WWII ‘slaves’ sue Japan firms

Japan_forced laboursAbout 700 people who were forced to work in Japan during World War II filed a lawsuit in east China’s Shandong Province on Tuesday, demanding both an apology and compensation from two China-based Japanese companies.

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LiveLeak.com – Chinese sue Japanese companies over slave labor in WWII, asking for 1 million yuan compensation per person

Four representatives on behalf of the former laborers signed a letter, authorizing a legal aid team to file the lawsuit at Shandong Higher People’s Court.

Mitsubishi Corporation (Qingdao) Ltd. and Yantai Mitsubishi Cement Co., Ltd., which are accused of forcing laborers from Shandong to Japan to work during the war, are being sued 1 million yuan (160,700 US dollars) per victim in compensation. The laborers also want a written apology published in major newspapers in China, said Fu Qiang, executive head of the legal aid team and head of Shandong Pengfei Law Office.

Fu said the two Mitsubishi companies are not directly connected but affiliated to the original perpetrator, Mitsubishi Materials Corp in Japan.

“The two companies are foreign-owned enterprises in China, and subject to Chinese law,” said Fu.

This is the second time the laborers have brought a compliant to court. In September 2010, six laborers, on behalf of 1,000 Chinese from Shandong, brought a lawsuit against the two companies. The court refused to accept the case.

Around 40,000 Chinese, one-fourth of whom were from Shandong, were forced to work in Japan during the war. Of these workers, 7,000 died in Japan. Thirty-five Japanese companies are believed to have been involved in forced labor from 1937 to 1945, when Japan invaded China.

Quoting government figures, Wang Wanying, one of the four representatives and son of a victim, said out of 1,500 laborers brought to Japan from Shandong’s Yuncheng County, only 130 people returned home alive.

“My father was lucky enough to survive,” said 55-year-old Wang. “We will carry on to seek justice,” he said.

Japanese courts have rejected all compensation claims in 15 lawsuits filed by forced Chinese laborers since the 1990s, saying that a 1972 bilateral agreement nullified Chinese rights to seek war-related compensation.

However, former Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen, said in March 1995 that although China had discarded national reparations, the government did not abandon its people’s rights to demand compensation.

On March 26, nine former laborers filed a lawsuit against Coke Industry Co., Ltd. of Japan, Mitsubishi Materials Corporation and the Japanese government at Tangshan City Intermediate People’s Court. They are requesting compensation. A decision to accept the case has not been made yet.

On March 18, the Beijing Intermediate People’s Court accepted a lawsuit against Coke Industry Co., Ltd. of Japan and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation over the matter, the first such case to be accepted in China.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Japan should seriously address issues of forced labor, take a responsible attitude and seriously treat and properly handle the issues left over from history. – Xinhua

Was Flight 370 remote-hijacked as Boeing has autopilot technology?

Autopilot tech

Boeing has patent for autopilot tech

PETALING JAYA: When it was first speculated that Flight MH370 could have been hijacked via remote control access, many dismissed it as far-fetched science fiction.

But the technology to navigate planes, ships, trains, buses and other vehicles by remote control has been around for about a decade.

The Boeing Company, the world’s leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft, has the technology.

It owns a patent for a system that enables remote controlling of its aircraft to counter hijacking attempts.

Boeing applied for the patent for an “uninterruptible autopilot control system” about 11 years ago, and was awarded it in 2006.

The system can be activated when the security of onboard controls are jeopardised.

“The method and systems of the present invention provide techniques for automatically navigating, flying and landing an air vehicle,” states the report for the US patent number US7142971B2.

Once activated, an aircraft could be automatically navigated, flown and made to land without input from anyone on board.

“Any onboard capability to supercede the automatic control system may be disabled by disconnecting the onboard controls,” states the report.

Power is provided to the automatic control system “from an alternative power control element that is inaccessible (to anyone on board the vehicle)”.

According to the patent report, control commands could be received from a remote location and/or from predetermined control commands stored on board the plane.

Boeing applied for the patent on Feb 19, 2003, barely two years after the Sept 11 attack in which hijacked planes rammed into the World Trade Centre, reducing the gigantic buildings into rubble.

Eric D. Brown, Douglas C. Cameron, Krish R. Krothapalli, Walter von Klein Jr and Todd M. William invented the system for Boeing. The patent was awarded three years later on Nov 28, 2006.

When the automatic control system is activated, no one on board the aircraft would be capable of controlling its flight.

The patent report also states that a signal might be transmitted to at least one remote location from the plane to indicate that the uninterruptible autopilot mode of the air vehicle has been engaged.

The system includes a dedicated communication link between the aircraft and a remote location, distinct from any communication link established for other types of communication.

According to an independent analyst James Corbett, the US Federal Aviation Administration had reported on the Federal Registrar last November that the Boeing 777-200, -300 and –300ER aircraft were equipped with an electronics security system to check unauthorised internal access.

Contributed by Sira Habibu The Star/Asia News Network


“Flight 370 Was Remote-Hijacked”


Author, barrister and political advisor Matthias Chang
Author, barrister and political advisor Matthias Chang

A high-level Malaysian source has confirmed that missing Flight MH370 must have been hijacked by remote control.

