in China infiltrating American intelligence bodies and critical infrastructure systems through information technology systems and components. “Nefarious actors linked to China have targeted the networks of private sector entities and private sector government contractors in order to obtain sensitive government information and to exploit vulnerabilities within federal information systems,” it said. Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G mobile telecommunication networks “will expand the attack surface” of federal information and communication technology networks for China’s cyber criminals, “while decreasing time required to breach them”, according to the report. The commission recommends a more centralised system of supervision for the federal government’s supply chain risk management (SCRM) effort, possibly with a role for the departments of homeland security and defence.

Reuters, 20.04.18.

The United States embassy in Manila said in a statement on Thursday Australia and Japan, two U.S. allies countries with strategic partnerships with the Philippines, would join the exercises taking place in multiple locations on the main island of Luzon, starting on May 7. The Philippines and the United States have been holding the"Balikatan" (shoulder-to-shoulder) drills annually to test the readiness of their militaries to respond to threats that include natural disasters and militant extremist attacks.

Xinhua, The Taibei Times, 20.04.18.

The Taiwan's Ministry of Defence reported that 18th April the formation consisted of H-6K bombers, Su-30 and J-11 fighters PLAAF flew over the Miyako Strait, the Western Pacific and then the Bashi Channel before returning to their bases. PLAAF spokesman Shen Jinke confirmed that information and he noted Beijing would be continuing such flying in the that region for to security territorial integrity and sovereignty of China.

Reuters, 20.04.18.

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Laura Stone said the US was deeply concerned about China’s detention of at least “tens of thousands” of ethnic Uygurs and other Muslims. She noted that if Beijing would be continuing to press on ethnic Uygurs Washington could be see possible of sanctions to high Chines political elite as consisted with Magnitsky Act sanctions. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Wednesday warned the US against “interference in any form and groundless accusation on China’s internal affairs.”

NHK, 19.04.18.

The newly nominated chief of the US Pacific Command says there is no guarantee that the United States would win a future conflict with China. Admiral Philip Davidson made the remark in a written document submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee he attended on Tuesday. He called for the United States to boost its troops in the Asia Pacific region to counter China's growing military presence. The admiral said that the threat to US forces and bases is substantial and growing, and the US has a long way to go to be able to deter and counter China's ever improving ballistic missiles and hypersonic weapons to come.

Yonhap, 19.04.18.

Cheong Wa Dae's confirmation that the inter-Korea summit will address the prospects of signing a peace treaty with North Korea is raising speculation that withdrawing or downsizing U.S. troops stationed in the South could also be on the table. Some analysts here say the presence of U.S. troops could be an obstacle to signing a peace treaty with North Korea. If President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un discuss signing a peace treaty at their summit on April 27, it is highly possible they may also exchange views on U.S. troops stationed here.

Xinhua, 19.04.18.

China Wednesday officially unveiled its International Development Cooperation Agency. The new agency will be responsible for strategic guidelines and policies on foreign aid; coordinating and making suggestions on major related issues; reforming the foreign aid system; and making plans and overseeing their implementation. Yang Jiechi, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, said that the agency would safeguard world peace and promote common development. The agency is important for Chinese diplomacy and the Belt and Road Initiative, said Yang.

NHK, 19.04.18.

Japan and Malaysia have concluded an agreement on the transfer of defense equipment and cooperation in defense technology. This comes as Japan has been signing similar deals with the United States, European and Asian countries to transfer patrol planes, radars and other defense hardware and technology. According to the Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Makio Miyagawa, Malaysia is reportedly considering introducing maritime patrol planes from Japan to deal with pirate assaults on freighters in the South China Sea. Tokyo apparently aims to counter China's expanding maritime activities in the region.

Xinhua, 18.04.18.

The Chinese mainland's Taiwan affairs chief on Tuesday said opposing "Taiwan independence" is crucial to maintaining peaceful cross-Strait ties. Liu Jieyi, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said adhering to the "1992 Consensus" is also crucial. He made the statement in a meeting with a Taiwanese delegation led by Nantou County chief Lin Ming-chen in Beijing. Lin said the exchange has been welcomed and supported by the people in his county. He said he would continue to uphold the "1992 Consensus" and expand cooperation with the mainland.

Xinhua, 18.04.18.

China and Japan will hold their ninth round of high-level consultations on maritime affairs in Sendai, Japan, on Thursday and Friday, a foreign ministry spokesperson said Tuesday. Spokesperson Hua Chunying told a routine news briefing that officials from foreign ministries, defense ministries, maritime law enforcement and management departments of both counties will attend the talks. China expects to fully exchange views with Japan on maritime issues of common concern and to strengthen mutual understanding and trust with Japan, Hua said.

Xinhua, 18.04.18.

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan on Tuesday met with a delegation from the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) in Beijing. The Vietnamese delegation was led by Nguyen Van Binh, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPV Central Committee (CPVCC) and of the Secretariat of the CPVCC. Noting that the two countries are socialist neighbors sharing borders and a China-Vietnam community with a shared future is "strategically important," Wang believed the two countries have huge potential for cooperation.

Xinhua, 18.04.18.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) here on Tuesday. During the meeting, Wang said that exchanges between political parties and politicians have been an important part of political exchanges of the two countries, while people-to-people exchanges have been an important driving force for the development of bilateral ties. Nikai, for his part, said that stable, peaceful and friendly bilateral relationship is very important, and the two sides should continue to deepen people-to-people exchanges, promote mutual understanding and trust between political parties and politicians of the two countries to create a sound external environment and solid foundation of public opinion for the improvement of bilateral relationship.

Japan Times, 18.04.18.

In what would amount to a stunning development, North and South Korea are in discussions to announce at next week’s leaders’ summit an official end to the military conflict between the two neighbors, which remain technically at war. The April 27 summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un – the third-ever meeting of leaders from the two Koreas – may see the pair release a joint statement saying that they will seek to ease military tensions and to end confrontation, according to the official. No peace treaty has been signed to replace the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War, and the U.S. and North Korea have been at loggerheads since formal hostilities ceased. The report said the focus of the inter-Korean summit’s agenda would be threefold: denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, a peace deal, and progress in inter-Korean relations.

NHK, 17.04.18.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to leave for the United States on Tuesday to hold 2-day talks with President Donald Trump. Abe said that he wants to discuss a basic policy with Trump on the planned inter-Korean summit and a possible meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Abe hopes to reaffirm the countries will work together closely and keep maximum pressure on North Korea until it takes concrete steps leading to complete, irreversible and verifiable denuclearization. Abe also plans to ask Trump to urge Kim to address the abduction issue. It involves Japanese nationals taken by North Korean agents decades ago. And also he wants to propose a new framework of dialogue on trade and investment between Japan and US.

Xinhua, 17.04.18.

Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai Sunday urged US politicians and strategists to "make the right choice at the crossroads of history" for the world's most important bilateral relations. "Now, the choices made by China and the US will not only set the direction of bilateral ties in the coming decades, but also determine how their relationship will affect the future of the two countries and the world as a whole," Cui said. He also added that China and the US can build a strong, healthy and stable relationship, a new type of major-power relationship devoid of conflict and confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

Japan times, 17.04.18.

Ministry of National Security presented a website,, which allows users to report about foreign espionage acts. There are possible reportable activities such as subverting the state power and overthrowing the socialist system and threats such as collusion with foreign countries that endangers the country’s “sovereignty, territorial integrity and national security.” Reportable behavior also includes foreigners meeting any people within China “who have conducted activities endangering state security or being strongly suspected of doing so.” According to the site, the government will grant informants”protection” and “reward those who have contributed significantly.” The website also warned of deliberately fabricating claims, saying that “falsely accusing other people or causing problems in the name of reporting, or interfering with the normal work of the state security organs, will be seriously dealt with.”

Japan times, 17.04.18.

Shigeru Ishiba, former secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, for the first time emerged as a favorite among voters as the party's next president over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, according to a weekend poll conducted by The Asahi Shimbun. Ishiba, often critical of the prime minister, was picked by 27 percent of respondents, followed by Abe with 22 percent. Fumio Kishida, former foreign minister and chairman of the party's Policy Research Council, and Seiko Noda, internal affairs minister, each received support from 6 percent of respondents. Abe’s rating has been increasingly beset with scandal connected with “Morimoto gakyen” land state deal.

Chosun Ilbo, 17.04.18.

South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo published an article saying that The U.S. wants Korea to pay part of the cost of deploying so-called strategic assets on Korean peninsula. Strategic assets are nuclear-powered aircraft carrier strike groups, nuclear-powered submarines, B-1B bombers, B-2 stealth bombers, and B-52 bombers which usually take part in joint annual military exercises. The demand was made in talks between the two sides last week to discuss Seoul's share of the upkeep for the U.S. Forces Korea.

The Korea Herald, 16.04.18.

The command US Armed Forces in the Republic of Korea on 16th - 17th of April is holding exercises to evacuate American civilian personnel from the territory of South Korea in the event of hostilities on the Korean peninsula. The command the US Armed Forces in the Republic of Korea noted that exercises will be practice of a evacuate 100 American civilian personnel and members of their families from Osan Air Base in Gyeonggi Province to the United States.

Jiji Press, 16.04.18.

On April 15th Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi and Foreign Minister of Japan T. Kono at a joint meeting in Tokyo came to a common opinion that China and Japan should develop bilateral relations through regular meetings of the top political leadership of the two countries. In addition, Wang Yi and T. Kono agreed to cooperate closely on the issue of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The Japan Today, 16.04.18.

The Japan Coast Guard reported that the government is planning in the short term to increase the air patrolling of the Senkaku islands (in Chinese cartography – Diaoyudao islands) in the East China Sea, due to the increased activity of the China in the area. It is noted that to fulfill this goal from 2018 till to 2019 will attract three civilian aircraft "Falcon-2000LXS" of French production.

The Kyodo News, Bloomberg, 16.04.18.

According to a public opinion poll carried out by the Kyodo News the level of government support of S.Abe is 37 percent while 52.6 percent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with the work of the country's cabinet of ministers. In addition, 57 percent of Japanese oppose and 32,3 percent are in favor of amending the country's constitution, authorizing the use of Japan's Self-Defense Forces in military operations abroad. Meanwhile on April 14th in the center of Tokyo there was a mass protest demonstration in which took part about 50 thousand people, mostly Japanese youth. Protesters chanted slogans: "S.Abe is a liar!" and "S.Abe, resign!". As the Kyodo News noted, at present the level of support of S.Abe is 18.3%.

The Global Times, 16.04.18.

The Chairman of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping has written a directive aimed at tightening discipline measures among PLA servicemen and the People's Armed Militia (PAM) of China. In particular the directive notes that Chinese military personnel have the right to use personal cell phones and social networks of China only outside of office hours. At the same time, the directive notes that servicemen of the PLA and PAM must register in social networks using their real names, as well as their cell phone numbers. In addition, this directive allows Chinese soldiers to invite their relatives to military events, such as getting another rank or military award.

The Washington Post, 16.04.18.

A number of American media published the results of joint surveys on the level of support for US President D.Trump. So, according to the polls of the ABC television and the Washington Post the support level of D.Trump is 40% and disapproval is 56%. A survey of the NBC television company and the newspaper Wall Street Journal showed that 39% of Americans support D.Trump and 57% said that they treat him with disapproval. Meanwhile, according to a poll conducted by the sociological company Rasmussen 50% of respondents support D.Trump and 49% do not support him.

Reuter, 15.04.18.

Vietnam wants to give its coast guard more flexibility to open fire at sea, amid tension in the busy South China Sea waterway, a draft law released on Wednesday showed.The law, expected to be voted by lawmakers at the end of this year, would allow greater assertiveness in disputed waters by the coast guard, now armed with modern U.S. and Japanese patrol boats, in a policy likely to alarm neighboring China.Vietnam’s coast guard could open fire to “protect sovereignty and sovereign rights in defense and security situations,” said the draft, released on the website of the law making body, the National Assembly.The coast guard could open fire to warn ships operating illegally in Vietnam’s waters if they did not heed its request to halt illegal activities, it added.Vietnam now allows coast guard officials to open fire only if their lives and safety are threatened, or in the pursuit of offenders and ships at sea who might otherwise escape, or to protect citizens whose lives are at risk.The United States has given Vietnam 12 patrol boats to strengthen the Southeast Asian’s nation maritime surveillance and protection capability. Japan has provided six used patrol boats and promised six new ones.

Reuter, 15.04.18.

Japan must not be distracted from a much more important long-term challenge: China's enhancement of its military capabilities in the region and its growing assertiveness, driven by President Xi Jinping's more hawkish and nationalist foreign policy.China is upgrading its People's Liberation Army Navy as it confronts Japan in the East China Sea over the the Senkaku Islands, controlled by Japan but also claimed by China which calls them the Diaoyu. China also continues to expand military capabilities in the South China Sea to put itself in the position to potentially deny access to a region that is criss-crossed by trade routes, including Japan's.the relationship remains fraught with strategic mistrust.For example, there has not yet been any implementation of crisis avoidance and mitigation mechanisms, such as common radio frequencies or a hotline between Tokyo and Beijing, despite commitments from both governments to introduce these measures to avoid an unintended clash around the Senkaku Islands. While China has reduced the number of vessels around the islands, it has engaged in other provocative moves such as keeping these ships longer in the disputed aters.Tokyo and Beijing also continue to be at loggerheads over sharing natural resources in the East China Sea. Japan also needs to improve its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities in the East China Sea and Okinawa Islands. Tokyo should boost spending on unmanned aerial vehicles, which would provide timely intelligence on Chinese naval activities. Japan may want to procure additional ISR assets to complement its force of unmanned RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance aircraft that is slated to be delivered and operational this year. Japan will also likely expand ISR capabilities on Okinawan islands as evidenced by building a radar station on Yonaguni Island in 2016 and centralizing ISR operations on Miyako Island.Another key element will be increased cooperation with the U.S. and growing partnerships with other countries in the region. Under Japan's "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" strategy -- a plan to counter China's increased influence -- the Abe administration eyes expanding international cooperation. One example is the recent revival of the Quadrilateral Dialogue on defence issues between Japan, the U.S., India and Australia. Japan's continued efforts to "multilateralize" concerns about China's maritime ambitions serve as an essential diplomatic complement to its defense measures.

The Stars and Stripes, 15.04.18.

U.S. Forces in Korea reported about a reduction of 245 South Korea's civil employees' until 30th September in the Yongsan, Red Cloud and Camp Casey. It's noted that a case of reduction is deployment American's military forces to the South regions of the country. It is expected that a total of 950 South Korea's civil employees would be a reduction. But Korean Employees’ Union declared that it would be ”strongly protest” of the it decision American's side and would be claimed a delay of reduction.

NHK, 15.04.18.

NHK conducted a poll which shows that support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet has dropped to 38 percent, the disapproval rate rose to 45 percent. 48 percent of Japanese citizens said it seems better than alternatives. A poll also revealed that percent of the respondents said they weren’t satisfied in testimony of former senior Finance Ministry official Nobuhisa Sagawa, who gave sworn testimony in the Diet last month over a state-owned land deal. 53 percent said it is necessary to testify S.Abe and his wife Akie on this case in the Diet.

Yonhap, 14.04.18.

President Moon Jae-in said while meeting with a group of 21 advisers, including his special security adviser Moon Chung-in, that it is necessary to require all-out efforts on all sides to ensure success in the rare opportunity to ease tension between the two Koreas. According to him, "Now the South-North summit will be held in about half a month. A North-U.S. summit is also scheduled to be held thereafter. They will be once-in-a-life time chance to completely denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, establish permanent peace and move toward sustainable development of South-North Korea relations".

"Asahi", 14.04.18.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denied on Wednesday that he had intervened to secure preferential treatment for a friend's plan to set up a veterinary school despite new reports he had discussed the matter with the friend. "No one received instructions from me. There was no problem with the (approval) process," Abe told the panel. Abe's ratings have taken a hit because of several scandals over suspected cronyism and cover-ups, with a steady stream of new allegations raising doubts about how long he can stay in power.

