Italy’s New Government Approval Rating Plummets From 43% To 34% In Three Weeks, Protests Return ~ Zero Hedge
by Tyler Durden
It was less than a month ago that the new Italian government of the pseudo-technocrat Letta, of Bilderberg 2012 and Aspen Institute fame, was voted in by a majority of the PD and the PDL parties (the latter agreeing so Berlusconi would get an extension of his much needed political immunity from assorted prison sentences). It may not last too long. As Reuters reports, it took just 20 days for Letta’s approval rating to plunge by 25%, dropping from 43% at the start of the month to 34%, according to an SWG institute poll. It would appear the Italian people (unlike their Japanese peers who at least according to government-controlled media data could not be happier with PM Abe, supposedly because of the bubblelicious 50% rise in the Nikkei225 year to date, even though under 20% are actually invested in the stock market making one wonder just how credible polling, and all other data in Japan actually is) don’t have Mrs. Watanabe’s childish fascination wth soaring stock bubbles, sexy bonds, mini skirts and 2% inflation bras, and instead demand real economic results. Which also means the protests are once again back.
The Japan Times
‘Middle-aged men are quitting paid work to care for elderly parents in increasing numbers, a new study shows.
According to the study by the Institute for Research on Household Economics, 13.4 percent of men aged between 40 and 64 living with parents requiring nursing care had quit their jobs at some stage to tend to the relatives, compared with 27.6 percent of women facing the same situation.’
‘An earthquake with a magnitude measured at 5.9 by Japan’s Meteorological Agency has struck the northeast of the country. The epicenter was close to the Fukushima coast and only 200km from Tokyo, causing buildings in the capital to shake.
The quake struck at 2:48 pm (05:48 GMT) in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 50km (31 miles) from land. The United States Geological Survey recorded the earthquake as being of magnitude 6.1, with a depth of 33km (20.5 miles).
No tsunami warning has been issued, despite the offshore quake’s close proximity to Fukushima prefecture, where the magnitude 9.0 quake in March 2011 instigated the Tsunami, which led to the deaths of at least 16,000 people and nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s two nuclear plants in the prefecture reported no immediate irregularities as a result of the quake, according to the local Kyodo news agency.’
‘Three Chinese maritime surveillance ships entered Japanese territorial waters on Monday near the Senkaku Islands, a Japanese-controlled islet group claimed by China, the Japan Coast Guard said.
The incident prompted Shinsuke Sugiyama, director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, to telephone Han Zhiqiang, China’s minister to Japan, to lodge a protest, a ministry official said.
The three ships — Haijian 15, 50 and 66 — entered the territorial waters in the East China Sea around 9 a.m. in succession from north of Kuba Island in the Senkaku group, according to the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Naha.’
‘China’s top newspaper on Wednesday [May 9th] published a call for a review of Japan’s sovereignty over the island of Okinawa—home to major U.S. bases—with the Asian powers already embroiled in a territorial row.
The lengthy article in the People’s Daily, China’s most-circulated newspaper and the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist party, argued that the country may have rights to the Ryukyu chain, which includes Okinawa.
The island is home to major U.S. air force and marine bases as well as 1.3 million people, who are considered more closely related to Japan in ethnic and linguistic terms than to China.
The authors of the article, two scholars at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, considered China’s top state-run think-tank, said the Ryukyus were a “vassal state” of China before Japan annexed the islands in the late 1800s.’
by John Watanabe
World Socialist Website
‘Fast Retailing, the biggest retailer in Asia and the fourth largest in the world, is in process of setting a uniform pay scale for its employees worldwide. This represents an escalation in the attacks on the already impoverished retail employees in Japan and other so-called developed countries, with their wages being cut to the levels imposed on the super-exploited workers of China, India and South East Asia.
Fast Retailing chairman and CEO Tadashi Yanai told Asahi Shimbunon April 23: “Our fundamental way of thinking is that employees should be paid the same amount regardless of where they work, as long as they produce the same results.”
Yanai, Japan’s wealthiest individual, declared: “If you do not change, you will die.” He insisted that, under global competition, “if Japanese workers are unable to create added value that cannot be produced by people in other nations, they too will end up” like migrant workers from Third World countries, working “at the lowest rungs of society.”’