Matthias Chang, a barrister who served as Political Secretary to the Fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, explained why only a remote-hijacking “fly by wire” scenario can explain the plane’s disappearance.

Read Matthias Chang’s MH 370 – A Sinister Tragedy In the Fog of Coincidence?

In an exclusive interview with Truth Jihad Radio, Chang – who remains well-connected with the highest political levels in Malaysia – patiently explained why all of the evidence points to a remote hijacking by one of the handful of countries capable of such a technological feat. He expressed annoyance with Western media criticism of the Malaysian government, arguing that it is Western governments, not Malaysia’s, that are covering up what they know while the media fails to ask the hard questions.

[The audio interview will be posted for Truthjihad.com subscribers by this evening here.]

During our interview on the morning of Friday April 4th (Malaysia time) Matthias Chang told me: “I want to raise a point that has not been much discussed in either the mainstream or alternative media, which is that the technology of autopilot has been in existence for a long time. Since September 11th, more sophisticated systems have been placed in all planes to avoid any hijackings. If there is a hijacking in progress it kicks in and flies to an airport to land safely. The system can be triggered by the pilot himself from the cockpit, or it can be triggered by ground control. And by ‘ground control’ I mean it can be operated from land, an AWAC plane, or a ship, by an entity that has the capability and technology to fly the plane remotely. That technology is out there.”

Chang pointed out that only remote-hijacking can explain the plane’s flight path: “This plane is flying for six hours on its own. Who’s flying the plane? The entity flying the plane must be those with the technology that’s used now to pilot drones. We know drones have been flown in Afghanistan from Florida. We have seen video tapes and news broadcasts about how ‘pilots’ in Florida are flying planes and drones in Afghanistan as if they are playing computer games.”

Chang explained that the Western media’s pilot suicide hypothesis “doesn’t hold water. If you’re a pilot, why turn back, go north to Thailand where there are military exercises going on, and you will know from the radar that other planes are flying, then turn south and fly for six hours? That’s ridiculous. Also, most suicides leave notes explaining why. This is another huge question mark. Why this accusation of the pilot, when the facts are inconsistent with suicide?”

Suggesting that the Western countries have been leading the public on a wild goose chase, Chang explained:

“During the past four weeks, we have heard of various countries providing data. Australia said there were two floating objects west of Perth, but when ships were sent they were not found. France, also, said they discovered two objects. When the search planes went, these too couldn’t be found. The satellite of Thailand (a US client state) found two objects. It was sea rubbish. This was followed by (US occupied) Japan saying they found objects. But those objects were not MH370s. The British firm Inmarsat, using its calculations, said the plane would have crashed in the area where the objects were located. But subsequently Boeing, doing new calculations projecting faster flight at lower altitude, said the plane could have ended somewhere 1000 miles north of the previously projected location.”

Were all of these people ordered to look in all the wrong places – by a military high command that knows perfectly well where the plane is?

Chang continues:

“Given all this information, it’s crystal clear, clear as day, that the one country that has the most sophisticated surveillance technology has remained mute. They may have given sealed evidence – I don’t know. But no public announcement.

As VT Editor Gordon Duff says, a gnat has a hard time disappearing. So how can a 777 vanish?

As VT Editor Gordon Duff says, a gnat has a hard time disappearing. So how can a 777 vanish?

“America has the most advanced satellites in the world…it can detect an object the size of a coin, look at bunkers buried deep underground. NROL 39 (the US National Reconnaissance Office) uses the octopus emblem. It states clearly that enemies of America cannot hide because ‘nothing is beyond our reach.’ The octopus’s tentacles encompass the whole globe. I find it very odd that America has been reticent, conspicuously silent, about what their satellites have shown, if anything.”

What makes it especially odd that the US will not admit it tracked the plane is that the flight path involved some of America’s most sensitive military areas:

“As MH370 reached the airspace of Vietnam it went north toward Thailand where the US-run Cobra Gold and Cope Tiger military exercises were being held. Then, allegedly, the plane ended in the Indian Ocean. But there is no evidence or debris. Now what is conspicuous…is that when a plane goes past Southern Thailand into the Indian Ocean, it has to fly past a very important landmark: Diego Garcia, a secretive US military base. It was from this base that the US launched bombers to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam before that. Surely this base has some of the most sophisticated surveillance technology. Any unidentified plane that flew in the direction of Diego Garcia would certainly be located and identified.”

Chang, the former top political advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, noted that the bizarre disappearance of MH370 coincided with the US-run Cobra Gold and Cope Tiger military exercises – just as previous “disasters” have mirrored suspiciously-timed drills and exercises:

“On 9/11, when planes struck the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, there were military exercises taking place, and NORAD and others were confused about whether the planes were part of the exercise or not.”