"Japan Times", 14.04.18.

The Lower House moved to address the low representation of women in politics with a bill April 12 urging political parties to field male and female candidates in national and local assembly elections in equal numbers. The proposed legislation could provide a long-needed incentive to get more women to enter politics. But whether the bill will rectify the disproportionate gender gap remains to be seen as the legislation comes with no punitive clause. Japan trails in the global trend of gender equality in politics, ranking 157th among 193 countries assessed on female representation in the lower chamber last December by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, an international organization that has observer status at the U.N. General Assembly.

Xinhua, 14.04.18.

China's Commerce Ministry emphasized Thursday that negotiations for resolving trade friction with the United States are currently "impossible" while indicating a positive attitude toward market opening. Ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a press conference that U.S. President Donald Trump has shown "no sincerity toward negotiations." "The major measures announced by the Chinese government for opening up are based on an accurate assessment of China's current level of development," he said, adding there is "no connection" with the China-U.S. trade friction.

"Radio Korea", 14.04.18.

Representatives from the ministry and local residents held negotiations from noon on Thursday and agreed to remove all construction equipment brought onto the site late last year and to not bring in further equipment for the time being. The Defense Ministry agreed to pull out construction equipment from the site of the U.S.-led Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province after locals staged a fierce protest.

Yonhap, 14.04.18.

Minor parties on Thursday urged the two major parties to quickly narrow their differences over a constitutional revision to keep their standoff from further hampering parliamentary discussions on the highly divisive issue. In a joint statement, the Bareunmirae Party, the Party for Democracy and Peace, and the Justice Party called for a "grand compromise," highlighting that the revision talks have been fruitless due to the partisan confrontation between the major parties. The ruling Democratic Party and main opposition Liberty Korea Party have remained far apart over when and how to alter the decades-old Constitution. "Due to the big parties' political logic, little progress has been made in the efforts to achieve the constitutional amendment and reform of the election system," the parties said in the joint statement.

Korean Central News Agency, 13.04.18.

North Korea has convened a key parliamentary meeting, state media said Thursday. The North dismissed Hwang Pyong-so, a former director of the general political bureau of North Korea's armed forces, from the post of its vice chairman of the State Affairs Commission. Kim Jong-gak, Hwang's successor, became a member of the SAC. Kim Won-hong, who was sacked from the post of the state security minister, was also stripped of the post of a member of the SAC. The post was filled by Jong Kyong-thaek. Pak Kwang-ho, director at the WPK's propaganda and agitation department, was named a member of the SAC, replacing Kim Ki-nam.

Xinhua, 13.04.18.

Sun Zhengcai, former secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), stood trial for bribery Thursday at the First Intermediate People's Court of Tianjin Municipality. Between 2002 and 2017, Sun took advantage of his posts to provide help for certain units and individuals in project procurement, enterprise operation and adjustment of official positions, and accepted money and property worth 170 million yuan (27.1 million U.S. dollars), either by himself or through "certain affiliated persons," according to an indictment by the first branch of the Tianjin People's Procuratorate. Sun Zhengcai also had been seen as a potential challenger to Xi.


President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser held talks Thursday with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts, as the U.S. gears up for an unprecedented summit with North Korea. Bolton met with Chung Eui-yong, the South Korean official who last month conveyed Kim's offer to Trump to talk about "denuclearization" and halt nuclear and missile tests. Chung was then given the unexpected duty of announcing to journalists in the White House driveway Trump's surprise agreement to hold a meeting. Bolton also held talks with Japan's Shotaro Yachi, whose prime minister, Shinzo Abe, will meet Trump at his Florida resort on Tuesday.

Jiji Press, 13.04.18.

Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit Japan for three days from Sunday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. Wang will hold talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Sunday to pave the way for a trilateral summit among Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul that is likely to be held in Japan in May. In their meeting, Kono and Wang are expected to discuss issues such as how to ease tensions over the Senkakus in the East China Sea as well as Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development programs, with the first-ever North Korea-U.S. summit to be held by early June.

Associated Press, Xinhua, 13.04.18.

President Xi Jinping reviewed the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in the South China Sea Thursday morning, saying that the need to build a strong navy "has never been more urgent than today." Taking part in the review were more than 10,000 service personnel, 48 vessels and 76 aircraft. They included the aircraft carrier Liaoning and latest submarines, vessels and fighter jets. China on Thursday also announced live-firing military exercises in the Taiwan Strait amid heightened tensions over increased American support for Taiwan's democratic government.

AFP, 13.04.18.

President Donald Trump has directed senior aides to explore re-joining the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership if a "better deal" can be reached, the White House said Thursday. "Last year, the President kept his promise to end the TPP deal... because it was unfair to American workers and farmers," Deputy White House Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement.

Yonhap, 12.04.18.

A trilateral summit with South Korea, China and Japan will be held in Japan in May, Seoul’s presidential office said Wednesday. As for Moon’s meeting with Kono, which followed the Japanese diplomat’s meeting with Seoul’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, Kim said that Moon stressed the importance of South Korea-Japan cooperation. Kim also said that Moon urged a “constructive role” on part of Japan in the drive to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and asked for Tokyo’s support in matters concerning the inter-Korean, and US-North Korea summits. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono met South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Wednesday to discuss North Korea’s nuclear issue and bilateral relations, as Japan struggles to remain relevant to the upcoming inter-Korean summit. During an hourlong meeting, Kang and Kono reaffirmed their pledge for close coordination and communication to achieve North Korea’s denuclearization in the lead-up to the April 27 inter-Korean summit and the US-North Korea summit expected to happen by early June. “I want Japan and South Korea to closely coordinate to realize the denuclearization of North Korea and bring about peace, stability and prosperity in Northeast Asia,” Kono said, hailing the Korean government’s diplomatic efforts in bringing North Korea to dialogue. Kono said that the pressure campaign and sanctions against North Korea should be maintained until the North takes concrete actions for its denuclearization. Kang agreed that the pressure campaign should continue but she also underscored the importance of maintaining the momentum of “dialogue” with North Korea, the official said. Kono also asked Kang to bring up the issue of North Korea’s abduction of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s during the inter-Korean talks, according to the official. The top diplomat reiterated Japan’s position that the abduction issue should be dealt with “comprehensively,” along with the North’s nuclear and missile ambitions in the upcoming summits.Kang said that South Korea will continue to strive to tackle humanitarian issues, though she did not give him an assurance about his request. She said she cannot be sure about what specific agenda items will be discussed during the inter-Korean meeting, according to the official.

Yonhap, 12.04.18.

South Korea's unification minister on Wednesday stressed the importance of international cooperation in resolving North Korea's nuclear problem and improving inter-Korean ties.Cho Myoung-gyon made the remark at a meeting with Simon Smith, Britain's new ambassador to South Korea, ahead of an inter-Korean summit slated for April 27 and a proposed summit between the United States and North Korea."The government believes that cooperation with the international community is very important in resolving the North's nuclear issue and developing inter-Korean relations," the minister said.He expressed hope for Britain's support in resolving issues on the Korean Peninsula as the European country, which has an embassy in Pyongyang, is also seeking dialogue.Smith said that his government will continue to support Seoul's efforts to build peace and is ready to offer its help and advice to the South.

Yonhap, 12.04.18.

The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula will top the agenda for the upcoming meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but the North's human rights situation could also be discussed, the State Department said Tuesday.Trump and Kim are expected to meet in May or early June at a time and place to be determined."Typically when we have the opportunity to sit down and talk with countries where we have tremendous differences, that is something that does come up," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said at a regular press briefing. "I imagine that that would come up as well. However, denuclearization of the Korean peninsula -- which is something that Kim Jong-un said that he is willing to abide by and willing to work toward -- I think that is obviously the top conversation, and other things may come up as well."Uncertainty also remains over whether the US and North Korea mean the same thing by "denuclearization." Washington demands a complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, while Pyongyang espouses a broader definition that includes the withdrawal of the US nuclear umbrella and extended deterrence over South Korea, as well as American troops in the South.

JiJi press, 12.04.18.

President Donald Trump has nominated Navy Adm. Philip Davidson as commander of the Pacific Command to succeed Adm. Harry Harris, who will leave the post this spring, the Defense Department said Tuesday.After serving as commander of the 6th Fleet, which covers Europe and Africa, Davidson took up his current position as commander of the Fleet Forces Command in 2014. He led a navy-wide investigation after successive collisions involving Aegis destroyers of the 7th Fleet last year.Harris was named commander of the Pacific Command in 2015, becoming the first Japanese-American to assume the post. He was nominated as ambassador to Australia in February this year and is waiting to win confirmation by the Senate Reuters

USA – CHINA. Reuters, 11.04.18.

The Pentagon published a report about that Beijing finished installation of the system radio electronic warfare on Mischief Reef (in the Chinese cartography – Meijijiao) which entering into the composition of Spratly Islands (in the Chinese cartography – the Nansha Islands). A spokesperson for China's Ministry of Defense a senior Col. Ren Guoqiang claimed that the Nansha Islands is integral part of China and Beijing has a full authority to deploy defense facilities on the own territory for to site country's protection and a maintenance of security in the South China Sea.

TAIWAN. Nikkei, 11.04.18.

The political parties Taiwan Solidarity Union and the Taiwan Radical Wings announced about a creation of combined a political coalition The Formosa Alliance in the government of the Taiwan which headed a chairman of Formosa Television Kuo Pei-hung. The leadership of the Formosa Alliance declared that will purpose to hold a referendum in the April 2019 in the third points – about a independence of Taiwan, change the island's name from the Republic of China to Taiwan, and apply for membership in the United Nations. The leadership of the Formosa Alliance also declared about it would be to push political pressure on the Taiwan's government for maintain a status quo with China.

JAPAN. Jiji Press, 11.04.18.

The chairman opposition's the Democratic Party Kohei Otsuka and Kibo no To (Party of Hope) chief Yuchiro Tamaki reached a deal about of merging and creation of a new political party in early May as opposed to ruling coalition of Liberal Democratic Party of Japan and Komeito. It's expected that Y.Tamaki and K.Otsuka would be conduct negotiations in the end of April for discuss the name and policy of new political party.

REPUBLIC OF KOREA. The Korea Times, 11.04.18.

In a survey conducted by Realmeter the President Moon Jae-in's approval rating is 68 percent. According to Realmeter 25 percent of South Koreans were disapproved of Moon's state affairs. The poll also showed that the ruling Democratic Party's rating is 51 percent, while that of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party – 20.8 percent.

Reuters, 10.04.18.

China's Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said on Monday that China opposed the United States selling weapons to Taiwan, after the Trump administration approved the marketing licence required for American manufacturers to sell technology to Taiwan that would allow for building submarines. China's Defence Ministry, responding to a journalist's question in an online statement about the issue, demanded that the United States "halt all forms of military links between the United States and Taiwan, as well as all forms of weapon sales to Taiwan". Wu Qian also noted that "China's military has the ability and determination to defeat all attempts to separate our country, and will adopt all necessary measures to resolutely defend national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity,"

Yonhap, 10.04.18.

China has banned exports of 32 items to North Korea that could be converted for use in developing weapons of mass destruction, Beijing's commerce ministry said Monday. The "dual-use" items are mostly equipment, software and technologies. They include particle accelerators and centrifuges, the ministry said in a statement posted on its website. The export ban is in line with Resolution 2375 adopted by the UN Security Council in September in the wake of the North's sixth nuclear test.

Global times, Mainichi, 10.04.18.

A Chinese media outlet Global times issued a statement which shows warily reaction tothe establishment of a new Japanese amphibious special unit, designed to repel invasions on Japan's remote islands and deploying of additional V-22 Ospreys at Yokota US airbase. "Some question if the Japanese government may consider using safeguarding territorial integrity as an excuse to revive militarism, to which regional countries must stay on high alert," the article said. Furthermore, near Yokota US airbase were local protests against deploying of V-22 Ospreys planes, who chanted "Listen to the voice of Japanese people!".

JoongAng daily, 10.04.18.

South Korean newspaper JoongAng daily said about appointment of Oh Tai-kyu on post of consul general in Japan. He will formally take office as consul general in Osaka on April 17. A newspaper said that Oh Tai-kyu, was former journalist who led the government review of a controversial deal reached in late 2015 on the comfort women issue.

The Global Times, 06.04.18.

The Global Times reported that Seoul and Washington should be follow an agreement about a reduction of scale of Key Resolve and Foul Eagle exercise which began at 1th April. It's noted that now on the Korean Peninsula is preserving a situation of strain and this military exercise would be create a destabilization in the region and hamper negotiations of North Korea about clamp down on their nuclear missile program.

Jiji Press, 06.04.18.

U.S. Air Force was finished deployment of five CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft from a suburb in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture to Yokota base in a Tokyo. It's expected that these aircrafts would be located in the Yokota base for June for training there.

Reuter, 06.04.18.

South Korea's Ministry of Defense reported about that 5th April an F-15K Slam Eagle was crashed in the county of Chilgok, in North Gyeongsang province which was on its way back to the Daegu Air Base. Ministry of Defense disproved information about that F-15K Slam Eagle was took part in Key Resolve and Foul Eagle exercise and also reported that two pilots was killed in accident.

The Washington Post, 06.04.18.

The U.S. Navy reported about end of a deployment to the Singapore of USS Theodore Roosevelt which will be expected take part in military exercise at the South China Sea with other country of region. Besides, now USS Carl Vinson is going to the San Diego.

The Mainichi, 06.04.18.

Japan's Ministry of Defense is planning for 2020 financial year to hold modernization radar system on the Iwo Island in the (Pacific Ocean) for increase of capability to detect Chines military aircrafts near the Izu and Ogasawara islands at the Pacific Ocean. Also japan now is planning to hold modernization radar system on the Pacific Ocean's coast of Honshu island. It's noted that measures was elicited of increased of Chines military aircrafts in the region and a needing for effective to defense outlying islands of Japan.

The Chosun Ilbo, 06.04.18.

South Korea's Ministry of Defense reported about suicide cases in the Korean military since 2011 to March of 2018 years. In particular in the 2011 year among South Korea' servicemen were fixed 97 suicide cases, in the 2013 – 73, 2015 – 57, 2017 – 51. Besides, in the 2013 year among enlisted staff of the Korean military were fixed 45 suicide cases, in the 2017 – 17 and in the March of 2018 – 5 cases. Also in the officer personnel at the 2013 were fixed 34 suicide cases, in the 2017 – 34 and in the March of 2018 – 10 cases. In the report was noted that persisting of increasing level of suicide cases officer personnel is reason of their a low of moral and psychological condition, no adherence an order of on-duty time, a maladaptive reaction to the new place of military service and an unwillingness to converse to military psychologists by reason of blame in the collective.

NHK, 06.04.18.

China's commerce ministry says it has initiated a World Trade Organization dispute resolution procedure over US tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. The ministry made the announcement on Thursday. The US import duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum took effect on March 23rd. The ministry says the US levies are effectively trade protectionism under the guise of national security measures. The ministry says the US action is a serious violation of the non-discrimination principle of the multilateral trading system. It adds the US action significantly undermines the interests of China as a WTO member.

NHK, 06.04.18.

North and South Korean officials have met at the truce village of Panmunjom to discuss security, protocol and other issues in preparation for the inter-Korean summit due to take place later this month. The talks were held at a South Korean facility where President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are due to meet on April 27th. South Korean officials declined to give details of the working-level talks, citing security reasons. They only disclosed that the discussions went well, with both sides committed to making the upcoming summit a success. Further working-level talks are scheduled in the coming days to discuss security and other practical issues. The 2 Koreas are also considering holding another ministerial-level meeting to discuss the summit agenda.

"Asahi", 06.04.18.

