Government sources have revealed that the submarine detected plying the waters of the contiguous zone around Minami-Daitojima island in Okinawa Prefecture on Sunday were picked up by a Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) patrol plane using a sonobuoy – a small floating sonar system that emits sound waves, and transmits its data back to the sonar operators. Using the sonobuoy, the plane was able to let the submarine know that it was being monitored.
It's been 41 years since Okinawa reverted to Japanese rule, and yet the residents don't feel that they are totally free yet because of the strong US military presence in the prefecture. To commemorate the anniversary last Sunday, around 3,500 people gathered in a park in Ginowan to call for an Okinawa free of US military bases.
As China and Japan’s territorial dispute for islands in the East China Sea drags on, Japan announced the discovery of a submarine lurking near Japanese territorial waters last week. On Monday, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera revealed the government has identified the country to which the submarine belongs to – the vessel was detected plying the waters near Okinawa submerged. Japan looks to call for such activities to cease immediately.
As criticism continue to hound Osaka Mayor and Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) co-leader Toru Hashimoto – the outcry against his comments on Japan’s wartime sex slave system and prostitution are coming from all over the globe now – the outspoken Japanese politician put the blame squarely on the media, criticizing them for putting out what according to him were “misleading” reports.
Osaka’s outspoken mayor Toru Hashimoto has found himself back in the center of controversy as he slammed the United States’ criticism of his earlier comments regarding “comfort women” in World War II, saying that American soldiers themselves abused Japanese women when they occupied the Japanese islands after their surrender.
As the bilateral agreement between Japan and Taiwan regarding shared fishing grounds took effect last Friday, representatives of Okinawa prefecture’s fishing industry – Japan’s southernmost prefecture and the one most affected by the agreement – and Taiwanese fishermen met in the prefectural capital of Naha on Thursday to begin discussions on how to prevent trouble. The meeting came at the request of the Taiwanese side after the bilateral fishing deal took effect, to be able to draft rules that would govern the nation's operations in Japan's exclusive economic zone around the prefecture, including the waters around the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu island chain also claimed by Taiwan and China.
A number of Okinawan women have demanded for an apology from Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto over his suggestion that US troops stationed on the island should take advantage of prostitution to release their sexual frustrations. This follows another controversial statement from the outspoken politician wherein he said that comfort women played a "necessary" part in keeping the Japanese soldiers in line during World War II.
A Chinese two-star general has said out in public what would probably be the next level on the ongoing territorial dispute between Japan and China – that Okinawa does not belong to Japan. Luo Yuan, a general in the People's Liberation Army, has said that Japan has no rightful claim on sovereignty over the Ryukyu island chain – of which Okinawa is a part of – because the ancient leaders of the territory had started paying tribute to China 500 years or so before they had done so to Japan.
A foreign submarine was detected in a contiguous zone just outside Japanese territorial waters south of Kumejima Island in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan’s Defense Ministry revealed on Tuesday. Ministry officials did not elaborate on the submarine vessel’s country of origin, but a government source revealed that the sub likely belonged to the Chinese Navy.
A USS Stethem sailor was arrested by Japanese police on Sunday night for unlawful entry after he was discovered inside a Zushi city elementary school, in Kanagawa Prefecture. 23 year old Petty Officer 2nd Class Kristopher Lee Murphy was discovered sleeping inside a second-floor classroom in Hisagi Elementary School. He remains in Japanese police custody while an investigation is still ongoing.