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Sci-Fi Image of the Day: ‘Robot Space Trooper’


Robot Space Trooper
Yoshiya/Cragstan (Japan)

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U.S. sending Two Warships to Japan to Counter North Korea

AP Photo/Alex Wong

AP Photo/Alex Wong

TOKYO (AP) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivered a two-pronged warning to Asia Pacific nations Sunday, announcing that the U.S. will send two additional ballistic missile destroyers to Japan to counter the North Korean threat, and saying China must better respect its neighbors.

“…you cannot go around the world and redefine boundaries and violate territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations by force, coercion and intimidation whether it’s in small islands in the Pacific or large nations in Europe.”

– Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel

In unusually forceful remarks about China, Hagel drew a direct line between Russia’s takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea region and the ongoing territorial disputes between China, Japan and others over remote islands in the East China Sea.

“I think we’re seeing some clear evidence of a lack of respect and intimidation and coercion in Europe today with what the Russians have done with Ukraine,” Hagel told reporters after a meeting with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera. “We must be very careful and we must be very clear, all nations of the world, that in the 21st century this will not stand, you cannot go around the world and redefine boundaries and violate territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations by force, coercion and intimidation whether it’s in small islands in the Pacific or large nations in Europe.” Read the rest of this entry »

Antique Image of the Day: Japanese Bather


Vintage Toy Gun of the Day: ‘Space Pilot X Ray’


Space Pilot X Ray

Yoshiya/Taiyo (Japan) 



Strawberry Chocolate Shrimp Chips: The End of Civilization As We Know It?


From RocketNews24

The extremely competitive nature of the Japanese junk food industry means that you have to keep innovating though, and sometimes in the process of pushing through existing boundaries, you end up in strange new places, which explains why Calbee is now selling shrimp chips covered with strawberry chocolate.


For this crustacean/confectionary crossover, Calbee collaborated with Hokkaido-based chocolate maker Royce, which has in the past offered chocolate-covered potato chips. Believe it or not, though, there’s only one portion of the new joint product that’s completely unprecedented, the strawberry part. Read the rest of this entry »

Vintage Japanese Illustration of the Day: ‘Captain Ultra Station in the Universe’

Captain Ultra Station in the Universe Silver Star

Translated: “Captain Ultra Station in the Universe – Silver Star”


Vintage Japanese Toy of the Day


Casper the Friendly Ghost 
Linemar (Japan)


Japan Plans Special Force for Island Defense

An amphibious assault vehicle lands during the U.S.-Japan military exercise Iron Fist outside Camp Pendleton in California on Feb. 19. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

An amphibious assault vehicle lands during the U.S.-Japan military exercise Iron Fist outside Camp Pendleton in California on Feb. 19. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

TOKYOYuka Hayashi reports:  Japan plans to establish a 3,000-troop unit specializing in amphibious operations “as swiftly as possible,” the defense minister said, publicly outlining details of the new unit for the first time as tensions with China continue over disputed islands.

“Our nation has numerous remote islands and islands of various sizes, and they give us the basis for our exclusive economic zone that ranks sixth in the world…That makes it important to provide defense for islands over the coming years.”

Japan has undertaken an ambitious project to create a force similar to the U.S. Marine Corps, and Japanese Self-Defense Force Troops have been receiving increasingly frequent training from their U.S. counterparts in the past few years.

A plan to strengthen amphibious capabilities was laid out in Japan’s new defense guidelines released in December. In detailing some of the specifics Sunday, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said the new force is expected to include units specializing in handling types of equipment currently unfamiliar to Japanese troops, such as amphibious vehicles and the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft.

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Japan Walks Fine Line Over Ukraine Issue


Russia’s President Vladimir Putin meets with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi, on Feb. 8. Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Toko Sekiguchi  writes:  Standing with its western allies, Japan has criticized Russia over its decision to put troops in Ukraine, but at the same time has taken a softer line than others amid recently improved ties with Moscow.

Japan, whose diplomacy under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has focused on ameliorating ties with President Vladimir Putin’s administration, did join in a statement from the Group of Seven industrialized nations that it was suspending preparations for the scheduled G-8 Summit in Sochi in June. The G-7 statement said that this would stay in place “until the environment comes back where the G-8 is able to have meaningful discussion.”