Foreign Minister Taro Kono got a scathing reaction from the international community over his call to not be taken in by North Korea's latest charm offensive. Kono insists that North Korea is gearing up for a seventh nuclear test, but his warning has fallen on deaf ears. "(North Korea) is working hard for its next nuclear test," T.Kono asserted in a lecture he gave in Kochi on March 31. The same day, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang expressed frustration over Kono’s remark during a news conference. "We don’t want anything to spoil things in the middle of our endeavors to solve issues in the Korean Peninsula through dialogue," said Geng.

"Sankei Shimbun", 06.04.18.

The National Center of Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity on Tuesday warned all ministries and agencies that the official email addresses of about 2,000 central government employees had been leaked. This development underscored the government’s need to guard against cyber-attacks. Each year, the Defense Ministry and Self-Defense Forces, which play a key role in national defense, face more than 1 million "attacks," including those involving spam mail. Attacks utilizing targeted emails containing data-stealing viruses are particularly common, and there have been cases in which emails were sent from false accounts using the names of high-ranking government officials such as Shotaro Yachi, secretary general of the National Security Secretariat. In the spring of last year, about 20 people in charge of countering cyber-attacks for the Joint Staff Office and Ground, Maritime and Air Self-Defense Forces worked on computers in the basement of the Defense Ministry in Ichigaya, Tokyo.

"Radio Korea", 06.04.18.

Officials of South Korea and the United States will hold their second round of talks next week to renew their cost-sharing agreement for about 28,500 American troops stationed here, the foreign ministry said Thursday. The talks will be held on South Korea's southern resort island of Jeju next Wednesday and Thursday, according to the ministry. The talks will be led by Chang Won-sam, a career diplomat who was appointed in mid-November to head the South Korean negotiation team, and Timothy Betts, deputy assistant secretary for plans, programs and operations at the U.S. State Department.

Xinhua, 06.04.18.

China is willing to improve defense cooperation with various countries and create a win-win and benefit-sharing global security environment, Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe said Wednesday. China is ready to work with other countries to promote the concept of common security and resolve disputes through peaceful means, Wei said at the seventh Moscow Conference on International Security. Peace and development are an irreversible trend of our time, and so are multi-polarization and globalization, he said, adding that the idea of cooperation and a win-win situation is widely embraced, and mutual trust and inclusiveness are the correct approach to dealing with international affairs.


An Air Force F-16 fighter jet crashed Wednesday morning during a routine training mission over a large Nevada military range, Air Force officials said. A four-person Marine helicopter aircrew were presumed dead after their CH-53E Super Stallion crashed Tuesday afternoon in southern California near the Mexican border. Earlier Tuesday, a Marine AV-8B Harrier attack jet crashed just after takeoff from Djibouti.

KYODO, 05.04.18.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has asked South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit Japan before the planned summit between North and South Korea in late April, Japanese government sources said Tuesday. Abe wants to get Moon to raise with Kim the issue of North Korea’s abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s. Abe has said resolving the abduction issue is one of his government’s priorities. In the meantime, according to government sources, Foreign Minister Taro Kono plans to meet Moon in South Korea next week and ask him to raise the abduction issue with Kim.

Xinhua, 05.04.18.

The Chinese mainland's Taiwan affairs chief Wednesday called on both sides across the Taiwan Strait to work together for the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and peaceful reunification of the motherland. Liu Jieyi, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, met Hung Hsiu-chu, former Kuomintang (KMT) chairwoman, and Yok Mu-ming, chairman of Taiwan's New Party, respectively in the northwestern city of Xi'an. At the meetings, Liu expressed appreciation for the effort made by Taiwan's organizations and politicians, including Hung and Yok, to uphold the one-China principle and oppose "Taiwan independence."

Yonhap, 05.04.18.

North Korea may have shut down a nuclear reactor for now, while conducting major construction work nearby, a U.S. website monitoring the reclusive regime said Wednesday. In the latest commercial satellite imagery from March 30, there were no clearly visible steam plumes coming from the Generator Hall of the 5-megawatt plutonium-producing reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear complex, 38 North said. "When coupled with recent efforts to dam the river below this point to create a reservoir, (this) could indicate an attempt to provide a more steady flow of water into the facility," it said. "This would allow for the reactor to run more continuously and safely in the future."

STARS AND STRIPES, Yonhap, 05.04.18.

South Korean and U.S. marines have called off a massive combined amphibious landing exercise this week due to adverse weather, the combined command announced Wednesday. The marines kicked off the weeklong Twin Dragon, drills on Sunday in connection with the annual Foal Eagle field training between the allies. Participating units in the air and sea portions will continue training as planned, it said, adding the routine drills are held twice a year to build and maintain fundamental military readiness. Yonhap, 04.04.2018

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in Beijing on Tuesday before heading for Azerbaijan to attend an international meeting, the Chinese foreign ministry said.The North Korean foreign minister landed in the Chinese capital earlier in the day before flying to Baku, Azerbaijan, where he plans to attend a ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement slated for Thursday and Friday. The meeting came as the North tries to restore its fractured relationship with China ahead of leader Kim Jong-un's historic summits with the South Korean and United States leaders in April and May.

NHK, 04.04.2018

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono plans to visit Seoul next week for talks on North Korea amid growing concerns in Tokyo the Shinzo Abe government is being sidelined in negotiations over North Korea's denuclearization. It will be Kono's first visit to Seoul since he assumed his position as foreign minister last August. Kono will likely meet Kang to reaffirm close ties with Seoul ahead of the inter-Korean summit to be held on April 27. The foreign minister is also expected to bring up the Pyongyang nuclear issue and appeal for the need for Seoul, Tokyo and Washington to continue maximum pressure against the reclusive state, until North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump meet in May. Moreover, Kono may request that Seoul carry through on the sex slavery deal. In the deal, the two states agreed to put the long-disputed issue to rest, with Tokyo providing Seoul 1 billion yen in government funds for victims.

Japan Times, 04.04.2018

Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono has voiced concern over the tit-for-tat trade spat between the United States and China. Kono said on Tuesday that the world's two largest economies imposing tariffs on each other could have a serious impact on the global economy. He said that Japan's position is to protect the free trade system that lies at the center of the World Trade Organization. He added that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will remind President Donald Trump of Japan's position when he visits the US in mid-April. The Chinese government hit back Monday at President Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum by acting on a threat to put tariffs as high as 25 percent on imports of 128 American-made products, including pork and seamless steel pipes.

Japan Times, 04.04.2018

Five CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft will arrive at the U.S. Air Force's Yokota base in the Tokyo suburbs later this week, U.S. Forces Japan said Tuesday. The Ospreys are set to make a brief stop at the base before leaving for training. After two to three months of absence, they will return to Yokota and operate from there. The Japanese foreign and defense ministries issued statements welcoming the deployment of CV-22 Ospreys. The ministries said the U.S. move will reinforce the deterrent power and response capacity of the Japan-U.S. security alliance and contribute to stability in the Asia-Pacific region at a time when Japan faces an increasingly tough security environment.

Global Times, 04.04.2018

China released its second white paper on religious freedom on Tuesday, stressing the principle of independence from external forces and self-management in religious affairs amid speculations that Beijing and the Vatican are in the "final stage" of an agreement on bishop appointments. "Religious groups and religious affairs are not subject to control by foreign countries; this principle is enshrined in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China," reads the white paper, titled "China's Policies and Practices on Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief." The white paper was issued by the State Council Information Office during a press conference on Tuesday.The principle of independence and self-management is "a historic choice made by Chinese religious believers in the Chinese people's struggle for national independence and social progress, as Catholicism and Protestantism, which were known as foreign religions in China, had long been controlled and utilized by colonialists and imperialists," according to the white paper. The white paper also noted that foreigners' religious activities are protected in China in accordance with the law and it also clarified that foreigners shall not establish religious organizations or recruit foreign students studying in China without authorization, nor shall they recruit followers, appoint clerical personnel from among Chinese citizens or engage in other missionary activities, the white paper said. "China will uphold the principle that religions in China must be Chinese in orientation and provide active guidance to religions so that they can adapt themselves to the socialist society," reads the white paper.

Taipei Times, 04.04.2018

Premier William Lai (賴清德) yesterday reiterated his position on Taiwanese independence and called on China to respect freedom of speech, as Beijing ramped up its rhetoric. Democracy signifies freedom to express one’s opinion on the direction that the country’s development should take and to advocate Taiwanese independence if they wish to, Lai said. Free speech is valued all over the world and should therefore be protected in China as well, the premier added. The latest verbal sparring was prompted by Lai’s comment on Friday at the Legislative Yuan that he was a “Taiwan independence worker” and that Taiwan is a sovereign, independent country, sparking a call by the Chinese tabloid Global Times for his prosecution under China’s 2005 “Anti-Secession” Law.

KCNA, 03.04.18.

North's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) slammed South Korea's recent defense cooperation talks with the United States and Japan, a working-level consultation that the three countries held in Washington D.C. on March 21. The KCNA commentary said, "The South Korean authorities' persistent behavior of supporting the U.S. scenario to stifle the DPRK is greatly disappointing all Koreans who ardently wish to bring earlier lasting peace on the Korean peninsula and its independent reunification.". The KCNA claimed that such cooperation with outside forces would lead to confrontation and war.

Yonhap, 03.04.18.

The acting U.S. ambassador to South Korea said Monday a complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement (CVID) of North Korea's nuclear program remains a "nonnegotiable" U.S. goal in its upcoming talks with Pyongyang. Marc Knapper said that there has been no shift in U.S. policy. We are willing to engage with North Korea but our purpose of any meeting first and foremost will be to emphasize the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. He noted that U.S. is "hopeful but realistic" in its expectations for the planned summit between the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea.

Japan today, 03.04.18.

A leading North Korea-watching website 38 North blog at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies disputed Foreign Minister Taro Kono’s reported remarks that Pyongyang is preparing to hold a fresh nuclear test. In the site’s report it said in this March activity at the North’s main Punggye-ri nuclear test site has been significantly reduced compared to previous months. Still, Monday’s analysis noted that despite the slowdown, it remains highly likely that the North Koreans continue to maintain the readiness of Punggye-ri to allow for nuclear testing in the future should Pyongyang decide to do so.

Taipei times, 03.04.18.

A US Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen yesterday urged Washington to increase Taipei’s political, economic and military capabilities in the face of Beijing’s growing aggression. She said that U.S. and Taiwan have got to work together to ensure that Taiwan has all the tools that it needs to protect itself from Chinese aggression and coercion., 01.04.18.

A contest of posters devoted to the Northern Territories issue was held at the Center of Culture of Nakashibetsu town (Hokkaido Prefecture) with the support of the Association for the Return of the Northern Territories. The exhibition presented the work of students of secondary schools of the prefecture, which clearly shows the main aspects of the territorial problem, as well as ways to solve it in favor of Japan. The winners of the contest were awarded with valuable prizes and gifts with the symbols of the national Japanese movement in support of the "return of the northern territories".

CNN, 01.04.18.

The head of US Strategic Command General John Hyten has issued a stark warning that Russia and China are "aggressively" developing new high-speed, or hypersonic, weapons that the US currently has no defense against. According to J.Hyten, "China has tested hypersonic capabilities. Russia has tested. USA have as well. Hypersonic capabilities are a significant challenge". Hyten told CNN in an exclusive interview that "USA are going to need a different set of sensors in order to see the hypersonic threats and also acknowledged that "USA don't have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against the country, so its response would be a deterrent force, which would be the triad and the nuclear capabilities that USA have to respond to such a threat."

Associated Press, 01.04.18.

In a separate report posted on 38 North, a website that specializes in North Korea news and analysis, experts said they have detected activity at another reactor in the Yongbyon complex, which is located north of Pyongyang, that could be an even bigger concern. Satellite imagery taken last month suggests the North has begun preliminary testing of an experimental light water reactor and possibly brought another reactor online at its Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center. Both could be used to produce the fissile materials needed for nuclear bombs.

REUTERS, 01.04.18.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is finalising details for a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump on April 18 to discuss strategy before a proposed meeting between North Korean and U.S. leaders, a ruling party official told Reuters on Wednesday. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is worried about being sidelined at a proposed meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is worried that White House agrees to let North Korea have low-level nuclear capability in exchange for a halt on intercontinental ballistic missile development, that would be acceptable to Washington but still leave Tokyo in the range of Pyongyang's weapons.

Asahi, 01.04.18.

According to a public opinion survey covered by the liberal Asahi newspaper at the weekend support rating of Abe’s cabinet slid to 32.6 percent, down 11.7 percentage points from a month ago, while disapproval rating rose to 13.2 percentage points to 54.9 percent. 48 percent of those polled said Abe and his government should quit, compared to 39 percent who said that wasn't necessary, because there Abe’s government "seems better than others". The newspaper said that main reason of rating drop is a cronyism scandal: a sale of state-owned land at a huge discount to a nationalist school operator with ties to Abe's wife, Akie. Abe has denied that either he or his wife intervened in the sale or were involved in altering documents related to the deal, in which mention of his and Akie's names were removed.

Jiji Press, 12.03.18.

A Cabinet Office public opinion survey has shown that the proportion of Japanese who see Japan at risk of getting involved in a war stood at 85.5 percent, the highest since the poll began in 1969. In the survey, 38.0 percent saw the risk of Japan being involved in a war while 47.5 percent said that Japan is more at such risk than not. By contrast, 10.7 percent said they believe that Japan is in no such danger or think so rather than otherwise.

"Sapporo Keizai Shimbun", 31.03.18.

Information publications of Sapporo (prefecture Hokkaido) published information on the results of the campaign to collect signatures in support of the "return of the Northern Territories." So, during the Snow Festival in Sapporo city was collected 34 856 signatures. The organizer of the event was the regional branch of the League of Solidarity for the return of the Northern Territories.

"Yomiuri", 31.03.18.

A public opinion poll conducted jointly by The Yomiuri Shimbun and the Waseda Institute of Political Economy showed, that 60 percent of respondents said they do not trust political parties and the political system. Looking at respondents by the political party they support, 90 percent of respondents with no party affiliation distrusted politicians. Political parties were not trusted by 87 percent of unaffiliated respondents, and bureaucrats were not trusted by 83 percent of such respondents. Among opposition party supporters, 78 percent did not trust bureaucrats, 76 percent did not trust politicians and 62 percent did not trust political parties. Even among respondents who support the ruling parties, more than half of them, or 57 percent, expressed distrust in bureaucrats, while 56 percent expressed distrust in politicians.

"Radio Korea", 31.03.18.

During a meeting with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi at a Seoul hotel on Thursday, National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong welcomed this week's successful meeting between President Xi and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Beijing. Chung assessed Kim's reaffirmation of his country’s will for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as being "very significant," as well as his intent to hold back-to-back summits with the South and the U.S. In return, Yang said Kim’s visit to China will help resolve Korean Peninsula-related issues and lead to denuclearization, which could guarantee peace and security and promote political negotiations and discussions.

"Asahi", 31.03.18.

An early June summit between the leaders of Japan and North Korea Shinzo Abe and Kim Jong Un is possible according to a source that said that the ruling Workers' Party discussed this issue during a meeting. Also on the meeting was discussed the separate foreign policy directions to be taken in dealing with South Korea, the United States, China, Japan and Russia. The summit will be held for the first time since Kim Jong Un took over the leadership in December 2011.

"Radio Korea", 31.03.18.

A public opinion poll conducted by poll agency "Realmeter" showed that that 64-point-three percent of the respondents were in favor of the president presenting the revision bill. The figure is up by four-point-seven percentage points from a week earlier. Those who opposed the government's initiative stood at 27-point-six percent, down by one-point-one percentage points. President Moon Jae-in submitting a government-led constitutional amendment bill on Monday, citing weak resolve by the National Assembly to amend the Constitution and the need to swiftly pursue a revision.

The Japan today, The Yomiuri Shimbun, 31.03.18.