Chang was referring to the notorious 46 drills of September 11th 2001, the biggest pre-designated National Security Special Event Day in US history. Those exercises practiced and then mimicked every aspect of the actual attacks, including a live-fly plane-into-building exercise that shut down the National Reconnaissance Office and prevented NRO personnel from seeing satellite images of whatever the alleged attack planes and their military control planes, including the “Flying Pentagon” E-4B Command Center aircraft, were really doing that day.

Chang noted that the 7/7/2005 London bombings – like 9/11– perfectly mirrored drills that were occurring at exactly the same times and places:

“On 7/7 in London, there was a bombing of underground stations, plus the bus in Tavistock Square. Surprise surprise, four Muslim youth were said to be responsible for the deaths and injuries. Yet on that very day, there were terrorist bombing exercises at precisely the same four locations.”

YouTube – Veterans Today -

Chang observed that Christopher Bollyn, whose book Solving 9/11 implicates Israel and its US agents in the worst terrorist attack in US history, has discovered indications that the disappearance of MH370 might be connected with another false-flag plot: “Bollyn exposed how, immediately after the hijacking (of MH370), the Times of Israel put out propaganda that the plane was hijacked by agents of Iran, then landed in Bangladesh to weaponize the plane to carry out a diabolical attack like September 11th.” (Bollyn also discovered a suspicious “evil twin” of MH370 hidden in an Israeli hangar – his article is linked here.)

Chang said that the media’s focus on the search for the MH370′s black box is a deception. “We’ve been diverted to look for the black box. Bullshit! There are plenty of signals.” Chang asserts that both Boeing, a leading US military contractor, and the Rolls-Royce company that makes the plane’s engines, know exactly what happened to MH370, because they are constantly fed signals giving them every significant detail about all of their planes including exactly location, altitude, airspeed, engine function, manual or autopilot, and so on.

Regarding Rolls-Royce, Chang said:

“As long as the engine is running, they monitor it. If anything goes wrong with the engine for any reason, they land the plane and abort the flight. There have been a couple of instances when Rolls-Royce detected malfunctions and told the pilot to land as soon as possible due to the malfunction.

“So for six hours or more, Rolls-Royce would have kept track of the pings. Rolls-Royce would know where the plane’s going. Now I’m told, rightly or wrongly, that in the protocol, Rolls-Royce may be prohibited from disclosing this information.”

Likewise, Malaysia has been prevented from disclosing the sealed evidence it has been provided by one or more unnamed countries – or even the name of that country or countries.

But despite the gag order, Chang thinks the evidence speaks for itself: “There is cyber war between these (larger) countries, and we small countries are caught in the middle. I think the passengers were collateral damage.”

Chang’s conclusion about Flight 370?

“Under the cover of the military exercises, something diabolical, something catastrophic, has happened.”

 Sources Veterans Today Editor:

Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Ph.D. Arabist-Islamologist, is one of America’s best-known critics of the War on Terror.

Dr. Barrett has appeared many times on Fox, CNN, PBS and other broadcast outlets, and has inspired feature stories and op-eds in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, and other leading publications.

Dr. Barrett has taught at colleges and universities in San Francisco, Paris, and Wisconsin, where he ran for Congress in 2008. He currently works as a nonprofit organizer, author, and talk radio host.

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New China-US military ties: agree to disagree

Military_China Chang-US HagelChinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan (L) and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (R) review the guard of honor at a welcoming ceremony before their talks in Beijing, capital of China, April 8, 2014. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)

China-US military: agree to disagree – CCTV News – CCTV.com English

< Video China-US military: agree to disagree

Chinese President Xi Jinping (second right) shakes hands with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (second left) during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called on China and the US to build a new model of military relations in a meeting with visiting US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

As an important part of Sino-US ties, military relations should be advanced under the framework of building a new type of major power relations, Xi, who is also chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, told Hagel.

The two countries need to effectively manage their differences and sensitive issues to ensure major power relations always go forward on the right track, Xi said.

The new type of China-US military ties are in the initial phase and the two sides have different understandings but they are looking for ways to advance, said Liu Weidong, an expert on US studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

Hagel is wrapping up his first visit to China since he became defense chief in February last year. His visit came after a stop in Japan, with which China has been embroiled in territorial disputes over the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.

The defense chief’s exchanges with Chinese military officials saw both blunt exchanges and handshakes, said an opinion piece by the Xinhua News Agency on Wednesday.

Before coming to China, Hagel said the goal for his Asia visit was to assure US allies of commitment to “our treaty obligations.” He openly welcomed Japan’s attempt to ease the ban on its collective self-defense in a written response to Japan’s financial newspaper Nikkei and reassured Tokyo that the Diaoyu Islands fall under the US-Japan Security Treaty.

He was received with frank and outspoken comments from Chinese military officials before the public, which is rarely seen, said analysts.

Before reporters, Fan Changlong, vice-chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, said Tuesday that Hagel’s remarks on China made at the US-ASEAN defense ministers meeting in Hawaii last week and to the Japanese politicians were “tough.”

“The Chinese people, including myself, are dissatisfied with such remarks,” Fan noted.

Also in the presence of the press, China’s defense minister Chang Wanquan called on the US to keep Tokyo within bounds and not be permissive. He said China would not take pre-emptive action, but its armed forces are ready to respond.

