National Nov 23, 2004

Watchdog group raps proposed defense policy

A group that monitors Japan's defense policy warned Monday that a new security policy recommended last month by an advisory panel to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi could violate agreements under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, as it would allow nuclear retaliation against use of other ...

Missile shield project ignites bidding war

National Nov 18, 2004

Missile shield project ignites bidding war

Tokyo's decision last year to deploy an expensive U.S.-developed defense system against North Korea's ballistic missiles has triggered a heated race between the defense industries of Japan and the United States to get the most out of the 1 trillion yen project. Last week, major ...

National Nov 13, 2004

Chinese submarine intrusion considered an act of provocation

The Defense Agency said Friday the intrusion of a Chinese submarine into Japan's territorial waters was a highly provocative act by the Chinese Navy. Agency officials speculated that the Chinese military was trying to use the brief trespass Wednesday to show off its sea power. They ...

Yokota base joint-use plan irks residents

National Nov 12, 2004

Yokota base joint-use plan irks residents

Ryuzo Fukumoto's house shakes and a roar can be heard overhead around 40 times a day on average -- sometimes even at night. "I have had to put up with this for 50 years," said Fukumoto, 84. His house, which he bought in 1952, sits ...

National Nov 12, 2004

Lawmakers question delayed response to sub

Ruling bloc and opposition lawmakers Thursday criticized the government's slow response to a mystery submarine that intruded into Japan's territorial waters the previous day. The government denied there was any problem and said it had followed standard procedures. "The Defense Agency chief can issue the order ...

Okinawans feel state leaving them in limbo

National Nov 11, 2004

Okinawans feel state leaving them in limbo

Near the northeastern Okinawa Island fishing port of Nago, some 50 men and women in their 60s through their 90s have been staging a daytime sit-in at a makeshift camp for more than 200 days. They hope to block the central government from constructing an ...

National Nov 11, 2004

Unidentified submarine intrudes near Okinawa

An unidentified submarine briefly entered Japan's territorial waters off the Okinawa Islands early Wednesday, and Maritime Self-Defense Force patrol aircraft were sent to track it. Although some media reported that the Defense Agency believed it was a Chinese nuclear-powered submarine, government officials rejected such speculation ...

Love her or hate her...

Features Nov 7, 2004

Love her or hate her...

Nahoko Takato became famous on the night of April 8 this year, when the Arab satellite broadcaster Al-Jazeera aired video footage of her and two other Japanese held blindfolded at gunpoint in Iraq. The 34-year-old volunteer worker had been captured in Fallujah -- along with ...

National Nov 5, 2004

Troops ready for deployment; Iraq mission may be extended

The Defense Agency on Thursday ordered the Northeastern Army of the Ground Self-Defense Force to prepare to head to southern Iraq to take over Japan's humanitarian aid mission there -- an indication the government is prepared to extend troop deployment beyond its one-year mission. When ...

National Nov 4, 2004

Japan urged to put human rights on agenda for talks with North Korea

A visiting American human rights specialist has urged Japan to put North Korea's human rights record on its agenda for the upcoming normalization talks scheduled with the reclusive state. "The Japanese government will be in a strong position," consultant David Hawk said at a symposium ...