The Yomiuri Shimbun published a project Japan's five-year ocean policy plan allowing of increase at the East China Sea an anti-piracy sea campaign, an illicit instruction of China and North Korea into Japan's maritime belts. In particular, for this purpose the Japanese Government is planning to strengthen the patrolling of the territories, to create a notification system for fishing vessels, which can also be used to transmit information about the launches of North Korean ballistic missiles. In addition, the draft refers to the intention of the Japanese government to deploy military units of the Self-Defense Forces in the Nangsei Archipelago (Kagoshima Prefecture) in the East China Sea in the short term for to "protecting the territorial integrity of the country". The draft also notes that the use of the Northern Sea Route in the Arctic Ocean should become one of the priorities of Japan's foreign policy. It is expected that the Japanese government will adopt a draft maritime policy in late April., 30.03.18.

Web site published an interview with professor of the Tsukuba University (Tsukuba city, Ibaraki prefecture) Itsurou Nakamura, who stated that there is currently no progress in negotiations on the return of the northern territories to Japan. According to I.Nakamura, despite the "Irkutsk's declaration 2001" between Russian President V.Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Yo.Mori on further continuation of negotiations on the issue of concluding a peace treaty, the problem of the northern territories and the conclusion of a peace treaty between the countries remains unresolved. At the same time, I.Nakamura noted the importance of the agreement concluded in 2016 on the conduct of joint economic activities in South Kuril Islands, as Japan and Russia feel the importance of strengthening good-neighborly relations.

Yonhap, 30.03.18.

South and North Korea agreed Thursday to hold an inter-Korean summit on April 27 at the truce village of Panmunjeom, a joint statement released by Seoul’s Ministry of Unification said. “The South and North will hold the 2018 inter-Korean summit at the Peace House at the southern side of Panmunjeom on April 27, according to the will of the leaders of both sides,” the statement read. The statement also said both sides would hold separate working-level talks at the Peace House on April 4 to discuss relevant protocol and security matters for the summit. Similar talks on cross-border communication are planned, but a specific date and venue have yet to be settled, it added. Seoul’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae welcomed the news, dubbing the summit as a “groundbreaking opportunity” to bring about peace on the Korean Peninsula. The statement came as the outcome of high-level talks held the same day at the Tongilgak administrative building on the northern side of the border. The meeting kicked off around 10 a.m., according to pool reports. South Korea’s Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon was tapped to head the delegation from Seoul. Chief presidential press secretary Yoon Young-chan and Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung joined Cho in the three-member delegation. The delegation from Pyongyang was led by Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the North’s Committee for Peaceful Reunification, the cabinet-level agency that oversees inter-Korean affairs. During the morning portion of the meeting, Cho and Ri each noted the “unprecedented progress” in inter-Korean ties amid a mood of rapprochement created after the North’s participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Yonhap, 30.03.18.

Two minor liberal parties will launch their joint floor negotiation bloc next week in a move to bolster their parliamentary clout, party officials said Thursday.The Party for Democracy and Peace (PDP) and the Justice Party announced a six-point agreement over their political coalition, which will give them a greater say in upcoming negotiations on a government proposal for an extra budget and a constitutional revision.The agreement includes naming the bloc the "group of lawmakers for peace and justice," and designating their floor leaders as co-leaders while registering one of them as its official representative. The bloc is to operate until the end of the 20th National Assembly's four-year term in May 2020.Under the agreement, the parties will also cooperate in advancing their shared policy agenda, including securing peace on the Korean Peninsula, reforming the Constitution, promoting "consensus-based" democracy and protecting small merchants and enterprises."We will be able to register the negotiating bloc on April 2," Lee Yong-ju, vice PDP floor leader, told reporters.Their negotiation bloc, if established, would be the fourth largest in the 293-member Assembly, after the ruling Democratic Party, main opposition Liberty Korea Party and Bareunmirae Party.

Yonhap, 30.03.18.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha hold talks this week with Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi, who came to South Korea on Thursday, the foreign ministry said.Yang arrived in Seoul as a special presidential envoy for a two-day visit aimed at explaining the details of the summit between President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Beijing on Monday.The Kang-Yang talks took place Friday afternoon to "discuss cooperation on the recent progress on the security of the Korean Peninsula and development of the bilateral relationship," according to foreign ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk.

KYODO NEWS, 30.03.18.

Opposition parties stepped up their calls Wednesday for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's wife to testify at the Diet over a murky state-owned land sale to a school operator, as they were left unsatisfied by a key figure's testimony the previous day.Six opposition parties agreed to urge the ruling bloc to hold intensive Diet discussions on the cronyism scandal involving Abe and his wife over the heavily discounted land sale to Moritomo Gakuen, as they believe former senior bureaucrat Nobuhisa Sagawa failed to erase doubts over the matter through his parliamentary testimony.Diet affairs chiefs of the opposition camp decided to demand that Akie Abe, her aide at the time Saeko Tani, and other officials believed to have been engaged in the negotiating process for the cut-price land deal, be summoned to parliament under oath. The ruling bloc has repeatedly rejected the idea of having the prime minister's wife testify.

Xinhua, 30.03.18.

Gao Feng, spokesperson with China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC), made the remarks in response to questions about the U.S. plans to slap tariffs on about 50 billion U.S. dollars of Chinese imports and restrict Chinese investment in the United States."The United States must abandon unilateralism and protectionism, ke measures and resort to dialogue and consultation to settle disputes," Gao said."China is always open for negotiations," Gao said, emphasizing the principles of equality, constructiveness and balance needed in joint efforts.The spokesperson refuted the view that China's slower-than-expected fulfillment of World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations was the cause of the U.S. tariff plan, saying this was "totally unfounded.""The latest U.S. trade measures towards China are typical trade protectionism with cold war and a zero-sum mentality. Don't make China an excuse," Gao said.The spokesperson said the United States should not take its own course but "come back to the right track of advocating win-win cooperation between the two countries."Gao said China would take all possible appropriate measures to defend its legitimate interests and was confident in its ability to react against any trade or investment protectionist act.

KYODO, 29.03.18.

Japan's Diet enacted Wednesday a budget for fiscal 2018 totaling 97.71 trillion yen ($926 billion), a record-high amount for the sixth straight year. The budget for the new fiscal year starting Sunday features 32.97 trillion yen ($311 billion) in social security spending and 5.19 trillion yen ($49 billion) in defense outlays, both the largest on record.

Xinhua, 29.03.18.

China hopes Japan will learn lessons from history and adhere to the path of peaceful development, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Wednesday. Spokesperson Lu Kang made the remarks at a routine news briefing when asked to comment on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's proposal to amend the country's war-renouncing Constitution and add an explicit reference to the Self-Defense Forces in Article 9 at the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's convention.

"Korea times", 29.03.18.

A ranking Chinese official is scheduled to visit South Korea and brief officials here on this week's summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday. Cheong Wa Dae said Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi will arrive in Seoul and met the head of the National Security Office, Chung Eui-yong. He will meet President Moon Jae-in Friday. .

Fox news, 29.03.18.

High-level officeals from North and South Korea began talks at a border village Panmunjom Thursday to prepare for an April summit between their leaders amid a global diplomatic push to resolve the standoff over the North's nuclear program. Seoul's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, one of the tree South Koreans participants, told reporters before their talks that setting up discussions between the leaders on ways to rid the North of its nuclear weapons would be a critical point. The North's three delegates were led by Ri Son Gwon, chairman of a state agency that seals with inter-Korean affairs.

Jiji, 19.03.18.

News agency Jiji published an article in which Russian Foreign Minister S.Lavrov said in an interview with Vietnamese and Japanese media that it is prematurely to hold discussion on the legal aspects of Russian-Japanese joint economic activity in the South Kurils before a package of specific business projects is agreed upon. According to S.Lavrov, "the Russian side proceeds from the fact that the Japanese leadership will not enter into agreements that will be legally unacceptable for him. In its turn the authors of the article said that S.Lavrov's statement has no ground, because the Japanese side contrary to the Russian one does its best for realization of projects in the South Kurils, without paying special attention to the juridical aspects.

Xinhua, 19.03.18.

According to Xinhua, former secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the CPC Wang Qishan, was appointed to the previously ceremonial post of vice president on Saturday at the session of the 13th National People's Congress. Former missile force commander general-colonel Wei Fenghe named defense minister instead of general-colonel Chang Wanquan retired after attending the maximum age of military service. Supervision Minister Yang Xiaodu, who is also a deputy head of the party's own graft-fighting Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), was elected head of the National Supervision Commission, which will have a wide remit. Minister of Justice Zhang Jun was elected procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate. Zhou Qiang was elected president of the Supreme People's Court, Zhao Kezhi was elected Minister of Public Security, Chen Wenqing was elected Minister of State Security. The new line-up approved by the rubber stamp parliament, the National People's Congress, includes four vice premiers, Han Zheng, Sun Chunlan, Hu Chunhua and Liu He.

Yonhap, 19.03.18.

Chung Eui-yong, top security adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, traveled to the United States over the weekend to hold talks with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts on the upcoming dialogue with North Korea, Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Monday. The three-way talks were held in San Francisco, involving U.S. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Japan's Shotaro Yachi. The three "held consultations on the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the South-North Korea, U.S.-North Korea summits," presidential office said. "The participants agreed on the importance of not repeating the countries' past failures and agreed to continue closely working together over the next few weeks."

The Associated Press, 19.03.18.

South East Asian leaders and Australia's prime minister on Sunday called on North Korea to end its nuclear program urged United Nations countries to fully implement sanctions. The statement urged North Korea to "immediately and fully comply with its obligations under all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions" and called on all countries to implement sanctions. The leaders on Saturday signed an agreement on regional cooperation against violent extremism aimed at boosting counterterrorism capability throughout Southeast Asia.

Yonhap, 19.03.18.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha expressed confidence in North Korea's commitment to abandon its nuclear weapons program, saying the regime's leader gave "his word." "He has given his word," Kang told U.S. broadcaster CBS in an interview filmed Saturday and aired Sunday. "But the significance of his word is quite weighty in the sense that this is the first time that the words came directly from the North Korean supreme leader himself. And that has never been done before." What has changed is the maximum pressure campaign, which is a series of (United Nations) Security Council sanctions, but also U.S. unilateral sanctions."

Asahi shimbun, 19.03.18.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's support has fallen 13 points to 31 percent, a survey by Asahi shimbun showed, as suspicion swirls over a suspected cover-up linked to cronyism, Abe's worst crisis since taking office in 2012. The disapproval rate for the Abe cabinet stood at 48 percent, up 11 points. Abe have been under fire since the finance ministry said on Monday that it had altered records relating to a discounted sale of state-owned land to a school operator that had ties to Abe's wife, Akie.

"Hokkaido Shimbun", 18.03.18.

According to the Japanese newspaper "Hokkaido Shimbun," on the 15-th of March in Tokyo was held a conference of school teachers, dedicated to the issue of coverage of the Northern Territories issue during the educational process. According to the newspaper, the initiators of the conference included the teaching staff of schools from 20 prefectures of Japan, interested in better coverage of the South Kurils' sovereignty problem. During the exchange of views, it became clear that the number of textbooks and literature on this issue does not meet modern requirements, that is why the knowledge of pupils about it is rather low. During the conference it was suggested that developed training manuals should clearly and fully cover the Northern Territories issue.

The Korea times, 18.03.18.

Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said that North will not push ahead with military provocations during of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle drills. He also noted that Seoul and Washington are likely to reach consensus on downsizing the exercises amid the thawing inter-Korean relations. Also United States Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott Swift on the telephone talks with South Korea's Defense Minister Song Young-moo said that the U.S. does not have to deploy strategic weapons during the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle drills.

Al Jazeera, 18.03.18.

A survey conducted by RealMeter in South Korea said 73 percent of respondents welcomed North Korea's proposal for dialogue and willingness for denuclearisation. However, 64 percent of respondents said they did not trust North Korea's sincerity in denuclearisation and having a dialogue.

Kyodo, 18.03.18.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party plans to urge the government to develop the ability to strike enemy missile basses amid North Korean nuclear and missile threats, a draft outline of a party proposal on security issues showed Thursday. The LDP is hoping to finalize the proposal by May. Many lawmakers have increasingly seen the need to reinforce Japan's defense against ballistic missiles, with North Korea repeatedly test-firing them and improving its ability to conduct surprise attacks through the use of mobile launchers. Former Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said, that Japan must beef up its defense to counter North Korean threats and China's maritime assertiveness.

"Japan Times", 18.03.18.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s panel on constitutional revisions failed to reach a consensus Thursday over how the war-renouncing Article 9 should be revised, facing resistance from rank-and-file members calling for more radical revision than the ideas proposed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. According to Abe, the addition would only formalize the SDF’s legal status and would not change any of various legal restrictions imposed on the SDF’s military operations. But Ishiba and other lawmakers have argued that the second paragraph of Article 9 – which reads "land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained" – should be deleted., 17.03.18.

In Sapporo city (Prefecture of Hokkaido) two-day exhibition of photographs and posters devoted to the Northern Territories issue took place. The exhibition was held under the patronage of the League of Chishima Habomai Islands Residents and the administration of Sapporo. The exhibition included photographs of the nature of the South Kurils and the works of the winners of the last national poster contest timed to the Northern Territories Day. In addition, the collection of signatures in support of the Movement for the Return of the Northern Territories was organized within the framework of the exhibition. According to the organizers of the events, their main goal is to attract public attention to the Northern Territories issue.

The Washington Post, Rodong Sinmun, 17.03.18.

Pyongyang's Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said the United States is the leader in human rights abuses at the world. Besides, Rodong Sinmun noted that an accusation of world community about that North Korea derogate from rights of their individuals 'is incorrect'.

Yonhap, 17.03.18.

The top diplomats of South Korea and Japan will hold a meeting later this week to discuss North Korea's nuclear issue and other matters of mutual concern, the foreign ministry said Friday. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, will meet on Saturday in Washington, according to the ministry. They are expected to discuss the latest security situation on the Korean Peninsula and details related to summits that South Korea and the United States are preparing to hold with North Korea.

The Business insider, 17.03.18.

South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration effected a contract with Germany for delivery of 90 Taurus bunker-busting missiles. Expected that the Taurus would be install at the South Korea’s F-15K Slam Eagles for destroy North Korea's bunkers and nuclear sites. Now South Korea has 170 Taurus bunker-busting missiles.

The Radio of Taiwan, 17.03.18.

Taiwan's Defense Minster Yen Teh-fa said that Taiwan is interesting in buying F-35 fighters from the United States. He noted that fighters would be increase defense potential of Taiwan. Yen Teh-fa express hopes that Taipei and Washington would begin talks about it. Also since later of 2011 Taiwan planning buying that fighters.

"Hokkaido Shimbun", 16.03.18.

In the Northern Four Islands Exchange Center of Hokkaido under the auspices of the Nemuro District Development Bureau of Japan was held a symposium, devoted to the Northern territories issue. During the event its participants discussed the main aspects of the policy of prime-minister S.Abe, directed to the return of the South Kurils to Japan. Also the organizers of the symposium demonstrated to the auditorium a number of historical documents, including photos proving the fact of the living there Japanese people until the end of World War II and also of the arriving to the islands of the first Russian expeditions.


A day after President Donald Trump reportedly hinted at a withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea, the admiral in charge of Pacific Command warned Thursday such a move would be viewed as a win for North Korea. "I believe [regime leader Kim Jong Un] would do a victory dance," said Adm. Harry Harris, who is slated to retire this year and is Trump’s pick to be the next ambassador to Australia. "I think he’d be a happy man if we abdicated our alliance with South Korea and with Japan." The comments by Harris were part of a wide-ranging conversation with the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The Manila times, 16.03.18.

Department of Philippines Defense reported about kick off antipiracy exercises at the Sulu sea near province Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. In the exercises would be take part of Australia's Armidale-class patrol boats HMAS Broome and HMAS Launceston and a more 100 Filipino Navy seals. Expecting that it's exercises will be end at 4th April.

"Korea Times", 16.03.18.

