Tag Archives: Japan

Plan to Release Radioactive Fukushima Wastewater Into Pacific Ocean Panned by Critics

“Another reason to not build nuclear power plants.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-10-2019

Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior sailing past the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, five years after the plant’s accident. (Photo: Christian Åslund/Greenpeace)

The far-reaching dangers of nuclear power were on full display Tuesday as Japan’s environmental minister recommended releasing more than one million tons of radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi plant into the Pacific Ocean nearly a decade after a tsunami caused a meltdown at the coastal facility.

“There are no other options” other than dumping the water into the ocean and diluting it, Yoshiaki Harada said at a news conference in Tokyo. Continue reading

Share

A Month Ahead of Global Climate Strike, Thousands Pledge to Attend Rallies Across Planet to ‘Turn Up the Political Heat’ and Demand Action

“Time is running out. This decade is our last chance to stop the destruction of our people and our planet… This is why we strike.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-20-2019

Photo taken at the Global Climate Strike in London on Friday 15th March 2019. Next month, thousands of people from all over the world plan to rally to mark the one-year anniversary of the climate strike movement, which teenaged advocate Greta Thunberg began last year. Photo: Garry Knight/flickr

Organizers behind the global climate strike movement—from teenage students to adults who have fought for climate action for decades—on Tuesday called on all people who want to halt the climate crisis to join the worldwide action on September 20.

350.org, one of dozens of international, national, and local groups organizing the strike, announced Tuesday that with a month to go before the demonstration, thousands of people have already signed up to take part in the strike and the Week of Action that’s planned for the days that follow. Continue reading

Share

Citing Racist Massacres and ‘Inexcusable’ Prevalence of Guns, Foreign Countries Issue Travel Safety Warnings for United States

“The world is watching.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-6-2019

Screenshot: Fox News

While President Donald Trump and the Republican Party have spent the past several years claiming foreign migrants and refugees pose a threat to Americans, a pair of massacres in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio over the weekend has compelled two Latin American countries to warn their own  citizens of the travel dangers lurking in the United States.

The foreign ministries of Venezuela and Uruguay issued urgent warnings to people in their countries who may travel to the U.S. following the deaths of 31 people in the two mass shootings. Both countries informed their citizens of the “indiscriminate possession” of guns by the U.S. population and the refusal of the federal government to address the problem. Continue reading

Share

‘Spitting in the Eye of Transparency,’ Govt Reveals Just 22 Mar-a-Lago Visitors

Watchdog groups promise to keep fighting Trump administration in court after it refuses to release full list of presidential visitors to so-called Winter White House

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-15-2017

On Friday, the Trump administration released a list of visitors from President Donald Trump’s meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe at the president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. (Photo: Shealah Craighead/TheWhite House)

“See you in court, Mr. President,” a watchdog group warned on Friday, after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), under pressure from a federal lawsuit, released just two pages of Mar-a-Lago visitor records, despite earlier promises to reveal the full list of visitors to President Donald Trump’s so-called Winter White House.

After waiting months for a response to our request for comprehensive visitor logs from the president’s multiple visits to Mar-a-Lago and having the government ask for a last minute extension, today we received 22 names from the Japanese prime minister’s visit to Mar-a-Lago, and nothing else,” said Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Continue reading

Share

Warnings of ‘Nuclear Nightmare’ as Trump Escalates Tensions With World Powers

“We need to step up sustained diplomacy. Firing off a bunch of missiles does nothing to address the crisis. We need negotiation, not posturing.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-31-2017

“In response to North Korea’s second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test late last week, the U.S. on Sunday carried out what the Washington Post called a “show of force” by flying two B-1 bombers over the Korean Peninsula.” Photo: YouTube

As President Donald Trump foments tensions with world powers by behaving recklessly and pursuing aggressive action over diplomacy, developments in several major nations over the weekend sparked urgent concerns among peace groups, activists, and analysts that the world’s largest militaries are inching dangerously close to war.

In response to North Korea’s second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test late last week, the U.S. on Sunday carried out what the Washington Post called a “show of force” by flying two B-1 bombers over the Korean Peninsula. The Post noted that the move is “a sign that tensions are spiraling upward rapidly.”  Continue reading

Share

Debt Relief—Japanese-style—Could Work Here

Japan has found a way to write off its national debt without creating inflation. Why can’t we do that?

By . Published 7-3-2017 by YES! Magazine

Minatomirai 21, newly developed bayside district in Yokohama, Japan. Photo: Gleam [CC-BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

Let’s face it. The U.S. government is never going to pay back a $20 trillion federal debt. The taxpayers will just continue to pay interest on it, year after year.

A lot of interest.

If the Federal Reserve raises the Federal Funds Rate, which is the interest major banks charge each other for overnight loans, to 3.5 percent and sells its federal securities into the market, as it is proposing to do, the projected tab will be $830 billion annually by 2026. That’s nearly $1 trillion owed by the taxpayers every year, and that just covers interest. Continue reading

Share

War Between U.S. And China Brewing in S. China Sea?

By . Published 3-29-2017 by The Anti-Media

Photo: Screenshot of CNN

South China Sea — Adding fuel to an already highly combustible situation in Southeast Asia, Reuters reported Tuesday that China has “largely completed major construction of military infrastructure on artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea,” and that the Asian superpower “can now deploy combat planes and other military hardware there at any time.”

