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Japan Launches Two New Spy Satellites

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the launching-old-ones-didn't-work-out dept.

Japan 76

According to the Daily Yomiuri, "Japan launched two satellites on Jan. 27 to strengthen its surveillance capabilities, including keeping a closer eye on North Korea which has vowed to stage another nuclear test. One of them was a radar-equipped unit to complete a system of surveillance satellites that will allow Tokyo to monitor any place in the world at least once a day. The other was a demonstration satellite to collect data for research and development." The Defense News version of the story says "Japan developed a plan to use several satellites as one group to gather intelligence in the late 1990s as a response to a long-range missile launch by Pyongyang in 1998. The space agency has said the radar satellite would be used for information-gathering, including data following Japan’s 2011 quake and tsunami, but did not mention North Korea by name."

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76 comments

First (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42712833)

First and they can use it to watch for Godzilla!!!

Remember who attacked Pearl Harbor ? (-1, Redundant)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713237)

Was it the Koreans ?

Or was it the Japanese ?

Re:Remember who attacked Pearl Harbor ? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42713343)

You know, being the geek that I am, I paid as little attention as possible in history class, because at that time, 5 minutes spent actually listening to that ancient stuff was 5 minutes less I could spend thinking about how to write that tricky little C function that had been bugging me for a couple of days.

Now I realize: holy shit, unless you know at least a bit about how the world ended up the way it is, you have very little chance of making sure that all the cool things you develop don't end up helping someone who hates you takes aim at you and everything you hold dear. Just look at TFA. :\

Re:Remember who attacked Pearl Harbor ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42713459)

"I paid as little attention as possible in history class"

We laughed at you in high school, and we're still laughing at you today. Well - we laugh when we're not being embarrassed. Euros and Asians point at you and laugh, and we feel embarrassed that you're actually one of us. Then, people from backwater nowhere villages in third world countries point at you and laugh, and we just want to kill your dumb ass.

There is hope for you though. There is a community college somewhere near you. Remedial history courses are in order for you. Go ahead, cross that Rubicon - it won't hurt - much.

Re:Remember who attacked Pearl Harbor ? (1)

gomiam (587421) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714659)

Go ahead, cross that Rubicon - it won't hurt - much.

You won't con me with rubies. ;)

Re:Remember who attacked Pearl Harbor ? (1)

baddcarma (320467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42722987)

Go ahead, cross that Rubicon - it won't hurt - much.

You won't con me with rubies. ;)

Then perhaps rubles will do? Come along, comrade, there is much to be done!

Re:Remember who attacked Pearl Harbor ? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about a year and a half ago | (#42722425)

Was it the Koreans ?

Or was it the Japanese ?

Senator Blutarsky said it was the Germans. Are you saying a US senator would be either lying or wrong?

Re:First (-1, Offtopic)

buswolley (591500) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713437)

Better watch out for my Godzilla blasta Slimey!

ARGUS-IS 1.8 gigapixel camera (4, Informative)

bhlowe (1803290) | about a year and a half ago | (#42712903)

Check this video of new spy technology for drones and presumably spy satellites: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e95_1359267780 [liveleak.com]
A single drone can cover a 25 sq mi area with 6" resolution. This video is incredible in that it gives you a detailed peek at what is possible from a single aircraft and the amount of data-processing that can be done in real time.

Re:ARGUS-IS 1.8 gigapixel camera (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | about a year and a half ago | (#42712961)

Check this video of new spy technology for drones and presumably spy satellites: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e95_1359267780 [liveleak.com] A single drone can cover a 25 sq mi area with 6" resolution. This video is incredible in that it gives you a detailed peek at what is possible from a single aircraft and the amount of data-processing that can be done in real time.

This is a drone, but can a spy satellite obtain such realtime data in this resolution? I am yet to see an example of that.

Re:ARGUS-IS 1.8 gigapixel camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42713119)

Obtaining it is one thing, how long does it take to download? 1.8gp is 5.4gb of data at a minimum, so they'd have to have a really astonishingly good connection to download it and process in real time.

