Tag Archives: Japanese

Japanese whaling ships prepare first commercial hunt in more than 30 years

Japanese whaling ships prepare first commercial hunt in more than 30 yearsJapanese whaling ships were preparing on Sunday to set to sea, with crews gathering on decks in a northern port as Japan undertakes its first commercial whaling hunt in more than 30 years on Monday. Japan announced last year it was leaving the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and would resume commercial whaling on July 1, sparking global condemnation and fears for the world’s whales. Japan has long maintained that eating whale is an important part of its culture and that most species are not endangered. A global whaling moratorium was imposed in 1986, but Japan then began what it called scientific research whaling in the North Pacific and Antarctic. Critics said the it was simply commercial whaling in disguise. "I used to eat whale when I was young, but it's been too expensive recently,” said Sachiko Sakai, 66, a taxi driver waiting for fares in Kushiro, a port town on the northernmost main island of Hokkaido. "Maybe now that commercial whaling is going to restart, it’ll be cheaper and we can get our hands on it more easily.” The hunt will be confined to Japan’s exclusive economic zone. Whaling vessels ready to be deployed in Kushiro on Sunday Credit: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon The five small whaling ships due to set off early Monday morning were moored at a wharf in a quiet corner of Kushiro port. On their decks were what appeared to be harpoon guns covered in tarpaulins. The vessels come from whaling ports around Japan, including one from Taiji, the town made notorious for its dolphin drive-hunts featured in the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove”. Some vessels were decorated with good luck flags, flapping in a cold wind. Some crew members carried groceries while others held towels and shampoo, apparently headed to a public bath. One wore brightly coloured shorts decorated with images of whales and other animals. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose district includes the old whaling centre of Shimonoseki, has long campaigned to restart commercial whaling, but the industry’s future is far from clear. Only about 300 people around Japan are directly connected to whaling, and the annual supply of whale – about 5,000 tonnes – amounts to roughly 40-50 grams per Japanese person a year. "To resume this so we can eat it – well, that’s good,” said Yuya Kusakari, 37, who was fishing for flounder with his 8-year-old son not far from where the whaling ships were docked. Mr Kusakari said he ate whale maybe once or twice a year. "It’s really not all that available now, and it’s expensive,” he said.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Surveillance drone may have tracked Japanese tanker: experts

Surveillance drone may have tracked Japanese tanker: expertsA “flying object” which flew over a Japanese tanker before it was rocked by a blast in strategic Gulf waters last week could have been a reconnaissance drone, experts have told AFP. The owner of the Kokuka Courageous said the tanker’s Japanese and Filipino crew saw a “flying object”, just before a blast that caused a fire on board the vessel, sparking a crisis between Washington and Iran. “The crew members are saying that they were hit by a flying object.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Debris Found After Japanese F-35A Stealth Fighter Crashes at Sea

Debris Found After Japanese F-35A Stealth Fighter Crashes at SeaThe plane and its pilot, a man in his 40s, went missing about 135 kilometers (85 miles) off the Japanese coast Tuesday after departing Misawa Air Base on the northeastern corner of Honshu Island, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force said in a statement. A part of what’s believed to the the plane’s tail was spotted floating near where it disappeared, Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters Wednesday. The Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 is considered the most expensive U.S. weapons system.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

A Japanese spacecraft just shot at an asteroid… to try and make a crater

A Japanese spacecraft just shot at an asteroid... to try and make a craterTell you what, it's certainly not everyday someone shoots at an asteroid.Japan's space agency, JAXA, tried to do just that with its Hayabusa-2 spacecraft, which was launched in 2014. It's been hanging out on asteroid called Ryugu since June 2018, where it's been studying the surface. SEE ALSO: Astronaut Anne McClain shares stunning moonset from the International Space StationA bit before midday Japan Standard Time (JST) on Friday, the spacecraft attempted to blast a new crater on Ryugu by firing something called a "small carry-on impactor" (SCI) toward the asteroid.> [SCI] April 5 at 11:56 JST. The SCI operation time has passed and we have confirmed there is no problem with the spacecraft during the evacuation operation.> > — HAYABUSA2@JAXA (@haya2e_jaxa) April 5, 2019The SCI is a 2 kilogram (4.41 pound) copper lump which was fired toward the asteroid at a speed of 2 km per second (4,473 mph). Shaped like a cone and containing an explosive, the SCI is designed to create an artificial crater on the surface. The SCI was shot from an altitude of 500 metres (1,640 feet) from the asteroid's surface, and the time from release and explosion was about 40 minutes.In a press conference following the explosion, mission managers were worried about the potential debris from the operation, but said none of it made contact with the spacecraft.You can catch the feed of the operation in its entirety below.The purpose of the experiment is so researchers can analyse changes to the asteroid's surface after shooting at it, and capture materials that might be hidden underneath.You can see what it looks like when they shoot the SCI into Ryugu, thanks to a ground test simulating the experience. The fragments of gravel are meant to simulate the asteroid's surface, but you can imagine the lack of gravity in space would make for a lot more debris floating about.It'll be a few more weeks until the team goes hunting for the crater, with the search operation set to begin the week of Apr. 22.Researchers will take images of the surface where they think the bullet has hit, then look through the images by eye to see where they've made their mark. As for Hayabusa-2, it's expected to make its return to Earth sometime between November and December, with landing set for late-2020. WATCH: NASA's Administrator Jim Bridenstine warns India's anti-satellite test could be dangerous for the ISS