It’s rare that Chinese military officials publicly express such attitudes and language, said Niu Xinchun, a research fellow with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, noting that China has been angered by US rhetoric.

“The strong remarks display the diplomatic style of China’s new leadership and China’s increasing confidence,” he told the Global Times.

It’s also a tactic with which China wants to press the US to take China’s feelings seriously, Liu noted.

Hagel also faced sharp questions when giving a speech at the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)’s National Defense University. One Chinese officer voiced his concern that the US was stirring up trouble in the East China Sea and the South China Sea to hamper China’s development out of fear of China as a challenge, Reuters reported.

“These questions are prepared by the organizer to deliver China’s worries about a possible threat from the US-Japan alliance,” said Liu.

Reuters reported China appeared to be getting anxious that the recent tough talk by US officials over China’s territorial disputes with its neighbors could be a preview of what US President Barack Obama would say when he visits Asia later this month.

China’s defense ministry Wednesday also voiced strong opposition to a bill passed by the US House of Representatives that called on the Obama administration to sell Perry-class frigates to Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Hagel was the first foreign official allowed onboard China’s sole aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, in Qingdao, East China’s Shandong Province.

This was seen as a gesture of China’s sincerity and transparency by analysts.

With outspoken expressions and openness occurring at the same time, the exchanges between China and the US military indicate the wisdom of communication and the art of balance, said the Xinhua opinion piece.

An Obama administration official acknowledged that the tone was sharper on issues surrounding the South China Sea and the East China Sea than it had been on the last visit by a US defense secretary to China, which was in 2012.

“But in other areas the tone was actually improved,” the official said, pointing to discussions on Sino-US military cooperation and even North Korea, according to Reuters.

Hagel said at the university that with the modernization and expanding presence in Asia and beyond of the Chinese army, forces from the two countries will have closer proximity, “which increases the risk of an incident, an accident, or a miscalculation.”

“But this reality also presents new opportunities for cooperation,” he said.

China and the US can enhance their mutual understanding when the divides are frankly discussed, although it’s not likely to eradicate the mistrust between the two sides in just one visit, said Tao Wenzhao, an expert on US studies also with CASS.

By Sun Xiaobo Global Times

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U.S. Secretary of Defense

Whichever superpower



 US Defense Secretary wraps up China visit…

China should offer Hagel tough welcome

US Hagel-Japan-onodera

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (L) shakes hands with Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera – US Backs Militarization Of Japan In Response To China US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel concluded his Japanese tour and kicked off a visit to China on Monday. In Tokyo he made many remarks that were pleasant to Japanese. Hagel publicly warned China not to tackle the ongoing territorial disputes with neighboring countries as “the Russians have done with Ukraine.” It’s expected he will soft-pedal on these issues when he is in Beijing.

< Video: Fan Changlong: “dissatisfied” with remarks by Chuck Hagel.

But Chinese officials should respond to Hagel’s unusually forceful remarks with toughness. The US hasn’t totally sided with countries like Japan and the Philippines over their territorial disputes with China yet. However, there is little difference between Washington’s current partiality for Tokyo and Manila and open support of confronting China.

Many Chinese believe the core of the US “rebalancing Asia” strategy lies in that the US is attempting to burden China’s rise through instigating confrontation with other countries in the neighborhood. It’s during the implementation of this US strategy that territorial spats have been escalated due to the aggressive and offensive policies of Japan and the Philippines.

Chinese public opinion has given up hope of reason with the US, since Washington is adept in manipulating double standards.

In the US eyes, Japan’s “nationalizing the Diaoyu Islands” and the Philippines’ trickery to bolster its territorial clam through reinforcing a marooned navy ship that it stationed in Ren’ai reef are not violations of the “status quo,” while any countermeasures by China are called “aggression.”

The US is good at maneuvering in East Asia. But it overestimates the value of the “rebalancing Asia” strategy if it misperceives China as easily cowed into submission. China is not Russia, nor will the South China Sea and East China Sea be Crimea. Restraint is the basic philosophy of China in front of frictions, but we also make it clear, “Don’t irritate us!”

If Washington continues to indulge Tokyo and Manila in provoking China, it will pay the price sooner or later. The cost is that the US will feel ashamed.

For instance, China will spare no efforts to prevent the Philippines consolidating the rusting ship in Ren’ai Reef. Any promises that the US makes to the Philippines and Japan that they can do whatever they want in Ren’ai Reef and Diaoyu Islands will prove empty.

China has no intentions to imitate Russia in how to deal with frictions on its periphery. It’s the US that should learn a lesson from the Crimea crisis. Washington suppressed Russia’s strategic space, but it got cold feet when Moscow upped the ante.

Conflicts in Europe cannot be replicated in East Asia. The US should be careful that it cannot suppress China as it has done with Russia. Countries like Japan and the Philippines shouldn’t be used as pawns to contain China.

