Archive for the ‘Tokyo’ Category

U.S. Investing $250 Billion in Banks: Financial ‘Bailout’ Continues to Intill Hope

October 14, 2008

By Mark Landler
The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department, in its boldest move yet, is expected to announce a plan on Tuesday to invest up to $250 billion in banks, according to officials. The United States is also expected to guarantee new debt issued by banks for three years — a measure meant to encourage the banks to resume lending to one another and to customers, officials said.

A euro coin and one US dollar bill. The dollar has dipped against ... 

And the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation will offer an unlimited guarantee on bank deposits in accounts that do not bear interest — typically those of businesses — bringing the United States in line with several European countries, which have adopted such blanket guarantees.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 936 points, or 11 percent, the largest single-day gain in the American stock market since the 1930s. The surge stretched around the globe: in Paris and Frankfurt, stocks had their biggest one-day gains ever, responding to news of similar multibillion-dollar rescue packages by the French and German governments.

Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. outlined the plan to nine of the nation’s leading bankers at an afternoon meeting, officials said. He essentially told the participants that they would have to accept government investment for the good of the American financial system.

Of the $250 billion, which will come from the $700 billion bailout approved by Congress, half is to be injected into nine big banks, including Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, officials said. The other half is to go to smaller banks and thrifts. The investments will be structured so that the government can benefit from a rebound in the banks’ fortunes.

President Bush plans to announce….

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/14/business
/economy/14treasury.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

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Asian Markets Soar On Signs of Renewed Hope

By JEREMIAH MARQUEZ, AP Business Writer 18 minutes ago

HONG KONG – Asian markets soared for a second day Tuesday, led by a record 14 percent jump in Tokyo, after Wall Street rallied from its worst week ever on optimism that government rescue efforts will heal the crippled global financial system.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081014/ap_on_bi_ge/world_
markets;_ylt=AhU9ssfZ2fvgiOjAnyoc0oSs0NUE

A businessman walks past an electonic board showing the Hang ...
A businessman walks past an electonic board showing the Hang Seng Index. Global stock markets staged spectacular gains Monday as governments pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into banks crippled by the credit crunch, coaxing newly confident investors to buy shares.(AFP/Mike Clarke)

A South Korean woman passes a foreign exchange facility in Seoul. ... 
A South Korean woman passes a foreign exchange facility in Seoul.(AFP/File/Jung Yeon-Je)

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Gridlock On U.S. Financial Crisis Rattles Asian Markets

September 26, 2008

By Danny McCord

HONG KONG (AFP) – Asian stock markets fell Friday as political wrangling held up a 700-billion-dollar bailout package for the US financial system despite earlier hopes that a deal was near.

Talks over the rescue proposal were gridlocked Thursday as lawmakers were at loggerheads over the way forward, with Democrats accusing the Republicans of dragging their feet.

Tokyo’s Nikkei closed down 0.94 percent, Hong Kong was off 2.0 percent at the break, Sydney ended the day 0.5 percent down and Taiwan shares shed 2.2 percent.

Some stocks had risen earlier, taking a cue from Wall Street, which closed 1.82 percent up on prospects that an agreement could be reached.

US Democrats said Republican White House contender John McCain had sabotaged the rescue package, which they said had largely been agreed upon.

“John McCain did nothing to help, he only hurt the process,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told a joint news conference with Senate banking committee chairman Christopher Dodd.

Under the proposal the government would buy 700 billion dollars of toxic mortgage-related assets at the heart of the global credit crisis. The move would be the biggest government bailout since the 1930s Great Depression.

Read the rest:
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/afp/20080926/
tbs-stocks-world-65f2640.html

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Bloomberg
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Woori Finance fell 4.5pc on concern the credit crisis is deepening after Republicans splintered over the proposed $700bn bailout and WaMu was seized by regulators. Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan’s largest operator of dry-bulk ships, lost 3.8 pc.

“The assumption is that the bailout will take longer than expected, which is negative,” said Tsuyoshi Shimizu, a senior fund manager at Mizuho Asset Management Co., which oversees $26bn.

