Japan is sending it largest warship to join in possible action against North Korea in what is being called the nation’s most significant military move since World War II.
The helicopter carrier Izumo will escort supply ships supporting the U.S. Navy’s Carrier Strike Group One, which has been dispatched to the North China Sea.
The Izumo is the largest Japanese warship deployed since World War II, The Japan Times reported. This is the first time a Japanese warship has faced the possibility of action since 1945.
Meanwhile, North Korea is threatening to conduct another nuclear test.
Japan’s constitution technically bars the use of military force except in case of national defense, but Japanese law was amended last year to make it easier for the nation’s military, or Self-Defense Force, to take part in military operations.
The 817-foot-long Izumo is an amphibious assault carrier that can carry up to nine helicopters. The Japan Times noted that the Izumo is as big as a World War II aircraft carrier but is called a destroyer to get around a provision in Japan’s constitution that bars the military from having offensive weapons.
The Izumo’s primary mission will be to protect U.S. and other ships from submarine attack. North Korea reportedly has dozens of submarines.
Japan is not the only country sending ships to the region. The French amphibious assault ship Mistral arrived in Nagasaki on April 29, The Japan Times reported. The Mistral is expected to be joined by another French ship, the frigate Courbet. The French ships will take part in exercises with Japanese, American and British warships in the Pacific.
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Japanese citizens are being told they may have less than 10 minutes to prepare for a North Korean missile attack.
“When a missile is launched from North Korea, it will not take long to reach Japan,” an official communique from the Japanese government reads. It was released this week. “For example, the ballistic missile launched from [North Korea] on February 7 last year took 10 minutes to fly over Okinawa.”
Officials in some parts of Japan are preparing to hold air raid drills for the first time since World War II, and they’re telling citizens to practice taking shelter, The Washington Post reported. A post on the government website urges people to “evacuate to a substantial building or underground shopping area” if they are outside, and to lie down under cover and away from windows if inside.
There is an official warning system for a missile attack called “J-Alert,” but even many politicians have little faith in it.
“A missile may not be detected as soon as it leaves the launch pad … and that could take several minutes,” Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura told The Japan Times. “Depending on the case, the warnings and alarms might only sound four or five minutes before a missile arrives.”
Not surprisingly, sales of bomb shelters have skyrocketed in Japan.
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The day was hot and sticky — as usual. Beneath the tropical sun a hawk-faced young man crept silently through the dense jungle foliage. Thick green vegetation nearly engulfed him as he wove through the jungle floor. Sweat trickled down his face and his clothing was once again dampened. His alert eyes darted intently in all directions, always searching for the ever-present danger of the enemy. In his nimble hands he clutched a weather-beaten rifle, issued to him for one reason: to kill all of those who would threaten his emperor.
Young, and brimming with determination and nationalistic pride, the lean man knew the odds were stacked against him. His country had been losing ground in this great war to foes from across the ocean. Enemy troops were bearing down on his island, his homeland. He and a small group of fellow soldiers on the island had made up their minds. They had resolved to keep up the fight and never surrender.
Then, almost inaudibly, in the distance he heard a slow drone off to the east. Mixed with the cacophony of the jungle it was hard to determine the source of the noise, but it sounded like the hum of a plane. In this island war Shoichi Yokoi, the young soldier, had become ever-so accustomed to the sound of enemy planes. His eyes snapped to the sky, searching for the source. However, through the chaotic dancing of the treetops in the tropical wind it was hard to see much. Within a minute or so the noise increased tremendously as the aircraft flew closer. In a flash the plane zipped low overhead, deafening the jungle below. The mighty rush of air it brought with it seemed nearly to uproot the trees with its force. The young man ducked slightly, perhaps out of instinct more than necessity.
With the passing of the plane and its deafening tumult Shoichi noticed what looked like leaves falling from the sky. As the scattered items fell to the earth, he eventually realized they were paper pamphlets discarded by the passing plane. He pushed through the restrictive jungle foliage and snatched a pamphlet, suspended on a fern. Quickly scanning the leaflet, he discovered a shocking announcement. To his bewilderment, it proclaimed the great war was over. Just as astonishingly he read his home country, Japan, had surrendered. Confusion built up inside him and he rushed off to inform his fellow comrades.