Re:ARGUS-IS 1.8 gigapixel camera (4, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713457)

I've personally worked on a 150 Mbps satellite link (single carrier, single transponder, commercially available equipment), and with military spectrum, you could get 10 Gbps links, if you were so inclined.

US No help (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42714477)

Japan was very upset when the USA decided NOT to help Japan with rockets or Satellite technology a while back.
( Its bad enough when the Russians, French and Chinese offer cut rate launches) and arguably the French have the most reliable vehicle. Japans security infrastructure is not trusted by the usual players.

Well, Japan decided they will do, and their companies will do too. With the ESA sat details practically public, Japan now has world class hi res Satellites up . Not sure how anti Sat launches, or what Japan could do with the info over and above what the French would sell em.

Re:US No help (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42718761)

No US help, or no government help? I can't imagine that the US ordered Loral to not build anything if Japan showed up with $500,000,000 in cash (about the price of a current GEO satellite, probably cheaper for LEO, but I haven't priced LEO satellites). Most everything at that price range will hit 1Gbps+ from GEO, LEO would get you a bit more than that, assuming you adjusted the CODEC appropriately.

Not sure how anti Sat launches, or what Japan could do with the info over and above what the French would sell em.

Perhaps it was they wanted daily shots of China and NK and the cost was high, enough to justify building their own. Or perhaps they didn't want the US to know what they wanted France to look at for them, as the article indicates, we aren't sure what they are looking at, and they could be looking at anything now.

Re:ARGUS-IS 1.8 gigapixel camera (1)

bhlowe (1803290) | about a year and a half ago | (#42716303)

For drones you can use laser communications... Argus is only what the military decided we should know about. You can bet the military has some pretty huge data transfer capabilities. But it sounds like they capture at full res on-board, then have the ability to view real-time (?) subsections of the video.

Re:ARGUS-IS 1.8 gigapixel camera (1)

acedotcom (998378) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713141)

not yet...maybe in ten years. it would depend on how much data the sat could send back. pictures are easy to send back real time...but video at HD would require its own satellite. thats why you never see real time HD from the space station.

Re:ARGUS-IS 1.8 gigapixel camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42713617)

Commercial satellites are limited to 50cm/pixel by law, downsampled from about 34 cm for the latest sats. It's a lot of data. Military Keyhole satellites have highly elliptical orbits and thus variable resolution - the limit is probably around 10cm, but you are looking through the whole atmosphere.

Re:ARGUS-IS 1.8 gigapixel camera (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42714241)

A law which only applies to US companies.

Re:ARGUS-IS 1.8 gigapixel camera (1)

acedotcom (998378) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713125)

its not a 1.8GP sensor. its a 1.8GP mosaic and it looks useless the resolution of the zoomed in image is pretty shoddy, and it couldnt use things like infrared from the heights it shows it to be the most practical. it would have to fly at a fairly high altitude other wise it couldnt focus unless it had a series of HUGE lenses to help compensate . it would work with a city like new york because the image "bends" like looking through a fisheye lens...it cant see through buildings. its a cute idea, but only practical in specific situations. its cute and maybe one say it will be useful, but until the laws of physics change, its just a joke.

Re:ARGUS-IS 1.8 gigapixel camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42713187)

Why would Japan need a drone with a 6" resolution? They are looking for Godzilla, not where someone dropped their car keys. This is why a once per day satellite is okay. An adversary could quickly hide their weapons when a satellite moved overhead and then go back to work once it passed. But a large sea monster is still going to leave one hell of a wake. If North Korea awakens Godzilla, then Japan will probably have a week to prepare.

Re: ARGUS-IS 1.8 gigapixel camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42714453)

They need the resolution to spot the eggs of course!

Re:ARGUS-IS 1.8 gigapixel camera (-1, Offtopic)

Safrina Noor (2818897) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713375)

Really fantastic drone that covers 25 sq mi area with 6" resolution. With this we can keep on eye even on very small area and can watch bomb..... http://x.co/sfEV [x.co]

Re:ARGUS-IS 1.8 gigapixel camera (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about a year and a half ago | (#42715103)

This video is incredible in that it gives you a detailed peek at what is possible from a single aircraft and the amount of data-processing that can be done in real time.

