TOKYO—When a Japanese coast guard cutter spotted a small Chinese aircraft flying above disputed East China Sea islands in December, Japan’s air force scrambled eight F-15 fighter jets, but they reached the scene only after the intruder had left. Japan’s radar or surveillance planes had missed the low-flying aircraft entering what the nation considers its airspace, causing a delay in scrambling.
The embarrassing incident underscores the need for Japan to beef up the defense of air, sea and land in its southwest, said Gen. Shigeru Iwasaki, the top uniformed official of Japan’s military, known as the Self-Defense Forces. He said China’s navy and air force have been gradually shifting activities closer to the waters and skies near Japan’s southwestern islands and “establishing a tenacious presence” in what’s becoming an Read more…
Super Typhoon Sanba poses a growing threat to southwestern Japan and South Korea.
As of Friday evening, local time, Sanba remains a super typhoon, the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, according to The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). A super typhoon is a storm with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph or higher.
The Japan Meteorological Agency estimates Sanba’s central pressure to fall to 26.58 inches (900 mb), which would allow Sanba’s strength to rank in between Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Katrina from the Atlantic. Only one typhoon in the western Pacific, Super Typhoon Megi, had a lower pressure in the past 10 years.
Sanba’s movement to the north and northwest is expected to continue through at least Saturday.
The projected path brings Sanba close to Okinawa, Japan, by Saturday night, local time. While the island is well-prepared for typhoons, damage, power outages and flooding are likely.
“It will be a life-threatening situation for the Read more…
The status of two Chinese government ships sent to assert Beijing’s claim over Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea remained a mystery early Wednesday, with no word from either government on the ships’ whereabouts.
China’s official news agency Xinhua reported that the two China Marine Surveillance ships “reached the waters around” the disputed islands Tuesday morning. It said the Chinese agency in charge of the vessels had a plan to safeguard Chinese sovereignty and would “take actions pending the development of the situation.” Since then, Chinese state media have been silent on the ships’ movements.
Japanese officials also had no comment on the status of the Chinese government ships. Japan’s coast guard has confronted Chinese fisherman and nationalists in the waters of the archipelago several times in recent years. It was not clear if Japanese authorities were taking similar action this time.
Japan refers to the disputed islands as Senkaku, while China calls them Diaoyu. The waters around the islands contain Read more…
Tectonic shifts triggered by last year’s huge 9.0 magnitude undersea quake have left the chamber under 16 times the minimum pressure at which an eruption can occur, researchers said.
Researchers at the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention studied the tectonic movements caused by the tsunami-triggering quake on March 11, 2011 and a magnitude 6.4 quake that rocked central Japan four days later, Kyodo News reported.
They estimated that 1.6 megapascals of pressure, equivalent to atmospheric pressure of some 15.8 kilograms per square centimetre (226 pounds per square inch), was being exerted on the magma chamber.
Volcanic eruptions can be triggered by as little as 0.1 megapascals of pressure, and the reading of 1.6 megapascals is “not a small figure”, said senior researcher Eisuke Fujita, according to Kyodo.
Mount Fuji, an almost perfectly cone-shaped mountain that stands as one of Japan’s national symbols, last erupted in 1707, after an earthquake struck and Read more…
Friday, Aug 31, 2012
JAPAN – Up to 323,000 people could die if three earthquakes occur simultaneously along the Nankai Trough, killing about 70 per cent of victims in subsequent tsunami, according to new predictions by two Cabinet Office panels.
The panels on Wednesday released predictions of damage that would be caused by a magnitude-9 Nankai Trough triple quake. This is the largest triple quake expected to occur in the trough–which stretches from off Shizuoka Prefecture down to Shikoku and Kyushu–with the so-called Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai earthquakes happening simultaneously.
The size of the predicted focal area is twice that of the magnitude-8.7 triple quake predicted by the government’s Central Disaster Management Council in 2003.
One of the study panels was tasked with estimating the height of tsunami and the area of inundated regions, while the other was a Read more…
The Ring Of Fire Is Roaring To Life And There Will Be Earthquakes Of Historic Importance On The West Coast Of The United States
Does it seem to you like there has been an unusual amount of seismic activity around the world lately? Well, it isn’t just your imagination. The Ring of Fire is roaring to life and that is really bad news for the west coast of the United States. Approximately 90 percent of all earthquakes and approximately 75 percent of all volcanic eruptions occur along the Ring of Fire. Considering the fact that the entire west coast of the United States lies along the Ring of Fire, we should be very concerned that the Ring of Fire is becoming more active. On Wednesday, the most powerful strike-slip earthquake ever recorded happened along the Ring of Fire. If that earthquake had happened in a major U.S. city along the west coast, the city would have been entirely destroyed. Scientists tell us that there is nearly a 100% certainty that the “Big One” will hit California at some point. In recent years we have seen Japan, Chile, Indonesia and New Zealand all get hit by historic earthquakes. It is inevitable that there will be earthquakes of historic importance on the west coast of the United States as well. So far we have been very fortunate, but that good fortune will not last indefinitely.
In a previous article, I showed that earthquakes are becoming more frequent around the globe. In 2001, there were 137 earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 or greater and in 2011 there were 205. The charts and data that I presented in that previous article show a clear Read more…
Though it was the season when Mt. Fuji has the most snow, snow is already disappearing.
From December to January, most of the snow melted only within a month. Mt. Fuji is heated.
Citizens near Mt. Fuji talks they haven’t seen such a thing.
A senior Chinese Foreign Ministry official on Wednesday lashed potential U.S. plans to collaborate with partner nations in developing a ballistic missile shield covering Asia, China Daily reported (see GSN, March 27).
U.S. Assistant Defense Secretary Madelyn Creedon in March said the Obama administration was discussing cooperative missile defense with Australia, Japan and South Korea, according to earlier reporting. Any antimissile system for the region would be based on the developing U.S. “phased adaptive approach” program to deploy land- and sea-based missile interceptors around Europe, Creedon told lawmakers.
“The Chinese government always insists that (countries) should start by maintaining global strategic stability and promoting strategic mutual trust between major powers to handle the issue of missile defense prudently,” according to Luo Zhaohui, Asian affairs chief for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
“Building a missile defense system in the Asia-Pacific region will have negative effects on global and regional strategic stability, and go against the Read more…
Two Russian anti-submarine aircraft have flown over a Japanese destroyer preparing to shoot down a North Korean rocket if it passes over Japan’s territory, a Japanese TV channel reported on Wednesday, citing the country’s Defense Ministry.
According to the ministry, the Il-38 planes were seen on Tuesday off the south-west coast of the largest Japanese island of Honshu, where the destroyer is currently based. The ministry said that Japanese fighters accompanied the IL-38s during their flight.
The NHK TV channel suggested that the Russian planes had been collecting information on the multi-purpose combat system Aegis which is installed on the destroyer. Russian patrol aircrafts have been spotted performing reconnaissance missions, without Read more…