President Moon Jae-in will visit Vietnam from March 22 to 24. During the state visit to Vietnam, President Moon will focus on improving economic ties with the Southeast Asian country, according to presidential spokesman. "President Moon will have a summit with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, as well as meetings with Nguyen Phu Trong, a top official of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, who heads the National Assembly of Vietnam," said in a press briefing.

Yonhap, 16.03.18.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha arrived in Washington Thursday to meet with U.S. officials over the two nations' planned summits with North Korea. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is set to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in late April, while U.S. President Donald Trump has said he will meet with Kim before the end of May. On Friday, she met with Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, who is serving as acting secretary in the wake of Rex Tillerson's dismissal earlier this week. "I think (South Korea and the U.S.) will need to coordinate closely at various levels to achieve key diplomatic events going forward," Kang told reporters.

"Mainichi Shimbun", 15.03.18.

According to the results of "2017 Nemuro photo contest" the first place was took work "Galaxy easternmost tip" by T.Shimokawahara. The photograph depicts the "Four islands bridge" monument, installed on Cape Nosappu (Nemuro city, Hokkaido prefecture) within the framework of the Northern Territories Reversion Campaign. According to T.Shimokawahara, the photograph of the monument against the background of the night sky reminds him of the desire of the former Japanese inhabitants of southern Kuril to return to their former place of residence.

Yonhap, 14.03.18.

The director-level “two-plus-two” policy consultation meeting bring together Kim Yong-kil, director-general for Northeast Asian affairs and Park Chul-kyun, deputy director general for international policy at the defense ministry along with Kenji Kanasugi, director-general of Asian and Oceanian affairs, and Japanese defense ministry official Shuji Yuge, in Tokyo on Thursday. The meeting is the first such two-plus-two meeting between the neighbors since the 10th round session held in April 2015, the ministry said. The two sides shared views on the security situation of Northeast Asia, cooperation on defense and security policies and other issues of mutual interest, according to the ministry.

Business Insider, 12.03.18.

The US will reportedly hold back aircraft carriers from joint military drills with South Korea as North Korea’s stance softens and its leader Kim Jong Un seeks talks with both the US and South Korean president. “There is a possibility no nuclear submarines will be coming either,” the source added. Potentially, the lack of big, headline-making naval assets to the Korean Peninsula during the US and South Korea’s regularly scheduled military drills could ease tensions as the sides move towards Kim’s first-ever meetings with heads of state.

Xinhua, 14.03.18.

We have noted this personnel change of the US administration. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is about to leave office. During his time in office, Mr. Tillerson has been in close communication with the Chinese side and we commend his efforts for developing China-US ties. We hope that Mr. Tillerson would remain committed to supporting China-US ties in the future.As for China's expectation for China-US relations after Mr. Pompeo takes office, we have noted that President Trump has nominated Mr. Pompeo to the post of the Secretary of State. We would like to work with the new Secretary of State in following the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, upholding mutual respect and mutual benefit, focusing on cooperation while properly managing differences, and ensuring the sound and steady development of China-US relations, which not only serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples but also meets the general expectation of the international community. Like I just said, we hope that this personnel change will, at least, have no impact on China-US relations and bilateral cooperation in major fields.You asked whether this change may impact the recent positive interactions between the US and the DPRK. China's position is that we hope that the positive momentum of the Korean Peninsula situation, including the US and the DPRK demonstrating political wills to engage in direct talks, could keep going. I said yesterday that all relevant parties need to start and keep talking till something good comes out of the talks and a peaceful, stable and denuclearized Korean Peninsula is realized.

Mainichi, 14.03.18.

Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga expressed his disappointment on March 13 over a court decision to reject the Okinawa Prefectural Government's latest attempt to block the relocation of a U.S. military base within the prefecture through a suit filed against the central government. The governor also referred to the planned replacement site of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, in the Henoko district of the prefectural city of Nago: "In the latest ruling, the court did not judge that breaking up reefs in the area does not require permission, nor that there were changes to fishing rights in the planned area for reclamation work (off the coast of Nago)."

Hokkaido Shimbun", 12.03.18.

In the junior and senior schools of Hokkaido Prefecture under the auspices of Prefectural Department of Education within the frameworks of the information campaign for attraction of youth attention to the Northern Territories issue will be held extracurricular activities devoted to this problem. During the events is expected a participation of the former inhabitants of the South Kurils, who will tell the pupils about their life on the territory of the disputed islands as well as about their occupation by the Soviet Union after the Second World War. Within the frameworks of the events educational quizzes are also planned by the organizers.

Reuters, 12.03.18.

Two senior South Korean officials who met with North Korea's Kim Jong Un last week will split up to visit the leaders of China and Japan this week to update them on the talks, a South Korean presidential official said on Sunday. Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said in a mobile message that National Security Office head Chung Eui-yong will meet with China's Xi Jinping on Monday, while spy agency chief Suh Hoon, accompanied by one of Chung's deputies Nam Gwan-pyo, will speak with Japan's Shinzo Abe on Tuesday. Chung and Suh will leave for China and Japan separately on Monday to discuss their visit to North Korea with officials there. Chung is also scheduled to visit Russia after his trip to Beijing, but the details of that have yet to be announced. The two officials returned on Sunday from a visit to the United States where an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for dialogue on his nuclear programme was delivered to U.S. President Donald Trump.

South China Morning Post, 12.03.18.

China’s legislature officially set up the country’s new super anti-graft agency on Sunday, but the most contentious part – giving it the power to deny suspects access to lawyers – will be voted on at the end of the annual session. The commission is Beijing’s answer to controversy over the current shuanggui system, under which the party’s top anti-corruption body, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, has the power to summon and detain without charge any member it suspects of breaching party rules and regulations. CCDI chief Zhao Leji is expected to be named chairman of the commission, with a limit of two five-year terms, and will hold both roles concurrently.

Yonhap, 12.03.18.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha will visit the United States to meet State Secretary Rex Tillerson, the minister said. Kang said she will meet her U.S. counterpart to learn more details about Korean envoys' visit to Washington earlier this week to extend an invitation by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to U.S. President Donald Trump. "Willingness for dialogue has been confirmed on both sides. Now it falls on working-level officials to set the agenda for the summit," she said, adding that a close consultation between interested parties was very important.

NBC News, 12.03.18.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that President Donald Trump will demand North Korea denuclearize during a meeting with leader Kim Jung Un that is anticipated to take place in the coming months. On the issue of North Korea, Mnuchin added that Kim is willing to temporarily halt the country's nuclear testing because of crippling economic sanctions enforced by the Trump administration. "There's no question these sanctions are working and that's what brought them to the table," Mnuchin said.

KYODO, Reuters, 12.03.18.

Japan’s opposition has demanded the resignation of finance minister Taro Aso as a festering scandal over the cut-price sale of public land to a nationalist school operator erupted again. The so-called Moritomo Gakuen scandal accelerated on Friday after the head of Japan’s tax agency resigned and a finance ministry official committed suicide. Opposition leaders said Mr Aso should take responsibility if allegations that his ministry submitted falsified documents to parliament are proven. “If the allegations [of document falsification] are true then the responsibility of the whole cabinet is in question,” said Yuichiro Tamaki, leader of the opposition Party of Hope. A source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Saturday the finance ministry planned to report to parliament on Monday that it had found instances where content was deleted from documents submitted to lawmakers.

"Tokyo Shimbun", 11.03.18.

On the 25-th of March at the Hosei University (Tokyo), a scientific and practical conference on the problem of the Northern territories will take place, in which 40 students from different universities of Japan will take part. During the conference, the participants will discuss the Northern territories issue and exchange views on ways to resolve the territorial dispute between the Russian Federation and Japan. At the conference will be also demonstrated a full-length animated film "The Island of Giovanni", shot on the basis of the events of the post-war occupation of Japan by the Soviet Union and promoting the position of Tokyo among the Japanese that the South Kuril Islands belong to Japan.

Xinhua, 11.03.18.

The fact that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China will not change, no matter what Japan says or does, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday. Geng made the remarks at a routine news briefing when asked for comments on the Japanese Education Ministry's decision to add "the Diaoyu Islands are 'inherent' parts of Japan's territory" in its new teaching guidelines for senior high schools. China urges Japan to face up to history and reality and to educate younger generations with a correct historical view to avoid making new trouble for China-Japan relations, Geng said.

Reuters, 11.03.18.

Japan's navy wants to buy its first oil tanker to carry fuel to Okinawa as it cranks up operations in the East China Sea to counter a growing Chinese naval presence, two sources familiar with plan said. The Maritime Self Defense Forces (MSDF) needs a tanker able to carry 300,000 barrels of fuel to White Beach port on Okinawa where it stores fuel for warships that patrol the region.

Reuter, 11.03.18.

Japan formally complained on Monday after South Korea’s foreign minister raised the issue of wartime “comfort women”, while warning that it should not be allowed to harm bilateral relations at a critical time in east Asia. Kang Kyung-wha, foreign minister of South Korea, did not name Japan directly, but called for a “victim-centered approach” to the issue of comfort women. “Japan is of the view that Minister Kang Kyung-wha’s bringing up the issue in her statement this morning is totally unacceptable and I myself conveyed our position to (South Korea‘s) permanent representative here,” he added. A 2015 bilateral agreement had confirmed that the issue was resolved “finally and irreversibly”, even if a government changes - as it had with the election of South Korean President Moon Jae-in last year - Ihara said.

KYODO, 11.03.18.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono is planning to visit the United States later in the month to discuss how to address the issue of North Korea. The minister is considering traveling to Washington for three days from March 16 to meet U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. During talks with Tillerson, Kono will reaffirm the importance of maintaining maximum pressure on Pyongyang to compel it to give up its nuclear weapons.

"Nikkei", 10.03.18.

The Japanese newspaper "Nikkei" published an article with the statement of Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District YuriTrutnev, in which he pessimistically assessed the prospects for joint economic activities by Japan and Russia in the south Kuril Islands. According to Y.Trutnev, "nothing concrete happens in joint activities with Japan in the southern Kurils, despite the fact that the leaders of the two countries have chosen the path to the achievement of a peace treaty, which includes the resolution of a territorial dispute between the two countries." In addition, according to Y.Trutnev, he "is absolutely convinced that in Japan there are differences of opinion that impede the achievement of a consolidated decision of the country, as well as the implementation of concrete steps for the settlement of the territorial dispute of Japan and Russia.

Reuter, 10.03.18.

The official representative of the Ministry of Defense of the People's Republic of China Wu Qiang criticized the report of the research institute of the Japanese Defense Ministry on China's security strategy, calling it irresponsible and reckless. According to Wu Qiang, "China has consistently followed the peaceful path of development, adheres to the strategy of openness and mutual benefit, Beijing has always been the builder of world peace, contributes to the protection of the existing world order." He also expressed the hope that "the Japanese side will objectively consider China's foreign and domestic policies, and will agree with China in order to jointly improve the relations between the two countries."


Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, commander of the U.S. Africa Command, testifies before the House Committee on Armed Services during a hearing Tuesday, said that he expects China’s military to build more bases on the continent as it seeks to extend its influence. AFRICOM’s strategy in Africa is now taking a larger accounting of China as "the strategic environment becomes more crowded and competitive," Waldhauser said. However, one method of gaining influence in the region is through humanitarian and development efforts, the general added.

Stars and stripes, 10.03.18.

7th Fleet’s commander Vice Adm. Phillip Sawyer said about importance of improving relations with Vietnam to counter China’s militarization of disputed islands in South-China sea. He said that USS Carl Vinson port call in Danang is a a milestone in bilateral relations. The Navy will work to normalize ties to its Vietnamese counterpart, he said. He also noted, that the United States wants to see a strong, independent and prosperous Vietnam

Yonhap, 10.03.18.

Moon's approval rating came to 65.7 percent according to Realmeter. It has since been on the rise as the North's participation in the PyeongChang Olympic Games appeared to help ensure the safety of the event, as well as promote reconciliation between the two Koreas that technically remain at war. Of all respondents, 28.9 percent said they did not approve of the way the president managed state affairs. The ruling Democratic Party's rating 49.3 percent, while that of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party 20 percent.

"Sankei Shimbun", 09.03.18.

The Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun published a statement by Admiral Sergei Avakyants, Commander of the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy, according to which at present on the island of Matua, part of the Kuril chain, there is a military airfield capable of taking light military transport aircraft and helicopters, for the functioning of which an appropriate infrastructure has been created, protected and serviced by the Pacific Fleet. In addition, the authors of the article reminded of the deployment in the autumn of 2016 in the Kuril Islands of the new coastal missile systems "Bal" and "Bastion" and machine-gun artillery division equipped with new models of weapons and military equipment, including drones.

Korea times, 09.03.18.

President Moon Jae-in reiterated his determination to build up the country's armed forces to counter threats from North Korea in a speech at the graduation ceremony for cadets of the nation's top military academy, Tuesday. "Military prowess and security readiness are the foundations for peace against provocation," Moon said in a congratulatory speech at the Korea Military Academy in Seoul, Tuesday. "I sent a high-level delegation to North Korea on Monday with the goal of achieving denuclearization and peace on the peninsula," Moon said. But toward that end, he added, it is also crucial for the South to build a stronger military to be ready for provocations by the North.

Xinhua, 09.03.18.

The deputies of the National People's Congress (NPC), whose annual session is held in Beijing from March 5 to March 20, will consider the text of the draft during the meeting on March 11, the same day the voting will take place. The draft provides for the amendment of more than 20 articles, with the most important and widely discussed amendment being the amendment to the clause on the term of office as chairman and vice-president of the PRC. In addition, the text of the constitution will include the name and ideas of Xi Jinping about "the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era." The article on state bodies will also be supplemented with the item on the establishment of the State Committee on Supervision, which will become the main anti-corruption body of the country.

Reuters, 09.03.18.

China’s armed forces are putting on a show of power as they lobby for greater defense spending. It has recently been making the case that it needs more money to deal with increased global uncertainty, diplomats and several sources with ties to the armed forces say. The overall message is clear: China faces serious challenges, from U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats of force against nuclear-armed North Korea to an increasingly tense border dispute with India and what Beijing sees as efforts by self-ruled Taiwan to assert its sovereignty. Some defense experts say that China is eroding the United States’ military technology dominance and that the People’s Liberation Army could surpass the U.S. military in artificial intelligence capabilities, which have become a spending priority for Beijing.

Kyodo, 09.03.18.

Okinawa Gov Takeshi Onaga will visit Washington in March to convey to U.S. officials and politicians his opposition to the planned relocation of a U.S. airbase within the southern island prefecture. The prefecture is also arranging meetings between the governor and officials of President Donald Trump's administration and members of Congress to discuss Okinawa's burden in hosting the bulk of U.S. military facilities in Japan.

Reuters, 08.03.18.

The Reuters news agency published an article stating that Russian-Japanese consultations on the implementation of the visa-free exchange program for Japanese and Russian citizens in 2018 were held in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. During the consultations, the parties discussed the plan for visa-free travel for the upcoming season, and also expressed their wishes and proposals.


North Korea has shown signs that it has resumed the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons, a U.S. think tank said, citing recent commercial satellite images. 38 North said the 5-megawatt reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear complex shows signs of operation, including steam vapor plumes from the generator hall and nearby river ice melt. The monitoring website also spotted a new military tent camp established last month on the complex, more personnel and two large open-bed trucks.

NHK, 08.03.18.

Japan's Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera has expressed strong concern over the rise in China's defense budget this year. Onodera said that the large defense spending increase indicates that China is expanding its military strength rapidly and extensively, while boosting its maritime presence. He said Japan will monitor China's defense policies closely while coordinating with other countries concerned in urging it to boost transparency and abide by international codes of conduct.

"Japan Today", 08.03.18.

The commander of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet Admiral Scott Swift during a press-conference in Tokyo said China's military budget has a troubling lack of transparency. According to S.Swift, "China unveiled an 8.1 percent rise in defense spending for 2018, fueling an ambitious military modernisation program and making its neighbors, particularly Japan and self-ruled Taiwan, nervous. These investments and commitment need to be taken with full transparency". He also said that China's "intent is not clearly understood". In its turn China insists its military spending is transparent and that it does not pose a threat, but is needed to update old equipment and defend its legitimate interests.