China emphasizes the importance of building a new type of major power relationship with the US. As the sole super power, the US has gained the upper hand in Sino-US relations, but it will finally get trapped if it continues to snub our Chinese feelings. – Global Times


Chinese, U.S. defense chief vow to boost new type military ties

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Interesting times in East Asia

South-East Asia is in a strategically unenviable spot – too small to shape North-East Asia, and too near to it to avoid the havoc of conflict there.
Trouble Water_South Korea_East China

Troubled waters: South Korea conducting a drill to guard a maritime science research station set up on the South Korea-controlled underwater reef of Ieodo. Conflicts can result from miscalculation, misperception or misinterpretation of an adversary’s actions or intentions. -EPA

IF outright aggression between nations often results in conflict, conflicts need not result directly from aggression alone.

Conflicts also arise from doubts, uncertainty and lingering suspicions. They can result from miscalculation, misperception or misinterpretation of an adversary’s actions or intentions.

Several of these “triggers” are on full display in North-East Asia today. Contributory factors include historical grievances between Japan and its immediate neighbours China and the Koreas, China’s growth and assertiveness, Japan’s brashness, Korea’s sensitivities and US ties to Japanese security interests.

That these countries are major players does not insure against open conflict between them. These major powers have the means to initiate and sustain full-scale war.

Nor is the location of potential conflict in North-East Asia a comfort to South-East Asia. Whether individually or together, Asean countries are not strong enough to deter or resolve such conflict, yet are not sufficiently far away to avoid its fallout.

Several of the disputes stem from Japan’s 2012 nationalisation of the Senkaku/Diaoyu/Diaoyutai islands also claimed by China and Taiwan in the East China Sea. As with other provocations, this occurred against the backdrop of Japanese atrocities against Chinese and Korean populations during the Second World War.

Then last November, China declared an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) over disputed islands and waters. After the United States declared the first ADIZ in 1950, Britain, Canada, India, Japan, Norway, Pakistan, South Korea and Taiwan followed. 

A country’s ADIZ requires foreign civilian vessels to identify themselves before entering. Essentially controversial and provocative, it is unilateral, unregulated and unauthorised multilaterally.

Beijing presumably thought that all countries had equal rights to declare such a zone. It may not have anticipated the protests it received, particularly from countries that had done the same thing before.

In December, Chinese and US warships narrowly avoided a collision. Despite both countries downplaying the incident subsequently, different versions of the event resulted.

Spats had erupted between China and Vietnam, and the Philippines, over the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s presence in disputed territories in the South China Sea. Then in mid-2013, a China-Vietnam summit cooled tensions, leaving the Philippines somewhat in the cold.

But as if to sow doubts about Beijing’s own diplomatic competence, PLA(N) ships were reported in disputed waters off Sarawak late last year and early this year. This surprised Malaysian diplomatic and policy circles, since China had previously avoided upsetting Malaysia.

Countries in the region puzzle over why China is putting on such provocations, beyond testing the reactions of the other claimant countries. However, such tests can be made by other countries as well.

Late last month, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported that China was preparing to declare an ADIZ in the South China Sea. The area includes disputed islands and waters claimed by China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Vietnam.

The report suggested the new ADIZ would initially cover the Paracel Islands and eventual­ly include virtually the whole sea. Beijing immediately retorted, warning Japan against spreading baseless rumours.

The Japanese report was either a truthful account or an attempt to test China’s response. That response has been clear enough.

The Japanese government, meanwhile, has been working hard producing its share of follies and fumbles.

In mid-December, Tokyo called a meeting with Asean countries to discuss defence concerns vis-à-vis China. That meeting flopped, as Asean leaders downplayed the defence aspect and preferred discussing economic relations with Japan.

Then after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s controversial visit to the Yasukuni Shrine in December, Tokyo announced plans to nationalise another 280 islands. It coincided with the National Security Council’s launch to streamline the operations of security agencies and military forces under the office of the nationalist Abe.

That month, Abe criticised China’s ADIZ, calling it an attempt to change the regional status quo “by force”. Observers in the region were baffled by Tokyo’s definition of “force”.

Then the Japanese government revised textbooks to instruct schoolchildren that the islands in dispute with other countries were “an inherent part” of Japan. That again brought Beijing and Seoul together to condemn Tokyo.

At the same time, Japan planned military exercises with US and Indian forces, incorporating a US$2bil (RM6.65bil) loan to India. Days later, Tokyo planned more military exercises with US and Australian forces.

Such military responses with major countries outside East Asia do nothing to improve fraying relations within the region. But that disconnect apparently fails to concern policymakers in Tokyo.

Within Japan, Abe’s government is expanding its military forces over the Nansei Islands, covering Okinawa and the Senkakus. But reactionary nationalists had long seen the restrictions of Japan’s post-war “pacifist” Constitution as a hindrance.

Abe is now on a personal crusade to revise the Constitution to allow for a more assertive military. In his “historic mission”, Abe’s target is Article 9 which bans the use of military force to resolve disputes abroad.

The problem for Abe: a news survey last month showed 53.8% of the Japanese public opposing changes to the Constitution. How would a democratic Japan reject that majority view?