There's no clear indication in the video that any processing (beyond possibly creating the mosaic, which is pretty straightforward computationally) is taking place in real time. They talk about ARGUS, but they're pretty cagey about differentiating between the front end on the UAV and the back end on the ground. (And there's no immediate way to tell if the data on the big screen is live or post processed or a rigged demo.) The system *is* impressive, but they actually tell you much less about it than you might think.

North Korea? (1, Insightful)

ikaruga (2725453) | about a year and a half ago | (#42712929)

More like trying to spying on a real threat like China. NK is hardly a threat.

Re:North Korea? (5, Insightful)

rockout (1039072) | about a year and a half ago | (#42712959)

They're two different kinds of threats. China at least rotates its leaders in and out, and probably has less of a chance of some maniac doing stupid things that would endanger both China's economy and those of its competitors. NK, on the other hand, is ruled by a cult of personality unrivaled in the world today, and if he starts believing his own propoganda, there's no telling what suicidal path KJU will take NK down.

Re:North Korea? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42713209)

China had a cult of personality but it didn't work, so they reverted to the earlier system prior to the republic (which also didn't work), but without an emperor. A complex order of bureaucrats runs things in China today just like it has for thousands of years. Communism is just a facade. Heck, they could still have an emperor if they wanted and things would be almost exactly the same.

Talking about "cult of personality" ... (-1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713277)

What do we have in the good ol' U. S. of A ?

Why people are worshiping Obama ?

Isn't that "cult of personality" at work ??

Re:Talking about "cult of personality" ... (-1)

Required Snark (1702878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713387)

So how long have you been a member of the KKK?

Re:Talking about "cult of personality" ... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42713463)

So how long have you been a member of the KKK?

Because if you disagree with Obama, or just so happen to not like the color tie he chooses to wear, you instantly receive your custom bath robe and lifetime membership card.

Re:Talking about "cult of personality" ... (1)

Xenkar (580240) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713947)

Often people don't have an intelligent rebuttal to say so they fall back on ad hominems.

"How long have you been in the KKK?"
"Go back to Stormfront!"
"Go back to screwing your sister, redneck!"

It is an attempt to silence dissent. Unfortunately it works far too often.

If this doesn't work they'll resort to screaming over you and forum sliding, typically with mindless drivel.

Re:Talking about "cult of personality" ... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42717961)

Don't forget "Mindless Obama Worshipers". In this case, the ad hominem rebuttal was retaliation for an ad hominem attack. Neither side added any intelligent thought to the discussion.

Re:Talking about "cult of personality" ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42714031)

What about those of us who are critical of Obama from the Left? That he is black is frankly my fav thing about the guy. Otherwise he is just another status quo centrist Democrat. Same ole same ole. Guantanamo is still open right? No bank CEOs ever arrested? Mass servailance still ongoing? Mostly a continuation of the Bush years.

Re:Talking about "cult of personality" ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42718703)

Obama is a rightist, not a centrist.

Re:Talking about "cult of personality" ... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713467)

New Bush same as the old Bush. Let me know when a president serves a 3rd term. Until then, a cult of personality is irrelevant.

Re:Talking about "cult of personality" ... (1, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713501)

How did things change when Obama took over from Bush? Herr Bush had his own cult. It was a multi-teired cult, with military industrial people on the inner circle, oil industry in the second circle, bankers in the third circle, and the fourth circle was composed of any rich idiot who cared to worship Bush and his war machinery. And, the whole republican party invited every imbecile who was frightened of the terr'ists to sit on the outer fringes to worship Bush.

If we're going to compare the cults, I can forgive the black folk who are in love with the half-black president a whole lot easier than I can forgive everyone who worshipped Bush.

Which cult do you happen to belong to, anyway?

Re:North Korea? (5, Informative)

rasmusbr (2186518) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713519)

That's one way to look at it. Another way to look at it is to think of China as a country run by engineers. The current president Hu Jintao is a hydraulic engineer and the next guy in line Xi Jinping is a chemical engineer and Jiang Zemin who was president before Hu Jintao was an electrical engineer. The next couple of guys in line in the politburo are economists and engineers.

Once you realize that China is run by engineers a lot of what China is doing begins to make sense in a sort of intuitive way if you're a tech person yourself.