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Morale Booster: Japan Self-Defense Forces 2014 calendar


I was disappointing to discover that actual members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces aren’t featured in this calendar, but bikini models and pop sex-symbols from the civilian world. Still, it’s an effective recruitment campaign…

RocketNews24‘s  reports:

Images of the 2014 Japan Self-Defense Forces calendar depicting beautiful women in uniform have been popping up on portal sites around Japan. The calendars were created to raise awareness of the JSDF and to “lift morale.” However, with this year’s choice to use, not actual members of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, but bikini model Azusa Yamamoto, among others, we have a feeling this calendar will be lifting a lot more than morale.

Here’s a sample:


Applications for the Self-Defense Forces increased by 20 percent with the addition of three moe mascots on their recruitment posters. We wonder how many young men and women this models-turned-military calendar will inspire…

 See more >>>RocketNews24

Analysis: Stand With Our Ally in Tokyo

For seven decades the US-Japan alliance has been the cornerstone of peace in Asia. Never has it been as vital as today


Rep. J. Randy Forbes  writes:  For nearly seven decades, the U.S. alliance with Japan has been the cornerstone of the American-led security order in East Asia. Together, our two countries have helped to usher in an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity in a region formerly identified with persistent conflict and endemic poverty. Working together through the long years of the Cold War to resist the Soviet Union’s attempts to gain influence in the region, followed by more recent cooperation on everything from counterterrorism to disaster relief, the United States and Japan have established one of the most enduring alliances in modern times. Now, as Asia takes on a newfound importance in international relations, the alliance is poised to play a consequential role in shaping the security architecture of the region. More specifically, the strength of the alliance will help determine the course of the region’s relationship with the People’s Republic of China in the decade ahead.

China’s announcement last November that it would establish an “air defense identification zone” (ADIZ) in the East China Sea was another test of the U.S.-Japan alliance and, more broadly, America’s appetite for sustaining its commitments to the region. Since 2010, Beijing has consistently resorted to forms of coercion to patiently challenge the United States and its allies. I believe strongly that the United States should neither recognize nor accept China’s unilateral declaration of an ADIZ and we should continue to conduct our military exercises and operations in the region so as to maintain the status quo.

Read the rest of this entry »

Anything and Everything on Wheels: The Trippy Ad Trucks of Tokyo

I’ve seen some delightful examples of this when visiting Tokyo, but none as outlandish as The Grudge figure. If you’ve been in Tokyo maybe you’ve seen them too. If not…RocketNews24 has photos:


 If you spend some time walking around the Shibuya, Shinjuku, or Ikebukuro districts of Tokyo, at some point you’re bound to spot a lavishly decorated truck blasting music from its speakers. These “ad trucks” as they’re known in Japanese are just what they sound  like - gigantic, mobile billboards with no purpose other than to drive around promoting the latest music and products.


…While these trucks do raise some legitimate environmental concerns, there’s no denying that this eye-catching (and deafening) marketing strategy is an effective way to grab everyone’s attention…. You might be surprised by some of the wacky and suggestive things they can get away with…

Read the rest of this entry »

Vintage Advertising Art of the Day: Japan ‘If it’s a bad bug, we’ll kill them all’

Retro Adverts From Japan (11)

Earth brand bug killer: “If it’s a bad bug, we’ll kill them all”

America’s Secret to Success in the Pacific Theater: Chocolate and Cigarettes

A soldier and a local girl share a chocolate bar and cigarettes, 1946.

A soldier and a local girl share a chocolate bar and cigarettes, 1946.


Japan Snowstorm: Photos people are Posting on Twitter

From daily.bhaskar.com, a twitter photo slideshow of snow art.

Tokyo: During the heaviest and worst Snowfall in a decade, 11 people were killed while 1200 other were injured in Tokyo. As much as 27cm of snow was recorded in Tokyo by late Saturday, the heaviest fall in the capital for 45 years, according to meteorologists. The storm hit Tokyo on the eve of its gubernatorial election…


Observers say the weather may affect voter turnout in the city of 13 million people. As this is a rare phenomenon in Japan, people seem to be enjoying the snow. They are carving cute and awesome snowman and uploading the pictures on Twitter. See more here


From the comically gruesome…

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