This is where the incredible story of Shoichi Yokoi really begins. Yokoi and several of his fellow soldiers concluded it would be better to stay on the island fighting than to return home in surrender. In an action symbolic of Japanese soldiers of World War II, they would fight to the bitter end, no matter the cost. Their decision would intern their fates to the surrounding jungle of Guam. Some would lose their lives over the ensuing years, while Shoichi would struggle onward. In fact, for the next 27 years Shoichi survived expressly off the gifts of the jungle and bits of discarded waste. For the lion’s share of that time, he shared the experience with several fellow soldiers. For 19 years he and two other men lived as jungle hermits. In 1964, though, his companions met their untimely death in a great ocean flood. Following their deaths, Yokoi survived alone for eight years in solitude. How he was able to carve out a living in an unforgiving jungle home is likely to impress even the most cynical reader.
First, Shoichi’s main concern during his island solitude was finding enough food. In fact, he would later recount that finding food was a “continuous hardship.” With limited large game animals to pursue, he was forced to constantly feed his high caloric demands with small animals. He mainly subsisted on edible plants, nuts and fruits he gathered from the jungle. Additionally, he became adept at trapping eel and shrimp. At times he was also able to procure meat from birds and wild hogs. His favorite food was rat meat, but in his extreme situation of survival Yokoi couldn’t afford to be picky and ate absolutely everything he could.
When he wasn’t spending time finding food, much of Shoichi’s time was devoted to making the tools and goods necessary for his survival. Living in such extreme isolation, Shoichi was completely self-dependent and had to make literally everything he needed. He learned to use the bounty of the jungle, unknowingly in similar ways to Guam’s native peoples. He made cordage from trees, a trap for eels, and used bamboo for all sorts of things. Showing off the true power of human ingenuity, Yokoi used the inner bark of the Pago tree to weave a homespun fabric of sorts. From this he actually tailored an army uniform that held up remarkably well.
Story continues below video
Perhaps most impressive was the survival shelter Shoichi constructed. Using only an improvised hand trowel, he dug a deep pit in the jungle floor. Initially, he dug straight down into the ground. Once seven or eight feet down, he cleared out a space for living quarters. It had dedicated sections for sleeping and cooking, and it even had a latrine. His latrine drained into the nearby river, thus keeping his den remarkable sanitary. To avoid cave-ins he used bamboo shoots to support the roof. As bamboo was his main source of wood, it was also used to construct his ladder to enter and exit his pit. The shelter was excellently camouflaged, and even standing next to it you could barely identify the entrance.
Another of Shoichi’s major survival lifelines was his ability to make fire. As a soldier the young Japanese may have learned a variety of fire-starting techniques. During his stay in the jungle he used two primitive methods of fire-starting. Initially he used a glass lens to focus the rays of the sun to produce fire. Eventually, though, he lost the glass lens he was using and had to adapt. With a new problem to solve, he resorted to the much more primitive method of friction fire-starting. Amazingly, Shoichi discovered how to create a coal using what he described as a bow drill set. His ability to revert to more primitive methods for survival seem to highlight an ideology within modern survivalists that modern tools eventually will give out — and the understanding of primitive ways of doing things comes into play. The ability to make fire not only allowed Yokoi to cook his food, but it allowed him to boil his water, something he did each day.
So it was for Shoichi Yokoi for 27 years. Although the rest of the world had moved on, he and his comrades held out in an amazing display of discipline, attrition and outright grit. Interestingly, Yokoi’s survival story doesn’t end with him voluntarily reentering society. In fact, the resourceful soldier was returned to civilization at gunpoint. While checking his shrimp traps one day he was surprised by two American hunters. The two men wrestled the wild man into submission and checked him in to local authorities. As his amazing story unfolded, people listened in disbelief. So much had changed during Shoichi’s 27-year expedition that the world was almost unrecognizable to him. Upon his return to his homeland he said, “The world has certainly changed, but my determination to serve (the emperor) will never change.”
Shoichi Yokoi’s 27-year jungle survival story certainly holds many lessons for modern survivalists looking to prepare for similar situations. His ability to meet caloric needs, make tools, build an adequate shelter, and produce fire allowed him to live in isolation. Driven by an unwillingness to surrender, he forged a life for himself out of the surrounding jungle. His ability to adapt, observe his surroundings for resources, and continue his lonely war was truly amazing.
