Archive for the ‘allies’ Category

Japan Slides Into Recession; Obama Presidency Seen as No Help

November 17, 2008

Japan’s economy slid into a recession for the first time since 2001, the government said Monday, as companies sharply cut back on spending in the third quarter amid the unfolding global financial crisis.

The world’s second-largest economy contracted at an annual pace of 0.4 percent in the July-September period after a declining an annualized 3.7 percent in the second quarter. That means Japan, along with the 15-nation euro-zone, is now technically in a recession, defined as two straight quarters of contraction.

The result was worse than expected. Economists surveyed by Kyodo News agency had predicted gross domestic product would gain an annualized 0.1 percent.

Japan’s Economy Minister Kaoru Yosano said following the data’s release that “the economy is in a recessionary phase.”

But the worst may be yet to come, especially with dramatic declines in demand from consumers overseas for Japan’s autos and electronics gadgets. Hurt also by a strengthening yen, a growing number of exporters big and small are slashing their profit, sales and spending projections for the full fiscal year through March.

Toyota Motor Corp., for example, has cut net profit full-year profit forecast to 550 billion yen ($5.5 billion) — about a third of last year’s earnings. And Sony Corp., whose July-September profit plunged 72 percent, expects to make 59 percent less this fiscal year than last year.

“What we’re starting to see is the extent of deterioration in external demand start to weigh more heavily on the Japanese economy,” said Glen Maguire, chief Asia economist at Societe Generale. “And I think looking forward, there’s every indication that dynamic is going to continue.”

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For Japan, Obama Signals A Shift Closer to China, Away From “Traditional” Asian Allies
The Japanese do not share the jubilation seen almost everywhere following the election of Barack Obama. 

Economically, Japan sees an Obama White House funding the American Big Three Automakers: GM, Chrysler and Ford.  And that’s bad for Japan’s automakers.

Japan, for one nation, prefers to allow the “system” to work without more government intervention.

On the foreign policy level, Japan fears North Korea’s erratic behavior and nuclear capability.  It also fears China as a tradition enemy of immense wealth, population and size which can easily overwhelm the economy of Japan.

Japan fears the presidency of Barack Obama.  “So far, no good,” one senior diplomat told Peace and Freedom.

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapal, Virginia

Obama Not Such A Hero In Japan


China to loan Pakistan $500M

April 18, 2008

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — China will offer its close ally Pakistan a low-interest $500 million (315 million euro) loan to help ease its growing financial problems, Pakistan’s foreign minister said.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi made the announcement Thursday after a recent visit to China and after Pakistan hosted a protest-free, security-heavy leg of the Olympic torch relay amid Western criticism of its giant neighbor’s human rights record in Tibet.

Pakistan's nuclear-capable missile, Ghauri, is driven with its ...
Pakistan’s nuclear-capable missile, Ghauri, is driven with its mobile launcher during National Day military parade in Islamabad March 23, 2008.(Mian Khursheed/Reuters)

Qureshi, who accompanied President Pervez Musharraf on the April 10-15 trip, said that it had been “highly successful.”

“If we have any reliable friend, my experience says it is China,” Qureshi said at a news conference in the capital, Islamabad.

Qureshi is a loyalist of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, whose party defeated Musharraf’s political supporters in February elections and now leads a new coalition government.

The government has inherited an ailing economy. It faces yawning budget and balance of payments deficits driven by rising world prices for commodities such as oil.

The World Bank last month urged the new administration to take urgent action or risk a crisis, even though the economy was still growing at an annual rate of more than 6 percent.

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Military to boost cyber-protections

March 19, 2008
By Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The military is beefing up efforts to gather intelligence, fend off cyber-attacks and improve relations with other nations as part of a strategy for keeping the U.S. safe while fighting two wars, according to a Pentagon document.

The four-page plan acknowledges there is still a significant risk that the military cannot quickly and fully respond to another outbreak in the world and outlines what must be done to counter that threat.

This undated photo released by the Walter Arts Museum shows ...
This undated photo released by the Walter Arts Museum shows a 1982 schematic of the first Internet, which then consisted of only 88 computers, linked as shown in this diagram-like map titled ‘Joyce Reynolds, ARPANET, the  First Internet.’  
(AP Photo/Private Collection, Virginia)

Sent to Congress by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and obtained by The Associated Press, the plan relies heavily on building partnerships with other countries. It accompanied a classified risk assessment compiled by Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

US Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, seen ...
Admiral Mike Mullen

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“Cyberwar” Tests U.S. Government-Wide

March 10, 2008

By Shaun Waterman

Officials from 18 federal agencies, nine states, four foreign governments and more than three dozen private companies will take part in a cyberwar exercise staged this week by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The exercise, code-named Cyber Storm II, will run today through Thursday and is based at U.S. Secret Service headquarters in Washington. It is the second DHS biannual cyber-exercise, designed to test the ability of federal agencies and their partners in state, local and foreign governments and the private sector to respond to and recover from hacker attacks on computer networks.
“The goal of Cyber Storm II is to examine the processes, procedures, tools and organizational response to a multisector coordinated attack through, and on, the global cyber infrastructure….

