I'm afraid your experience, while sad, is anecdotal. Not all husbands are your ex, and not all mothers are you. What would your response have been if your husband had acted first and taken your daughter beyond your own reach? Would you be praising the abductor parent, saying it is as it should be that you do not have access to your child? I rather doubt it.
The other issue at hand here is that Japan not only allows but rewards the violation of laws in other countries by it's citizens. Does this mean others should violate Japanese law? Should people be allowed to abscond with their children from Japan? Why not? Does this become a question of not being caught, or a question of rank hypocrisy? I for one believe in the rule of Law, and that this kind of situation undermines the Rule of law in one of the most important areas we can possibly have. The protection of Children's rights. To be safe from abuse (by either parent), to be raised in an environment in which they are accustomed, and to have the involvement of both parents (if both parents are willing to be involved).
Is there a perfect solution to this? No. That said, Japan can draw a line in the sand. Allow no more parental abductors safe refuge. Outstanding cases will need to be worked on, but a stop should be put to the practice, that the issue doesn't grow any further.
2 ( +3 / -1 )
Serrano, Russia is selling Syria weapons, and quite possibly supplying 'Advisors' to go with the more advanced equipment. They also have a naval base in country, and previously made noises about putting more troops there to ensure security against rebel attacks on the base. The Russians threatening military action would be on the same side as the Regime. Not against it. Indeed, if not for the US beating on a drum about this these past months, Russia might have sent in some troops (spetznaz, etc) to help in actual combat against the rebels.
China lacks the means to conduct continuous offensive operations in the Mediterranean, Russia can because the Med is about a stone's throw for them. Neither Russia or China is really a Super Power. I'd call them Great Powers, on par with the UK and France (and Japan in some ways).
My opinion on this? Damned if we do, Damned if we don't. I won't get into anything deeper/more specific.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
Given the quality of the picture, I'm not sure where that M-4 is being pointed. But I will say the kids apparently have better trigger discipline, from what we can make out of the picture.
Yes, there is a non-zero chance some idiot left a round in. For that to have been the case, the weapon would have had to been put in Condition One instead of the Regulation Condition Three, the round would have had to have been accounted for erroneously by the watchstander and armory watch when turned in, armory chief during the daily inspection, missed in the pre-event weapon check, and missed again by whoever did the final check on all weapons (an officer or a chief). A non-zero possibility, but not all that likely.
Now, if you want to know what I think of the situation? It's a nightmare only a gungho JO could think up. You have civvies from a country with strong taboos about guns handling firearms, oh, and the country in question has a love/hate relationship where every single little thing gets over analyzed.
Then you have the fact that no positive control is evident in the one picture we have. The first rule of firearms is respect, the Marines almost certainly have respect for theirs, but they may be taking for granted that the kids see these as the coolest toys they've ever laid hands on, bar none.
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
FrungyAUG. 31, 2013 - 12:31AM JST
Never said anything about where the weapons are being pointed, just the fact that they're obviously intended for public handling. Personally, I think the reaction of the local alarmists should have been evident beforehand, but it was likely the idea of some junior-ish officer who thought it would be cool for the locals to handle the least destructive weapons on base.
And this may be anecdotal, but in my very recent experience (I left Yokosuka about a year and a half ago), yes, ammo is tracked like nukes. I personally saw an entire armory shift and security watch section locked down and sent to Disciplinary Review Board over 5 shotgun shells. That turned up in a watchstander's pocket. He did lose paygrade on that, and the armory watch lost their qualifications across the board (as well as losing significant liberty privleges). It wouldn't have mattered if it was one or five, though it would have mattered if it was 200 (a handful is incompetence, hundreds is theft). Throughout the entire situation until the idiot found the shells in his pocket, the rest of the security force got the fifth degree about what would happen if those shells were used Off-base.
Weapon and munition control has gotten a lot tighter in the years since 2001, the services no longer tolerate guns and ammo getting 'misplaced' as much as they used to.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Every round of ammunition on that base is tracked as if it were a nuclear weapon. Anyone 'loses' a round, they're pretty much guaranteed to lose a paygrade. And every time a weapon is fired it is taken apart and cleaned. Since those weapons were going to be handled by civvies, they were likely double and triple checked as well, first by the armory and then by an officer or chief. Someone didn't just say "Hey, let's let these kids handle our weapons!" Since that's a good way to go see the Captain and lose paygrades, too.