Citing satellite imagery analyzed by the Asian Maritime Transparency Initiative, part of Washington, D.C.’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, the news agency writes that “work on Fiery Cross, Subi and Mischief Reefs in the Spratly Islands included naval, air, radar and defensive facilities.” Continue reading

Share

Where’s Tillerson? Secretary of State Ducking Press Amid Reports of Being Sidelined

‘Your decision to travel without reporters sends a dangerous signal to other countries about the U.S. commitment to freedom of the press’

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-11-2017

Photo: YouTube

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will embark on his first trip to Asia next week, visiting Japan, South Korea, and China. In what some journalists are calling an unprecedented move, he will not travel with members of the press.

“Not only does this situation leave the public narrative of the meetings up to the Chinese foreign ministry as well as Korea’s and Japan’s, but it gives the American people no window whatsoever into the views and actions of the nation’s leaders,” a dozen Washington bureau chiefs from major news organizations wrote in a letter to the State Department earlier this week.  Continue reading

Share

China Rejects Hague’s South China Sea Ruling as “US-Led Conspiracy”

Ruling in favor of the Philippines, tribunal court “cut the legal heart out of China’s claim” to the disputed marine region

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-12-2016

Chinese dredging vessels seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this video image taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the U.S. Navy, May 21, 2015.

Chinese dredging vessels seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this video image taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the U.S. Navy, May 21, 2015.

An international tribunal at the Hague overwhelmingly rejected China’s claims to the South China Sea on Tuesday, in a move that observers say is likely to stoke tensions between the Asian powerhouse and its primary rival, the United States.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), China’s actions have violated the sovereign rights of the Philippines, which brought the case to court. Further, the court ruled that China’s practice of dredging sand to build artificial islands on the region’s disputed reefs has caused “severe harm to the coral reef environment.”  Continue reading

Share

As US Aggression Spikes, Russia-China Announce Joint Exercise to Counter ‘Provacative’ Attacks

The announcement follows the meeting in Moscow last week between Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu. The exercise also comes on the heels of NATO bolstering troop and armaments on the Russian border and an increasingly aggressive posturing by the U.S. towards China in the South China Sea.

Written by Jay Syrmopoulos. Published 5-7-16 by Free Thought Project.

Image via Free Thought Project.

Image via Free Thought Project.

Moscow, Russia – With tensions mounting between the United States and both Russia and China, the Chinese and Russian military have announced their first-ever joint exercises to counter “incidental or provocative” missile attacks to be conducted in Russia later this month.

The missile war games follow an August 2015 naval exercise between the two nations – dubbed Joint Sea II – held in international territorial waters in the Sea of Japan and off the coast of Russia’s Primorsky territory – approximately 250 miles away from Japan. That exercise was the first ever joint Sino-Russian amphibious assault drill.

The announcement follows the meeting in Moscow last week between Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu. The exercise also comes on the heels of NATO bolstering troop and armaments on the Russian border and an increasingly aggressive posturing by the U.S. towards China in the South China Sea.

The military chiefs’ stressed that their ministries need to implement “greater unity and joint effort” to tackle modern security challenges during a press conference, with the defense ministries noting that the drills were not “aimed against any third nation.”

Of course, reality dictates that the increased Sino-Russian military cooperation is a direct result of an increasingly imperialistic Western alliance pushing closer to each state’s borders with every regime change that is undertaken.

“NATO military infrastructure is inching closer and closer to Russia’s borders. But when Russia takes action to ensure its security, we are told that Russia is engaging in dangerous maneuvers near NATO borders. In fact, NATO borders are getting closer to Russia, not the opposite,” the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter daily.

There is a continual expansion of NATO eastward that now allows for forces to be deployed on Russian borders, yet Western voices disingenuously claim that “Russian aggression” is precipitating the deployments. Similarly, recent FONOPS by the U.S. in the South China Sea are seen by the Chinese as an overt display of U.S. military might meant to intimidate the Chinese into compliance and violating their territorial sovereignty.

Speaking of attempts to put pressure on China, Chinese Foreign Ministry official, Ouyang Yujing, compared China to a spring that will bounce back with the same or even greater force if too much pressure is applied.

“If they are aimed at putting pressure on China or blackening its name, then you can view it like a spring, which has an applied force and a counterforce. The more the pressure, the greater the reaction,” he said, probably hinting at the military installations Beijing has already erected on the disputed islands.

The official English-language newspaper, China Daily linked the missile drill with U.S. plans to deploy the THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea. THAAD includes a long-range radar system, which would cover large parts of China and Russia’s Far East if deployed in South Korea.

The U.S. and South Korea claim that the system is necessary to protect America’s allies from a missile threat from North Korea, but the plan was criticized by both China and Russia, which said such a move would upset the balance of power in the region.

Interestingly, similar claims were made by the U.S. about missile defense interceptors being placed in Europe to protect against a possible Iranian bomb, which has since been revealed as being implemented as an American hedge against Russia.

For the U.S. to posture and provoke both the Russians and the Chinese in a manner that will ultimately force them into a defensive military conflict is nothing short of insanity. The United States would certainly feel threatened if a Russian force was amassing on its border, or if the Chinese were sending naval destroyers through the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean, and would certainly feel justified in defending themselves against such provocative actions.

As is the case, unfolding before our eyes, U.S. hegemonic ambitions only serve to force the other major militaries in the world to consolidate their power as a hedge against American imperialism, as they increasingly feel threatened by the predatory Western alliance. While precipitating this type of conflict might be a major win for the U.S. military industrial complex, neocons, and war hawks, the world may not survive such a cataclysmic collision of world powers.

In spite of Chinese and Russian claims to the contrary, these joint military drills are almost certainly meant to send a clear political signal to the United States and its allies in the region that Sino-Russian military ties are deepening in response continued imperial aggression by the West.

Share