“As with Washington Mutual, the longer it takes to pass something, the more victims we’re going to see.”

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.1pc to 113.52 by lunchtime in Tokyo, erasing an earlier 0.9pc advance. The index has declined 0.6pc this week, a fourth weekly retreat.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 1.4pc to 11,843.98. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index dropped 0.9pc after government data showed the economy contracted in the second quarter, driving the nation into its first recession in a decade.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures slid 1.7pc after a group of House Republicans led by Eric Cantor of Virginia said they wouldn’t back a plan based on the approach outlined by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and backed by President George W. Bush and Democratic leaders.

Read the rest:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/markets/3083761
/Asian-shares-fall-as-doubt-cast-on-US-bailout.html

Tokyo missile defense now complete

March 30, 2008
By MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press Writer

TOKYO – Japan installed the final piece of a missile defense system for Tokyo on Saturday, a day after North Korea test-fired a barrage of missiles.

A Japanese soldier stands guard as the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 ...
Japanese soldier stands guard as the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air interceptors arrive at the Iruma airforce base in suburban Toyo. Japan completed deploying a ballistic missile defence system in the Tokyo area, a day after North Korea reportedly fired short-range missiles off its west coast, news reports said.(AFP/JIJI PRESS)

Air Self-Defense Forces personnel set up a land-based Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile intercepter system at the Kasumigaura base in Ibaraki prefecture (state), just northeast of Tokyo, regional defense official Keisuke Tanaka said.

It is the last of four PAC-3 sets deployed around Tokyo to protect the capital region, Tanaka said. The system at the Kasumigaura base, 47 miles northeast of Tokyo, includes five launchers, a special vehicle equipped with radar and another that serves as a control station, he said.

PAC-3 systems were previously installed at three other bases near Tokyo, including Japan’s largest naval base in Yokosuka, the homeport of the U.S. Seventh Fleet.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080329/ap_on_re_as/
japan_missile_defense_1

Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel stand at attention ...
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force personnel stand at attention during the Central Readiness Force 1st Helicopter Unit formation ceremony in Kisarazu, east of Tokyo, Japan, Saturday, March 29, 2008.(AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

NATO urged to do more in Afghanistan

February 7, 2008

From combined dispatches
(Peace and freedom thanks AP, Reuters, CNN, ABC)
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Senior U.S. officials yesterday turned up the heat on NATO allies to do more in the war against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, warning that a planned influx of 3,000 Marines is unlikely to halt the deterioration of security there.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Organisation du traité de l’Atlantique Nord

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in London that Western countries must prepare their citizens for a long fight, while in Washington, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said a failure in Afghanistan would put “a cloud over the future” of NATO.
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The remarks came amid a drumbeat of discouraging news on several fronts, including a new U.N. report predicting another bumper opium crop that will help to fund the insurgency.
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Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak said during a visit to Tallinn, Estonia, that more foreign troops are needed. The threat from the Taliban “is much higher than anticipated in 2001,” he told reporters.
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Germany agreed yesterday to boost its force in the country by 200 troops but refused to let them serve in the south where they might face combat. In Canada, which has 2,500 troops fighting in the south, it became clear that an effort to extend the mission could bring down the Conservative-led government.
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A British think tank said that country’s relief efforts in Afghanistan were failing, undermining military gains.
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Britain’s Department for International Development in embattled Helmand province “is dysfunctional, totally dysfunctional. Basically it should be removed and its budget should go to the army, which might be better able to deliver assistance,” said the president of the Senlis Council, which has long experience in Afghanistan.
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The Taliban staged more than 140 suicide missions last year, the most since it was ousted from power in late 2001 by the U.S.-led invasion that followed the September 11 attacks. “I do think the alliance is facing a real test here,” Miss Rice said at a press conference with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband in London. “Our populations need to understand this is not a peacekeeping mission” but rather a long-term fight against extremists, she said. 

Mr. Gates said he was not optimistic that the addition of 3,000 Marines to Afghanistan this spring will be enough to put the NATO-led war effort back on track. He has sent letters to every alliance defense minister asking for more troops and equipment but has not received any replies, he said during a Senate hearing. 