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Kristof, Nicholas D. 1997. “Shoichi Yokoi, 82, Is Dead; Japan Soldier Hid 27 Years.” The New York Times, September. http://www.nytimes.com/1997/09/26/world/shoichi-yokoi-82-is-dead-japan-soldier-hid-27-years.html.
“Shoichi Yokoi – the Japanese Soldier Who Was Too Embarrassed to Return Home. He Lived in the Jungle in Guam for 28 Years after the End of WWII.” 2016. The Vintage News. October 12. https://www.thevintagenews.com/2016/10/12/shoichi-yokoi-the-japanese-soldier-who-was-too-embarrassed-to-return-home-he-lived-in-the-jungle-in-guam-for-28-years-after-the-end-of-wwii/.
While much of Asia can expect dry and mild conditions, there will be areas of ongoing drought as well as the risk of flooding during the spring of 2016.
“The main players in Asia this spring will be the typical ones, including the monsoon and fluctuations in Indian Ocean water temperatures,” according to AccuWeather Chief International Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.
In addition, El Niño may still have enough influence to factor into the western Pacific Typhoon season during the approach of summer.
El Niño is defined by above-average sea surface temperatures in eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean. These sea surface temperatures cycle from warm to cool, relative to average, over a several-year period.
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The most earthquake-prone place on Earth is not California or any nation in the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire,” but instead Oklahoma.
The Sooner State now has more earthquakes than places surrounding the San Andreas Fault and even Japan, state officials say.
“Oklahoma is absolutely unique in terms of the number of earthquakes we’ve had,” Matt Skinner, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC), told members of the Rotary Club in Enid, Oklahoma.
The Commission is the body that regulates oil and gas drilling in the state.
“We have had 15 (earthquakes) in Medford since 5 o’clock Saturday morning,” Skinner said during a speech on Wednesday, November 11. “We’ve got an earthquake issue.”
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) blames the fracking for oil and gas for the quakes. One week after Skinner’s remarks, Oklahoma and Kansas were struck by a 4.7 magnitude earthquake, which was felt as far away as Tucson, Arizona, The Christian Science Monitor reported. No major damage was reported, although a 5.0 quake could cause significant damage, Skinner said.
Jim Palmer, the OCC’s director of public information, told the The Enid News that the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma has been on the rise in recent years.
“In North America, Oklahoma is very unique and unique in the world, in the sense that it’s concentrated so much in just one area,” Palmer said.
Said Skinner, “This is an Oklahoma issue that is an earthquake issue. It is nothing more and it’s nothing less. For us, it’s an oil and gas issue as well, because that’s what we have jurisdiction over that the seismologists say pertains to earthquakes.”
A USGS press release from March said the disposal of “wastewater by deep injection” – fracking – “occasionally results in earthquakes that are large enough to be felt, and sometimes damaging.”
“Deep injection of wastewater is the primary cause of the dramatic rise in detected earthquakes and the corresponding increase in seismic hazard in the central U.S,” it concluded.
The USGS revealed that Oklahoma had 567 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or higher in 2014. Just two years earlier in 2012 the state suffered only around 40 quakes a year.
(Listen to Off The Grid Radio’s in-depth report on fracking and earthquakes here.)
4.7 Magnitude Quake
A TV station reported that the 4.7 quake was centered near Cherokee, 20 miles south of the Kansas state line. The region affected by the quake includes the Wolf Creek nuclear power plant.
There were at least four earthquakes in Oklahoma on the same day, News 9 reported. The quakes were reported around Norman, Enid and Oklahoma City.
Subsequently, the OCC said it would require the ending of operations of two oil and gas wastewater disposal wells in the Cherokee area.
Earthquakes have now become so common in Oklahoma that TV meteorologists now give reports on them with the nightly news, The New Yorker reported. Despite the numbers, seismologists know little about earthquakes and fracking.
“All we have is data,” Skinner admitted. “In terms of this phenomenon, very little is really known.”
Incredibly, the earthquake scared large flocks of birds so much that their flight patterns could be seen on radar.
