We post stories about the the Great 3.11 Disaster that occurred in Northern Japan in 2011.

Archive for September 2011

Coping with the Rise of the Chinese Military Power

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August 25, 2012 Japan Ground Self Defense Force exhibited their capabilities in Shizuoka at their annual exercise.

By Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky
Friday, September 9, 2011
SNA (Tokyo) — With China’s emerging economy and its growing military role, Japan, while exhausted in tackling the great tsunami and nuclear disasters, has to put the defense policy back on its agenda once again.
This was the perspective presented by Masayuki Masuda, a Senior Fellow of the Research Department at the National Institute of Defense Studies in a wide-ranging press conference held at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on Thursday.
Masuda suggested that Japan’s triple disaster of March 11 has reinforced the nation’s tendency to look inwards, and that the Chinese government may take this as “a window of opportunity” to push its own regional agenda, particularly in regard to the disputed Senkaku-Daioyu Islands.
Masuda says that, from a Chinese point of view, Beijing showed an immense degree of goodwill in trying to help Japan recover from its disaster, but that the hand of friendship was to some degree rebuffed. This means that some in the Chinese navy who were willing to show forbearance on territorial disagreements in the immediate wake of 3.11, now believe that military exercises “cannot be postponed any longer.”
Masuda is also concerned about the trends in military budgeting.
While the US military budget is still higher than the rest of the world combined, China’s economic growth and its commitment to upgrade its military power indicate that this situation will not continue much longer.
He says that the Japanese Ministry of Defense currently projects that in the year 2030 Beijing’s military budget will be twelve times higher than that of Tokyo.
Few analysts believe that the United States will be able to maintain to massive military expenditures in future decades either.
The bottom line is that China can be expected to grow in stature as a regional military power in coming years and that Japan needs to “change its way of thinking” which has been “predicated on the assumption that the US military forces are overwhelmingly more powerful than any other military force in this region.”
Japanese defense strategies need to be reviewed with these trends in mind, he says.
Should the rise of Chinese military power be seen as a threat?
Masuda is concerned, but he also points out some positive aspects.
On the one hand, Beijing’s attitudes seem to be hardening towards neighboring countries with which it has territorial disputes. He perceives a situation in which “China is using its military power in order to back up diplomatic activities.”
But on the other side of the ledger is that China shares many common interests with the rest of the world’s states, and so, for example, the Chinese navy has been responsible for protecting over 4,000 ships from Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
Overall, Masuda believes that Japan should endeavor that its relationship with China not be entirely confrontational, but that areas of potential cooperation should also be explored.
“It is important to develop a relationship of trust between the military forces in Japan and China.”
Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky is a staff writer at the Shingetsu News Agency.

Written by Nathalie Stucky

September 10, 2011 at 14:03

Posted in Humanitarian

With China’s increasingly emerging economy and growing military role, Japan, while very exhausted in tackling the great tsunami and nuclear disasters, has to put the defense policy on its agenda once again.

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Nathalie and Kyoko,

September 8, 2011, Tokyo – In Japan, particularly after what occurred after the March 11 disasters, earthquake and tsunami, politics has become very much inward looking. Great focus has been made in what has to be done internally. Very little attention and energy has been spent in diplomatic or international policies at present. China might be willing to take this as “a window of opportunity” while Japan is involved in its own domestic problems, Mr. Masayuki Masuda, Senior Fellow from the Japanese Defense Ministry said in a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday: “They might take more active approach in regards to declaring their sovereignty claims over the Senkaku islands”.

What China did after the 3/11 disaster occurred, is very similar to what they did after 9/11 in the US. China perhaps saw this as a way to overcome many of the outstanding problems between China and Japan. Mr. Masuda also said that, from a Chinese point of view, the Chinese feels its people has showed their immense goodwill in trying to help Japan recover from its disaster, however some felt that their goodwill was not well accepted, and as a result, great dissatisfaction has been expressed in China. Especially by an Admiral from the Chinese Navy, Mr. Uh Shong Li, who said very publicly after the earthquake, that the Chinese had showed consideration towards the sensitivity of the Japanese people, by refraining doing the military exercises in the waters surrounding Japan. However, he declared recently that these exercises could not be postponed any longer, and intended to start them soon.

From an economic point of view, according to Mister Masayuki Masuda, the Chinese economy is growing much faster than anticipated five years ago given by some forecast research institutes in the United States. According to Japanese estimates, China will have caught up in scope to the US economy “very soon”.

Although it is very difficult to scope the Chinese nation’s military extension, Japan has been looking at how much the Chinese government could provide to its military budget.

Mister Masayuki Masuda explained that if all the military budgets of the worlds’ nations were put together, the US would still surpass their total military budgets. However, the Chinese future military budget would also expand, and as a result it would eventually catch up with the US.

He said the Chinese military budget compared to the Japanese budget is already of “a considerable scope”, and “by 2020, the Chinese budget would be 6.5 times that of Japan’s” and in 2030, his ministry has predicted it will be 12 times that of Japan’s.

Looking at the US economy, experts can foresee the possible need for payment for social and welfare costs. Also, the US would probably not be capable to maintain a huge military budget going forward.

