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Paul Thompson

For Paul Thompson's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

The 39th Tokyo Motor Show is all revved up and ready to go

Oct 21, 2005

The 39th Tokyo Motor Show is all revved up and ready to go

Trade days over, denizens of the auto industry turn their attention to entertaining and informing the general public at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show glitz-fest at Chiba’s Makuhari Messe from Saturday, Oct. 22 to Sunday, Nov. 6. On show will be the usual eclectic ...

Japan's war machine that isn't

Jun 20, 2004

Japan's war machine that isn't

In March 1999, when P-3C Orion aircraft from the Maritime Self-Defense Force dropped warning bombs near two suspicious trawlers in the Sea of Japan, it was the first time weapons had been used “in anger” by any SDF unit. The action followed the MSDF ...

Vast budget fuels huge arms industry

Jun 20, 2004

Vast budget fuels huge arms industry

Deep in the heart of Aichi Prefecture is the headquarters of an engineering company founded 100 years ago to make textile looms. Having borne the name Howa Machinery, Ltd. since 1945, today its products range from window frames to road-sweepers — but it also ...

Letting the plane take the strain

Nov 14, 2003

Letting the plane take the strain

There can be fewer more ostentatious trappings of wealth than a private jet. However, the perception of such aircraft as mere playthings of the rich and famous has tended to detract from their more mundane role as effective, hassle-reducing business tools. Nowadays, with even ...

Guns and poses from the past

May 4, 2003

Guns and poses from the past

An expectant hush descends as the line of 20 armor-clad samurai, their clan banners flapping in the stiff breeze, take up position in the clearing. With skilled precision they load their matchlocks and, on a given command, raise them and fire. The sound reverberates ...

Trucks' pulling power to haul in visitors

Oct 27, 2002

Trucks' pulling power to haul in visitors

The 36th Tokyo Motor Show, which gets into gear at Chiba’s Makuhari Messe complex this week, will be showcasing some 105 commercial-vehicle companies from seven countries including, for the first time, South Korea. Following the 1999 separation of the exhibition, passenger car/motorcycle and commercial ...

'Operation Friendship' set for takeoff

Aug 18, 2002

'Operation Friendship' set for takeoff

The gates of the U.S. Air Force’s Yokota base at Fussa in western Tokyo will be opened to the public next weekend, when the annual “Friendship Days” event is expected to attract around 200,000 visitors to soak up the razzmatazz festival atmosphere, watch fireworks ...