A Japanese court has rejected a demand that a city affected by the fallout of the country’s 2011 nuclear disaster evacuate its children.
The unusual lawsuit was filed on behalf of the children by their parents and anti-nuclear activists in June 2011. The Sendai High Court handed down its ruling Wednesday.
The case had drawn international attention because it touched the uncertainties about the effects of continuous low-dose radiation on health, especially that of children, who are far more vulnerable than adults.
The lawsuit argued the city of Koriyama had legal responsibility to evacuate children at elementary schools and junior-high schools, which are part of compulsory education under Japanese law.
The court acknowledged radiation in the city exceeded levels deemed safe prior to the disaster. But it said the government shoulders no responsibility for evacuating the schools as demanded — in effect, telling people to leave on their own if they were worried.
by Jacob Chamberlain
The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant must get its act together and stabilize the plant’s “essential systems,” the International Atomic Energy Agency urged on Monday, saying that it will likely take more time than the 40 years to properly decommission the site.
The prepared statements from the IAEA were released just hours after Fukushima operator TEPCO said it had switched off a reactor cooling system after discovering two dead rats near critical equipment—the third time in five weeks that cooling equipment at the site has gone off-line because of rodents.
In addition, the site has experienced a series of incidents in recent months, including multiple leaks of radioactive water and power outages within the plant’s struggling cooling systems.
NYTimes, April 10, 2013: Some experts say that contaminated water has continued to reach the Pacific. Jota Kanda, an oceanographer at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, said last month in a discussion paper posted on the Web site of the journal Biogeosciences that Tepco’s own readings of radiation levels in waters off the plant suggest a continued leak of radioactive cesium into the ocean. “This suggests that water might be leaking out from the plant through damaged pipes or drains or other routes,” he said.
Kyodo News, April 11, 2013: Another radioactive leak was detected at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Thursday while workers were pumping out contaminated water from one of the troubled underground tanks, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. This time about 22 liters of radioactive water has leaked from a junction of the piping. The liquid has seeped into the soil, according to TEPCO. [...]
AFP, April 11, 2013: Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has sprung yet another leak of radioactive water, its operator said on Thursday, the latest in an increasingly long line of mishaps to rattle public confidence. Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said around 22 litres (six US gallons) of highly radioactive waste water leaked from a pipe as work crews were trying to empty a reservoir that itself had already sprung leaks. [...]
Bloomberg: April 12 2013: Tepco reported another leak of radiated water, this time from a pipe.
The Obama administration on Friday put Japan on notice that it was watching its economic policies to ensure they were not aimed at devaluing the yen to gain a competitive advantage.
In a semi-annual report on currency practices of major trade partners, the United States also said China’s currency remained “significantly undervalued,” but again stopped short of labeling the world’s second-biggest economy a currency manipulator.
It has been more than 18 years since the U.S. Treasury has designated any country a manipulator. China was labeled a manipulator between 1992 and 1994.
The U.S. Treasury said it would press Japan to adhere to the commitment it made in February as a member of the Group of Seven and Group of 20 nations to let the market determine exchange rates. The U.S. move followed comments by Japanese officials that suggested they were targeting a weaker yen.
Treasury’s report highlighted statements made by Japanese officials last year who said they wanted to “correct the excessively strong yen,” and also some proposals to ease monetary policy by purchasing foreign bonds.
But since then, Japan has mostly avoided commenting on the yen and has not intervened in currency markets, according to the congressionally-mandated report.
Pentagon officials talk up threat on CNN referring to North Korea as ‘masters of deception’. Hagel downplays risks, stating Pentagon is more than capable of handling any incidents
South announce institution of “vital threat” alert, believing North soon test launch a missile. Population on both sides of the border believe threats will amount to nothing.
A North Korean missile launcher has moved into the firing position with rockets facing skyward, Kyodo reports, citing a Japan defense official
White House urges Moscow to do more to restrain North Korean saber-rattling, but despite historically strong ties with its nuclear neighbor, Russia does not have any particularinfluence
Lavrov believes that the North Korea crisis should be given a chance to blow over, and urged calm ahead of talks with Kerry
US territory’s crisis-ready inhabitants are trusting God, Uncle Sam, common sense, and poor aim to keep them safe from a ballistic assault by North Korea
Officials in the Japanese city of Yokohama have been left red-faced after mistakenly announcing the launch of a North Korean missile to 40,000 followers on Twitter
As much as 120 tons of radioactive water may have leaked from a storage tank at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, contaminating the surrounding ground, Tokyo Electric Power Co said on Saturday.