Re:North Korea? (1)

steelfood (895457) | about a year and a half ago | (#42716807)

Meanwhile, the U.S. is run by career politicians and lawyers.

I'm not sure which is worse, quite frankly. While I'm partial to engineers myself, most of them are not very good when it comes to dealing with unpredictable systems like people.

Re:North Korea? (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | about a year and a half ago | (#42712979)

If North Korea is not a threat then surely China wouldn't be either. Admittedly the Chinese seem to hold a grudge for a very long time over the Nanking Massacre, but I cannot imagine them attacking Japan.

Re:North Korea? (2)

mrbluze (1034940) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713023)

If North Korea is not a threat then surely China wouldn't be either. Admittedly the Chinese seem to hold a grudge for a very long time over the Nanking Massacre, but I cannot imagine them attacking Japan.

Fable and history are merely tools of statecraft. The decision to go to war or not with anyone has much more to do with resources and trade routes than anything sentimental. As long as China is getting its way, and Japan does not become weak, Japan is safe. But at a certain point China will outgrow its current situation and will find it necessary to make territorial gains in order to keep growing, or something will get in its way, like the US. When that happens both sides will come up with a narrative that gives it them an apparent moral highground, and we get a war.

Wha seems to be becoming difficult now is reading the enemy's movements, because there is so much activity it is easier to hide significant events in plain sight, like the building of underground installations, etc. Unknown unknowns are the scariest thing of all.

Re:North Korea? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713101)

I think China's most immediate goal is the Republic of China (Taiwan). That's a thorn in their side.

Re:North Korea? (4, Interesting)

korgitser (1809018) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713391)

China's most immediate goal is southern Siberia. China severely lacks farmable land, and the russians have a lot of it unused. Both are conducting military excercises in the area. Russia, though, knows that it can not stand against China by it's own, so is seeking admission into NATO; the USA knows that it does not want to help Russia and is thus seeking withdrawal from NATO. This is also a part of why USA is leaving the Atlantic and focusing on the Pacific now. For the Russians it would probably make most sense to go Alaska on Siberia, but their imperial pride might not be willing to do in under pressure.

China's second immediate goal is a possible attack from Japan, not that it would be much of a problem. Of course they would not attack Japan by themselves, nothing to gain there. But they are pawning Japan in another game. Remember when USA was giving crap to China because China "artificially" keeps its currency cheap? China was doing it by buying up massive amounts of USD, basic stuff. When the amount of crap they recieved became too high, they outsourced it to Japan. Started to buy up yen instead. The price of yen rising, Japan losing it's export power, all of their big companies going bust. Japan is doing it's best to cheapen the yen by buying up USD themselves, (following the Chinese masterplan) but they can not match the Chinese wallet. So the Japanese economy, already in a standstill for decades, is now on the brink of collapse. And they might be crazy enough to go kamikaze on the Great Wall of China.

But the dance around Taiwan? I do not think so. They are too small to pose any real threat, but they work wonders as an enemy to point at for rallying up masses. They also work wonders as a diplomatic taboo, a card that will move mountains if played well.

Re:North Korea?: Ok, so... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42713685)

>China's second immediate goal is a possible attack from Japan, not that it would be much of a problem.
>Of course they would not attack Japan by themselves, nothing to gain there.
>But they are pawning Japan in another game. Remember when USA was giving crap to China because China "artificially" keeps its currency cheap?
>China was doing it by buying up massive amounts of USD, basic stuff. When the amount of crap they recieved became too high, they outsourced it to Japan.
China HAD to "buy" USD, they are selling a lot of stuff to Americans. Americans can only pay with USD at some level, and Chinese have to accept it. There is little they can do with it, except buy treasury bonds. (or burn it for heat in the winter).

>Started to buy up yen instead.

Well I think they are only buying Yen to the extent they sell stuff to Japan, which is much less than they sell to the US.

>The price of yen rising, Japan losing it's export power, all of their big companies going bust.

But Import power is raising, which is good for consumers like me! We can go on fancier vacations, but up more foreign goods, etc. Also, very few companies have gone "bust". Some have gone bankrupt, but it's just restructuring so far for the most part. (i.e. declaring bankruptcy so they are allowed to get rid of useless lifers, etc.).

