Japan reports Russian and Chinese warships sailing near island

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Russia and China Send Warships Around Japan as Tension Simmers
  • Japan’s Defense Ministry said as many as eight Russian and Chinese warships sailed into seas near Japan this week. While the Russian vessels were sailing through the Tsushima Strait, which separates Japan and South Korea, the Chinese warships were spotted near the Izu Islands, which are some 500 kilometers (310.6 miles) south of Tokyo.
  • In another provocative gesture, the Chinese and Russian air forces carried out joint air patrols at a time when Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was hosting a summit of the leaders of the US, Australia and India. The air patrols were carried out over the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea and the western Pacific Ocean.

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Japan moves away from pacifist identity to prepare for nearby threats. First time in 75years

Revelations 6:3-4 “ when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • With Threats All Around, Japan Moves to Shed Its Pacifist Constraints
  • Late in February, just days after the Russian invasion, Ukraine asked Japan to ship an assortment of military equipment, from antitank weapons and ammunition to electronic radar and bulletproof vests
  • Japan, which has forsworn combat since the end of World War II, had not sent military materiel to another country in the midst of fighting a war in more than 75 years.
  • This month, Japan’s defense minister, Nobuo Kishi, reiterated calls for drastically expanding military spending. Even the political opposition supports increased outlays.
  • Looming even larger is China, which Japan’s defense ministry now ranks as the country’s most serious long-term threat. Along with the United States, Tokyo is increasingly concerned that Beijing might try to use force to take control of Taiwan, a democratically governed island that China claims as its own.
  • North Korea, too, remains a source of anxiety. Since the beginning of the year, Pyongyang has tested 12 ballistic missiles, some of which have landed near the country’s territorial waters.

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Aftermath of 7.3 has Millions Facing Power Outage and Cold Temperatures

Luke 21:11” There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

Important Takeaways:

  • Earthquake damage, colder weather has millions facing power blackouts in Japan
  • The Tokyo Power Company Holdings, or Tepco, and Japan’s industry ministry said between 2 and 3 million homes could be affected by a power outage because some plants have been offline since the 7.3-magnitude quake on March 16
  • The quake shook Japan, killed at least four people and injured more than 100.

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Since Japan’s 7.4 more aftershocks have occurred

Luke 21:11” There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

Important Takeaways:

  • Latest quakes in or near Japan in the past 7 days – list, stats and map
    • Past 7 days: 915 quakes
      • 1 quake above magnitude 7
      • 1 quake between magnitude 6 and 7
      • 8 quakes between magnitude 5 and 6
      • 64 quakes between magnitude 4 and 5
      • 299 quakes between magnitude 3 and 4
      • 542 quakes between magnitude 2 and 3

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7.4 Earthquake Causes Semiconductor Supplier to Halt Production for Major Car Companies

Important Takeaways:

  • Toyota, major chip supplier suspend production due to earthquake in Japan
  • The earthquake adds to already tumultuous times for the automotive industry involving supply chain problems due to Covid-19 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • As companies monitor and assess potential residual impacts of Wednesday’s 7.4 magnitude earthquake on their supply chains, auto companies most immediately impacted included Toyota Motor and Renesas Electronics, a major supplier of semiconductor chips for the automotive industry
  • The world’s largest automaker by volume said 18 production lines at 11 plants (out of 28 lines at 14 plants) would be down for three days next week due to supply problems caused by the earthquake.
  • The Tokyo-based semiconductor supplier said it’s attempting to restart the plants and return them to pre-earthquake production volumes

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Japan backs U.S. during Ukraine crisis

Matthew 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Important Takeaways:

  • Russia warns Japan to stay out of Ukraine crisis
  • The growing tensions have global diplomatic ramifications, most recently evidenced by President Joe Biden’s virtual meeting with his Japanese counterpart.
  • “Japan indicated that it — that the United States and Japan are closely aligned on concerns about Russian threats,” the senior administration official said.
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s face-to-face conversation with Lavrov in Geneva. That dialogue produced a commitment to continue discussing possible diplomatic resolutions,
  • Russian officials also reiterated the demand most intolerable to the trans-Atlantic alliance: their insistence that the United States and Western Europe cut their security ties to Eastern European members of NATO, who joined the bloc to seek protection from potential Russian threats

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Saving Taiwan means keeping an expansionist power at bay

Matthew 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Important Takeaways:

  • “China wanted Taiwan long before TSMC was churning out chips, and would want it even if TSMC had never existed…. It wants Taiwan because, like Nazi Germany, it is an expansionist power….” — Michael Turton, columnist, Taipei Times, January 10, 2022
  • [A]t a time when China’s Communist Party is attacking democracies, Washington cannot allow Beijing to absorb any one of them, even if it is not home to the world’s leading chipmakers.
  • “Destroying Taiwan’s democracy is essential to giving China’s Communist Party license to destroy all other democracies.” — Richard Fisher to Gatestone, January 2022.
  • If America came to the rescue of Taiwan, it would not be defending just the island; America would be defending itself.
  • America has drawn its western defense perimeter off China’s coast, and Taiwan is smack dab in the middle of that critical line, where the South China and East China Seas meet. Taiwan also protects the southern flank of America’s “cornerstone” ally in East Asia, Japan.

