Ann von Mehren comments

Posted in: Obama, Abe discuss Syria crisis See in context

I hope they also discuss Russian-Japan antagonism over the northern islands and Law Of the Sea sealane demarcations between Russia and Japan. Although Obama might want to seem impartial on Japan's foreign policy challenges, if he is asking Abe for attention I bet he is promising support for Abe's concerns about Russian foreign policy.

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Posted in: Japan to give $1 bil for Sahel security, stabilization See in context

I wonder whether road improvements from Algeria to Mali will receive Japan funding.

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Posted in: Google Japan's shopping site under fire for promoting sale of ivory See in context

National Geographic magazine, November 2012, had an extensive article on Blood Ivory, describing the business aspects of ivory trade, from the perspective of Japan and every other nation that is involved. The main focus was the Philippines, but also the Coptic Church and the Vatican were named, along with trade routes including pirates in Zanibar, Mindinao, Malaysia. The only country barely mentioned was the U.S. and no reference to Google, which offers its satellite transponders for free for elephant tracking through Google Earth, to real charitable organizations. Whoever this group is that is blaming Google, it cannot be left from consideration the possibility that the attack on Google is because Google is proving to be a champion of stopping illegal trade.

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Posted in: U.S. stands by Japan on island dispute with China See in context

I think that what is new is the last paragraph mentioning Algeria, because I believe it can be ascertained that Japan built the gas field in Algeria and China is financing developments projects and has sent many workers for road construction in Algeria and Mali. Could Clinton's hope for a new dialogue between Japan and China be viewed in regard to this attack by a disgruntled group of religious extremists -- of whatever creed or national origin -- making investments vulnerable in southern Algeria's gas fields?

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Posted in: Ishihara calls for nuclear-armed Japan See in context

Nuclear arms might encourage China to enter into nuclear arms reduction talks. But wouldn't the money be better spent on increasing the size of the navy to patrol the sea lanes and territorial waters being threatened by China?

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Posted in: Quake jolts Kanto, Fukushima areas See in context

To elaborate, I suppose this means at a depth under the earth's crust, but it is confusing in a news report about an earthquake "in the Pacific Ocean."

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Posted in: Quake jolts Kanto, Fukushima areas See in context

There was also a major earthquake in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Guatamala on November 7. The news reports say the U.S. Geological Survey and the Japan Meteorological agencies are reporting "depth of 20 kilometers" -- I believe they must mean distance rather than depth, because my understanding is that the deepest depth of the ocean is no more than approximately 12 kilometers (in the Challenger trench of the Marianas). Any clarification on these measurements would be most helpful.

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Posted in: Edano says Japan must quickly phase out nuke energy See in context

Governments needs to sponsor, support, educate, or invest in sensitive people who are knowledgeable of architectural design for earthquake zones, like the famous building of Frank Lloyd Wright in Tokyo.

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Posted in: Cabinet OKs new energy plan but drops reference to nuclear-free target by 2030s See in context

The Fukushima plant needed replacement, just like similar plants in the United States need updating. Nuclear power did not cause the tsunami. Any admirer of Hokusai knows that a okinami or tsunami can occur on the shores of Japan. The tsunami killed or led to the great number of deaths. Can Japan and the United States change where and how it builds nuclear power plants to make them safe in anticipation of future natural catastrophes? Yes, that is, they can if they trust scientists and policy makers to act responsibly. What is needed is investment in nuclear science to lower the half life of nuclear fuel waste, investment in innovation in nuclear plant design, rational decision-making about where to place nuclear plants and fuel rod ponds given rising sea levels, and acceptance of climate-change strategies such as the Kyoto Protocol.

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Posted in: U.S. extends EU, Japan exemptions from Iran sanctions See in context

Since she is saying the U.S. is sensitive to Japan's current energy challenges, she seems to be suggesting that the U.S. will back Japan in the developing conflict with China. That's pretty serious.

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