> Japan is doing it's best to cheapen the yen by buying up USD themselves,

Well not "Japan", just PM Abe. I wish he wouldn't be doing that stuff, as it sucks for us Japanese in some ways as mentioned above.

> (following the Chinese masterplan) but they can not match the Chinese wallet.

Why not? We easily could. Just here the government doesn't control so much, and taxes are not so high.

>So the Japanese economy, already in a standstill for decades, is now on the brink of collapse.

Wow, doom and gloom. Come hang out here for a few weeks. Stand-still isn't bad once things are running smoothly. It's a myth that things need to "expand" constantly. Just like when you are growing, your rate of growth slows as you get older, and eventually you reach a stable height. Japan has probably a pretty good GDP for the population. About 10x the wealth of China per person.

Anyway, even on the day before pay day, you will find restaurants, bars, etc. packed. Hardly on the brink of collapse. Plus, last time I visited the US, *that* was depressing. Japan is nowhere near that bad.

>And they might be crazy enough to go kamikaze on the Great Wall of China.

Uhm..??? I'm not sure what this means.

Re:North Korea?: Ok, so... (1)

korgitser (1809018) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714279)

Not sure if troll or not, but I'll just say that the world does not run on face-value thinking like that. We need to go deeper :H

Re:North Korea? (2)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713865)

Russia wants to join NATO? Hilarious. Where'd you pick that one up?

Re:North Korea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42714167)

Russia most likely will never join NATO, but co-operating with it does not seem that far fetched nowadays.

Re:North Korea? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714215)

You are projecting American thinking on to the Chinese. They don't want to grab land from Russia, and they don't fear imminent attack from Japan (whose constitution forbids them from doing it anyway). What they care about is protecting themselves both militarily and economically, and which the US takes as a threat to itself.

And by the way, Japan is doing okay. Not brilliant, but not on the edge of economic disaster either. There is no hint what so ever from any major political faction, and certainly not the government, the war might be an answer to the economic problems they have. I don't know where you are getting this stuff from but it has no relation to reality. Can you cite a reliable source stating otherwise?

Re:North Korea? (1)

korgitser (1809018) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714255)

A land grab is mostly necessary for the Chinese. It is protecting themselves economically - they need to feed their people. They currently have a severe lack of farmland, and buying from the world market is only going to cost more and more. Also it will be necessary for internal stability, their people's expectations for a living standard are rising, based on both growing wages and more information about the status quo outside of China.

Concerning Japan: what do you think this row in the autumn was about: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-19632042 [bbc.co.uk] ? The actual islands? Lol.

Re:North Korea? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714469)

It wasn't about farm land.

Re:North Korea? (1)

JimCanuck (2474366) | about a year and a half ago | (#42722139)


Lost territory is lost territory, those islands are not the only ones China has been focusing on, but they are the only ones that matter to Western Media due to Japanese and American ties.

Re:North Korea? (1)

usuallylost (2468686) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714603)

You are projecting American thinking on to the Chinese. They don't want to grab land from Russia, and they don't fear imminent attack from Japan (whose constitution forbids them from doing it anyway). What they care about is protecting themselves both militarily and economically, and which the US takes as a threat to itself.

His information on China wanting to grab land from Russia isn't wrong, it is just outdated. They did in fact want to grab land from Russia. China had a long running border dispute with Russia. They actually came to blows over it in the 1960s. The dispute was only settled in 2004 when Russia gave them what they wanted in exchange for closer economic ties and an easing of tensions. So at this time I don't think there going to be any problem there.

China's military spending is far beyond what is required to merely "protect themselves". They are actively building a navy along the lines of what the US has. Which is only necessary if you want to be able to project power to distant places. Now they may have very good reasons to do that. Like the US they have a far flung trade network with their nationals living and working in almost every country. So I suspect that many of the underlying motivations are exactly the same as those of the US. In that if you need to protect such a trade system you have to be able to get there.