Abe seeks changes to permit Japanese force­s to make pre-emptive strikes, amounting to unilateral attacks on another country where self-defence may not be invoked.

After the US government advised US commercial airlines in November to abide by China’s ADIZ, Tokyo expressed bewilderment. Abe promptly concluded that the US had made no such decision.

Reports early this month said that Japan and the US had agreed to ignore China’s ADIZ in their military manoeuvres. But an ADIZ customarily applies to civilian, not military, vessels.

In other matters, however, there has been less agreement between Washington and Tokyo. A senior US military official warned against revising Japan’s Constitution. Since the overriding purpose was to build a trilateral alliance in North-East Asia comprising the US, Japan and South Korea to alienate China, a revised Japanese Constitution would instead alienate South Korea and disrupt the alliance.

In December, the US expressed “disappoint­ment” over Abe’s visit to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine. The following month, Ambassador Caroline Kennedy objected to the cruelty of Japan’s annual dolphin hunt, provoking protests.

Three US Congressmen have lobbied Secretary of State John Kerry to address the “comfort women” issue with Japan. It involved more than 200,000 Korean women and girls who had been sexually abused by Imperial Japanese forces.

When NHK broadcast chief Katsuto Momii trivialised the issue, suggesting Japan’s wartime actions were acceptable, he caused more controversy. Momii was Abe’s pick for the top media job.

Kerry is due in China and South Korea in a week to discuss North Korea. Japanese observers note that he will be bypassing Tokyo. However, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida was in Washington on Friday to discuss with Kerry the Abe-Obama summit in Tokyo in April. Abe has found a compelling need to reaffirm bilateral ties with the US.

While the scheduled summit will bear on the “US pivot” to East Asia, other countries may also do a pivot or at least a pirouette. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has directed major state-owned companies to relocate their head offices to Russia’s far east to help develop the region.

Where political and economic concerns converge, strategic considerations are never far behind. Such concerns, never lacking in East Asia, are now set to multiply.

 Behind The Headlines by Bunn Nagara Asia News Network

  • Bunn Nagara is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia.
  • The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own. 

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China successfully tested new ultra hypersonic missile vehiche seeks to calm US fears

China hypersonic missile test not targeted at any country: DM CCTV News – CNTV English

The Ministry of National Defense issued a statement on Wednesday dismissing media reports that China’s recent ultrahigh-speed missile test flight was aimed at delivering warheads through the missile defenses of the United States.

“It is normal for China to conduct scientific experiments within its borders according to its plans. The tests were not aimed at any nation nor any specific target,” the ministry said in a written reply to China Daily.

Western media have been playing up the significance of the hypersonic missile delivery vehicle test since The Washington Free Beacon news website quoted an anonymous Pentagon official as saying that the test was conducted with the aim of sending warheads through US missile defenses.

In an article on the test, the website reported that the new hypersonic missile was detected traveling at extremely high speeds over China.

US Pentagon spokesman Jeffrey Pool told the website, “We routinely monitor foreign defense activities and we are aware of this test.”

Observers said reports that play up competition on military capabilities indicate a lack of mutual understanding on the part of the militaries of China and the US, but the misperceptions can be resolved through talks.

Lack of mutual strategic trust between the two nations is the reason why the US is worried about China’s military development, said Fan Jishe, an expert on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

“Washington is afraid that China’s growing power will reduce its influence in the region, and threaten the interests of its allies, such as Japan and the Philippines. … The US still enjoys the leading position in military ability, both strategic weapons and conventional armaments,” Fan said.

“The US has been devoted to high-tech weapons research for a long time, and China is still rather backward in this field,” he said.

China has been sufficiently transparent on developments in its military technologies to allow for the development of mutual trust with other nations, he added.

Li Qingkong, deputy secretary-general of the China Council for National Security Policy Studies, said, “There is no need for the US or any other country to worry about the development of the Chinese military, given that China’s military expenditure is much lower than that of the US.”

Such weapons use cutting-edge technology for flying and maneuvering at ultrahigh speeds in space and within the Earth’s atmosphere.

The advantages of hypersonic craft include precise targeting, very rapid delivery of weapons, and greater survivability against missile and space defenses.

The Washington Free Beacon said the US, Russia, and China are all engaged in research on hypersonic weapons, while India is also developing a hypersonic variant of its BrahMos cruise missile. – China Daily

China monitors US bombers in defense zone

B-52  J15-fighterChina’s defense ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng on Wednesday said the country has observed US B-52 bombers flying in the newly established air defense identification zone over East China Sea.

Video: http://english.cntv.cn/program/newsupdate/20131128/102355.shtml

Geng said the US aircraft flew south and north along the eastern border of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone from 11:00 a.m. to 1:22 pm Tuesday, about 200 km to the east of the Diaoyu Islands.

The Chinese army monitored the entire process, carried out identification in a timely manner, and ascertained the type of aircraft.

“We need to stress that China will identify every aircraft flying in the air defense identification zone according to the country’s announcement of aircraft identification rules for the air defense identification zone,” Geng said.

“China is capable of exercising effective control over this airspace,” Geng added.