All 26 NATO nations have soldiers in Afghanistan and all agree the mission is their top priority, but only the Canadians, British, Australians, Dutch and Danes “are really out there on the line and fighting,” Mr. Gates said.

He said he would be “a nag on this issue” when he meets NATO defense ministers today and tomorrow in Europe.

But there was little evidence yesterday that the allies are prepared to increase their contributions.

In Berlin, Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung told reporters Germany will send around 200 combat soldiers to northern Afghanistan this summer to replace a Norwegian unit, but would not move them to the nation’s endangered south. 

“If we neglected the north,” where conditions are relatively peaceful, “we would commit a decisive mistake,” Mr. Jung said. 

In Ottawa, a spokeswoman for Opposition Leader Stephane Dion said Mr. Dion had been told by Prime Minister Stephen Harper that a parliamentary vote to extend Canada’s mission would be treated as a matter of confidence, meaning the minority government will fall if it fails. 

Canada has already said it will not extend the mission if other NATO countries do not increase their contributions.

In Tokyo, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime predicted that this year’s production of opium poppies would be close or equal to last year’s record of 477,000 acres. Taliban rebels receive up to $100 million from the drug trade, the agency estimated. 

The Taliban “are deriving an enormous funding for their war by imposing … a 10 percent tax on production,” said Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the U.N. agency.

Mr. Gates told the Senate hearing that he worries “a great deal” about NATO evolving into “a two-tiered alliance, in which you have some allies willing to fight and die to protect peoples’ security, and others who are not.”

Overall, there are about 43,000 troops in the NATO-led coalition, including 16,000 U.S. troops. An additional 13,000 U.S. troops are outside NATO command, training Afghan forces and hunting al Qaeda terrorists.

Related:
SecDef Gates, Admiral Mullen Testify Before SASC

Japan vows better screening of Chinese food

February 4, 2008

By Kyoko Hasegawa 

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan on Monday pledged to step up screening of food imports from China amid a nationwide scare over Chinese-made dumplings that left hundreds complaining of illness.

Ten people were diagnosed with pesticide poisoning after eating the frozen meat dumplings, prompting major foodmakers to recall food products manufactured at the same factory in China.
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As Chinese experts held a second day of closed-door talks with Japanese officials, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda vowed to strengthen scrutiny of imports.

“This is actually a matter of national security if it is linked to the Japanese people’s lives,” Fukuda told a parliamentary committee.

Read the Rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080204/wl_asia_afp/
japanchinafoodsafety_080204082527

Japan to boost defense against cruise missiles

January 27, 2008

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan is planning to beef up its defense against cruise missiles in response to China‘s growing air strike capabilities, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Sunday.

The measure will be part of the government’s review of the mid-term defense plan, which will begin in the fiscal year starting in April, the newspaper said.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080127/wl_nm/japan_defence_dc_1

Missile Defense Going Global

December 21, 2007

By James T. Hackett
The Washington Times

December 21, 2007

The Dec. 17 interception of a ballistic missile by a Japanese Aegis destroyer off the Hawaiian Island of Kauai is a milestone in the U.S.-Japan missile defense collaboration. The Bush administration’s goal of global missile defenses is becoming reality, but to effectively protect the Eastern United States defenses in Europe are needed.

For years, representatives of Japan and a number of other countries attended missile defense conferences. They regularly announced plans to study the need for missile defenses. Each year they said the same, but there was little sense of urgency and no sign of progress, except in Israel and the United States.

The United States developed the Patriot PAC-2 to stop short-range missiles just in time to defend U.S. troops and Israel in the first Gulf war. Then Israel, surrounded by enemies, developed and deployed its Arrow missile interceptor in record time.

Land-based Patriots were sent to defend U.S. forces and allies around the world, but the ABM treaty prevented the U.S. from developing either a national missile defense or ship-based defenses. The problem became critical in 1998 when North Korea launched a Taepodong missile over northern Japan. It was a blatant threat to Japan and its three stages meant it also had the potential to reach the United States. Tokyo began deploying defenses.