Where we get into trouble is there is a bit of a difference in tone and style. They are actively threatening their neighbors which any, even cursory, reading of the regional press will show you. The response to that is that Vietnam has started building up its military. In Japan almost every major party is now talking about "amending" article 9 of the Japanese constitution to allow a more aggressive stance. In fact it featured prominently in the new prime ministers acceptance speech. So so whatever their intentions maybe the current result of China's military build up and aggressive territorial demands is to drive their neighbors to take a more aggressive stance themselves. Japan's military isn't incapable. It has both modern weapons and reasonable numbers. What they don't have is any mechanisms for projecting power. They could make life real hard for anybody near Japan but they just aren't capable of actually taking the war to the enemy. That is entirely due to the restrictions they have put on themselves as part of Article 9. With the current rhetoric that may well start to change. If it does China will be in part responsible. The other major motivator being North Korea.

Re:North Korea? (1)

MTEK (2826397) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714479)

Your depiction of current Sino-Russian relations isn't accurate. And Russia would love nothing more than to infiltrate and undermine NATO due to the fact that former Soviet-Bloc countries are now members of the organization.

Tom Clancy (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about a year and a half ago | (#42715733)

Sounds like a summary for the next Tom Clancy novel.

May god have mercy on us all!

Soon to be available at every book selling shop in every airport in the world.

Just need to insert "Clark" and/or rainbow 6 (Seal team 6 perhaps?! Hmm maybe not, I hear Disney's got the rights now for 175 years)...

Re:North Korea? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42713033)

All the free world needs to understand is that a bunch of slanteyes are gearing up to kill each other, and innocent countries are bound to get caught in the crossfire.

Let's end it now by nuking all of asia, especially the two-faced jap bastards.

Re:North Korea? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713105)

Troll much? I think Japan keeping an eye on their neighbors is simple prudence. One is nursing a grudge from WWII and the other is bat shit crazy.

Re:North Korea? (0)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713283)

And Japan?

Still dreaming of their "Empire of the Rising Sun"?

Re:North Korea? (3, Interesting)

Required Snark (1702878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713415)

There are a few old farts who still think those terms, although I suspect that they would be satisfied with the kind of economic power that Japan had in before the crash in the 90's. One example is Shintaro Ishihara, former mayor of Tokyo, who just formed a new far right party. But you have to remember he's 80, so he was born in 1932. That means his childhood was spent during the expansionist period, and for him that is the "good old days".

I think that there is not any zeal for expansionist policy in the postwar generation. There is still plenty of cultural/racial prejudice in Japan, but that doesn't always equate with empire building.

Re:North Korea? (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713473)

There's a lot of "young farts" and "middle aged farts" thinking the same thing. Make no mistake, while Japan being a classic East Asian country with extreme interests in keeping their face and therefore only aim to show their "civilized" side to the outside world, the nationalist pride is present and going stronger then ever after WW2 defeat. Look no further then Japanese PMs visiting Yasukuni shrine in spite of massive problems this causes to their foreign relations. They simply have to do this, because if they didn't, voters with that particular point of view would likely not vote for them in next election.

It's not terribly different from US bible belt folks and US presidents having to pay significant lip service to the Christianity regardless of their own thoughts on the matter.

Re:North Korea? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714445)

That's the nature of a representative government. Everyone gets a say in it.

Re:North Korea? (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42715779)

That is dramatically incorrect. In many democratic countries, even large minorities get no say in it. You must be a minority that has a position of a decider, a minority with ties to extremely wealthy individuals or families that are willing to support politicians or a minority with something else important to give to politicians to matter.

Re:North Korea? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#42737039)

If minorities have no say then it's not a democratic country. Democratic implies that everyone has a vote ya know? In the US the Bible Belt has a large influence because they vote. That's the way democracies are designed.

Re:North Korea? (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42738231)

You seem to have this idealist image of what democracy is, that is about as removed from reality as USSR's "communism".

Re:North Korea? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#42741969)

I don't know, it seems to work the way it's designed most of the time. It's not perfect but unless you're far removed from a mainstream viewpoint it's not too bad.

