Lots of uneducated guesses here.
These are in Tokyo because it's a likely target. The Patriot is designed for terminal stage destruction. In the case of an ICBM or similar, this is the only stage in which you can reliably down the missile - on the final approach. SM2s from an AEGIS radar equipped ship will also do the same, but the target area needs to be very close.
The USAF cannot "shoot" an ICBM out of midair with a fighter. If they could do that they would have used that approach instead of a massively costly missile defense program. They tried chemical lasers to shoot down ICBMs but miniaturization of powerful enough lasers hasn't matured enough yet to be used with any sort of reliability. EMP burst does nothing - even without guidance, by the time it's terminal and assuming it's aimed at a city, you can fry the electronics but the warhead will still detonate all the same. Besides the obvious problem of using an EMP weapon over TOKYO.
Debris from a shoot down will cause damage but it will certainly be less than if a missile impacted the ground with god-knows-what in it (chemical/biological/nuclear warhead).
Is it fear mongering? Certainly. But to NOT deploy them, frankly, just isn't worth the risk is Kim Jong-crazy decides he wants to blow up Tokyo for real this time.
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Japan has nothing to fear from China. Force projection is something only the US can now do. Assaulting by ship or by air one of those far flung islands is next to impossible. It's not like the Falklands where England was on the opposite side of the world - Japan is close enough to barely need mid-air tanking support to defend any islands in the vicinity.
Enemy ships? Japan has plenty of ASMs to use. Planes? Japan can easily defend against any air assault force the Chinese would choose to send.
There is no valid reason to make this change except to be drawn into another US funded escapade. It's much better for the US if they can send other countries' militaries to fight and die - as long as it's not US body bags coming back, they don't care.
China is well within it's right to complain about this change. This change does pose the most significant threat to the stability of Asia since China started their vitriolic charge against the South China Sea.
China won't back down - the Chinese Politburo is probably more afraid of their own populace deposing them, than external threats. "Red Storm Rising" by Tom Clancy shows the exact political conditions needed by an aggressor (replace Russia with China in this book, and West Germany with Japan), and by pushing through this unnecessary change, the Chinese government has yet another justification for uniting against an external threat then they did before.
Why bother giving them fuel? A pacifist Japan can't be a threat by it's very nature. A Japan with a "re-interpreted" constitution can give their government a justification, real or fabricated that the populace will believe.
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It's an oil refinery... you hardly expect something so large to be taken so completely, especially from a government and country which is largely stable.
@volland - how do you think 3rd world countries develop? They need outside expertise to help them with new infrastructure, they need large engineering contracts to continue. More money in the economy will eventually lead to the rise of the middle class as opposed to typical third world countries where usually only rich and poor people exist.
As to more security, how does anyone suppose the Japanese company could have made it safer? For a country like Algeria, the likelyhood of an uprising is probably the same as in Saudi Arabia. It's untenable and unprofitable to have a private security firm wandering around with your staff because evidently none of the other countries who were 'well versed' in Middle Eastern politics deemed it necessary either. Especially for a large piece of national infrastructure, you'd expect the host government to be able to protect and control it.
People should be simply mourning the loss of these innocent people to an act of evil - not trying to place blame elsewhere. Whether you want to call them terrorists or freedom fighters, taking and executing hostages for whatever reason is an act of barbarism and terrorism, not freedom. Anyone who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves.
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Lets be honest. The only reason Japan wasn't the 2nd largest force in every war the US has been involved in since WW2 was because of Article 9. Without it, Japan would have been forced (yes FORCED) by the US into participating into the folly that was Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Korean War, etc...
The only reason America wants that change is so they can save money and send Japanese kids into battle instead of American kids. All you people saying article 9 should change must be over 30 - ergo you don't have to fight a war ever. Article 9 in Japan just means renouncing war as a means to an end. And Japan if invaded would be just fine - what Japanese person will stop and say 'oh I can't fight' if an enemy army is trying to take their land? I doubt they would care about 'law' at all in that case.