Do you believe fracking eventually will cause a major earthquake that does significant damage? Or do you think fracking doesn’t pose a problem? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Mike Turner. Mike lives in Japan so his perspective is unique to most of us. In this article Mike shares tips he has assembled to help anyone reading this learn more about survival in Japan with it’s different challenges. Although the location […]
It’s been over 4 years since the Fukushima Daiichi power plant was practically destroyed by a tsunami that devastated the surrounding area, but the propaganda campaign has never stopped. Neither the government nor TEPCO, has ever admitted to the full scale of this disaster. As far as they’re concerned, everyone who died in Fukushima was killed by the earthquake and the tsunami that followed it. They’ve always skirted around the possibility that the radiation from their crumbling power plant could wind up killing people for years to come.
That is, until now. On Tuesday, Japan’s health ministry became the first government agency in that country to even come close to revealing the dangers that are still lurking in the Fukushima Prefecture. One of the power plant’s workers has been diagnosed with leukemia, and the health ministry says it may have been caused by radiation.
Hundreds of deaths have been attributed to the chaos of evacuations during the crisis and because of the hardship and mental trauma refugees have experienced since then, but the government had said that radiation was not a cause.
The male worker in his 30s, who was employed by a construction contractor, worked at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima Daiichi plant and other nuclear facilities, a health ministry official said.
Of total radiation exposure of 19.8 millisieverts (mSv), the worker received a dose of 15.7 (mSv) between October 2012 and December 2013 working at Fukushima, said the official.
While the exposure amount was lower than the annual 50 mSv limit for nuclear industry workers, the government had decided it cannot be ruled out that the worker’s leukemia was a result of radiation, the official said.
While they suggest that it “cannot be ruled out,” it also seems pretty plausible given his line of work. 10 other workers have also filed claims against TEPCO, most which have been conveniently dropped. Make of that what you will.
Meanwhile, it’s been found that there are an alarming number of children living in Fukushima, who have come down with thyroid cancer. While the overall numbers are small, the thyroid cancer rate is now 50x higher than normal among children.
A new analysis of data from Fukushima suggests children exposed to the March 2011 nuclear accident may be developing thyroid cancer at an elevated rate.
In the past year or so, the Fukushima Health Survey of more than 150,000 children has turned up 25 “suspicious or malignant cases” of thyroid cancer. Thyroid screenings in previous years have also found numerous cases.
The work, led by Toshihide Tsuda of Okayama University, is based on a large public health survey that was set up in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture following the accident. As part of the survey, children who were living near the plant at the time of the accident have been offered regular thyroid screenings.
Those numbers of course, have been explained away by academics as a statistical anomaly, and nothing more. These people can’t bring themselves to admit the obvious, though the reasons behind their denial are probably different from TEPCO’s. Academia just doesn’t want to look foolish by being lumped together with people who they view as alarmists. TEPCO and the Japanese government on the other hand, don’t want the population to have their heads when it’s revealed that they’ve been lied to for the past 4 years. That’s also why they’re calling that poor worker a ‘possible casualty’ and leaving it at that.
Fortunately, it’s becoming more difficult to cover up the casualties of their incompetence, though not for a comforting reason. It will be more difficult in the future, because there will be more casualties than they can cover up or explain away. The only question that remains, is how many deaths will there be when it’s all said and done?
If the Chernobyl disaster is any indication, then the number of deaths may be off the charts. Contrary to official statistics, there may be as many as a million deaths associated with Chernobyl, but these statistics were easy to overlook since it took decades for the casualties to become apparent. If the amount of radiation that spewed from the Fukushima power plant is even a fraction of what we saw in Chernobyl, then the people of Central Japan have a horrific road ahead of them.
But despite the partial admission that was made by Japan’s health ministry, I don’t expect any full admission to come out of the Japanese government any time soon. If they’re like most governments, they’ll just wait a few decades for the current generation of Fukushima residents to pass on before they admit that they lied, which will be followed by a formal apology, a token financial compensation to the families, and perhaps a touching memorial. After all, that’s how most criminal governments wash their hands of their dirty deeds. When a situation makes themselves look bad, they always wait too long to make a difference.
Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.
Joshua’s website is Strange Danger
This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition
It’s seems that the state of general peace is getting harder and harder to keep these days. Between the economical global instability and religious fundamentalism, there’s very little room left for human decency and peacekeeping. Just as before, during the World War II period, the gap between the radical oppressive political systems and the peace-loving, democratic ones is growing with each passing day. Animosity arose and swords started rattling for a long time now, and it’s only a matter of time before the World will generate a 3rd massive war.