The power company has yet to discover the cause of the leak, detected on one of seven tanks that store water used to cool the plants reactors, a spokesman for the company, Masayuki Ono, said at a press briefing.
The company plans to pump 13,000 cubic meters of water remaining in the tank to other vessels over the next two weeks.
Water from the leaking tank, which located 800 meters from the coast, is not expected to reach the sea, Kyodo news wire reported, earlier, citing unidentified officials from the utility.
The company did not say how long the tank had been leaking.
by Tom Meltzer
They call it a “potato party”. Want to throw one? It isn’t hard: head out to your local McDonald’s and order a near-fatal amount of fries. Ditch the paper packaging and pour them out on to as many plastic trays as they will fill. Take a photo, stick it up online, then stuff your face.
It’s a way of eating McDonald’s staff are not especially keen to encourage. At least not in South Korea – the latest country to fall prey to the carb-feast fad –where a group of around a dozen children have been kicked out of the restaurant after attempting to eat $250-worth (£165) of fries.
According to Asian news site RocketNews24, the stunt so enraged one member of staff that he yelled at them: “Stop causing trouble, you brats! Get out of here!” It brought their fun to an early – and considerably healthier – end. But a photograph of the kids’ salty banquet – which filled 16 plastic trays – has since done the rounds online. Where, to be fair, it’s one of many.
It all began in Japan. Last October, Japanese McDonald’s stores held a sale on large French fries and a handful of opportunistic kids leaped at the chance to book their places in the eating fad history books (which are, admittedly, as yet unwritten). It started with one group’s photo of 23 large cartons of fries, swiftly retweeted several thousand times.
Things escalated. Kids in Okinawa tweeted a photo of themselves with 40 packs, and soon after a group in Okayama upped the ante with a three-hour-long 60-pack feast, which they ate under a specially printed “60″ balloon.
Staff, parents and children’s stomachs will not be happy, but it looks as if the stakes are still rising.
by Mark O’Byrne
Gold is higher in most currencies today except the Japanese yen. Gold surged over 3% to 0.149 million yen per ounce yesterday as markets shuddered due to the scale of currency debasement soon to be seen in Japan.
While the Nikkei has surged as expected, Japanese 10 year bonds sold off sharply with yields spiking from the all time record lows of 0.334% to over 0.6%.
The risks of a bond market crisis or currency crisis in Japan is something we have long warned of. The risk is now very high and hence strong demand for gold bullion in Japan with Reuters quoting sources in Japan who said that “the general public is buying.”
Billionaire investor George Soros and Bill Gross, who runs the world’s biggest bond fund, said the Bank of Japan’s currency debasement risks weakening the yen. Indeed, Soros has warned of a currency “avalance”.
“If the yen starts to fall, which it has done, and people in Japan realize that it’s liable to continue and want to put their money abroad, then the fall may become like an avalanche,” Soros said today in an interview on CNBC.
An interesting development in the precious metals market is the largest Dutch bank, ABN Amro, has said that they will no longer be providing physical delivery of precious metals including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium bullion coins and bars.
ABN AMRO, one of the largest banks in Europe announced in a letter to clients that it would no longer allow clients to take delivery of their metal and instead will pay account holders in a paper currency equivalent to the current spot value of the precious metal.
Thus, instead of legally owning a risk free, physical asset (a bullion bar or a bullion coin), the bank’s clients are now unsecured creditors and are now exposed to the bank and the financial system – somewhat defeating the purpose of owning precious metals.
The move highlights the importance of owning physical bullion either in your possession (be that be in a safe or vault in a house, in the attic, under the floorboards or elsewhere in your possession) or in a secure vault in a country that is stable and respects property rights.
Gold is again testing long term support at the $1,540/oz level and at the €1,200/oz and £1,000/oz levels.
While further weakness is possible and the short term trend remains down, current price levels will be seen as cheap in the coming years as fiat currencies continue to be devalued versus store of value gold.