China announced the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone on Saturday. The US State Department and certain officials expressed concern after the announcement.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven Warren said Tuesday that the US conducted a training exercise that had been planned for a long time. It involved two aircraft flying from Guam and returning to Guam.- Xinhua

US B-52 bombers challenge China’s new ADIZ

China’s latest move in defending its sovereignty is facing opposition from other countries. Two US B-52 bombers have flown over the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, in defiance of the air defense identification zone set on Saturday. China is taking a measured response, while stressing that it has the ability to manage and control its airspace.

Video: http://english.cntv.cn/program/china24/20131128/100592.shtml

Just days after China announced the establishment of an air defense identification zone, or A-D-I-Z. The US sent two B-52 bombers through the zone and over the Diaoyu Islands

China’s defense ministry asserted it has the ability to control the airspace. It says it identified the aircraft and monitored the entire two hours and 22 minutes.

The US said it was a long planned training mission, and put its own spin on the matter to fault China.

“This unilateral action appears to be an attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the East China Sea. This will raise regional tensions and increase the risk of miscalculation, confrontation, and accidents. We have made this case to China.” US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Japan, which claims the Diaoyu Islands as its territory, was quick to join its ally.

“Our stance is that China’s move cannot be accepted, and so I think the US is also dealing with the issue with the same stance.” Japanese defense minister Itsunori Onodera said.

Aircraft flying through an A-D-I-Z must report a flight plan, maintain two-way radio contact and respond to identification inquiries, or face defensive emergency measures.

More than 20 countries and regions use such zones, including the US and many of China’s neighbors.

The Foreign Ministry called for calm, saying the zone does not target any country.

“China’s establishment of an air defense identification zone over the East China Sea is a legitimate exercise of the right of self-defense. It’s not aimed at any particular country or target. So we hope that the countries concerned will not overreact or panic over the event.” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.

China has also lodged protests over US and Japanese criticism. The country says the establishment of the zone has a sound legal basis and is in accordance with common international practice.

Related post:

China sets up air defence zone over East China Sea, a strategic move

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NSA secretly hacks, intercepts Google, Yahoo daily


The United States’ National Security Agency has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers worldwide. That’s according to documents released by former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, The Washington Post reports.

Video: NSA intercepts Google, Yahoo traffic overseas report | The National

Google hacked by NSAAccording to the documents, the agency and its British counterpart GCHQ, through a project called MUSCULAR, collected data stored on Google and Yahoo servers. That allowed both governments access to hundreds of millions of user accounts from individuals worldwide.

“From undisclosed interception points, the NSA and GCHQ are copying entire data flows across fiber-optic cables that carry information between the data centers of the Silicon Valley giants,” RT cites the Post’s Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani.

A January 9th document says that in the preceding 30 days, collectors had processed over 181 million pieces of information, including both metadata and the actual contents of communications.

The government can already request information from phone or data through the FISA Amendments Act but this data collection would ostensibly take place without Google and Yahoo even being aware of it.

When you send email or store files with an internet company, that data is regularly shared among servers around the world, in order to ensure quick access to your information from wherever you happen to be. Google and Yahoo run customized private networks to shuttle that information around, passing between and within countries, as the Post indicates in a graphic. To move that information, the companies use fiber optic connections, light-speed networks running over thin glass cables. According to the Post, it’s those connections that the NSA is able to monitor. None of Yahoo’s inter-server traffic is encrypted. Not all of Google’s is either.

The MUSCULAR program, according to Wednesday’s leak, involves a process in which the NSA and GCHQ intercept communications overseas, where lax restrictions and oversight allow the agencies access to intelligence with ease.

“NSA documents about the effort refer directly to ‘full take,’ ‘bulk access’ and ‘high volume’ operations on Yahoo and Google networks,” the Post reported. “Such large-scale collection of Internet content would be illegal in the United States, but the operations take place overseas, where the NSA is allowed to presume that anyone using a foreign data link is a foreigner”.

The Post points out that company staffers were surprised and angry to hear that their their networks had been compromised. Google said that it was “troubled by allegations of the government intercepting traffic between our data centers”.

The report comes amid a storm of protest about NSA surveillance both at home and overseas of phone and Internet communications.

On Tuesday, US officials said reports that American spy agencies snooped on millions of Europeans were false.

Alexander told lawmakers that in many cases European spy agencies had turned over phone records and shared them with US intelligence.

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China demystifying nuclear subs a welcome move

Chinese navymen on nuclear submarine

Wide coverage has been given to the Chinese nuclear submarine force in Chinese State media recently, considered to be a showcase of China’s strategic master card. China’s debut in this field is believed to have deep implication.

Being confident is of prime importance to achieve military transparency. US submarines are open to visitors, so are parts of the Pentagon. Washington prefers to display power, which will convince the public of the national security while deterring opponents. It obviously believes that core military power being exposed to the public could generate more positive effects, distracting attention from worrying about the “leakage of secrets.”