JAPAN TIMES, 08.03.18.

Taiwan will look to its domestic arms industry as well as foreign suppliers to respond to China’s continuing military buildup, but has no interest in engaging in an arms race with its cross-strait rival, the defense ministry said Tuesday. The remarks from spokesman Chen Chung-ji came a day after China announced an 8.1 percent rise in its military budget for this year to 1.1 trillion yuan ($173 billion). "Taiwan has no intention of getting involved in an arms race with China, or with neighboring countries," the defense ministry said at a briefing.

"Too Nippo", 07.03.18.

In Aomori city (Aomori prefecture), a two-day "Fair of the Northern Territories" was held. At the fair were presented goods produced in the Hokkaido regions bordering the South Kurils, as well as goods with the symbolism of the movement for the return of the Northern territories. In addition, a show program on the problem of the Northern territories" was organized as part of the fair. Also there was held an exhibition at which were presented information materials on the history and nature of the South Kurils, the movement for the "return of the northern territories", as well as information on the measures, adopted by the government to solve the territorial dispute.

NHK, 07.03.18.

The head of South Korea's National Security Office, Chung Eui-yong said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are to hold a summit in late April. Chung Eui-yong acknowledged that the North has affirmed its commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and said the North Korean side told him that it would have no reason to possess nuclear weapons if the safety of its leadership can be guaranteed and the military threats against the country are removed. At the same time the Chinese government has welcomed the announcement that North and South Korea have agreed to hold a summit of their leaders. China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang, said that the country has noted that the visit of the South Korean president's special delegation to the North has achieved positive outcomes. He also expressed hope that North and South Korea will earnestly implement the relevant consensus and will continue with their efforts to advance reconciliation and cooperation. In its turn U.S. President Donald Trump said that he saw "possible progress" regarding North Korea after South Korea said Pyongyang is willing to hold talks on denuclearization and will suspend nuclear tests while discussions are under way. In its turn US Vice President Mike Pence said that "Whatever direction the negotiations have taken with North Korea, US will be tough in its determination. They are also committed to putting maximum pressure on the regime of Kim Chen Yun to end his nuclear program".

Yonhap, 07.03.18.

South Korean political parties on Tuesday demonstrated mixed reactions to the results of the high-stakes visit to North Korea by President Moon Jae-in's special envoys, which included an agreement to hold a cross-border summit next month. The ruling Democratic Party hailed the agreements as "dramatic ones that exceeded people's expectations." "The delegation to the North made historic achievements and opened the door for peace on the Korean Peninsula," Back Hye-ryun, the party's spokeswoman, said in her commentary. Back then called for bipartisan cooperation in maintaining the mood for rapprochement. The main opposition Liberty Korea Party, however, belittled the agreements as conditions-based and speculated that they would be part of Pyongyang's "deceptive" peace offensive aimed at weakening global unity in enforcing international sanctions. "In any case, the premise (of any agreement) must be the dismantlement of the North's nuclear program and a solid South Korea-U.S. alliance," he added. The minor opposition Bareunmirae Party cautioned against having too much expectation regarding the North's mention of its commitment to the denuclearization of the peninsula, but stressed that cross-border dialogue should continue.

The Yomiuri Shimbun, KYODO, 07.03.18.

The Japanese government views with caution the recent move by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to accept talks with a South Korean special delegation, believing it was intended to weaken cooperation between Japan, the United States and South Korea. Regarding Kim’s acceptance of Seoul’s offer to hold talks, Foreign Minister Taro Kono said at a press conference after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday morning, "Because sanctions have become effective, [North Korea’s] attempts at ‘smiling diplomacy’ likely have grown desperate." "We must carefully assess whether this will lead North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile development programs...There is no need to ease pressure until it is confirmed that North Korea is going to change its policies," Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said. He also said that Pyongyang has started seeking dialogue as a result of international pressure.

Kyodo, 07.03.18.

The public approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet has dropped 2.7 points to 48.1 percent. Regarding political parties, the LDP was backed by 39.5 percent of respondents, down 1.7 points, while the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan was supported by 11.1 percent, up 0.2 point. Regarding constitutional amendments, including changes to the war-renouncing Article 9, 48.5 percent of the respondents said they oppose the change under the Abe government, while 39.2 percent said they support the change. On North Korea, 54.6 percent of the respondents said the Japanese government should increase pressure on Pyongyang to stem its nuclear and missile development ambitions, while 38.3 percent said they want the government to explore opportunities for dialogue with North Korea. The survey showed 69.1 percent said it is not necessary to pass a labor reform bill in the current Diet session through June, while only 17.1 percent said the bill should be enacted.

Yonhap, 05.03.18.

A South Korean opposition leader Hong Joon-pyo on Sunday criticized President Moon Jae-in's engagement with North Korea. He said that "The Moon Jae-in government's policy of begging North Korea for dialogue and talk will end up in helping the North buy time to complete nuclear weapons," He also noted that Moon's lenient policy is causing fractures in cooperation among South Korea, the United States and Japan, which will break the balance of military might on the peninsula and put the security of South Korea in danger.

Yonhap, 05.03.18.

North Korea said Saturday there will be no talks with the United States if they come with any "preconditions," reasserting that it has no intent to abandon its nuclear and missile programs in exchange for dialogue with Washington. "We are willing to resolve the issue peacefully and diplomatically through dialogue and negotiation, but we will never beg for talks nor will we avoid the military option that the US rambles on about," a spokesman of the North's foreign ministry was quoted as saying by the Korean Central News Agency, the state mouthpiece. But the North's foreign ministry said Washington's call for preconditions only reaffirms that it does not want to resume dialogue.

Kyodo, 05.03.18.

The public approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet has dropped 2.7 points to 48.1 percent. Regarding political parties, the LDP was backed by 39.5 percent of respondents, down 1.7 points, while the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan was supported by 11.1 percent, up 0.2 point. Regarding constitutional amendments, including changes to the war-renouncing Article 9, 48.5 percent of the respondents said they oppose the change under the Abe government, while 39.2 percent said they support the change. On North Korea, 54.6 percent of the respondents said the Japanese government should increase pressure on Pyongyang to stem its nuclear and missile development ambitions, while 38.3 percent said they want the government to explore opportunities for dialogue with North Korea. The survey showed 69.1 percent said it is not necessary to pass a labor reform bill in the current Diet session through June, while only 17.1 percent said the bill should be enacted.

Kyodo, 05.03.18.

Okinawa Gov Takeshi Onaga on Saturday urged the newly appointed minister in charge of the prefecture's affairs to make more efforts to reduce the local burden in hosting the bulk of U.S. military facilities in Japan. The governor handed over a request for the Japanese government to give up a controversial plan to move a key U.S. air base within the southern Japanese island prefecture in a meeting with Teru Fukui, who became minister in charge of Okinawa and Northern Territories affairs on Tuesday. Onaga called for Okinawa's budget allocation to be increased and cooperation in extending a runway at Naha Airport during their talks.

"Global Times", 05.03.18.

A report in the newspaper of the People's Liberation Army of China implied a large reduction in non-battle personnel has been conducted, a move Chinese military experts said would improve combat capability, quality and efficiency. The army-division-regiment-battalion hierarchy has been replaced by army-brigade-battalion, simplifying levels and boosting direction, the report said. "The whole military can allocate resources more efficiently and form a stronger battle capability. The key point will now be quality instead of quantity," he said.

"Hokkaido Shimbun", 04.03.18.

In Yamaguchi Prefecture, with the support of the regional branch of the Association for the Return of the Northern Territories, an educational seminar was held on the question of the ownership of the southern Kurils, which covered in detail the main aspects of the territorial dispute between the Russian Federation and Japan. The organizers of the events expressed their hope that in the near future the problem of the "disputed islands" will be settled peacefully.


Rear Adm. Karl Thomas has been nominated to command the Yokosuka-based Task Force 70, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson announced. K.Thomas, commanded the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson during a deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in 2014. The unit’s current commander, Rear Adm. Marc Dalton, took charge last September after his predecessor, Rear Adm. Charles Williams, was relieved in the wake of two deadly accidents that killed 17 sailors last year.

Xinhua, 04.03.18.

A senior Chinese diplomat has called upon the United States to "shift its tactics on Korea," saying that "the Korean nuclear crisis has escalated so much that it is now threatening world security." Fu Ying, a veteran diplomat and now chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), said: "Peace on the Peninsula isn't possible without settling the nuclear issue, which means the United States and the DPRK (the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) must talk directly." "The United States and its allies pay more attention to possible restrictions on the DPRK than addressing its security concerns in exchange for abandoning its nuclear program," she said.

Kiodo, 04.03.18.

President Donald Trump is willing to start market liberalization talks with Japan and four other Trans-Pacific Partnership members which do not have free trade agreements with the United States, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Wednesday. Trump has "indicated a willingness to engage with the other TPP countries – either individually or collectively – on terms that will lead to significantly improved market outcomes," the office said in an annual report.

NHK, 04.03.18.

The US Trump administration says China is not playing fair and is threatening to do whatever it takes to protect the free market system. The comments appear in a document issued by the United States Trade Representative. The annual report says "China has a statist economic model with a large and growing government role". It says "China is free to pursue whatever trade policy it prefers," but that the United States is also "free to respond." The report warns the US government will "use all available tools to discourage China" from "undermining true market competition." The US has repeatedly accused China of overproducing steel and infringing intellectual property rights.

"Yomiuri", 03.03.18.

On the 4-th of March 4 in the hotel "Consere" (Utsunomiya city, Totigi Prefecture) with the participation of the prefectural administration the 32-nd congress of the prefecture residents will be held in support of the return of the Northern territories, in which about 150 people are expected to take part. The head of the Utsunomiya administration, Eiichi Sato, will take part in the meeting. During the meeting, it is planned to prepare a petition to the government of Japan with an appeal to take appropriate political measures to resolve the territorial dispute between Japan and Russia.

NHK, 03.03.18.

China has reacted sharply to a bill passed by the US Senate on Wednesday aimed at promoting reciprocal visits by US and Taiwanese government officials at all levels. The Senate unanimously approved the Taiwan Travel Act on Wednesday. It had already cleared the House of Representatives and now only needs to be signed by President Donald Trump to become law. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the bill seriously violates Beijing's "One China" principle. She added that China is strongly dissatisfied with the legislation and resolutely opposes it. She described the principle as the foundation of US-China relations. Hua urged Washington to cease mutual visits by senior officials of the US and Taiwan, and not to upgrade the level of substantial relations with the island.

Yonhap, 03.03.18.

South Korea and the United States are likely to hold their annual military drills next month, but they could keep them low-key, according to sources, Thursday. The allies delayed the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle drills, originally scheduled for February, to prevent possible tension with North Korea ahead of the Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics. North Korea also held a low-key military parade on the eve of the Olympics in an apparent gesture of reconciliation. Downsizing the drills is the most probable scenario for Seoul to maintain the ongoing mood for dialogue with Pyongyang. North Korea has demanded the U.S. and South Korea suspend the drills for good, threatening to take "stern" countermeasures against the move.

South China Morning Post, Global Times, 03.03.18.

Chinese media reports say the country is planning to build a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier capable of remaining at sea for long durations, in what would be a major upgrade for its increasingly formidable navy. The goal was to "provide high-quality weapon systems for the navy's strategic transition to a deep blue high seas force by 2025," the newspaper quoted the statement as saying. The Global Times report quoted the CSIC statement as saying the company saw the need to "accelerate the realization of nuclear powered aircraft carriers, new-type nuclear submarines, quiet-type submarines" and various other sophisticated naval warfare technologies. Experts also reported that China plans to introduce a fourth homegrown carrier by 2030, which may also be nuclear-powered.

Reuter, 03.03.18.

The United States would prefer strong institutions in China, not leaders, State Department spokesman Heather Nauert said in connection with the idea of changing the constitution of the PRC, which will make it possible to remain the current leader Xi Jinping. "We believe that strong institutions are more important than individual leaders," Nauert said at the briefing. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China put forward on Sunday a proposal to remove from the Constitution of the country the paragraph in which it is indicated that the Chairman and Vice-President of the People's Republic of China "can not hold office for more than two consecutive terms," Xinhua News Agency reported. If this proposal is considered and adopted, the current leader of the country Xi Jinping will be able to remain in office not only for the next five years, but also longer.

"Kushiro Shimbun", 02.03.18.

On the 4-th of March in the cultural center "Kurobe City Hall" (Kurobe city, Toyama Prefecture) with the assistance of the local administration will be held a photo exhibition devoted to the problem of "Northern territories". According to the organizers of the event, the exhibition will present copies of original historical photographs of the times of the post-war occupation of Japan by the Soviet Union, reflecting the main aspects of the territorial dispute between Japan and Russia.

NHK, 02.03.18.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the US deployment of anti-missile systems and pledged to strengthen his country's nuclear force. Putin gave a state-of-the-nation speech in Moscow on Thursday. He described the US deployment of missile defense systems in Europe and Asia as "unfriendly." He noted that the deployment surrounds Russia. Putin claimed that the latest intercontinental ballistic missile developed by Russia cannot be intercepted by any missile defense system. He said Russia is also developing a nuclear-powered cruise missile that has a "practically unlimited" range.

Donga Ilbo, 02.03.18.

South Korea's president, marking the 99th anniversary of the launch of an independence movement from Japanese colonization, criticized Japan's insistence that the issue of women forced to provide sex for Japanese troops in World War II has been settled. "The Japanese government, the perpetrator, should not say the matter is closed," President Moon Jae-in said Thursday in a speech at a prison used by Japan to hold freedom fighters during the colonial era. "The issue of a crime against humanity committed in time of war cannot be closed with just a word. A genuine resolution of unfortunate history is to remember it and learn a lesson from it." So-called comfort women provided sex for Japan's military in conditions that many experts say were sexual slavery. Many of the women were from Korea, a Japanese colony from 1910 to 1945, and were taken to front-line brothels. President Moon Jae-in has urged Japan to cease its territorial claim to South Korea’s eastern-most island of Dokdo, stressing that Tokyo’s denial of the fact is “the same as its refusal to reflect on its imperial invasion (of Korea)."

AFP, 02.03.18.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in Thursday told Donald Trump that he plans to send a special envoy to Pyongyang, his office said, the latest in the Olympic-driven detente between the two Koreas. The two presidents also "agreed to maintain the momentum in inter-Korean dialogue and to continue efforts so it leads to the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula," it said.

REUTERS, 02.03.18.

Japan said on Thursday it had lodged a complaint with the South Korean government after President Moon Jae-in said Tokyo was in no position to declare the issue of wartime "comfort women" settled. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga described Moon's comments as "extremely regrettable.", 01.03.18.

Northern Territories Countermeasures Headquarters Hokkaido Government wrote the thought of everyone on the return of the Northern Territories to the petal-type message card, and we carried out the Northern Territorial Return Message dispatch project "Everyone, make bloom Kuril's Cherry together!". This is the state of the Kuril Cherry Blossoms whose message was sent at the Tokyo and Osaka. Everyone could write a message on paper in the shape of a cherry blossom. The organizers thanked all those, who took part in the writing of the return of the southern Kuril Islands to Japan.

Reuters, 01.03.18.

South Korea summoned the Chinese ambassador on Tuesday to lodge a complaint over a Chinese military aircraft entering the South’s air defense identification zone (KADIZ), the second such incident this year, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. The ministry said Ambassador Qiu Guohong was told the military jet’s flight into South Korean airspace had been “unfortunate” and was urged to prevent similar instances from occurring again. China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reuters, "Chosun Ilbo", 01.03.18.