Gold looks oversold and gold’s 14-day relative strength index has fallen to 28.4, below the level of 30 that indicates to some analysts who study technical charts that a rebound may be imminent.
Markets and many experts remain in complete denial about the ramifications of the EU, IMF, ECB deposit confiscation in Cyprus. The mantra is that Cyprus is different and unique. This is the same complacent and irresponsible mantra that was heard when the subprime crisis in the U.S. reared its ugly head and when Greece began to implode in 2009.
The CEO of Unicredit Federico Ghizzoni said yesterday that it is “acceptable to confiscate savings to save banks.” He said that the savings which are not guaranteed by any protection or insurance could be used in the future to contribute to the rescue of banks who fail and that uninsured deposits could be used in future bank failures provided global policy makers agree on a common approach.
He called for “a common solution in Europe” saying that the “EU should pass laws identical and shared in different member states”. Indeed he went a step further and called for a global coordination of deposit confiscations to rescue failing banks.
Including deposits “is acceptable if it becomes a European solution,” said Ghizzoni, 57.
“What we cannot accept is differentiation country by country inside the same area. I would strongly suggest to make this decision not only within Europe but within the Basel Committee, where all countries are represented.
Ghizzoni is also a Member of the Board of Directors of Institute of International Finance in Washington, Member of the International Monetary Conference in Washington and Member of the Institut International d’Etudes Bancaires in Brussels. He attended the powerful Bilderberg Group meeting in Spain in 2010 and he a frequent attendee at Davos.
It is important to realise that the Cypriot deposit confiscation was not a “haircut” rather this is a confiscation of people’s deposits – 60% of individual and companies hard earned cash saved in a bank.
Cyprus is not a tax haven or offshore. It is in the EU and the majority of the deposits were held by EU citizens – Cypriots, Greeks, British, German, Italian and citizens and companies of other nations.
Russian deposits made up just 8% of the total and of that only a tiny fraction was ‘Oligarch money’.
This is an attack on capitalism itself and something that one would expect in North Korea. It is a very dangerous precedent and what is more concerning is that there are policy papers calling for similar confiscation of deposits in the UK, Canada and New Zealand in future “banker bail outs” or “bail ins”.
We do not have a “crystal ball” however we are keen students of economic history and of the history of debt and financial crises. This clearly shows that sovereign nations, be they led by kings and queens or democratically elected governments usually resort to printing money and debasing the currency or expropriating assets.
Today, we have powerful supranational institutions who have little loyalty or affinity with ordinary people or businesses and whose primary aims seem to be to protect failing banks and a failing currency union.
The confiscation of deposits, especially deposits over the €100,000 level seems likely in other European countries and could be seen in indebted nations globally.
Individuals, families and companies need to diversify their assets and not have all their life savings and capital in banks.
by Leika Kihara and Stanley White
The Bank of Japan unleashed the world’s most intense burst of monetary stimulus on Thursday, promising to inject about $1.4 trillion into the economy in less than two years, a radical gamble that sent the yen reeling and bond yields to record lows.
New Governor Haruhiko Kuroda committed the BOJ to open-ended asset buying and said the monetary base would nearly double to 270 trillion yen ($2.9 trillion) by the end of 2014, a dose of shock therapy officials hope will end two decades of stagnation.
The policy was viewed as a radical gamble to boost growth and lift inflation expectations and is unmatched in scope even by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s own quantitative easing program.
The Fed may buy more debt, but since Japan’s economy is about one-third the size of the economy, Kuroda’s plan looks even bolder.
A glitch at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant has caused its cooling system to go offline. It is the latest in a series of glitches to hit the nuclear site following the multiple meltdowns caused by the tsunami of 2011.
Tokyo Electric Power confirmed that the pool attached to the plant’s Number 3 reactor was no longer operational.
Technicians are now working to get the cooling system back online. If the temperature of spent nuclear fuel is allowed to increase unchecked it can potentially reach the point where a nuclear reaction begins, leading to a meltdown.
Almost third of US West Coast newborns hit with thyroid problems after Fukushima nuclear disaster ~ RT
Researchers have discovered that the Fukushima nuclear disaster has had far-reaching health effects more drastic than previously thought: young children born on the US West Coast are 28 percent more likely to develop congenital hyperthyroidism.