Re:North Korea? (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#42714237)

You are correct, and even the people like Ishihara who lives through those "good old days" also lived through the aftermath of WW2 and the suffering that the country had to endure. Since then there has been a strong pacifist movement in Japan. A few years back the government was talking about removing the non-aggression clause from the constitution but it was a very unpopular policy. Japanese people mostly recognize how good peace has been to them and how much better off they are now than they would ever have been under the old system, even if they had won.

Re:North Korea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42713503)

No, dreaming of peace. China did a whole zerg rush with over a thousand boats into Japan's territory and Japan said 'well, it's time to arm up because we can't be at peace with these morons trying to conquer all of east asia'. But they did that after asking for help from the US and the US just said nope, so -- their reasons are justified. Odds are, China will tell the US not to worry about North Korea because they'll handle it, but I say the US should just go in an claim the territory. It would be a good thing to keep the peace there and gather the unicorns that kimmy found from that cave.

Re:North Korea? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42713317)

You're just the kind of useful idiot Japan depends upon - folks happy to buy into the myth of Japan as a peace loving victim of a nation that learned its lesson a long time ago and is now a uniquely westernised asian nation.

"nuking all of asia" is bat shit crazy as you put it, but describing Japanese as two-faced is putting things very mildly.

Make no mistake, Japanese will play the peace loving victim when it suits them. Say, when trying to gain access to the western military technology that the TFA has announced is now up in the sky but under Japanese control.

Japanese will also be thuggish, barbaric, imperialist, revisionist - you name it - when it suits them. Which is usually whenever they think they can get away with it.

Re:North Korea? (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713481)

In other words: they are a very traditional Western country in spite of being located in Far East.

Re:North Korea? (1)

JimCanuck (2474366) | about a year and a half ago | (#42722163)


If you want to compare Japan to a western country such as Germany, where having a supreme leader being able to run the country into a massive war, to kill as many innocents as possible and established a "empire", then sure.

Want to compare it to other Western countries, even ones with expansionist histories. Not so much.

Re:North Korea? (3, Interesting)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713453)

NK is essentially an arm of China. One has to understand that China has a lot of control over what NK does due to leadership ties, and NK has traditionally served as an agent of Chinese interests when really shoddy stuff has to be done.

That in addition to the old animosity that most Koreans, North or South have for Japanese and the fact that NK has a very strong spying presence in Japan to the point of kidnapping japanese to get them to teach japanese customs and culture to their agents, NK is a very credible threat to Japan, and far greater threat then China in short term.

Re:North Korea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42715003)

Awwww. Little Kim is upset now. He wants to be taken serious.

under siege (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42712941)

we all know how this ends, better get ready steven seagal to shut down the evil plans to destroy the pentagon.

Unbelievable (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42712985)

This is a slap in the face to all who died at the hands of the japanese during WWII. Japan should never be allowed to have this technology.

Re:Unbelievable (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713717)

What, and the US army having guns is a slap in the face for all those who died in the Civil War? What is the time when they would be allowed?

Re:Unbelievable (4, Insightful)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year and a half ago | (#42713761)

History moves on. Japan is no longer our enemy. Russia too is no longer our enemy, although people in the US State Dept haven't grown out of it. We have other enemies today. Like N Korea. We would do well to focus on real enemies who do wish to damage or destroy us, as opposed to imaginary enemies borne out of history, but who we defeated and changed, and who are no longer inimical to us.

Re:Unbelievable (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42714991)

If you are a US citizen you should watch your government and their cronies more than the bogeymen they are trying to distract you with.

Who has damaged the USA more and who is likely to cause great damage to the USA? Not Japan, not China, not Korea.

Re:Unbelievable (1)

steelfood (895457) | about a year and a half ago | (#42716909)

Sorry, NK is not the enemy of the U.S. They may be an enemy of U.S. interests, but you should read "U.S. interests" as "things the very wealthy and very powerful want but cannot get without government intervention" so for laymen like ourselves, NK is a non-issue.

The enemy of the U.S. people are the corporations and special interests that control the government. Until people start realizing this, they'll just continue to get hit with the fallout from the U.S. government protecting its "interests."

We have always been at war with Eastasia. (1)

Sam_In_The_Hills (458570) | about a year and a half ago | (#42717083)

Here in Oceania our allies have always been Eurasia. The drones tell me that it's true.
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