Senior North Korean apparatchik Kim Yong-chol, the head of the United Front Department, wrapped up a three-day trip to South Korea on Tuesday. On his last day in South Korea, Kim and his entourage had meeting with Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon and National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon. The Unification Ministry said the two sides "agreed to continue efforts to improve inter-Korean relations and promote permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula". South Korea repeatedly asked North Korea to sit down to denuclearization talks with the U.S., but Kim only stressed the need to improve inter-Korean relations. However, top South Korean presidential security adviser Moon Chung-in said that South Korea and the United States will start in early April a joint military exercise Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, which North Korea sees as practice for war against it. He said that "if there are talks between the United States and North Korea before the drills there may be some kind of compromise," Moon added, saying he hopes for dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington to begin. Although, Marc Knapper, charge d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul said that the North should show its willingness to use any opportunity for dialogue to make progress in its denuclearization.

Reuters, 01.03.18.

A vice minister of public security, a close confidant of President Xi Jinping, is tipped to take over as China’s spy master, five sources said, as the country looks to clean up its security apparatus and plug intelligence gaps. Wang Xiaohong, 60, a vice minister of public security, will replace Chen Wenqing as minister of state security during the session of parliament which begins on March 5, three sources with ties to the leadership and two foreign diplomats said.

"Minju Joson", 01.03.18.

The official media of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Wednesday accused Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of using security as an excuse to revive militarism and enable Japan to wage war overseas. "If 'security' of Japan is a matter of concern, as claimed by Abe, Japan should not deviate from the present constitution but remain true to it," the daily said, adding that Abe's attempt to specify the existence of the SDF in the constitution is no more than a "petty trick" to realize the "wild ambition for overseas expansion". "He seeks to turn the SDF into a world-class elite one capable of fighting any combat and thus let Japan emerge a military giant," it said. "That's why the Abe regime is leaving no means untried to revise the constitution, which stipulates that SDF is not allowed to have access to combat power," it said.

"Hokkaido Shimbun", 28.02.18.

In Nemuro city in the Northern Four Islands Exchange Center of Hokkaido within a framework of Russian-Japanese cultural visa-free exchange program was organized a number of cultural and educational events devoted to the Northern Territories issue popularization. These events included the seminars during which its participants reviewed the focal points of the Northern Territories issue, and also evenings devoted to the Russian language and culture familiarization. According to the organizers, all the events within the cross-culture year of Russia and Japan are directed towards the creation of the strong humanitarian ties between two countries.

"Nikkei", 28.02.18.

Minister in charge of Okinawa and Northern Territories affairs Tetsuma Esaki resigned Tuesday after suffering a minor stroke, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe picking a senior lawmaker as Esaki's successor. Abe said he has appointed 64-year-old Teru Fukui, a former senior vice education minister, to replace the 74-year-old Esaki. Esaki was diagnosed last week with having had an attack that caused a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain. He was hospitalized again Monday for additional checkups. Esaki said in a statement, "I have decided to resign my post so as not to interfere with the significant Diet deliberations." Abe said he respected Esaki's intention to resign as he needs medical treatment in the hospital or at home "for a while."

"Asahi", 28.02.18.

In response to Chinese naval vessels repeatedly sailing through the strategic Miyako Strait, the government is considering deploying a surface-to-ship (SSM) missile unit to the main Okinawa island. Through this deployment, Japan is aiming to keep the movements of these vessels in check from both sides of the strait between Miyakojima island and the main Okinawa island, government sources said Feb. 26. The government plans to formulate the details of the new unit, including its scale, in the Defense Ministry and the secretariat for the National Security Council. It will incorporate them in the new National Defense Program Guidelines to be worked out by the end of this year and the Medium Term Defense Program.

"Asahi", 28.02.18.

Washington plans to dispatch U.S. Coast Guard cutters to the Asia-Pacific region to thwart North Korean smuggling attempts and enforce international sanctions, a move generally welcomed by Japan. Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Japan Coast Guard have been patrolling the Sea of Japan and East China Sea to check for possible violations of the sanctions slapped on Pyongyang. The MSDF has on three separate occasions taken photos of ships suspected of transferring items, such as petroleum, to other vessels at sea. The Foreign Ministry has reported the findings to the U.N. Security Council in an attempt to maintain pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons development program.

"Radio Korea", 28.02.18.

A Chinese military aircraft entered South Korea's Air Defense Identification Zone (KADIZ) at around 9:43 am on Tuesday, prompting a response from South Korea's military. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the aircraft, believed to be a reconnaissance plane, flew for more than four hours after trespassing into KADIZ and also approached certain parts of South Korea's territorial waters. South Korea immediately dispatched fighter planes in response.

Xinhua, 28.02.18.

China said Tuesday that it hopes for direct dialogue between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States, and hopes such dialogue will commence soon. Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang made the comment responding to reports that U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that talks with the DPRK would be possible "only under the right conditions," after the DPRK side expressed its willingness to talk with the United States. Lu said that there is a relaxation of tension on the Korean Peninsula recently, and China hopes that the detente could be sustained after the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, which conforms to the common aspiration of the DPRK and ROK, countries in the region and the international community, and will help push relevant parties back to the track of solving Peninsula nuclear issue via negotiations.

"Kushiro Shimbun", 27.02.18.

On March 2018 with the assistance of the Nemuro Regional Development Bureau (Hokkaido prefecture) will be opened an exhibition hall, confirming the facts of the Japanese citizens' residence in the South Kurils, as well as their economic activities there until the end of World War II. An exhibition hall will include original historical materials, including photographs, fisherman's books, certificates of land and housing purchase, receipts for the acquisition of various property and insurance certificates. An exhibition will be organized by Northern Territories Center Foundation Nihoro in Nemuro (Hokkaido prefecture).

Yonhap, 26.02.18.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that talks with North Korea are possible only under the right conditions. "They want to talk. And we want to talk also, only under the right conditions. Otherwise, we're not talking," did not elaborate on what the conditions would be, but slammed previous U.S. administrations for failing to tackle the problem of North Korea's nuclear weapons program." Other presidents should have solved this problem long before I got here," he said. "And they've been talking for 25 years, and you know what happened? Nothing." He said China has "been good, but they haven't been great" when it comes to putting pressure on North Korea to abandon its weapons programs. Russia, on the other hand, has been "behaving badly, because Russia is sending in what China is taking out," he added, apparently referring to the two countries' trade with North Korea. South Korea's unification ministry expressed hope Monday that the United States and North Korea could open "constructive" talks as the PyeongChang Winter Olympics helped create a mood for rapprochement. China hopes the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States can make progress in dialogue to promote settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday. China hopes the two sides will seize the opportunity, continue to show goodwill toward each other, and maintain the momentum of cooperation and dialogue, Lu said, adding both sides should make concrete efforts to further improve their relationship, ease regional situation and maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Mainichi, 26.02.18.

Japan and the US have agreed that it's important to continue to put pressure on North Korea to get the country to abandon its nuclear and missile development programs. Japan's Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera and US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall G. Schriver met in Tokyo on Monday. Onodera said it is important to take steps designed to force Pyongyang to change its basic policy regarding nuclear and missile development He added that Japan wants to work closely with the US, without being deceived by what he called North Korea's "charm diplomacy. "He said that the US will continue to put pressure on Pyongyang, since there is no sign that the North is giving up its nuclear program. Onodera asked Chiarotti to ensure that US military aircraft do not fly over the elementary school in Okinawa, where a window, which had fallen from a US helicopter, landed last December. He also demanded that the US respond appropriately to a recent incident, in which fuel tanks jettisoned from a US fighter jet fell into a lake in northern Japan

Global times, 26.02.18.

With the establishment of the supervisory commission in Chongzuo, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region on Sunday, China has completed the establishment of supervisory commissions at the provincial, city and county levels, an important development in its move to institutionalize the anti-graft drive. The new supervisory commission system has merged the anti-corruption system with the Party's discipline inspection committees and absorbed the anti-corruption forces of the procuratorates. "In the past, the Party's discipline inspection committees would open a corruption case as an internal Party disciplinary matter, say, for a year, and then transfer the case to the prosecutors. The procuratorate would take another year to investigate the same case and prosecute. With the new supervisory commissions, disciplinary and legal investigations can be conducted simultaneously, thus making the new system more effective," In the new system, local supervisory commissions will be supervised by their superior commissions and the local people's congress. China is expected to list the supervisory commissions as a new type of State organ in the revised Constitution, which analysts say will fundamentally change the country's government structure.

Mainichi, 26.02.18.

Chinese censors acted quickly Monday to remove satirical commentary online about the ruling Communist Party's move to enable President Xi Jinping to stay in power definitely, while political observers weighed the possibility that China will return to an era of one-man rule. Key search topics such as "serve another term" were censored. Nevertheless, social media users shared images of Winnie the Pooh hugging a jar of honey along with the quote, " an automated announcement used by Chinese delivery vehicles -- suggesting that China is returning to the era of former dictator Mao Zedong or even imperial rule. Professor and political commentator Hu Xingdou said he doubted that Xi wants to be president-for-life, but there were concerns that China could "slide into a kind of fascism or personal dictatorship which will cause very serious consequences." However long Xi wishes to hold on to office, he currently faces little opposition from within the party or mainstream society. Xi already has a firm grip on power as head of the military and party general secretary, a position for which there are no term limits, and has eliminated all challenges to his leadership. Yet, extending his rule while centralizing power also poses political risks for Xi, making him solely responsible for dealing with knotty problems including the ballooning public "Niigata Nippo", 26.02.18.

In Tokio city (Tokio prefecture) was held an award ceremony for winners of the prefectural speech contest among the middle school pupils with the theme: "Speculations on the Northern Territories issue". The event was organized by the local Northern Territories Issue Countermeasures Association volunteers. The winners of the contest were given precious prizes marked with the symbol of the movement for the return of the Northern Territories.

Xinhua, Reuters, 26.02.18.

The CPC Central Committee announced about to amend of the country's constitution. So it's would be remove the expression that the president and vice-president “shall serve no more than two consecutive terms” from the country’s constitution. Thus President Xi Jinping, whose term of office expires in 2023 can be re-elected for a third term. The proposals of the CPC Central Committee will be considered during the session of the 13th National People's Congress, which will begin in Beijing on March 5.

Yonhap, KBS, 26.02.18.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea sharply criticized the new package of sanctions imposed by US President Donald Tramp on February 28 against 28 North Korean ships as well as 27 shipping and trading companies. The DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs called new US sanctions "reckless actions" aimed at destabilizing the situation on the Korean peninsula and unleashing a war. Meanwhile, President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in met on February 25th with a delegation from the DPRK who arrived at the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games, during which the North Korean side stated that it would ready to begin negotiations with the United States. White House spokeswoman S. Sanders said in this connection that "any dialogue with Pyongyang should be end with the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," she also noted that Washington will exert economic and political pressure on Pyongyang in order to deny the DPRK to develop its nuclear missile program.

The South China morning post, 26.02.18.

The newspaper South China morning post referring to anonymous sources in the government of China reported about of possible appointment of a member of the Central Military Commissions the Colonel-General Wei Fenghe as the Minister of Defense on the during the session of the 13th National People's Congress which will begin in Beijing on March 5. In this position he would replace Colonel-General Chiang Wanquan who will probably retire after reaching the age limit of being on military service.

The Global times, The Philippine Star, 26.02.18.

The newspaper Global times published an article saying that the growing activity of the US Navy in the South China Sea as well as the entry of Karl Vinson into the disputed Spratly archipelago (in Chinese cartography - Nansha) would be significantly worsen relations between Beijing and Washington. It is noted that the visit of Karl Vinson to Vietnam in March is about the intention of the USA to increase military cooperation with Hanoi as a counterweight to China. The newspaper noted that Beijing needs to take steps to build up its defense power in the South China Sea in order to resist "similar provocations" of the USA.

"Nikkei", 25.02.18.

The Japanese newspaper "Nikkei" published an article stating that in April this year General Secretary of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan Toshihiro Nikai intends to visit Russia with the aim of preparing the planned for May this year visit to Moscow by Japanese Prime Minister S. Abe. During the trip, T.Nikai intends to meet with the leadership of the party "United Russia" and discuss the organization of joint economic activities in the South Kuril Islands, as well as holding events in the cross-culture year of Russia and Japan. In addition, during the visit, T.Nikai intends to convey to the President of Russia V.Putin the message of S.Abe.

NHK, 25.02.18.

The Japanese government has decided to hold next year's Group of 20 Summit meeting in the western prefecture of Osaka. It will be the first time Japan has hosted the summit. The government made the decision after conducting a survey of candidate municipalities on such factors as their capacity to accommodate leaders and officials from overseas, and security issues. The government is planning to hold the G20 summit between the end of June and the beginning of July. Government officials are also considering holding a meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Fukuoka City in western Japan.

Reuter, 25.02.18.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte tried to allay fears over China’s construction of military bases on man-made islands in the South China Sea, saying they are a defence against the US, not made to attack Asian states. “It’s not intended for us,” he said in a speech to Chinese-Filipino businessmen on Monday. “The contending ideological powers of the world or the geopolitics has greatly changed. “It’s really intended against those who the Chinese think would destroy them and that is America.” Duterte also blamed past Philippine governments for not building up the country’s defences in the Spratly archipelago - known in China as the Nansha Islands - at a time when Beijing was only starting to build its artificial islands. “We did nothing,” the firebrand leader complained. He said he “will not commit the lives of the Filipinos only to die unnecessarily, I will not go into a battle which I can never win.” He also played down concerns about the recent moves by China to assign Chinese names to several undersea features in Benham Rise, an area the size of Greece in the Pacific Ocean which the United

"Yomiuri Shimbun", 25.02.18.

Senior ruling party lawmaker Shigeru Ishiba has proposed a revision to Article 9 of the Constitution. In particular, he calls for deleting the article’s second paragraph, which bans the country from possessing any war potential. In his proposal, Ishiba said the Constitution should describe the purpose of the SDF as the protection of the country’s independence.

Kyodo, 25.02.18.

The public approval rating for the Cabinet has inched up to 50.8 percent in the latest survey, with more than half of respondents backing its policy of pressuring North Korea to halt its nuclear weapons and missile development programs. The approval rating is 1.1 points higher than in the previous poll in January. The Cabinet’s disapproval rating meanwhile stood at 36.9 percent. On North Korea, 53.0 percent favored putting more pressure on Pyongyang to compel it to give up its nuclear and missile development programs, while 40.0 percent favored addressing the issue via dialogue. The poll also showed 29.2 percent want Abe to remain prime minister by winning the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s leadership election in September. Of the respondents, 38.3 percent supported keeping the paragraph and adding an “explicit reference” to the SDF, 26.0 percent called for ditching the paragraph to clarify the role of the SDF, and 24.9 percent said an amendment was unnecessary.

"Japan today", 25.02.18.

The estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan in January rose 9.0 percent from a year earlier to 2,501,500, a record for the month, the Japan Tourism Agency said Wednesday. By country and region, visitors from South Korea ranked top at 803,800, up 28.5 from a year earlier. Visitors from China came second at 632,300, up 0.3 percent, followed by those from Taiwan at 350,500, down 0.1 percent, and Hong Kong at 160,500, a drop of 13.5 percent. Meanwhile, visitors from Indonesia and Russia posted strong growth, at 32.7 percent and 31.9 percent, respectively, according to the data.

"Hokkaido Shimbun", 24.02.18.

In Nemuro city (Hokkaido prefecture) with the assistance of the local administration were held the propaganda activities aimed at the attracting of the attention of Japanese youth to the Kuril Islands dispute between Russia and Japan. The event was organized by the participants of the movement for the return of the Northern Territories at the Nemuro city cultural center. During the meeting, there was organized a free demonstration of the animated film "Giovanni's Island", which demonstrated the aggressiveness of the soviet soldiers against the Japanese people after the Second World War. In addition, in various parts of Nemuro city was held a street action with the distribution of booklets, leaflets and other propaganda materials, as well as Signature Collecting Campaign to demand the return of the Northern Territories between local residents.

"Chunan Ilbo", 24.02.18.

Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo, speaking to the National Assembly’s defense committee said, that "Washington might dip into the bilateral burden-sharing fund to cover the cost of keeping the U.S.-led Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in Seongju, North Gyeongsang. About the cost of THAAD, the Korean Ministry of National Defense has said until now that the two sides had agreed the United States would cover the cost of its deployment while Korea would provide the land and infrastructure. But Song’s remarks indicate that the Defense Ministry expects the United States to request Korea to pay the cost of maintaining THAAD.

Strait Times, 24.02.18.

The rules - released by the State Oceanic Administration earlier this month - include a ban on violators from the area for three years. Up in the Arctic, Chinese tourists going to the Russian Arctic National Park and the Finnish Lapland have risen as well. The regulations also come amid closer scrutiny of China's expanding polar activities. Tourists are the most visible signs of the growing Chinese presence in the polar regions, which now feature mainly scientific research activities, but will increasingly include economic activities. China is set to expand its activities as it positions itself as a polar power, in line with its foreign policy to be a global presence. As early as 2014, then director of the State Oceanic Administration Liu Cigui wrote: "Today, we are already standing at the starting point of a brand-new historical era, of striding towards becoming a polar-region power." Its 13th five-year development plan of 2016-2020 includes a major programme to explore the polar regions. China's polar ambitions are a function of its rise, said Dr Liu Nengye of Adelaide University. "China is now able to reach remote parts of the world, be it the Arctic, Antarctica, deep seabed or outer space," he said in an e-mail interview. He added that economic interests are key, but there are geopolitical reasons as well. The rest of the world, particularly nations that have been driving polar policies, "may be worried that they will no longer play leading roles in the international decision-making process or at least (are) not as comfortable as they used to be", he added. Dr Liu thinks that China's interest in the polar regions differs from its areas of core interests such as Taiwan and the South China Sea. Thus "Chinese diplomacy in the polar regions can be collaborative and cooperative, rather than provocative and challenging", he added.

"Yomiuri", 24.02.18.

The government decided Tuesday to hold an abdication ceremony for the Emperor on April 30, 2019, as an act of the Emperor in matters of state performed on behalf of the people under the country’s Constitution. The decision about the ceremony was made at a meeting of the government’s preparatory committee for ceremonies related to the 84-year-old Emperor’s abdication. In the ceremony, the prime minister will declare that the Emperor steps down under the one-off abdication law, and the Emperor will deliver a speech.

"Korea Herald", 24.02.18.

A spokesman for US Army Pacific in Hawaii Col. Christopher Garver said that the US military is working on continued improvements to its operation plan to evacuate American civilians in case of a war on the Korean Peninsula. The US Forces Korea and US Army Pacific are conducting noncombatant evacuation drills on a regular basis to check on the strategic and tactical aspects of the operation, such as designating places of assembly in Korea. US Army Pacific Gen. Brown said that there are estimated to be more than 200,000 American civilians living and working in South Korea" and their security should be at first place".

The Yomiuri Shimbun, 24.02.18.

Eighty-three percent of respondents believe ерфе Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the South Korea would not to normalize bilateral relations and to begin six-party talks for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Also 44 percent of respondents support for to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station to the Henoko district in Nago, both of which are in Okinawa Prefecture. Support for the policy came in at 44 percent, while 43 percent are opposed. The survey also showed that 42 percent of respondents chose the LDP, 9 percent was selected the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan. Thirty-six percent do not support any party.

"Nikkei", 23.02.18.

In the assembly hall of the Sapporo Hotel, with the assistance of the Hokkaido prefecture's Northern territory affairs administration was held a seminar, dedicated to the issues of joint with the Russian Federation economic development of the South Kurils. About 140 people took part in this seminar. During the seminar the Director of the Division for Japan-Russia Joint Economic Activities Mr. Kengo Otsuka said, that after the Japanese Prime Minister's visit to Moscow in May–June 2018 year, the parties will continue close cooperation on the implementation of the joint economic projects in the South Kurils with the aim of reaching results that contribute to the peaceful settlement of territorial dispute between two countries in the future, as well as the signing of the peace treaty.

"Korea Herald", 23.02.18.

South Korea and the United States will announce plans before April for joint military drills that had been postponed until after the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, South Korea's defense minister said on Tuesday. After the postponement of the regular drills, North Korea agreed to hold the first official talks with Seoul in more than two years. North Korea's official KCNA news agency said restarting the drills would be an "act of ruthlessly trampling even a small sprout of peace that has been now seen on the Korean Peninsula."

"Chunan Ilbo", 23.02.18.

The National Assembly's Defense Committee raised suspicions that North Korea has stolen the blueprint of the South's Hyunmu-2 missile by hacking the computer system of a government agency. The committee claimed that a new missile that made its debut during a military parade in Pyongyang on Feb. 8 looks suspiciously similar to the Hyunmu-2. Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo said that the North Korean missile in question is a new missile using cold-launch technology and a solid-fuel engine and that while the North Korean missile does indeed looks like the Hyunmu, it seems to have a different guidance system. He added that it is hard to make a precise assessment of North Korea's firepower because it has not unveiled its most formidable submarine-launched ballistic missile yet.

NHK, 23.02.18.

The Japanese government produced posters and flyers calling on people not to operate drones in the airspace over US bases and surrounding areas. The Defense Ministry says the Pacific Command for US Forces earlier requested an end to frequent flights of drones over the facilities, stating they could collide with aircraft. As known under current civil aviation law, no drone flights are allowed in densely populated areas and near airports.

donga, 23.02.18.

The U.S. Center for Strategic and International Studies confirmed that China recently deployed communications equipment such as transmitting tower, and high frequency radar equipment in the northwest part of Fiery Cross Reef in Spratly Island of the South China Sea, The Hong Kong South China Morning Post said on Sunday. Some 3,000-meter-long landing strip, not to mention a hangar for aerial tanker and air carriers, were deployed on the 100,000 square meter reef. “The Fiery Cross facility may be used as a mediation base for communication among military facilities created by China,” the newspaper reported by citing military experts for the China region.

The Military times, 23.02.18.

Department of Defense reported about rising sexual assault in the high militaries schools at the 2016 – 2017 years. Particularly in the 2016 at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland was 28 sexual assault and in the 2017 years were 29 such cases. Also at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the 2017 year were 33 cases but in the 2016 year in that place were 32 cases. The biggest cases of sexual assault were in the West Point, New York – 50 cases, but in the 2016 year's there was 26 cases.

"Sankei Shimbun", 22.02.18.

A meeting took place before the Russian embassy in Tokyo, in which about 20 people took part. According to the local police, during the event, organized with the official permission of the authorities, the protesters demanded to return the "Northern Territories" of Japan. The action was held in connection with the recent exercise of the Russian Armed Forces in the southern Kurils to work out measures to counter the illegal armed formations that occupied the islands, in which about two thousand military personnel of the Eastern Military District and about 500 units of military equipment took part.

NHK, 22.02.18.

Japan's Coast Guard says 3 Chinese patrol ships temporarily entered Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea on Wednesday. Coast Guard officials say the ships breached waters off the island of Kubashima of the Senkakus around 10 AM. The Director-General of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Kenji Kanasugi, lodged a protest by phone to the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo. He said the Senkaku Islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory. He said the intrusions are an infringement of Japan's sovereignty and unacceptable. It is the 4th day this year that Chinese government vessels have entered Japanese waters off the Senkakus.

NHK, 22.02.18.

Tohoku town Mayor Koji Ebina made the request during a meeting with Col. R. Scott Jobe, commander of the U.S. base, after the F-16 jettisoned its two external fuel tanks into Lake Ogawara in Aomori Prefecture. The town also decided Wednesday to demand the central government pay compensation for the losses incurred by the suspension of fishing and examine measures to protect their lives. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga expressed the government's readiness to comply with the request, saying at a press conference, "If fishery damages are confirmed, we will investigate the actual conditions and deal with the matter appropriately."

Jiji Press, 22.02.18.

The Okinawa Prefectural Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution and a written opinion Wednesday to protest a recent incident involving a component from a U.S. Marine Corps Osprey aircraft. The resolution noted that the U.S. military is continuing its training activities even after a series of incidents and problems involving U.S. military aircraft. "Their disregard of Okinawa residents cannot be tolerated," the resolution said. "Okinawa is not a colony. The U.S. military should take the prefecture’s demands and the assembly resolution seriously." The assembly called on the U.S. military to thoroughly investigate the cause of the incident and to prevent Futenma-based aircraft from flying over private land.

Yonhap, 22.02.18.

The US government says North Korea abruptly called off a potential meeting between its high-level delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and US Vice President Mike Pence. US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said on Tuesday that Pence had been ready to take the opportunity, but that North Korea decided at the last minute not to go ahead with the meeting. A senior White House official says North Korea withdrew from the proposed talks to rebuff the United States' staunch policy of demanding that Pyongyang abandon its nuclear and missile programs.

Yonhap, 22.02.18.

South Korea's foreign ministry said Wednesday that it sees inter-Korean and U.S.-North Korea talks as "major pillars" of any dialogue aimed at denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. The ministry said it will also work hard to build global consensus on the need to generate a "virtuous cycle" between improving ties with the North and resolving the North's nuclear issue. Those goals are part of the ministry's policy measures to be pushed this year and were previously submitted to the National Assembly. "We will push to enter into full-fledged dialogue while maintaining inter-Korean and U.S.-North Korea talks as major pillars," the ministry said. "Mainichi Shimbun", 20.02.18.

In Yamaguchi city (Yamaguchi Prefecture) at "Parutopia" hotel was held a scientific conference with the participation of 200 peoples who took part in the Northern Territories issue discussion. During the event there was held a lecture entitled: "International situation and territorial dispute over the four Kuril Islands". In addition, on the 17-th of February in Takamatsu city (Kagawa Prefecture) at the gallery on the upper stairs of prefectural administration building was held an exhibition entitled: "Northern Territories Day" and the awarding ceremony for winners of 2017 year prefectural composition contest devoted to The Northern Territories issue.

Yonhap, 20.02.18.

North Korea is “fully ready for both dialogue and war” and prepared to respond to any U.S. “provocation by prompt counterstrike,” state-run media said Monday as the Winter Olympics continued in South Korea. On Monday, it vowed to “resolutely counter any act of harassing peace and security on the Korean Peninsula,” adding that this was “by no means any rhetorical threat.”However valuable the improvement in North-South ties and the peaceful environment may be, it said, “it is the principled stand and unshakable will of the army and people of the DPRK to counter provocation by prompt counterstrike.”In a separate KCNA commentary, the North assailed the U.S. and President Donald Trump for hinting at the possibility of military action to rein in Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.“The DPRK is fully ready for both dialogue and war,” the commentary said, using the acronym for the North’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Yonhap, 20.02.18.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has reiterated the United States' willingness to engage North Korea diplomatically, saying he is listening for Pyongyang to tell him if it is ready to talk." "What we have to determine now is: are we even ready to start? Are they ready to start?" the top American diplomat noted. "If they're not, we'll just keep the pressure campaign underway, and we will increase that pressure." Tillerson said his job as the chief diplomat is to ensure North Koreans know the U.S. keeps its channels open, urging the North to come to the negotiating table. "I am listening for you to tell me if you are ready to talk," he said. Washington is using "large sticks" rather than carrots to convince North Korea to come to the negotiating table, the secretary said as well, pledging that he will continue his efforts to solve the North Korean nuclear problem diplomatically. "I'm gonna use all the time available to me. Our diplomatic efforts will continue until that first bomb drops," he said. "My job is to never have a reason for the first bomb to drop." Military options are also on the table in case such diplomatic efforts should fail, the state secretary hinted. "The president's meeting his responsibilities as commander in chief of asking our military, Secretary Mattis at the Defense Department, to ensure we are prepared for anything." He also referred to U.S.-Chinese discussions on the role China would play for future negotiations with the North. "We've been very clear with them that they are going to have an important role to play once we get to the negotiating table."

Yonhap, 20.02.18.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the U.S. Army's chief of staff confirmed Monday that Japan and the United States will work more closely with each other and with South Korea in dealing with North Korea. Abe and U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley agreed in Tokyo on the importance of maximizing pressure on North Korea to bring about its complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "The alliance between the United States and Japan is extraordinarily important to my country, it's rock solid, and we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Japan, the Japanese people and Japanese military, along with the people of South Korea, in the face of an increased and growing threat from North Korea," Milley said.

Xinhua, 20.02.18.

MUNICH, Germany, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- A senior Chinese diplomat said Saturday that China is committed to the principle of non-first-use of nuclear weapon, expressing concerns about the danger of nuclear development at present at the ongoing Munich Security Conference (MSC)."China maintains a very small nuclear arsenal, and China follows the policy of self-defense and minimum deterrence," said Fu Ying, a veteran diplomat and now chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature. "China is also committed to the principle of non-first-use of nuclear weapon, and no-use of nuclear weapon against any nuclear state at any circumstances and no-use of nuclear weapon against nuclear-free zones," she added. She noted that it is important that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely China, United States, Russia, Britain and France, should continue their efforts and continue to take responsibility to maintain global strategic stability, to safeguard non-proliferation regime, and to continue the nuclear disarmament. China is also in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), added Fu.

"Japan times", 19.02.18.

Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov agreed Friday to accelerate work on starting joint economic activities on Russian-held islands claimed by Japan off Hokkaido. At a meeting in Munich, they also decided to meet again in Tokyo on March 21 to prepare for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Russia in May and his summit with President Vladimir Putin, Japanese officials said.

"Japan times", 19.02.18.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has acknowledged the need for contact with North Korea, but denied now is the time for dialogue. "Having contact is important in that it delivers a message that (North Korea) can take a seat at the table for dialogue by abandoning its nuclear and missile development programs," Kono told reporters Saturday, referring to the possibility that the United States may hold preparatory talks with the North before fully entering into a dialogue. But he also said, "Japan is sharing the view with the United States and South Korea that we would gain nothing if we have dialogue (with North Korea) now," underscoring the need for maintaining pressure on Pyongyang to compel it to give up its ambitions.

Yonhap, 19.02.18.

President Moon Jae-in said Saturday that it may be too early to discuss when or if he may hold a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. "There are many expectations, but I believe they might be a little too anxious," Moon said when asked whether he planned to hold an inter-Korean summit in the near future. "We are waiting for the ongoing dialogue between South Korea and the North to lead to talks between the United States and North Korea and to the denuclearization (of North Korea)," he told reporters. The chief of South Korea's ruling Democratic Party has said that inter-Korean relations will improve on the premise that North Korea ceases its provocations and shows its will to denuclearize, her office said Sunday. "We hope that inter-Korean dialogue that started through sports will move into the next stages, such as economic cooperation (between the two Koreas)," she added.

Taiwan News, 19.02.18.

The US Congress has been told by a senior US military officer that the country must continue to help Taiwan defend itself and push back at any efforts by China to force unification with Taiwan. He particularly noted the importance of arms sales to Taiwan and training being provided by the US military to the Taiwanese military to enable them to defend themselves. Highlighting the significant rise in military spending in China, Admiral Harris made the point that as Chinese military capabilities rise, Taiwan’s ability to defend itself recedes. “USPACOM will continue supporting Taiwan's efforts to develop a credible, resilient, and cost-effective deterrent and self-defense capability,” he said, before adding that this was vital to enable Taiwan to continue to effectively defend its democratic institutions.

"Japan times", 19.02.18.

“Their numbers in Japan have drastically increased,” the magazine rationalizes. Up fourfold from five years ago, they grew by a remarkable 36.1 percent between 2015 and 2016. The Vietnamese population of 232,562 (as of end June 2017) has shot past Brazil to make them the fourth-largest nationality, and they may soon overtake the Philippines (251,934) for third place. According to government figures, the number of legal foreign residents in Japan last year reached 2.47 million, or 1.95 percent of the total population. On a proportional basis that might not seem like a lot, compared to, say, Switzerland, where non-citizens make up 29 percent, or Australia (28 percent). 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.