Japan placed 27 Patriot PAC-2 batteries around the country, put in orbit its own spy satellites, bought Aegis radar systems for six new destroyers, joined the U.S. in developing a longer-range ship-based missile interceptor, and allowed the U.S. to put an X-band radar in northern Japan. Last March, Japan began deploying more capable Patriot PAC-3s at 16 locations to protect major cities, military installations and other potential targets.

Japan also is modifying its four operational Aegis destroyers to carry SM-3 missile interceptors. The destroyer Kongo, which made the successful intercept on Monday, is the first non-U.S. ship to shoot down a ballistic missile. The U.S. Navy already has shot down 11 in 13 attempts with ship-based interceptors.

By the end of 2008 the United States will have 18 Aegis warships equipped for ballistic missile defense. Japan eventually will have six, and Australia, South Korea, Taiwan and others also likely will put missile defenses on their ships. Ship-based defenses can be coordinated with land-based defenses, including the various models of Patriots in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense when it is ready in a few years.

Ship-based SM-3s can intercept missiles outside the atmosphere. Any that get through can be stopped inside the atmosphere by the land-based interceptors. Such defenses can both protect against North Korean missiles and reduce intimidation by China, which has nearly 1,000 missiles opposite Taiwan.

For decades the Soviet missile defenses around Moscow were the only defenses against long-range missiles anywhere. The Russians are now modernizing those defenses against the kind of missiles being developed by Iran. Even though Russia claims Iran is no threat, in August Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin, commander of the Russian air force, announced activation of the first S-400 interceptors as part of Moscow’s missile defense.

Russian reports claim the S-400 can reach out 250 miles and stop missiles with ranges greater than 2,000 miles. This covers both Iran’s Shahab-3 and the new solid-fuel Ashura, the development of which Tehran announced three weeks ago, claiming a range of 1,250 miles.

With the constraints of the ABM treaty removed by President Bush, the United States is putting missile defenses in Alaska and California, at U.S. bases abroad, and on ships at sea. Other countries also are developing and buying missile defenses. India, surrounded by nuclear missile-armed Russia, China and Pakistan, plans to deploy its own two-tier missile defense in a few years. On Dec. 6, India conducted a successful intercept within the atmosphere, while a year ago it killed a ballistic missile outside the atmosphere.

Proliferating missile defenses diminish the value of the nuclear-armed ballistic missile. In the Middle East, Israel is expanding its missile defenses, while Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Turkey have bought or are seeking to buy such defenses. In Europe, Britain and Denmark are hosting early warning radars.

The Polish and Czech governments are resisting Russian pressure and are expected to sign basing agreements early next year. Meanwhile, the threat continues to grow as Iran develops new longer-range missiles. Ship-based defenses in the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean can help, but to effectively protect the U.S. East Coast and Europe, bases in Europe are needed.

Sea-based defenses now are advancing quickly. It is time to move forward with land-based defenses in Europe.

James T. Hackett is a contributing writer to The Washington Times based in Carlsbad, Calif.

Peace and Freedom wishes to thank Mr. Hackett who provided this and many other great articles to our readers.

Japan: “Significant” Missile Defense Success

December 18, 2007

HONOLULU (AP) – Japan is now the first U.S. ally to shoot down a mid-range ballistic missile in a test from a ship at sea. Japan’s top government spokesman says this is very significant for Japanese national security. He says the government plans to continue bolstering its missile defense systems by installing necessary equipment and conducting tests. Tokyo has invested heavily in missile defense since North Korea test-fired a long-range missile over northern Japan nearly 10 years ago. It has installed missile tracking technology on several navy ships and has plans to equip three additional vessels with interceptors. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency calls the test “a major milestone” in U.S.-Japanese relations.
In this photo provided by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, ... 
In this photo provided by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, a Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) is launched from the Japanese Aegis Destroyer JS Kongo in the warter off Kauai, Hawaii, Monday, Dec. 17, 2007. The Japanese military became the first U.S. ally to shoot down a mid-range ballistic missile in space, about 100 miles above the Pacific Ocean, fired from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, run by the U.S. Navy, with the interceptor fired from the ship at sea in a test Monday.
(AP Photo/Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, HO)

Japan shoots down test missile in space – defense minister

December 18, 2007

TOKYO (Thomson Financial) – Japan said Tuesday it had shot down a ballistic missile in space high above the Pacific Ocean as part of joint efforts with the United States to erect a shield against a possible attack from North Korea.Japan tested the US-developed Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) interceptor from a warship in waters off Hawaii, becoming the first US ally to intercept a target using the system.

Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba described the successful test as “extremely significant.” “We will continue to strive to increase the system’s credibility,” he told reporters, insisting the missile shield was worth the high cost.

“We can’t talk about how much money should be spent when human lives are at stake.” Japan plans to spend a total of 127 billion yen over the four years to March 2008 on missile defense using the US-developed Aegis combat system, according to the defense ministry.

The naval destroyer Kongou launched the SM-3 which, at 7.12 am Japan time (2212 GMT Monday), intercepted the missile fired from onshore earlier, the navy said in a statement.

Officials said the interception was made around 100 miles (160 kilometers) above the Pacific. Japan plans to install the missile shield on four Aegis-equipped destroyers by March 2011, including the Kongou.

If the SM-3 system fails to intercept its target in space, the second stage of the shield uses ground-based Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) missile interceptors to try to shoot it down.

Japan introduced its first PAC-3 missile launcher at the Iruma air force base north of Tokyo in March, one year ahead of schedule, amid tense relations with North Korea which tested a nuclear device for the first time in October last year.

Japanese authorities aim to increase the number of locations equipped with the PAC-3 system to 14 by March 2011.

Tribute to Vietnam Era Warriors From One of their Own

November 23, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
November 23, 2007

He was 19 years old in 1968 and the war in Vietnam was raging. He had been drafted and America intended him to serve in the Army — but he hastily enlisted in the U.S. Navy instead.

Today he told me “Those were the finest years of my life.”

Mike works in the grocery store near where I live and he works through the night so he can help parent his grandchildren during the day.

“When the heck do you sleep?” I asked.

“Oh, I get by,” he said with a sheepish grin.

Mike served aboard the USS Shangra La, an American aircraft carrier built during World War II. The name Shangra La is unique to that one ship. After Jimmy Doolittle’s raiders took off from USS Hornet and bombed Japan early in 1942, reporters asked President Roosevelt where those bombers had come from. He told them: “Shangra La.”

The president was referring to the mythical land created by author James Hilton for his novel “Lost Horizons.”

USS Shangra La served with distinction during the assault on Okinawa and during other battles. Her airwing attacked Tokyo and other key targets in Japan.

Shangra La received two battle stars for service in World War II and three battle stars for service in the Vietnam war.

USS Shangra-La underway, with crew on parade,
just after World War II.

Mike said, “I wasn’t much. Just a Gunner’s Mate taking care of the 5 inch 38 guns aboard Shangra La. But I watched our little A-4s and F-8s roar off that wooden flight deck to attack the communists in Vietnam. It made my heart proud. And still does.”

“Is that why you still wear the ship’s ball hat?” I asked; knowing the answer.
Skyhawk.jpg

A-4 Skyhawk.  Senator John McCain piloted an aircraft of this type.
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“Those pilots were tough. They were up against incredible odds. I could have never done what they did,” Mike told me.

“Sometimes those pilots supported American and South Vietnamese troops on the ground. They saved countless lives.”

“So I wear this Shangra La ball hat, even as I restock the vegetables here each night. It reminds me that we had an important mission. It reminds me of my shipmates. And it reminds me of all those killed and wounded in a damned good cause.”

I shook his hand and reluctantly said good bye. I had to get to work, I told him.

Then, quite unexpectedly, he hugged me. A gig bear hug from a big man.

He said, “I never hugged any white guy before.”

I told him we were all just sailors, once. Even though I served aboard a different aircraft carrier in a slightly different era — we shared a sense of kinship.

He hollered as I walked away, “Come back and see me again, shipmate!”

I certainly will see him again. And listen to some sea stories.