Oh, the rubber training guns are blue or red. Never black.
3 ( +4 / -1 )
Exactly, there are more soldiers in the Chinese Army than there are people in living in the USA.
False. For a solid comparison, visit http://www.globalfirepower.com/
In general, the PRC has deep reserves, however, reserve forces are rarely Catergory A, more often being Catergory C. A general war would be fought entirely with Cat A and B formations. China also lacks the ability to project non-nuclear military power anywhere outside their immediate neighborhood. This means that the US Navy can strangle their importation of oil and assorted other goods.
globalsecurity.org has more indepth information, but requires a subscription.
That's all neither here nor there, however. Any war involving North Korea making the opening attack will be followed by a general chinese offensive... against North Korea. The PRC has widespread popular support because it is very good and making the Chinese people more prosperous with each new year. A war with the US would destroy both sides in the immediate short term, and damage to Japan or South Korea in a renewed Korean War would also hurt China. Stability and prosperity are key to their goals.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
'Trouble' is an understatement here, I think. Everyone knows that you don't leave your weapon unattended, it's one of the very first things you learn in training. If you don't have it on you, directly, it's in the armory. There is no putting it down for a sec. This guy... He's screwed. Depending on where the gun turns up, and in whose hands, he could be utterly screwed.
Regarding military bases and non-military workers... There are a lot of jobs civilians, both DoD and Japanese, do on the bases and ships (Japanese contractors do a lot of the overhaul work on ships at Yokosuka, for instance). It does take extensive checking to get one of those jobs, and visitors must have an escort unless it's some kind of base event (which happens on Yokosuka once or twice a year). That said, you can't just go wandering around in the areas where weapons are kept, not even as a military member. So, if this weapon was stolen, it's most likely military. That's probably the best case scenario for the serviceman. If it was a civvy that took the gun, especially a Japanese civvy... This guy is going to have one hell of a time.
9 ( +9 / -0 )
gokai_wo_manekuDEC. 13, 2012 - 08:18AM JST Why do they drink so much? They sound like us Japanese salary men. Hopeless meaningless lives?
Thousands of miles from home & family in a strange land, not always by direct choice (they decided to join the military, but they may not have chosen Japan). Then you have the fact that Bases always seem to sprout bar districts directly around them. It becomes something of a cycle. Another reason is stress. Some of them are young and like to 'party', the glamour of alcohol has yet to wear off for them. This is helped by the fact that the Japanese drinking age is 20, it's 21 in the States, and most Japanese bartenders don't check IDs for foreigners, if they do, they don't always know what to look for, so you get a lot of underage drinking as well.
In the end, it basically boils down to the reasons anyone really drinks, though.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Aside from gun ownership figures, there is also the gun crime figures (assault weapons are only 5% of all gun crimes). Most gun crime is committed with the trusty handgun, no need for high capacity magazines. Most gun crime takes place in the urban ghetto, where the marginalized minorities have been left to rot. These places already have strict gun laws. Now, while access to firearms can make gun crime easier, consider the case of Brazil, where gun ownership is minimal, yet murders committed with guns is several times higher than in the US.
Economics and healthcare will do more to stem the violence than a gun ban. Indeed, by addressing these issues, you might very well see gun ownership marginalized into a context more in tune with, say, Finland.
0 ( +1 / -1 )
The Carrier was in the middle of a 'yard period', and was otherwise unable to assist in relief efforts because of this. The main reason the ship was sent to sea is kind of a hash of the reasons stated here, but it wasn't the ship's sensors that they were worried about, as those were able to differentiated between radiation sources... It was the constant monitoring of the ship by the Japanese Government for Radiation leaks. It was mostly a move to cover the Navy's ass and ensure the Carrier didn't become an even bigger focal point for criticism.
Besides, we all know the crazies jump at anything when stuff starts going bad, so it only makes sense to get the Nuclear powered carrier out of sight while a large nuclear incident is occurring. Never mind that the carrier not only has some of the best safeguards on it's reactor that money can buy, but the reactor teams run drills, are tested and are inspected so often it drives some to nervous breakdown.
0 ( +0 / -0 )