Japan to Decides to Purchase Aegis Ashore System In Response to North Korean Missile Threats

This expected purchase of an Aegis Ashore system seems to make sense considering it can provide a persistent missile defense capability for Japan without having to rotate in and out their current Aegis BMD ships:

Japan is planning to deploy a new U.S.-developed ground-based missile defense system.

The Defense Ministry is to provisionally request that the fiscal 2018 budget cover planning costs for installing the Aegis Ashore system, according to a ministry official. “We are being urged to enhance our capabilities to continually protect the entirety of Japan from the threat of a missile attack,” the official said.  (……)

Japan’s Defense Ministry has studied whether to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, system or the Aegis Ashore shield. But it has not planned for Aegis Ashore installations. The system is not included in the current National Defense Program Guidelines or mentioned in mid-term defense planning documents. The official said Aegis Ashore plans will be finalized by the end of the year.  [Asian Review]

You can read more at the link.

Yokota Airbase Worker Injures Japanese Civilian After Drunk Driving Accident

I bet the leadership in USFJ when they heard about this accident probably thought to themselves, at least this accident did not happen on Okinawa:

A Yokota civilian was under the influence of alcohol before the car he was driving crashed into another vehicle, injuring its occupant, Japanese officials said Monday.

A man in his 20s was taken to the hospital after the accident, which happened around 6 p.m. on May 7, a North Kanto Defense Bureau spokesman said. The man sustained minor injuries to his neck, he said.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link.

Passenger Claims Crazy Guy on Japanese Airline Had PTSD Because He Had Military Tattoos

Just imagine if a stereotype of a minority was said by a passenger to explain some strange episode like the one in the story below.  The Internet outrage would be instantaneous with everyone claiming racism.  When it comes to negatively stereotyping US military servicemembers few seem to care:

Image via NY Daily News.

A fight aboard an All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight from Narita, Japan to Los Angeles went viral this week after an agitated passenger began throwing punches at another man shortly before takeoff. At the time, it was believed the man was intoxicated. Now, the passenger on the receiving end of the altercation is speaking out. According to Ryan Humphreys, the aggressor may have been suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Humphreys, an ex-Marine, told TMZ by video Wednesday that man, shown in video clips wearing a red patterned shirt, was talking loudly to other passengers before standing up and becoming agitated. Humphreys said he was watching the man before the altercation occurred, but maintained that he hadn’t done anything to initiate the incident.

“I didn’t say anything to the guy and he was like, ‘What are you looking at? I will kill you,’” Humphreys told TMZ. Humphreys said he asked the man if he was okay, to which the man responded by asking him if Humphreys was in Vegas. “It had something to do with Vegas, I don’t know,” Humphreys said.

Humphreys said the man then began assaulting a couple on the plane, allegedly attempting to choke a man and smothering his partner, a woman, in the process.

“He’s either active military or a veteran. When his shirt got ripped up I could [see] all his ink,” he said. “I would guess [he either had] PTSD or maybe off his meds. He didn’t strike me as being drunk.”  [Yahoo News]

You can read more at the link, but there could be multiple reasons to explain what happened but to just claim the guy is a veteran and must have PTSD just further promotes a poor stereotype about veterans that is not true.  Even more troubling is that the PTSD claim is being thrown around in the media now despite the airline saying this guy was drunk.

You can see video of the fight at this link.

IHO Forms Unofficial Consultation Group to Discuss Changing Name of “Sea of Japan”

Here is an update from the frontlines of the East Sea versus Sea of Japan conflict:

The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), agreed Friday to form an unofficial consultation group to discuss South Korea’s proposal to use “East Sea” alongside “Sea of Japan” when referring to the waters between the two countries, Seoul officials said.

The decision was made on the last day of the global hydrography standard-setter’s five-day assembly in Monaco. It calls for the formation of the consultation group of concerned countries, namely South Korea, Japan and others, to carry out a three-year discussion on the revision of the IHO’s “Limits of Oceans and Seas”, also known as S-23, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The group is required to report the results to an IHO assembly in 2020.

The sea chart, used as the standard for world map production, currently uses the Japanese name for the sea between the two countries.

South Korea began diplomatic efforts to revise it in the early 2000s. The IHO had dropped the initial revision discussion in 2012 amid broiling tension between Seoul and Tokyo.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link, but I continue to maintain it should just be called the “Nameless Sea”.