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Archive for June 3rd, 2015

Japan 2nd Greatest ‘Military Threat’ to S. Korea: Poll

Posted by feww on June 3, 2015

About 57% of South Koreans see Japan as a “militaristic state”

More than 58 percent of those polled in South Korea thought Japan was a “military threat” to their country, 2nd only to North Korea.

[In May, the cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved new legislation authorizing Japan to expand its military outreach and play an international role beyond self-defense. In January, Planet of the Abes approved its largest military budget since WWII, raising it to about 5 trillion yen, or about US$42 billion.]

Tokyo-based Genron NPO, together with its South Korean partner, the East Asia Institute, have published the findings of a joint public opinion survey concerning “the course of mutual understanding and views among the peoples of Japan and South Korea.”

In their third survey of its kind, each of the two think tanks interviewed about 1,000 people in their respective countries, ahead of a landmark meeting between the South Korean and Japanese defense ministers to be held in Tokyo on June 21, just a day before the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Japan.

Sentiments among Japanese and South Korean peoples toward each other’s country, and their views about the current situation of Japan-South Korea relations worsened sharply last year, and this year’s survey showed no sign of improvement. The situation in South Korea remains harsher even than last year, said Genron.

Highlights of the Survey

  • Almost 80 percent of Korean respondents despised the Japanese, while 52 percent of Japanese felt the same way about South Koreans.
  • Nearly 57 percent of South Koreans  saw Japan  far worse than just a threat, but a “militaristic state,” up from 53.1 percent in 2014.
  • About 65 percent of “well-informed” S. Korean respondents felt there was a strong current of “nationalism” in today’s Japan, up from 57.8 percent last year.
  • More than 58 percent of the respondents thought Japan was a “military threat” to South Korea. Japan ranked only second to North Korea (83.4 percent), and China (36.8 percent), meaning that Korean people perceived Japan as a greater military threat to their country than China.
  • As many as 37.8 percent of the S. Koreans said a military clash between Japan and South Korea was likely, compared to 9.3 percent for the Japanese respondents. The corresponding figure among S. Korean intellectuals was much higher, at 43 percent.

Japan Continues to Deny its WWII Atrocities: Former “Comfort Women” seek Japan’s apology for WWII rapes

surviving comfort-women - flickr
SURVIVING WWII ‘COMFORT WOMAN’ – Downloaded under Creative Commons License – Source:

filipino comfort-women - AP
Former Filipino “comfort woman” Piedad Nobleza, 86, holds slogans during a demonstration outside the Japanese Embassy in suburban Manila on Friday Aug. 15, 2008. Elderly Filipino women and their supporters demanded Tokyo’s clear-cut apology and compensation for wartime sexual slavery by Japanese troops. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila). Image may be subject to copyright.
Rangoon, Burma. August 8, 1945. An ethnic Chinese woman who was in one of the Imperial Japanese Army’s “comfort battalions” is interviewed by an Allied officer. Source: Comfort Women

 Lee Yong-S
Former “comfort woman” Lee Yong-Soo (L) stands beside her supporters holding portraits of Chinese, Philippine, South Korean and Taiwanese comfort women who were sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II, at a protest held in front of the Japanese parliament in Tokyo, in this 14 June 2007 file photo. Japan on 27 June 2007 brushed aside calls from US lawmakers for a fresh apology to wartime sex slaves, even as the former “comfort women” renewed their demands for Tokyo to acknowledge their plight. Japan said the US move to pass a resolution calling for an “unambiguous” apology from Japan for the coercion of women into army brothels during World War II would not damage relations between the two allies. Photo from Getty Images by AFP/Getty Images. Caption Daily life. Image may be subject to copyright.

surviving comfort-women - flickr image
SURVIVING WWII ‘COMFORT WOMAN’ awaiting justice! Source: Survivor_1. Creative commons license. Some rights reserved.


FIRE-EARTH Population Models show Japan as the greatest military threat in the region, not only due to its culture and history, but especially because of  its dependency on foreign energy, food and material resources, which is also reflected in its current program of re-militarization.


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Drought Disaster Declared in 36 Thai Provinces

Posted by feww on June 3, 2015

Drought plagues about half of Thailand

Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has declared drought disaster in 36 provinces that are in need of emergency aid, including 8 provinces classified as severe disaster areas.

The disaster areas include 12 provinces in the north, 10 in the northeast, three in the east, four in the south and a further seven in central Thailand.

The 8 severe drought disaster areas include Chanthaburi, Chiang Mai, Nakhon Sawan, Phitsanulok, Phrae, Saraburi, Sa Kaeo and Trang.

Some 254 districts are facing water shortages, said the national News Bureau of Thailand.

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Disaster Declared in 31 Arkansas Counties after Floods

Posted by feww on June 3, 2015

Arkansas Gov. declares disasters in four more counties affected by extreme rain events

Gov. Hutchinson has amended an earlier Disaster Proclamation for Arkansas adding to the disaster areas four more counties that are affected by extreme rain events and floods.

Those areas are Conway, Jefferson, Perry and Sebastian counties, bringing the total disaster areas to 31 across the state.

The disaster areas in the original Proclamation included Madison, Newton, Marion, Searcy, Izard, Independence, Franklin, Johnson, Pope, Scott, Yell, Polk, Montgomery, Garland, Sevier, Howard, Pike, Little River, Hempstead, Nevada, Ouachita, Chicot, Crawford, Miller, Lafayette, Logan and Faulkner counties.

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South China on Alert for Extreme Rain Events

Posted by feww on June 3, 2015

Extreme Rain Events Wreak Havoc across China

Alerts have been issued for rainstorms in south China, said China’s National Meteorological Center (NMC), reported the official news agency Xinhua.

Extreme rain events are forecast for parts of Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Anhui, Hubei, Hunan and Guizhou provinces, and Shanghai from Tuesday night to Wednesday, the NMC forecast.

The forecasters have also warned of possible thunderstorms and gales in the alert areas.

Meantime, torrential rains have killed at least 16 people [and affected very large number of others] since last week, said the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA).

[The toll does not include the presumed casualties from the cruise ship disaster on Yangtze River. Editor]

“The ministry said on May 25 to 27 and 28 to 31, two heavy rainfalls occurred in the southern part of China, leading to casualties in Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Guangdong, Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan and other provincial regions.”

The extreme rain events have triggered multiple disasters including floods, landslides and mudslides leaving three people missing, the report said.

Extreme rain events over May 29-30 of May, combined with strong wind and large hail, hit parts of Northwest and North China, affecting almost 420,000 people, said the MCA.

Record Rainfall

Rainstorms have been pounding large parts of south China since May 4, breaking a 40-year rainfall record, said NMC.

[Between May 4 and 23] south China received about 200mm of rain, some 74 percent higher than the long-term average, said NMC.

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