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India awards Russia billion dollar MiG-29 upgrade

March 10, 2008

NEW DELHI (AFP) – India has awarded Russia a 965-million-dollar contract to upgrade its multi-role MiG-29 warplanes, officials said on Monday.

An Indian Air Force MIG-29 fighter. India has awarded Russia ...
An Indian Air Force MIG-29 fighter. India has awarded Russia a 965-million-dollar contract to upgrade its multi-role MiG-29 warplanes, officials said on Monday.(AFP/PIB/File)

The two post-Cold War allies Saturday signed the deal to extend the life of India’s fleet of 70 MiG-29 jets another 15 years from their current 25 years, an air force official said.

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Rice on unannounced visit to Afghanistan

February 7, 2008
By Anne Gearan, AP Diplomatic Writer

KABUL, Afghanistan – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband arrived in Afghanistan on an unannounced visit Thursday, carrying a joint message of support and prodding to Afghan officials as the U.S. continued a drive to recruit more NATO troops.

This is an image release by the International Security Assistance ...
This is an image release by the International Security Assistance Force of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice shaking hands with Canadian Major-General Marc Lessard, the Commander of Regional Command (South), during her visit to the Regional Command (South) Headquarters at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan Thursday Feb. 7, 2008. Rice was on the visit with Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband. Rice said Thursday the Afghan government must meet its responsibilities in fighting a resurgent Taliban as the United States and Britain lead an effort to boost the number of NATO combat forces. In a show of unity, Rice was making the point as she and David Miliband got a firsthand look at the front lines of the NATO-led fight against insurgents in Kandahar, visiting an alliance airfield in this former Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan.
(AP Photo/Liepke Plankcke/ Royal Netherlands Air Force, ISAF, HO)

Rice and Miliband flew together to the Afghan capital from London. They were seeing Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other officials amid a welter of outside assessments that progress in the six-year war is stalling.

The two made clear they expect cooperation from the Karzai government, widely seen as weak.
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US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (L) and British Foreign ...
Prime Minister Gordon Brown (R) and Foreign Secretary David Miliband (L) with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at 10 Downing Street in London. Rice and Miliband travelled to the heart of the Taliban insurgency during a surprise trip to Afghanistan.
(AFP/Pool/Sang Tan)

A Pair of Allies, Self-Destructing

February 3, 2008

By Jim Hoagland
The Washington Post
February 3, 2008
The presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan fiddle furiously as the fires of terrorist violence burn across their nations.Hamid Karzai and Pervez Musharraf suddenly seem more concerned with protecting their positions and perks than with keeping their countries out of the grasp of extremist Islamic forces.

Rule One of counterinsurgency campaigns is that you can’t help foreign leaders who won’t help themselves. It is time to apply that rule to the recent quixotic and self-defeating actions of both….

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President Pervez Musharraf accused Pakistan's enemies of ... 
Pervez Musharraf

Understanding Real War Heroes

February 3, 2008

By James G. Zumwalt
The Washington Times
February 3, 2008

The battle raged for 17 hours — from day, to night, into day again. Ammunition and water ran low as the platoon was pinned down. An Afghan soldier was wounded. Absent surgery, he would die.

In an act demonstrative not only of courage but also of respect for the life of an allied Muslim soldier, the American platoon commander, Lt. Sean McQuade, ordered 12 men to carry the wounded Afghan down a rocky mountain slope as the remaining 20 men provided covering fire.

During the downhill movement, the wounded man was occasionally exposed to enemy fire, prompting medic Sgt. Jose Rivas to shield him with his own body as he tended to the soldier’s wounds. Eventually, a Black Hawk helicopter swooped in, resupplying the 20 platoon members holding the high ground before then picking up the wounded Afghan. Sgt. Rivas’ mission accomplished, he returned to rejoin the fight ….

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Japan rejoins US anti-terrorism mission

January 11, 2008
By ERIC TALMADGE, Associated Press Writer 

TOKYO – Japan‘s defense minister ordered the navy Friday to return to the Indian Ocean on a U.S.-backed anti-terrorism mission, ending a three-month hiatus but deepening political divisions with the opposition.

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's supply ship Tokiwa fuels ...
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s supply ship Tokiwa fuels a U.S. Navy vessel, right, in February, 2003 in Arabian Sea. Japan’s upper house of parliament voted Friday, Jan. 11, 2008, to reject legislation that would revive a limited version of Japan’s six-year-long mission to provide fuel and other resources to U.S.-led forces in Indian Ocean, but the ruling party was expected to push the measure into law in the lower chamber. (AP Photo/Kyodo)

Japan had refueled ships since 2001 in support of U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan, but was forced to abandon the mission in November, when the opposition blocked an extension, saying it violated Japan’s pacifist constitution and did not have the United Nations‘ backing.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said he expects the ships to leave by the end of the month, meaning they could be back in the Indian Ocean in February.

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Turkey recalls US ambassador for talks

October 11, 2007

By C. ONUR ANT, Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey ordered its ambassador in Washington to return to Turkey for consultations over a U.S. House panel’s approval of a bill describing the World War I-era mass killings of Armenians as genocide, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday.

The ambassador would stay in Turkey for about a week or 10 days for discussions about the measure, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Levent Bilman.

“We are not withdrawing our ambassador. We have asked him to come to Turkey for some consultations….”

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