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Nao Shimoyachi

For Nao Shimoyachi's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Mama Calcutta

Jul 24, 2005

Mama Calcutta

Emiko Dhar moved to Calcutta (now renamed Kolkata) in 1962 after she married an Indian engineer whom she met through her job in Japan. She has lived there ever since. In the mid-1970s, she started volunteering at Nirmal Hriday (which means Pure Heart in ...

Jan 22, 2005

Missile shield commanders need say-so for launch

Self-Defense Forces commanders in the field must have the authority to launch interceptor missiles in the event of a ballistic missile attack because they would not have enough time to gain approval via the civilian channels now mandated by law, Defense Agency chief Yoshinori ...

MSDF sends biggest transport to serve as Sumatra relief base

Jan 13, 2005

MSDF sends biggest transport to serve as Sumatra relief base

Japan’s largest Maritime Self-Defense Force transport ship departed Wednesday for Indonesia’s Sumatra Island as part of a relief mission to the worst-hit area of the Dec. 26 tsunamis triggered by a massive earthquake. The 8,900-ton Kunisaki left the MSDF base at Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, ...

Jan 8, 2005

Defense Agency bolsters tsunami-relief task force

Japan on Friday offered Indonesia assistance for long-term reconstruction from the earthquake and tsunami disaster, in addition to other aid it has already pledged for emergency relief, a Japanese official said. In a meeting held in Jakarta, Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura and Indonesian Foreign ...

Jan 6, 2005

ASDF sending C-130 to Thai base

An Air Self-Defense Force C-130 transport will leave for Thailand Thursday to join a U.S. military-led relief operation for survivors of the Dec. 26 tsunamis, the Defense Agency said Wednesday. The airplane will take relief supplies from the Royal Thai Naval Air Force Base ...

Team in South Asia to assess SDF aid role

Jan 5, 2005

Team in South Asia to assess SDF aid role

The Defense Agency sent a 20-member team Tuesday to South Asia to assess what the Self-Defense Forces can do to help survivors of the Dec. 26 earthquake and widespread killer tsunamis. The move follows a request by Indonesia, which asked for particular help in ...

Jan 5, 2005

Massive response to tsunamis still not enough: aid groups

Japanese aid groups participating in the largest international disaster relief operation in Southern Asia said Tuesday that efforts to help the survivors are falling short despite the unprecedented level of support and donations. “We have received a lot of public responses, probably because the ...

Inn finds revival by welcoming foreigners

Jan 1, 2005

Inn finds revival by welcoming foreigners

With its plain concrete and tile exterior and glass double doors, Sawanoya looks like any other ordinary Japanese inn. Indeed, the tiny 12-room guest house in Tokyo’s historic “shitamachi” downtown district of Yanaka, Taito Ward, is very Japanese. All the guest rooms are tatami-matted ...

Dec 29, 2004

Civilian controls over military matters seen in the balance

As Japan prepares to redefine the Self-Defense Forces as a bona fide military, the government will have to address the sensitive question of how much say SDF officers should have in national security. As in other areas of postwar defense policy and operations, the ...