You Americans don't understand not being able to use war as a tool because you believe threat of war is a threat at all. But your wars have accomplished very little over the last 50 years except to make your rich richer and send your poor to graves in foreign lands. Japan doesn't need that and doesn't want that. Better to have a peaceful Japan that defends it's own territory without unnecessarily causing arms races in the region.
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@y2pbiggy, don't be ridiculous. Obviously it's easier to kill with knives then guns. Otherwise the military would n't bother giving soldiers guns. With a knife you can be overpowered at close range. With a gun, you cannot be overpowered easily because you can't get to close range as several people tried and sadly gave their lives for in the most recent shooting (school psychologist, principal). Guns kill people, unregistered STOLEN guns kill people. But when nobody has guns, it's much easier to see who has a gun and scoop them up. How about we start issuing school children guns for their personal protection? How about we issue primary school teachers tactical gear for their 'protection'? When will you Americans finally say enough is enough and realise that with strict gunlaws you do not NEED your precious 'protection'?!?!
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I will only buy iPhones, even though I loathe the new Apple Maps. The reason? iTunes. I have thousands of dollars of music and apps paid for through the Apple App Store. Sure, it works with Android devices but the integration isn't there - I like to buy music when I hear it, if I like it. Being able to buy direct from my handset and having it synced with all my devices (iTunes Match) is possibly my favourite feature.
I have stayed clear of iOS6 though - I'm not quite satisfied with their level of coverage yet. Those of you saying that Apple Maps is fine - have you tried to find a specific address in Tokyo on it? Some are there but for a lot of places, the exact address (Someplace 1-1-1) is NOT given. This alone was enough for me to steer clear of Apple Maps. You can often get in the general neighborhood, but that's simply not good enough when you need to find an address on the street. And there's still a lot of incorrect addresses as well as virtually no English support in Japan. Fine, if you read every kanji and talk fluent Japanese, but for the rest of us, it's quite challenging to find places now. Even my Japanese friends have mentioned the difficulties iOS6 has!
Android is a great phone, but it's not the phone for me with my iTunes and Apple reliance. If Android in the future allowed native iTunes support I'd consider it - but I think it'd be a cold day in hell before Apple allowed that...
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hamkun..Please check Chinese history dating back to the Ming dynasty. Ming dynasty clearly maps the island as belonging to China therefore how can the Japanese claim that they have research the area for 10 years and claimed no one has claimed the island..The Taiwanese who were part of China were fishing in those waters for thousands of years..Again, please check your facts and not only listen to the Japanese media and politicians..
No sense being made here... Let's go back and check Roman maps from 0AD - shall we give back Great Britain/France to the Italians based on that fact? They did after all own that land for more then a few generations.
Australia was mapped by the Dutch before the English arrived - does that mean that those lands could be claimed by them? This sort of assertion is just ridiculous.
If war breaks out between Japan and China over these stupid islands then the US will not come to Japan's aid fearing WWIII..US will avoid war China at all cost nor will the American people support it.. Amercians have not forgotten Pearl Harbor..Even though Japan is considered an Allies, normal Americans don't care what happens in Asia..Most Americans don't know where Japan is even located on a map..
Incorrect. If war broke out, the USA MUST go to war against China. Lets assume they didn't honour their treaty commitments - every country in the world with a US military base would say "why bother with the cost and injustice of having a foreign military base on our soil if they might not come to our defence as well?". I'll bet you'd have South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, perhaps even Germany, demanding US forces vacate their bases as their presence would no longer be seen as an effective deterrent against enemy attack. The USA would then lose it's place as the 'world' leader and lose even more face then anyone else. The US government relies on a public which believes in their manifest destiny to be world leaders - a common and external focus for the public has been a key US government stance since World War II. Do you honestly think the American public would accept being 'defeated' by China?
Make no mistake - the USA has the most potential to lose in this little fracas and they know it. They're heavily invested in both China and Japan and any problems with those two economies and/or relationships would be catastrophic to the US government.