Chinese understanding of “state secrets” is changing as its military power keeps increasing. On one hand, China is facing a heavier burden of keeping secrets due to soaring external interests on intelligence information about it. On the other hand, it has more room to win strategic gains through actively releasing some information. Is China safe? Are there any external forces daring to risk a strategic showdown with China or radically provoke China over its core interests? Such questions linger on in the minds of the public.

Besides being an economic giant, China is powerful in possessing a ­credible second-strike nuclear ­capability. However, some countries haven’t taken this into serious consideration when constituting their China policy, leading to a frivolous attitude ­toward China in public opinion. 

Therefore, partly revealing the Chinese nuclear submarine force is in the interests of China. It could strengthen cohesion of Chinese society and enhance a comprehensive understanding of China. There is necessity that China should summarize its efforts in realizing military transparency and keep on moving forward.

For a modern power, there is rare opportunity to input core military power, which is mainly assuming a deterrent role, into practical war. To build the military we need to ensure its actual combat capacity, as well as convert it into strategic deterrence. Being in a sensitive position in the process of a peaceful rise, China will see a growing demand for strategic deterrence.

The current nuclear capability of China and the world’s understanding of it cannot guarantee China’s strategic deterrence not to be challenged. The limited number of its nuclear submarines is not enough to quell the idea of damaging China’s interest in an extreme way. Jimmy Kimmel’s shocking show demonstrates that many people in the West think they can choose to be friendly with China, but they don’t have to be.

China needs to make it clear that the only choice is not to challenge China’s core interest. To cultivate such thinking, there remains tedious work to do. Developing marine-based nuclear power is part of such work. Perhaps it will give excuse to “China Threat” speculation but the benefit will far eclipse the trouble created by external opinions.

Domestically it is of great significance to open some of the strategic military facilities where the public can have direct access to learn about China’s aircraft carrier, missile base or witness a major military exercise. It is a way to help foster people’s support for national defense, which is more and more important in modern society.

By Global Times

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China unveils nuke submarine, moving towards military transparency

China's nuke subsmarine

The world has been given a rare glimpse into China’s nuclear-powered submarine fleet, with State-owned media carrying extensive coverage of the previously mysterious strategic deterrence force.

The unprecedented revealing of the underwater fleet is a demonstration of China’s confidence in its sea-based nuclear strike capability and serves as a deterrent to any attempted provocation amid the changing geopolitical situation, said military observers.

Starting on Sunday, China Central Television carried serial coverage two days in a row on the submarine force of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy’s Beihai fleet in its flagship news program Xinwen Lianbo.

The People’s Daily, the PLA Daily and the China Youth Daily on Monday all carried front-page stories, features and commentaries on the submarine force, applauding its achievements since the launch of China’s first nuclear-powered submarine in December 1970.

According to the reports, the idea of building a nuclear submarine was initiated by Chairman Mao Zedong in the late 1950s to break the global military powers’ “nuclear blackmailing and monopoly.”

In September 1988, China launched a carrier rocket from a nuclear submarine, becoming the fifth country in the world to have the capability of sea-based nuclear strike.

While striving to improve its strike capability, the submarine force has also maintained a good safety record, with no single nuclear accident reported during the past four decades, said the reports.

The People’s Daily on Monday hailed the submarine force as “a shield preserving world peace and stability” and “a cornerstone to safeguard state sovereignty, security and development interests.”

Du Wenlong, a military expert, told the Global Times on Monday that the latest publicity shows the maturity in the submarine force’s sea-based nuclear strike capability, and implies progress in the development of China’s new generation of submarines.

According to military observers, the submarines shown in the CCTV report and newspaper photos are the old models, which were put into service in the 1980s. It is reported that the navy is replacing them with Jin-class submarines, and a newer model, the Tang-class, is reportedly in development.

Du said in comparison to foreign submarines, China occupies a seat within the leading group but lags behind the US and Russia in terms of the submarine’s noise output and the number of missiles it can carry.

Li Jie, another military expert, shared similar views, noting Chinese submarines still fall behind US and Russian ones, but have better prospects than French and British ones.

The growing capability of the Chinese submarine force is in line with the global emphasis on sea-based nuclear strike capability.

Sea-based nuclear deterrence is more covert, so it gives the countries the capability to launch a counterstrike after their main nuclear bases are destroyed, Li explained, noting its development requires strong comprehensive scientific and technological capabilities.

In addition to the demonstration of more transparency in the military, Li said the revealing of the force is also a deterrent to foreign provocation.

According to reports, during the submarine force’s drills, it has repeatedly been tailed and interrupted by foreign ships and aircraft, including one time in international waters in the West Pacific.

“The changing international situation has caused containment to China’s growth. The US-Japan alliance and US pivot to the Asia-Pacific both apparently target China. The publicity of the submarine force is a warning to any country that attempts to provoke China, telling them whoever makes the first strike should think about the consequences,” Li said.

CCTV commentary said the submarine force has equipped China with a more covert and reliable nuclear counterstrike capability in addition to its intercontinental ballistic missile and strategic bomber, which would make China’s rivals abandon their war attempts for fears of the unbearable price they might have to pay.

- Contributed By Yang Jingjie Global Times


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