In examining post-Fukushima conditions along the West Coast, researchers found American-born children to be developing similar conditions that some Europeans acquired after the 1986 meltdown of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
“Fukushima fallout appeared to affect all areas of the US, and was especially large in some, mostly in the western part of the nation,” researchers from the New York-based Radiation and Health Project wrote in a study published by the Open Journal of Pediatrics.
Children born after the 2011 meltdown of Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant are at high risk of acquiring congenital hyperthyroidism if they were in the line of fire for radioactive isotopes. Researchers studied concentration levels of radioiodine isotopes (I-131) and congenital hypothyroid cases to make the association.
The Japanese soldiers in camouflage face paint and full combat gear were dropped by American helicopters onto this treeless, hilly island, and moved quickly to recapture it from an imaginary invader. To secure their victory, they called on a nearby United States warship to pound the “enemy” with gunfire that exploded in deafening thunderclaps.
Perhaps the most notable feature of the war games in February, called Iron Fist, was the baldness of their unspoken warning. There is only one country that Japan fears would stage an assault on one of its islands: China.
Iron Fist is one of the latest signs that Japan’s anxiety about China’s insistent claims over disputed islands as well as North Korea’s escalating nuclear threats are pushing Japanese leaders to shift further away from the nation’s postwar pacifism.
The new assertiveness has been particularly apparent under the new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, a conservative who has increased military spending for the first time in 11 years. With China’s maritime forces staging regular demonstrations of their determination to control disputed islands in the East China Sea and North Korea’s new leader issuing daily proclamations against the United States and its allies, Mr. Abe’s calls for a bolder, stronger military are getting a warmer welcome in Japan than similar efforts in the past.
Natalia Manzurova, one of the few survivors among those directly involved in the long cleanup of Chernobyl, was a 35-year-old engineer at a nuclear plant in Ozersk, Russia, in April 1986 when she and 13 other scientists were told to report to the wrecked, burning plant in the northern Ukraine.
It was just four days after the world’s biggest nuclear disaster spewed enormous amounts of radiation into the atmosphere and forced the evacuation of 100,000 people.
Manzurova and her colleagues were among the roughly 800,000 “cleaners” or “liquidators” in charge of the removal and burial of all the contamination in what’s still called the dead zone.
She spent 4 1/2 years helping clean the abandoned town of Pripyat, which was less than two miles from the Chernobyl reactors. The plant workers lived there before they were abruptly evacuated.
Manzurova, now 59 and an advocate for radiation victims worldwide, has the “Chernobyl necklace” — a scar on her throat from the removal of her thyroid — and myriad health problems. But unlike the rest of her team members, who she said have all died from the results of radiation poisoning, and many other liquidators, she’s alive.
AOL News spoke with Manzurova about the nuclear disaster in Japan with the help of a translator on the telephone Monday from Vermont. Manzurova, who still lives in Ozersk, was beginning a one-week informational tour of the U.S. organized by the Beyond Nuclear watchdog group.
Located in Fukushima Prefecture, Namie-Machi is a small city on the East coast of Japan, sandwiched between ocean and mountains. The Japanese earthquake + tsunami + nuclear accident of 2011 forced the 21,000 people who called it home to flee, leaving behind a ghost town. This was a real town, and these are real people, but only reading about it is a bit abstract, so it’s great to see that Google has driven its Street View cars through town to show the world one of the many casualties of the Fukushima disaster.
by William Wan
China has appointed two men to its top foreign policy positions who have devoted their careers to China’s relations with the United States and Japan, reflecting in part the rising tensions with both countries, according to former diplomats and foreign policy experts.
Saturday’s announcement elevated Yang Jiechi — China’s current foreign minister and former ambassador to the United States — to state councilor, the nation’s highest-ranking official on foreign policy, and made Wang Yi, former ambassador to Japan, the new foreign minister.
For years, China’s foreign policy has been dominated by a sometimes uncoordinated mix of leaders within China’s military and its ruling Communist Party. Some had hoped China’s next generation of foreign policy leaders would help strengthen the relatively weak Ministry of Foreign Affairs, providing a central coordinating point internally as well as better access to decision-makers for other countries’ diplomats.
But neither Yang nor Wang has a seat on the party’s powerful Politburo, meaning they, like their predecessors, will continue to be outranked by at least 25 other leaders, who will drive most of the policymaking.
