Articles worth reading
Image : Will Jude Law's Dumbledore be openly gay?

Will Jude Law's Dumbledore be openly gay?

person Orange Themes access_time Apr 13,2017

Will Jude Law's Dumbledore be openly gay? The news that Jude Law is to play Dumbledore as a young man in the sequel to Fantastic Beasts has led to speculation over the direction of the movie and whether his character will be openly gay in the film.

Image : Millions in Philippines on alert for super typhoon

Millions in Philippines on alert for super typhoon

person Orange Themes access_time Oct 19,2016

Millions of people in the Philippines were ordered Wednesday to prepare for one of the strongest typhoons to ever hit the disaster-battered country, with authorities warning of giant storm surges and destructive winds. Super Typhoon Haima was

Image : Sheila Abdus-Salaam, New York State Court Of Appeals Judge, Found Dead On ...

Sheila Abdus-Salaam, New York State Court Of Appeals Judge, Found Dead On ...

person Orange Themes access_time Apr 14,2017

Sheila Abdus-Salaam, New York State Court Of Appeals Judge, Found Dead On ... Medical examiners are still planning to perform an autopsy on 65-year-old Sheila Abdus-Salaam. The New York City police harbour unit retrieved her body from the Hudson on

Latest blog articles

How is Japan readying itself against an unpredictable North Korea?

access_time Mar 17,2017 chat_bubble_outline 20 views

Residents of Japan’s northwestern city of Ogo performed a civilian evacuation drill on Friday, the country’s first, in preparation for a scenario in which ballistic missiles – launched by a country that went unnamed by the city’s disaster authorities – were to fall close to shore.

More than 100 residents and schoolchildren of the coastal city of Oga in northern Japan participated in the drill, with loudspeakers warning at 9:30 a.m. of a possible missile threat and urging residents to stay indoors or seek shelter inside a school or community center.

The exercise comes in response to a string of weapons tests by North Korea that have sent ballistic missiles into Japanese territorial waters in recent months, alarming authorities. And it’s one of several measures being contemplated by Japan, stirring up debate over how far its authorities should stretch a constitutional commitment to pacifism in preparing to defend its citizens from a North Korean attack. The intensifying threat from North Korea has added new pressure to a central question of the Abe years: Is the world finally ready for a more militarized Japan?

Think you know Japan? Take our quiz to find out. [/url]" data-reactid="8">Recommended: Think you know Japan? Take our quiz to find out.

Since August, North Korea has shot ballistic missiles into waters administrated by Japan on three occasions. It described the last of those launches, on March 6, as a test of its capacity to strike US military targets in Japan.

Before that, the threat from North Korea was taking something of a backburner to disputes with China in the East China Sea, says Yuki Tatsumi, the East Asia program senior associate at the international peace and security think tank Stimson Center in Washington, D.C.

“The situation has drastically changed in the last four weeks, and this changes the calculus for the Japanese government and defense establishment in terms of what kind of role they should be playing if something really bad happens on the Korean peninsula,” she tells The Christian Science Monitor.

It has also amplified calls to develop the capacity to preemptively attack North Korean missile bases, using weapons such as cruise missiles or precision-guided bombs.

If Japan were to detect an imminent missile launch at the sites, says Ms. Tatsumi, “the government would probably make an argument that, assuming from past behavior, it’s either against Japan or US bases in Japan, which is in Japanese territory, and they have to take it out before they do it.”

It’s the most fraught of measures being contemplated by Japan, which has sent high-tech ships to the areas where North Korean missiles fell, as well as expanding intelligence sharing with South Korea. It will also soon dispatch its Izumo warship – a helicopter carrier classified as a destroyer to skirt a constitutional prohibition against the acquisition of offensive weapons – on a tour of the South China Sea, in a show of force not seen since World War II that has irritated China.

"If bombers attacked us or warships bombarded us, we would fire back. Striking a country lobbing missiles at us is no different," said Itsunori Onodera, former defense minister from the ruling Liberal Democratic party, in an interview with Reuters. "Technology has advanced and the nature of conflict has changed."

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who believes Article 9, in which Japan "renounces war as a sovereign right of the nation," should be done away with entirely, has done much to unbind the country’s military even as he works to establish conciliatory relations around the globe. In addition to creating a National Security Council and passing a state secrecy law designed to increase intelligence cooperation with the United States, as the Diplomat notes, Mr. Abe’s government also pushed through a hugely controversial overhaul in 2015 that permitted Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to defend allies even if national territory isn’t attacked.

A clear majority of Japanese voters opposed the 2015 overhaul, which generated mass protests that reemerged as late as the one-year anniversary of the bill’s passage. North Korean provocations aside, self-defense capacities that toe the line of offense might be greeted with trepidation, says Tatsumi.

"I can see the same people who opposed that bill coming out again saying, 'this is a step toward the 1930s.'"

The debate comes as the Trump administration signals its readiness to pursue an aggressive new line with North Korea.

On a visit to Tokyo, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Thursday that diplomatic efforts to dissuade North Korea from developing nuclear weapons had been a “failed approach,” according to NBC. And in South Korea on Friday, Mr. Tillerson did not rule out military action against Pyongyang.

"If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action then that option is on the table," he told reporters there.

That option would almost certainly have to be taken in close consultation with Japan, notes Tatsumi, right down to efforts to evacuate US citizens from South Korea.

“For Japan, North Korea really does weigh heavy,” she tells the Monitor. “These recent events are really reminding Japanese leaders … that yes, North Korea is there. And its threat can really be imminent.”

This report contains material from the Associated Press.

Related stories

  • Think you know Japan? Take our quiz to find out.
  • As Tillerson arrives in Asia, Japan's Abe emerges as effective global statesman
  • China offers a plan to deal with North Korea: Will it work?

Read this story at

Become a part of the Monitor community

  • Become a Facebook fan!
  • Follow us on Twitter!
  • Follow us on Google+
  • Link up with us!
  • Subscribe to our RSS feeds!
Australian Open: American Coco Vandeweghe beats Canada's Eugenie Bouchard to ...

Read on the original site chat_bubble_outline

Snow falls in November in Tokyo for first time in 54 years

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo residents woke up Thursday to the first November snowfall in more than 50 years.An unusually cold air mass brought wet snow to Japan's capital. Above-freezing temperatures kept the snow from sticking in most places, though it did accumulate on sidewalks and cars in Tokyo's far western suburbs.Meteorologists forecast up to 2 centimeters (1 inch) would fall, and more in the mountains northwest of Tokyo.The snow caused minor train delays during the morning commute.The last time… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

Wayne Bridge to quit I'm A Celeb? Emotional star admits he's struggling ...

Read on the original site chat_bubble_outline

Aaron Rodgers and Olivia Munn break up: report

Read on the original site chat_bubble_outline

Germany's Merkel: 'very close to war crimes' in Syria

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that some actions in Syria come "very close to war crimes."Merkel said Saturday that the bombing of hospitals and underground facilities in Aleppo is "inhuman." She said: "I think we are very close to war crimes. Whether there are war crimes, the International Court of Justice decides."The chancellor made her comments to a conference of her conservative bloc's youth wing in the western German city of Paderborn.Merkel said: "The much more… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

folder_open Assigned tags