This will divide people into 2 distinct sides: the Good (peace-keeping, freedom-fighting and God-loving) vs. the Evil (tyrannical, oppressors and bearers of false religions). It’s only a matter of time now, before the first official decree is released. As the land of the free and home of the brave, America will once again have the sacred duty of carrying the flag into battle, in the name of all that’s good and holy on God’s green Earth. This all might be avoided in the end, but the chances are slim to none, as the wheels have already been set in motion.
1 – Global recession
In a time of fluctuating economies, all the World’s superpowers will search for all sorts of allies in order to help their cause, be it just or unjust. The previous World Wars did not have much in common with each other except this single similarity: before each war broke out, many of the countries involved had been hit by recessions. Before World War I America was recovering from a 3 year-old recession, and prior to World War II, many countries were recovering from the Great Depression. What’s going on today is very similar to what happened before the 2nd World War. A very possible starting point could be the debt that the US owes China, which rose to about $17.5 trillion. And China too is finding itself during an economic crisis, so it’s only a matter of time before they start pressuring the US government on the subject of the unpaid debt. If things spiral out of control and it comes to armed conflict, China will have no problem in finding allies like Russia and North Korea, which don’t need much of an excuse to go to war against America and its allies.
2 – Russia’s claim over Ukraine
Over 7000 Russian troops have invaded the Crimea peninsula, on February 27, 2014, which was officially Ukrainian territory. Such an outrageous and intrusive act culminated in overthrowing Ukrainian authority from the territory, by overtaking official government buildings, airports, communication centers and military bases. Under the false pretext that Russian forces have intruded in order to free the Crimean people from an oppressive regime is as far from the truth as it could possibly be. Crimeans weren’t enslaved or oppressed in any way by their existing government. But they are now, due to Russia’s intrusion, which resulted in uncontrollable violence, tortures, beating and murders. As a result for their unjustified actions, the US and Europe have ceased economic trades and imposed drastic sanctions that hurt the invaders economy by a 20% deficit .Despite the obvious violation of human rights, Russia’s official stand is that there is nothing abusive about their actions, as they have not entered Ukraine’s whole territory, but only what they consider to be rightfully theirs. Ukrainians have responded and met violence with violence, as guerrilla wars and bloody protests continue to this day on Ukrainian soil.
3 – Iran is posing a direct threat
In mid January, 2014, Iran dispatched a fleet of battle ships in US territorial waters. In early February, 2014, Iran’s military chief , general Hassan Firouzabadi, stated that Iranian military forces are determined to go toe-to-toe with their American counterparts in military strategies and weaponry. The US Senate reacted, and fearing for the worst, stated that military action is imperative in order to stop Iran from developing its illegal nuclear program. The White House did not back up the Senate’s bill, as the ships were involved were not posing a real threat to US territory and general’s Firouzabadi saber rattling has happened many times before without direct consequences. But this doesn’t mean the threats fell on deaf ears. Intelligence shows that Iran 13 million trained soldiers, ready for combat at a moment’s notice. The number is impressive, but an upcoming war will most probably be technology-based one, heavily dependent on aerial and tactical strikes, rather than closed-quarter combat. But the Iranian air force is one of the most numerous and heavily trained in the world, with about 30,000 men, over 1,000 planes and armed with cruise missiles (that have a range of about 1240 miles, more than enough to hit military bases set in the Gulf).
4 – Japan and China’s dispute over air space
Just like Russia, China’s trying to push everybody’s buttons, hoping to get a reaction or a response. Chinese officials stated that China is changing its air defense strategy, by increasing their zone by overtaking part of Japan’s, South Korea’s and Taiwan’s airspace. The intruded Japan’s space as far as Senkaku Islands, and are planning on pushing the Japanese as far back as possible. South Korea answered by intruding Chinese airspace. If hostilities begin in the area, the US obliged to help the cause of South Korea, Taiwan and Japan, in accordance to a pact signed in 1951. The blood is already boiling and it will take very little to light the spark that could plunge the whole world into an unavoidable war.
It’s plain to see that the machinations to set World War III in motion have already begun. It won’t be long until the first shots are fired or the wrong turn is taken and the world will go to war again. Technology will make the weapons more powerful than ever before and the consequences of war even harsher. When the fighting begins, society could be changed forever. Stay alert, and take whatever precautions are necessary so you can survive during the dark times ahead.
By Alec Deacon