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Carlos Ghosn to 'vigorously' defend himself in Japanese court: son

Carlos Ghosn to 'vigorously' defend himself in Japanese court: sonFormer Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn will “vigorously” defend himself in a Japanese court this week after refusing to sign a confession in return for being released from custody, his son has told a French Sunday newspaper. The auto tycoon who has been held since his shock arrest in November on allegations of financial misconduct is due to appear in a Japanese court on Tuesday to hear the reasons for his detention.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

US, Japanese pair win Nobel Medicine Prize for cancer therapy

US, Japanese pair win Nobel Medicine Prize for cancer therapyTwo immunologists, James Allison of the US and Tasuku Honjo of Japan, won the 2018 Nobel Medicine Prize for research that has revolutionised the treatment of cancer, the jury said on Monday. The pair were honoured “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation,” the Nobel Assembly said. The proteins can stop the body’s natural defences from killing cancer cells.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Photos from Japanese space rovers show asteroid is … rocky

Photos from Japanese space rovers show asteroid is ... rockyTOKYO (AP) — New photos taken on the surface of an asteroid show that it is (drum roll, please) … rocky.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Japanese Billionaire Will Fly To The Moon With SpaceX, Elon Musk Says

Japanese Billionaire Will Fly To The Moon With SpaceX, Elon Musk SaysSpaceX, Elon Musk's ambitious rocket endeavor, said Monday it had signed a



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Powerful quake hits Japanese island of Hokkaido

Powerful quake hits Japanese island of Hokkaido A powerful earthquake Thursday on Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido triggered dozens of landslides that crushed houses under torrents of dirt, rocks and timber, prompting frantic efforts to unearth any survivors.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Stranded travellers rescued from major Japanese airport as deadly typhoon leaves trail of devastation

Stranded travellers rescued from major Japanese airport as deadly typhoon leaves trail of devastationA major airport that was cut off when a huge typhoon smashed through its sole access road was being evacuated on Wednesday, as Japan grappled with devastation caused by its most powerful storm in a quarter of a century. Boats were ferrying stranded passengers from Kansai International Airport – one of the country's busiest – after thousands of people were forced to spend the night in the partially flooded facility. At least 10 people were killed, and hundreds more injured by Typhoon Jebi as it raked through the major manufacturing area around Osaka - Japan's second city – wrecking infrastructure and destroying homes. Winds up to 135 mph ripped off roofs, overturned trucks on bridges and swept a 2,500-ton tanker into a bridge leading to the airport, the region's main international gateway and a national transport hub. The damage to the bridge left the artificial island cut off, stranding 3,000 travellers and additional staff overnight. Runways were flooded as high waves washed into the facility on Tuesday, knocking out electricity and inundating buildings. By Wednesday lunchtime several hundred people had been ferried to Kobe on a specially chartered boat, but more than two thousand were still awaiting rescue. There was no indication yet when the airport, which runs over 400 flights a day, might reopen. "We had a blackout so there was no air conditioning. It was hot," a woman told public broadcaster NHK after being ferried to Kobe. "I'd never expected this amount of damage from a typhoon." Kansai International Airport is partially flooded by Typhoon Jebi in Osaka, western Japan, on Wednesday Credit: AP Government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said the death toll in the storm stood at 10, with 300 people injured. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, tweeting on his official account, said the government was working to get the airport back online. "We will do our best to get the airport functioning again," he said. He said 2.4 million households had lost power in the storm, with service restored to only half by Wednesday morning. "We continue to make utmost efforts to respond to disaster damage and restore infrastructure," he added. A damaged bridge that connects Kansai International Airport in Osaka, western Japan Credit: AP More than 1.2 million people had been advised to leave their homes as Jebi approached the Kansai area - Japan's industrial heartland. Around 16,000 people spent the night in shelters, local media said. Japan is regularly hit by powerful typhoons in the summer and autumn, many of which cause flooding and landslides in rural areas. Jebi appears to have caused damage to the region's infrastructure on an unusual scale. In the tourist magnet of Kyoto – home to ancient temples and shrines – it brought down part of the ceiling of the main railway station, while in nearby Osaka, the high winds peeled scaffolding from a multi-story building. Stranded passengers queue up in lines to wait for special buses at Kansai International Airport  Credit: AP Footage on NHK showed a 100-metre (328-foot) tall ferris wheel in Osaka spinning furiously in the strong wind despite being switched off. "I've never seen such a thing," a 19-year-old man at the scene told NHK. Businesses, factories and schools in the affected area shut down while the storm barrelled across the country, forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights, ferry services and some bullet trains. Despite its strength, the storm was far from the deadliest Japan has seen in recent years. Cars are blown off by strong wind triggered by Typhoon Jebi Credit: Getty In 2011, Typhoon Talas killed at least 82 people in the area, while in 2013, a storm that hit south of Tokyo left 40 people dead. Earlier this year torrential rains lashed the west of the country, sparking flooding that killed more than 200 people as it laid waste to villages and caused hillsides to collapse.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines