Entries Tagged as ''

Okinawa residents lodge lawsuit over US flight noise

Xinhua, November 30, 2012

More than 140 residents lived near Kadena air base of U.S. Air Force in Japan’s Okinawa lodged a lawsuit on Friday to try to ban the night and early morning flights at the base and asked for damages payment.

The accusers filed the lawsuit with local court in the city of Okinawa, complaining that they have suffered from aircraft noise which made them difficult to sleep in the night and early morning.

Among other 22,000 plaintiffs of anther lawsuit against such flights, the 144 accusers also asked for a payment of 216 million yen (about 2.56 million U.S. dollars) in damages.

Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima said Friday that he will continue pushing the plan to relocate the U.S. bases outside his prefecture despite a potential change of government after next month’s general election.

Japan and its U.S. alliance are at odds on the issue of removing U.S. Air Force bases in Okinawa to other places for years. But the two sides still can not reach an agreement.


Senate Republicans back East Coast ICBM missile defense

Foreign Policy
By Kevin Baron
November 29, 2012

Key Senate Republicans on Thursday threw their support behind a controversial proposal to develop an East Coast missile defense site in the U.S. to defend against Iranian intercontinental ballistic missiles that do not yet exist.

During ongoing floor debate of the Senate’s fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill, New Hampshire’s Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) said she endorsed language in the House-passed bill authorizing the Pentagon to spend $100 million to study locations in the northeast United States for ICMB missile defenses. That provision was a surprise addition when the House bill emerged from the House Armed Services Committee and survived floor debate.

Ayotte introduced an amendment [along with Senator Collins and Senator Lieberman] with similar language and immediately withdrew it before a vote, instead offering her verbal support for the House bill. Ayotte argued Iran could develop a nuclear-tipped, long-range missile that could reach the United States. U.S. defenses currently would not allow for a defensive knock-down and counterattack, she argued.

“I think this is deeply troubling and we should be developing that capacity.”

Ayotte said the National Research Council recommended an additional ballistic missile site in the Northeast. “particularly against Iranian ICBM threats,s hould they emerg.” That report, however, was funded by the Missile Defense Agency and concluded the U.S. should not try to invest in defenses that attempt to strike missiles as they launch, rather ones that would have better luck with set up back on U.S. soil to catch missiles as they’re further in flight.

Ayotte also argued “some analysts” believe Iran “could develop that capacity” of long-range missiles by 2015. “I can’t imagine why we wouldn’t want to be in a position to make sure that the east coast of our country would be as protected as the West coast,” Ayotte said, specifically of Iran, which she argued was trying to acquire a nuclear weapon. …

Read on: http://e-ring.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/11/29/senate_republicans_back_east_coast_icbm_missile_defense

US Military Now Considering Sending Even More Ships To Mediterranean

Business Insider
By Michael Kelley
November 21, 2012

Senior U.S. military officers are considering increasing the American military presence in the east Mediterranean, Barbara Starr of CNN reports.

“From there, you can get to a lot of places in a short period of time,” one military official with direct knowledge of the discussions told CNN. “What we are looking at is what is our presence in the region and what should it be.”

Starr notes that the easiest option would be to extend deployments of Navy ships passing through the region. That was done this week when three warships on reserve—carrying more than 2,000 Marines, Harrier jets, V-22 tilt rotor aircraft and a variety of helicopters— was ordered to head to Israel in case Americans needed evacuation in a worst case scenario. …

Read onwww.businessinsider.com/us-troops-mediterranean-2012-11

Dalai Lama laments US bases in Japan

Saudi Gazette
November 13, 2012

The Dalai Lama on Monday lamented the US military presence in Japan at a press conference in Okinawa, where anti-American feeling has flared after alleged crimes by servicemen. “It is not right to have foreign military bases, but such situations unfortunately exist all around the world,” the Tibetan spiritual leader told reporters, according to Jiji Press. Deep-seated anti-Americanism in Okinawa has intensified following the alleged rape of a local woman by two servicemen and the alleged assault on a schoolboy by another. The second incident came days after top brass imposed a nationwide night-time curfew on all US military personnel as they looked to quell rising anger over the first case.


Seoul refuses to join US missile defense in Asia

Voice of Russia – UK Edition
November 3, 2012

South Korea won`t develop its own anti-missile defense system. Seoul is not interested in joining Washington’s plans to build up missile defenses in the Asia-Pacific region. The announcement comes after Defense Secretary Leon Panetta`s recent visit to the Korean Peninsula.

Officially, Seoul opposes technical aspects of the global anti-missile defense system in Asia, saying that South Korea is interested in protecting itself from missiles launched at a range of just 500-1000 km (obviously, from Pyongyang), while the US system is designed to work at a much greater range. But the real reason behind the argument is perhaps that Seoul does not want to get on its northern neighbor’s nerves, to say nothing about China as Beijing is a major opponent of the U.S. anti-missile plans in Asia.

Washington’s allies in the West seem to be fed up with the issue of US anti-missile defense plans. It looks as if they would like to distance themselves from this US project which is hardly possible amid intense pressure from the U.S. Now Washington has turned its sights to Asia. …

Read on: http://ruvr.co.uk/2012_11_03/Seoul-US-missile-defense/