China has announced plans to eventually build aircraft carriers, although some Chinese people themselves have criticized this approach as being very costly, many are not aware that the shopping list for military hard wears that the Chinese government possesses at present is “much larger than most people understand”, Mister Masuda said.

Also the capabilities of the Chinese military are growing day by day. In regards to estimates published by the US Pentagon, they are areas, territories and waters where the Chinese are able to deny access into very large areas.

Mr. Masuda said Japan should “change its way of thinking”, and make changes in defense strategies, because in the past, all military strategies and defense strategies in this area have been “predicated on the assumption that the US military forces are overwhelmingly more powerful than any other military force in this region”. “However, with the growing expansion of the Chinese military, we must form a strategy that takes into account this power shift which is occurring in this region”.

Mr. Masuda also said that the Chinese are also very cautious in the way they express their confidence but there is no deny that they are very conscious of this power shift taking place. What is occurring already, is that given this background of growing military power by China, it has began to change its ways to approach ways in dealing with other nations. This is particularly obvious when it comes to conflicts in maritime zones: “We have seen changes in the Chinese attitude occurring both in the East China Sea and particularly in the South China Sea. They use power glimpses as a way to force compromise on their counterparts. And this new kind of attitude by China is gaining great support within its nation.”

As China is undergoing a period of political change next year, the world will see President Hu Jintao step down: “China is using their military power in order to back up a diplomatic activities”, Mr. Masuda explained.

However, China has also been sending its fleet in the Gulf of Eden, and fought some pirates in the coast of Somalia. It had been said that the Chinese Navy has been responsible for protecting over 4000 ships in this area. Therefore the growth of the Chinese military has also been able to be a positive development in insuring the international peace.

In the past, Japan’s policy regarding China has always been done in a bilateral context. Outcomes tended to be often mutually beneficial.

Mr. Masuda told Shingetsu News Agency that, although many Japanese would like to purchase new things, “from a realistic point of view, there is very little potential for the Defense budget to be increased, therefore, unless something unusual or drastic happens, the fundamental attitude of the Japanese military is not to try to purchase new things but rather to make better effective use of the things that they already have”. This is the spirit behind the new Japanese Defense guidelines.

In regards to the future Japan-US alliance, Mr. Masuda referred referred the journalists to the recent “Tomodachi” operations right after the great earthquake and tsunami as one of the most unexpected lessons that everyone learned: “The degree of mutual interoperability between US and Japanese forces’ equipment was much higher than it was expected, which is something that brings great satisfaction on the part of Japan and the US, but probably creates great concern on the part of China”. However, Mr. Masuda pointed out that Japan’s relationship with China should not only be a confrontational relationship, and as being neighboring countries, “they should have a cooperative relationship as well. We believe that therefore it is an important issue to develop a relationship of trust between the military forces in Japan and China”, he added.

With regard to the way Japan should proceed with its cooperation with South Korea to handle China’s behavior, Mr. Narushige Michishita, Associate Professor at the Japanese National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) told Shingetsu News that Japan had already been inviting Korean officers to observe a US-Japan joint exercise in the Japan Sea after the Senkaku Islands incident last year: “If South Korea decides that they can plug in their assets in the Japan-US alliance by imitating Japan’s new purchases, their forces would be interoperable with Japanese forces. However, at this stage, South Korea has not made a political decision to actually come into an anti-China coalition, and they do not have to”. “We are not talking about a Cold War yet”.

Nathalie and Kyoko, Tokyo

Written by Nathalie Stucky

September 9, 2011 at 13:28

Posted in Humanitarian

Met Art Tokyo Charity Auction for Aid to Victims of the Great Northern Japan Earthquake

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Met Art Tokyo Charity Auction for Aid to Victims of the Great Northern Japan Earthquake

Venue: Friday 10 th of June 2011, 6:30 PM

Place: Roppongi Hills Club

Sponsored by: Excellence International

Special help from: Frank Mueller, Reading, Hotel Metropole

Excellence International expresses deep condolences to the loss of many precious lives during the Great Northern and Kanto Earthquake on March 11, 2011, and to all those who were affected by this disaster we would like to show our support.

Excellence International contributed to the rehabilitation of the victims of the disaster zone, with the cooperation of Hotel Metropole Monte Carlo, in Monaco. A charity auction of the original Qee Bear (a popular collectors’ art toy) was held in Tokyo on June 10. The Original Qee Bear auction raised 2344,500 Yen (20’000 Euros), which will help the WFP (World Food Program) for reconstruction assistance throughout all of North-Eastern Japan.

The auction was organized along with gala charity dinner at the exclusive, private Roppongi Hills Club. During this event, the artist Mrs Liqing Shuhuajia who participated in the Bear Design, produced a live instrumental music painting which she donated to the auction.

In addition, the violonist Iwao Furusawa kindly performed live music from his new June 2011 released album, on the theme of Love and Hope, in order to deliver his message to the disaster affected areas.

We would like to add our prayers for the affected people from the disaster zone that they may regain their confidence and former living standards as soon as possible.

Nathalie, Kyoko and Mayu Amano, Excellence International








Written by Nathalie Stucky

September 5, 2011 at 06:36

Posted in Humanitarian