In the most recent demonstration of that dynamic, many within the party say China’s new leader, Xi Jinping, has taken the lead on a task force dealing with a territorial dispute with Japan over a small group of rocky islands that has flared tempers in both countries.
While the foreign policy team of Yang and Wang may not have decision-making authority, the two will be able to exert a still-powerful, though more subtle, form of influence.
When it comes to China’s relationship with others, strategic interests and even hostilities, “their ministry is the one on the front lines gathering the intel these decisions are based on,” said one Chinese expert with strong ties to leaders in the Foreign Ministry. “They are also the main ones meeting with other countries’ diplomats, building trust and representing China’s interests. That can have a great influence in the bigger picture.”
Also expected to be announced in coming days is China’s new ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai — a figure well known to U.S. officials because of his role in recent years as vice minister in charge of North American affairs.
The new team represents a generational shift of sorts, from an older group under President Hu Jintao who were educated before the Cultural Revolution when the system was mostly geared toward China’s relationship with the Soviet Union.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday it detected a record 740,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in a fish caught in waters near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, equivalent to 7,400 times the state-set limit deemed safe for human consumption.
The greenling measuring 38 cm in length and weighing 564 grams was caught near a water intake of the four reactor units in the power station’s port on Feb. 21 during the utility’s operation to remove fish from the port.
Tepco has installed a net on the sea floor of the port exit in Fukushima Prefecture to make it hard for fish living near the sediments of contaminated soil to go elsewhere.
According to Tepco, the previous record of cesium concentration in fish was 510,000 Bq/kg detected in another greenling captured in the same area. Currently, fishermen are voluntarily suspending operations off the coast of the prefecture except for experimental catches.
Brainwashed: Tepco like a cult, Workers thought missile from North Korea caused Fukushima explosion ~ Energy News
Naoto Matsumura, Farmer: “My cousin works for Tepco. […] I asked if everything was okay. “It’ll be fine in a couple of days.” What a liar! After making his own family flee! Horrible, right? He lied right to the end.
That’s how brainwashed the Tepco staff are. Just like a cult. They’re brainwashed. They believe that nuclear power plants are completely safe and accident-proof.
When that explosion happened, the Tepco guys fled to the quake-proof tower. After a while there, they heard a loud BOOM!
Afterwards, I asked them what they thought it was. They all thought it was a missile from North Korea, because nuclear power plants aren’t meant to explode.”
Nuclear Energy: Technological Insanity | Interview with Jim Riccio from Greenpeace ~ Breaking the Set
Abby Martin talks to Jim Riccio, Nuclear Policy Analyst at Greenpeace USA, about the ongoing nuclear crisis in Fukushima, Japan and why the world continues to pursue nuclear energy given the dangers associated with the technology.
Abby Martin takes a look the 71st anniversary of the internment of Japanese people in the US following the attack on Pearl Harbor, and how the growing surveillance state is the modern day internment camp.
by David Lague
China’s naval and paramilitary ships are churning up the ocean around islands it disputes with Tokyo in what experts say is a strategy to overwhelm the numerically inferior Japanese forces that must sail out to detect and track the flotillas.
A daily stream of bulletins announce ship deployments into the East China Sea, naval combat exercises, the launch of new warships and commentaries calling for resolute defence of Chinese territory.
“The operational goal in the East China Sea is to wear out the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force and the Japan Coast Guard,” said James Holmes, a maritime strategy expert at the Newport, Rhode Island U.S. Naval War College.
It wasn’t until China became embroiled in the high stakes territorial dispute with Japan late last year that its secretive military opened up.
Now, the People’s Liberation Army is routinely telegraphing its moves around the disputed islands, known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese.
News of these missions also has domestic propaganda value for Beijing because it demonstrates the ruling Communist Party has the power and determination to defend what it insists has always been Chinese territory, political analysts said.
However, experts warn that the danger of these constant deployments from both sides into the contested area increases the danger of an accident or miscalculation that could lead to conflict.
In the most threatening incident so far, Tokyo last month said the fire control, or targeting, radar of Chinese warships near the islands “locked on” to a Japanese helicopter and destroyer in two separate incidents in late January.
Beijing denies this but US military officers have backed up Japan’s account.