Jesse Johnson
For Jesse Johnson's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
U.S. military Ospreys and helicopters are lined up on a runway at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, on Dec. 1
JAPAN / Politics
Dec 7, 2023
U.S. military grounds all Osprey aircraft after Japan crash
A preliminary investigation into the crash last week indicated that problems with the aircraft — not a mistake by the crew — had led to the deaths.
U.S. military officers on boats depart the Anbo Port on Yakushima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Wednesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Dec 6, 2023
Biden ‘heartbroken’ as U.S. confirms eight dead in Osprey crash
The crash — the first fatal accident involving an Osprey in Japan and deadliest ever since it became operational — has rekindled concern over its safety.
The U.S. Army's prototype Mid-Range Capability system, known as the “Typhon” Strategic Mid-Range Fires system, is seen in this image released in July following its successful launch of a Tomahawk missile.
Dec 5, 2023
U.S. to deploy powerful new missile launcher to Indo-Pacific in '24
The system, which is capable of firing weapons with a range of up to 2,500 kilometers, is unlikely to be deployed in Japan.
A Maritime Self-Defense Force warship searches for the crashed CV-22 Osprey off Yakushima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Politics
Dec 5, 2023
Japan defense chief says concerns linger after U.S. Osprey crew remains found
Dive teams have found the remains of five more crew members from a CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft that crashed off southwestern Japan last week.
Chinese vessels gather near Whitsun Reef in disputed waters of the South China Sea on Saturday. The Philippines said Sunday that more than 135 Chinese "maritime militia" vessels were "swarming" the reef.
Dec 3, 2023
Philippines says Chinese boats 'swarming' reef in South China Sea
Manila said that more than 135 Chinese “maritime militia” ships were “swarming” a reef that it claims sovereignty over in the disputed waterway.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un chats with senior officials during a banquet to celebrate the launch of a reconnaissance satellite, at the Mulan Pavilion in Pyongyang, in this image released Friday.
Nov 28, 2023
North Korea says satellite took photos of White House and Pentagon
The assertions by the nuclear-armed country were the latest about its new spy satellite's capabilities — though it has yet to release any images.
Yoko Kamikawa
JAPAN / Politics
Nov 26, 2023
Kamikawa conveys ‘comfort women’ stance to South Korean envoy
Kamikawa urged Seoul to "immediately take appropriate measures" to rectify the situation.
Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin (center) and Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi pose for a photo ahead of trilateral talks in Busan, South Korea, on Sunday.
JAPAN / Politics
Nov 26, 2023
Japan, South Korea and China seek leaders' summit at 'earliest' time
The talks were seen as a steppingstone toward reviving the three-way summit, but progress on hammering out a specific date appeared elusive.
Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa shakes hands with her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, during bilateral talks in Busan, South Korea, on Saturday evening.
JAPAN / Politics
Nov 25, 2023
Japanese and Chinese top envoys eye more talks on Fukushima row
Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa met with China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, on Saturday in Busan, South Korea, ahead of a trilateral summit.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the control center of the National Aerospace Technology Administration in Pyongyang to inspect the operational readiness of a new military spy satellite and view photographs in this image released Saturday.
Nov 25, 2023
North Korea's Kim views satellite photos of South Korea and Hawaii
Pyongyang claimed the images showed “major target areas,” including Seoul and cities home to U.S. military bases in South Korea.
Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa speaks during a news conference after a Group of Seven foreign ministers meeting in Tokyo on Nov. 8.
JAPAN / Politics
Nov 25, 2023
Japan, South Korea and U.S. envoys seek united front on North Korea
The three countries' top diplomats strongly condemned North Korea’s launch of a military spy satellite and vowed to boost trilateral security cooperation.
Defense Minister Minoru Kihara speaks to reporters in Tokyo on Friday.
JAPAN / Politics
Nov 24, 2023
Japan says North Korean ‘object’ orbiting Earth after launch
"We need to continue to carefully analyze the details, including whether the satellite is orbiting the Earth as intended," the defense minister said.
Pedestrians walk past a screen displaying North Korean leader Kim Jong Un celebrating after the launch of a military reconnaissance satellite, in Tokyo's Akihabara district on Wednesday.
Nov 23, 2023
North Korea ends 2018 military accord with South after launch
Pyongyang said its first military spy satellite is in orbit, with the rocket passing over the Japanese archipelago late Tuesday.
A North Korean rocket carrying a military spy satellite is launched in this undated photo released Wednesday.
Nov 22, 2023
North Korea calls spy satellite launch a success, but questions linger
A rocket carrying the payload passed over the Japanese archipelago late Tuesday, but Tokyo said it had not confirmed the veracity of Pyongyang's claims.
A man walks past a TV broadcasting a news report on North Korea firing a space rocket, at the main railway station in Seoul in August.
JAPAN / Politics
Nov 21, 2023
North Korea says it could launch satellite as early as Wednesday
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s office said it had "strongly demanded" that North Korea halt preparations for the launch.
Defense Minister Minoru Kihara speaks with reporters at the Defense Ministry on Monday evening after holding a teleconference with his British and Italian counterparts.
JAPAN / Politics
Nov 21, 2023
Japan joint fighter development group planned for fiscal '24
The 'control tower' will oversee the countries’ requirements for the joint development of the fighter by 2035.
Taiwanese Vice President Lai Ching-te (left), presidential candidate from the Democratic Progressive Party, introduces Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwan's de facto envoy to the United States, as his running mate in the 2024 election, during a news conference at Lai's campaign headquarters in Taipei on Monday.
Nov 20, 2023
Taiwan presidential front-runner taps U.S. envoy as running mate
Lai Ching-te tapped Hsiao Bi-khim, a fluent English speaker who had been Taiwan's de facto ambassador to the U.S., to join him on the DPP ticket.
Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missiles take part in a nighttime military parade to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Revolutionary Army in Pyongyang in this undated photo released in April 2022.
Nov 19, 2023
North Korea marks missile holiday with silence as Kim absent 29 days
Missile Industry Day was not mentioned in state-run media on Sunday, as leader Kim Jong Un remained out of the public spotlight for nearly a month.
The U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey fires a Tomahawk land attack missile in April 2018.
JAPAN / Politics
Nov 18, 2023
U.S. approves deal to sell long-range Tomahawk missiles to Japan
The Pentagon said Friday that the U.S. State Department had signed off on the estimated $2.35 billion deal for 400 Tomahawk missiles.
U.S. President Joe Biden greets Chinese President Xi Jinping before a meeting during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders week in Woodside, California, on Wednesday.
Nov 16, 2023
Biden and Xi agree to pick up the phone to avert crisis. But now what?
Agreed measures are unlikely to be enough to improve bilateral ties, as neither side appeared willing to tackle fundamental differences head on.


Tokyo Healthcare University professor Takayuki Mifune explains how he is trying to re-create bonito broth from 1,300 years ago.
The quest to re-create what the Japanese ate 1,300 years ago