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Richard Burgan comments

Posted in: China coast guard confronts Japanese politicians in disputed East China Sea area See in context

Right now Japan has sovereignty over the Senkaku Islands. There is plenty of history to back that up. Only recently has China sought, to access these islands, probably due to the possibility there are oil or mineral reserves in the area. If Japan wants to keep these islands they must immediately establish permanent installations on the islands. Certainly no one wants to live there, all that's needed is a communications station, air traffic radar, weather station, tide gage, or other research facility. Japan needs to regularly visit and maintain the facilities to keep its claim. Once this presence is established, China would need to take the islands by force (aka: start a war) to displace Japan. However, if Japan doesn't do this China will, and Japan will have to take the islands by force (aka: start a war). As a "pacifist country" Japan is not likely to start a war without several years of study and debate. Japan had better act if it wants to keep the Senkaku's!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Town to block Mount Fuji view from troublesome tourists See in context

Let me guess where the majority of these tourists behaving badly are from. Probably they have traveled less than 1,000 km to get there...

-4 ( +14 / -18 )

Posted in: Japan oil refiners to tap reserves in case of Middle East disruption See in context

The 240 day reserve will not keep things at a normal level for that long. Storage locations are all over the place and distribution from locations where specific products are stored to specific refineries will not be easy. If a major disruption occurs expect to be majorly disrupted for many months or even years.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Kishida addresses Congress amid skepticism about U.S. role abroad See in context

Best quote from P.M. Kishida's speech: "Yubba Dubba Doo"

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan drops new SDF training site plan in Okinawa See in context

There's a big difference between building a residential area near a base and building a base near a residential area. The same goes for airports, pig farms, and a lot of other things.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan launches ride-hailing services in Tokyo; other areas to follow See in context

It will be interesting to see what happens when they implement this in Okinawa, where there are no mass transit services (no trains, nobody uses the buses) and four times the national average for cars per family.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese businesses brace for life with interest rates See in context

An interest rate of 0.1% isn't even interesting. That level of interest is simply not worth your attention.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan, China hold 'expert dialogue' over Fukushima water releases See in context

There is not much for 'experts' to discuss here. The whole dispute about the release of radiation is ridiculous. The amount of radiation contained in each tank is about equivalent to one or two radioactive EXIT signs used at critical points in large buildings. The signs contain a small amount of the radioactive element Tritium, which will glow even if the power fails. The only radioactive element left in the water being released is Tritium. Let's get over this stupid issue.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Ceremony marks launch of land-to-ship missile unit on Okinawa island See in context

@voiceofokinawa Do you actually want Okinawa to be part of China? How soon would you like that to occur?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Ceremony marks launch of land-to-ship missile unit on Okinawa island See in context

Next to the new missile site is Joint Naval Base White Beach, a critical node in Japan and the U.S.'s monitoring and anti-submarine capabilities. A small number of protesters showed up with "No Missile" and "No War" signs, saying they are dangerous and similar. Actually, anti-ship and anti-air missiles have been present in Okinawa for several decades. There are also thousands of missiles stockpiled in Okinawa. These short-range defensive weapons and the personnel are here to protect Okinawa.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan becomes 5th country to land spacecraft on moon See in context

Good job JAXA! All three spacecraft made it to the lunar surface softly. Unfortunately, the SLIM lander is upside down. Something happened at the very last minute to flip the craft around and upside down. The batteries have now died; we must wait and see what happens. JAXA has a lot to learn about involving the public and keeping them informed. I remember the NASA and JPL missions in the 1960s and 1970s. They made the public an equal partner and kept us on the edge of our seats with detailed commentary and live pictures. Scientists always want to work in secret, but they should remember that the public pays the bills. There is a lot of public interest, there were over 45,000 people waiting for over an hour to watch the 2:15 AM (JST) news conference. Again, congratulations for landing on the Moon, Japan!

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan allows quake-hit foreign trainees to work under relief steps See in context

"employed for up to eight hours at workplaces not designated under their programs." Does this mean eight hours total or eight hours per day?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Disaster survival kits See in context

These kits and emergency food supplies are big sellers in the US. You can go to any COSTCO in the US and buy a year's food supply. There's a lot more to being prepared for a disaster than just buying kits. You need a plan, and you need to practice it. In Japan, people seem to depend on the government to do everything. People even wait in their broken houses for the government to inspect them before they clean up and fix the damage. We all need to prepare ourselves. Then, we can live with peace of mind.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Posted in: U.S. military helicopters to deploy to Japan's earthquake-hit area See in context

@Brian Wheway The US offer to help was extended on January 2nd.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. military helicopters to deploy to Japan's earthquake-hit area See in context

@Pseudonymouse The offer to help was made on January 2nd. It took Japan a long time to request help. I'm sure the US would provide any level of help requested but the host nation has to request it. I think there is a mentality that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Of course that's twisted logic. Not asking for help IS a sign of weakness.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Posted in: U.S. military helicopters to deploy to Japan's earthquake-hit area See in context

Just don't use the evil Osprey V-22s please. They can carry more people and cargo, are much cheaper to operate, and get there faster. Glad to see the US Military given the opportunity to help folks in Ishikawa Prefecture out.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Posted in: University entrance exams begin across Japan See in context

The Japanese university exam selects the best memorizers in the country. This test should be abandoned and replaced with a test that selects the most promising achievers and creative minds. Memory records the past and is not a good indicator of future performance. Japan needs to prepare for the future not live in the past.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Quake death toll 78; 51 missing as rescuers race against time See in context

'Officials' are having difficulty getting key supplies to many villages on the Noto Peninsula that are cut off. I'd like to point out that the U.S. Military has a huge capability in this area. I can tell you that military members would much rather be providing assistance than training. All it would take is one phone call from PM Kishida to get things rolling. (I know Japan needs to save face and appear capable of taking care of its own people. But, if you really want to be capable help your people faster! It is no shame to accept assistance in a natural disaster.)

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan Airlines pilots 'unaware of fire' at first See in context

I'm not surprised that the pilots did not know about the fire. It appears that much of the control and information systems and wiring were destroyed in the initial collision. The fact that it took 18 minutes to evacuate is pretty concerning. The escape slides probably weren't working efficiently because the slope was slight due to the collapsed landing gear. I hope this incident comes to be known as a "New Year's Miracle." May the five dead Coast Guard Crew members rest in peace knowing they were helping their country.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Posted in: Runway safety concerns in focus as Japan probes Tokyo crash See in context

It is amazing that all passengers and crew from JL516 are safe. Good Job!

Worst firefighting response I have seen. They didn't even protect the passengers.

JL516 was clearly given 'clear to land' by ATC

JA722A (CG aircraft) was assigned as number 1 for takeoff and told to proceed to location C5 (which is next to the runway). The pilot did not acknowledge this command or state that he was entering the runway. He was not cleared for takeoff. The pilot obviously did not hold short and entered the runway.

Both pilots and ATC should have had situational awareness of each aircraft's position. The poor communication discipline certainly contributed to the confusion.

IATA regulations require exclusive use of English so that every pilot and ATC controller can understand. Yet, it is fairly common to hear conversations in Japanese. Many controllers and foreign pilots have strong accents that make communications less reliable.

The JTSB will investigate and determine the contributing factors to this accident. Flying will be safer as a result.

May the five Japan Coast Guard members who lost their lives serving their country rest in peace, and their families receive the appreciation of everyone.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Court orders Okinawa to approve modified plan to build runways for U.S. Marine Corps See in context

Here's what's going to happen. Tamaki won't sign. The Central Government will sign for him. Tamaki will appeal to the Supreme Court. Work will begin again right after the New Year's holidays. Tamaki will spend all his time telling everyone that the forces of evil are against him. China will annex Taiwan while the US and Japan watch with outrage. Suddenly, Japan will realize that they may be next to become Chinese. The base expansion will be completed.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Posted in: U.S. Air Force identifies 8 crew lost in Osprey crash in Japan See in context

The eight crew members lost in this crash are exceptionally qualified and trained. They are the best of the best. Being a member of a Special Operations Unit is a big deal, and they only select the best. There must have been a mechanical failure to cause this accident. Both Americans and Japanese should respect the crew members who lost their lives while protecting all of us.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Fears grow Japan-U.S. alliance may be affected by Osprey crash See in context

If "the people of Japan" (AKA Okinawa's Governor) really want the US to leave, then the US should leave. I think it would be reasonable to implement a 5-year transition plan. After 5 years the US will be gone, and Japan will have the responsibility to defend itself. Consider what it will cost the Japanese people. You will be paying triple your current taxes for at least 10 years just to pay for the required build-up. You will have to change your constitution. Your children will be subject to mandatory military service. Of course, you also have the choice to become Chinese...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Piece of Osprey wreckage given to U.S. after crash off Japan See in context

The US military cannot entirely suspend Osprey operations for a casual reason. They are vital to many operational missions such as resupply of Naval vessels and remote training sites. Statistically, the Osprey is a safe aircraft.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: Japanese experimental nuclear fusion reactor inaugurated See in context

This technology has been 15 years away for the last 30 years. Progress is being made, but it's expensive and slow. Maybe Japan will be the first to figure it out. Then, it will be time to miniaturize it. Japan has always been good at that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Kishida pledges at climate summit to phase out coal-fired power See in context

I wonder how he will phase out coal power plants in Okinawa. What alternative source will he pay for?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: U.S. continues to fly Osprey aircraft in Japan, despite Tokyo's request not to See in context

Japan has a weird concept of safety. People (especially politicians) say things like "ensure this can never happen again", "safety is confirmed" and expect that these are even possible. They resign "to take responsibility", or "offer further explanation" regarding what happened. These are just ways to sweep the actual problem aside. You can only reduce the probability of something happening again to an acceptable level which will never be zero. Taking responsibility means staying on the job and solving the problem. Further explanations are fine except they don't change what happened. Based on overall statistics the V-22 Osprey is a safe aircraft. If you don't agree, get your facts together and prove it.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: Wasabi effective in improving memory of elderly: study See in context

Medical research generally begins with a small study and progresses to larger more controlled studies. The sponsor of the initial study may be biased. However, larger studies should be conducted to eliminate any bias. I personally would like to learn that wasabi can make me smarter.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. spy drones relocated to Okinawa despite local objection See in context

The reality is that many Okinawans support having the military bases here. Then there are a lot of people who say they don't support it but are not against it. If you add both of those groups together you get a big majority. The people who are against the bases are actually a minority. Governor Tamaki and many politicians spend much of their time (maybe most of it) fighting the bases, missiles, surveillance drones, change in general, base relocation, etc. If the Governor did more to improve the economy, education, child poverty, and other social problems it would help the Okinawan people a lot. The national government has made a lot of money available for this purpose but it has been chased away.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: North Korea says it put military spy satellite into orbit on third try See in context

So far the only ones claiming a successful launch and orbital insertion are the NORKs. For some reason, NORAD is not reporting data for a new satellite or any debris orbiting the Earth. Maybe NORAD doesn't want to publish any information that would be helpful to the NORKs. And maybe the satellite is now a submarine.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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