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Russia deploys coastal missile system on island chain near Japan

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia has deployed its Bastion coastal missile defense system to a remote part of the Kuril island chain in the Pacific near Japan, the Ministry of Defense’s Zvezda TV channel said on Thursday.

Japan lays claim to the Russian-held southern Kuril islands that Tokyo calls the Northern Territories, a territorial row that dates back to the end of World War Two when Soviet troops seized them from Japan.

The dispute has prevented them signing a formal peace treaty.

Russia used large landing ships to deliver equipment and personnel to the remote Matua island in the central part of the island chain, Zvezda said.

Russia is trying to beef up its military infrastructure on the island chain, the Ministry of Defense announced in August.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth and Anton Kolodyazhnyy; editing by Barbara Lewis)


Washington caps year of drills to deter China with ten-day military exercise

By Tim Kelly

USS CARL VINSON (Reuters) – The United States on Tuesday completed ten days of joint military drills in Asian waters with Japan and other allies as it ups the ante on deterring China from pursuing its territorial ambitions amid growing tension in the region over Taiwan.

The ANNUALEX drill included 35 warships and dozens of aircraft in the Philippine Sea off Japan’s southern coast. The U.S. and Japanese forces were led by the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson carrier, which was also joined by ships from Canada, Australia, and for the first time, Germany. On Tuesday, the Vinson was being shadowed by a Chinese navy ship.

“We try to deter aggression from some nations that are showing burgeoning strength that maybe we haven’t experienced before,” U.S. Seventh Fleet commander Vice Admiral Karl Thomas said at a briefing aboard the carrier.

The exercise was meant to “tell those nations that maybe today is not the day,” he said.

Thomas was accompanied by the commander of the exercise, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Vice Admiral Hideki Yuasa. Home to the biggest concentration of American forces outside the United States, Tokyo is Washington’s key ally in the region.

Increasing pressure by China on Taiwan is causing concern in both Japan and the United States. Japan worries that key sea lanes supplying it will come under Beijing’s sway should it gain control of the island. That move would also threaten U.S. military bases in the region.

China, which views Taiwan as a breakaway province, says its intentions in the region are peaceful.

The ten-day exercise caps a year of drills between the United States, Japan and other countries, including Britain, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

London this year deployed its new $4.15 billion aircraft carrier the HMS Queen Elizabeth to the region, culminating in a visit to Japan in September along with two destroyers, two frigates and a submarine.

To get there, it sailed through the contested South China Sea, of which China claims 90%. Also in September, Britain’s HMS Richmond passed through the Taiwan Strait separating the island from mainland China, prompting a rebuke from Beijing.

Tokyo, in its latest annual defense strategy paper, identifies China as its main national security threat and said it had a “sense of crisis” regarding Taiwan as Chinese military activity around the island intensifies.

The British carrier joined a Japanese carrier, along with the Vinson – which operates F-35 stealth jets – and the USS Ronald Reagan, for a rare four-carrier training exercise in the waters around Japan.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Japanese volcano spews plumes of ash, people warned away

TOKYO (Reuters) -A volcano erupted in Japan on Wednesday, blasting ash several miles into the sky and prompting officials to warn against the threat of lava flows and falling rocks, but there were no reports of injuries or casualties.

Mount Aso, a tourist destination on the main southern island of Kyushu, sent plumes of ash 3.5 km (2.2 miles) high when it erupted at about 11:43 a.m. (0243 GMT), the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

It raised the alert level for the volcano to 3 on a scale of 5, telling people not to approach, and warned of a risk of large falling rocks and pyroclastic flows within a radius of about 1 km (0.6 mile) around the mountain’s Nakadake crater.

Local police said there were no reports of people injured or missing as of Wednesday evening, and that 16 people who had gone hiking on the mountain earlier on the day came back safely.

Television networks broadcast images of a dark cloud of ash looming over the volcano that swiftly obscured large swathes of the mountain.

Ash falls from the 1,592-metre (5,222-foot) mountain in the prefecture of Kumamoto are expected to shower nearby towns until late afternoon, the weather agency added.

Mount Aso had a small eruption in 2019, while Japan’s worst volcanic disaster in nearly 90 years killed 63 people on Mount Ontake in September 2014.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park, additional reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Kim Coghill)