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Being fortunate to know a personal secretary for a very large zaibatsu in Japan, I know that Japanese companies are definitely looking to offload their future investment opportunities given the instability of China. I think you'll find very few large companies announcing further investment in China - but also not actively removing any current investments either.
In regards to this current fracas however, the Japanese have been, while not totally blameless (Ishihara-extremism), the Chinese seem to be stepping up again and again. It reminds me of Palestine and Israel. I always found it funny that Israel was the victim in the 6 day war and yet those agressor countries complain about Israel maintaining 'their land'. To the victor go the spoils of war, particularly those that happened over a century ago.
With all due respect, ancient land boundaries count for nothing. Or maybe we should start talking to Mongolia about giving them back Russia and chunks of Europe for that matter. Or giving Italy back Great Britain because they conquered it in "ancient times". Land boundaries change over many years and nobody ever lived on those islands anyway. They only want them for the potential EEZ and natural resources.
I feel bad for the Japanese that after years of economic hardship, they may be losing key growth with their best (and the world's largest) potential trading partner. But then again I wonder what will happen to China without the 3rd largest economy investing in it... A mere dint in their growth possibly, or the start of a global slowdown? It remains to be seen.
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My understanding is (from talking to managers in Roppongi) that Clubs or places where dancing takes place must close by 1 or 2am. Restaurants can stay open 24 hours. Therefore most "clubs" are officially classified as restaurants (that's why you can order food from them). Almost every club has this sign up in Roppongi - but everyone ignores it anyway.
When a raid comes (usually the owners get tipped off) they turn down the music and turn up the lights for a while. I've seen this happen on numerous occasions. Once I saw them hustle the famous/obviously underage out the backdoor, bring out table and chairs, serve free food (which took about 30 minutes) and turn up the lights/turn down the music. Detectives came in (plain clothes) had a look around for about 5 minutes, then left. At which point the music went up, the lights went down and clubbing continued. Not uncommon at all.
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BTW - Why assault Okinawa you ask? It's the only place left in the region that the US can stage effectively out of (being that Korea refuses US military flights from using their airspace to prevent getting involved).
Besides which - with Okinawa capped, the US is effectively gone from the area - bases in Japan and Korea are a little too far for effective force projection to a large portion of South East Asia. With the US gone, China has a much easier time exerting control over other areas in the region.
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Lets be honest here. A logical outcome of a war would go something like this:
After the intial long range air confrontations, the blue water navies of Japan and China would go and fight. Korea, not wanting to get involved at all, would demand Korea not be a staging zone for US flights in support of the war.
China mounts a full scale amphib assault of Okinawa. Army may or may not get beaten back by US assets.
In the case that it gets beaten back - what does this leave a blustering Chinese government to do in the face of loss? Perhaps the use of a few TACTICAL NUCLEAR WARHEADS. Arguing that the use of tactical warheads only on the Japanese populace would not give reason for retaliation in kind by the US from strategic assets (ICBMs).In the case they don't get beaten back, China successfully captures Okinawa. US forces have very few options in this case. My thinking is that if this happens before the election a republican will be voted in. YAY more level headed thinking!!!!
Basically - China is a massive threat but their amphibious capabilities over a large sea are limited. They're designed with crossing a small strait (like to Taiwan), not a large blue water sea over to Japanese waters. That is the only advantage that Japan and the US have in the area. However, it is arguable that in the face of defeat, rather then lose face, the Chinese would employ tactical nuclear weapons, hoping that by not striking large strategic targets or directly at US troops, it would not result in a response in-kind.
What should Japan do? Get some people in government who are not completely insane. While China and Korea have been indoctrinating their students over the last 60 years, so has Japan in the last 20 to 30 years - against China and Korea. Let's try and talk things out and silence those idiots in government who remember the 'glory days' of when 'Japan was great' - what utter crap. Japan suffered, my relatives suffered, millions died so some politicians could live out their personal wet dream. Time for a little level headed thinking in Japan and a lot less nationalistic crap, or it could really mean the end of innocence for this little island nation.
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