By Erick San Juan
President Benigno S. Aquino III went to Japan the other day to re-affirm a collective self-defense agreement between the Philippines and Japan in their territorial disputes with China. China’s leadership has metamorphosed from a sleeping dragon into a fire dragon behaving like a bully to cover its internal problem which many pundits believe will implode soon.
President Aquino’s short trip to Japan was quite fruitful especially when Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vows easier entry to Japan for Filipino tourists. But I felt bad and pity the Japanese victims of the multiple explosions at Fukushima’s nuclear plant when a friend emailed me an article from Counterpunch written by Harvey Wasserman of nukefree.org entitled “Fukushima’s Children are Dying.”
Wasserman said that some months after the explosions at Fukushima, thyroid cancer rates among children in the area and nearby have skyrocketed to more than 40 times normal.
“More than 48% of some 375,000 young people and nearly 200,000 kids tested by the Fukushima Medical University near a smoldering reactors suffer from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities, primarily nodules and cysts. And the rate is accelerating.”
“More than 120 childhood cancers have been indicated where just three would be expected.”, according to Joseph Mangano, the executive director of the Radiation and Public Health Project.
Wasserman explained that the nuclear industry and its apologists continue to deny this public health tragedy. “Some have actually asserted that not one person has been affected by Fukushima’s massive radiation releases which for some isotopes exceed Hiroshima by a factor of nearly 30. But the deadly epidemic at Fukushima is consistent with impacts suffered among children near the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island and the 1986 explosion at Chernobyl, as well as findings at other commercial reactors.”
Wasserman narrated that atomic power could cause such epidemics which has reportedly confirmed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, which says that an increase in the risk of childhood thyroid cancer would accompany a reactor disaster.
“Nearby children are not the only casualties at Fukushima. Plant operator Masao Yoshida died at the age 58 due to esophogeal cancer. Yoshida heroically refused to abandon Fukushima at the worst of the crisis, thus saving millions of lives. Public anger is rising over local government plans to force families, many with small children, back into the heavily contaminated region around the power plant.”
At the Three Mile Island’s accident in 1979, owners denied the reactor had melted but a robotic camera confirmed otherwise.
A wide range of independent studies confirm heightened infant death rates and excessive cancers among the populace. Excessive death, mutation and disease rates among animals were confirmed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and by local journalists.
At Chernobyl, Wasserman stated that a compendium of more than 5,000 studies has yielded an estimated death toll of more than one million people. Physicians for Social Responsibility and the German chapter of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War have warned of parallel problems at Fukushima. “The situation can only get worse. Radiation from three lost cores is still being carried into the Pacific. Management of spent fuel rods in pools suspended in the air and scattered around the site remains fraught with danger.”
Wasserman confirmed that Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe regime wants to re-open the remaining 48 reactors. It has pushed hard for families who fled the disaster area to re-occupy irradiated homes and villages.
Scientists believe that the Fukushima cleaning system is unable to conduct a full decontamination of the accumulated volumes of liquid radioactive waste nor reduce the nominal concentration of radiation that Japan intends to dilute with clean water and then pour into the ocean. This process does not reduce the final amount of radioactive substances entering the environment and therefore could harm the region’s ecology.
Pouring of water with high content of radionuclides into the Pacific Ocean for a long time will cause serious harm to the region’s environment. It could create a real threat to the economy and food security of neighboring states including the Philippines. It could also lead to the accumulation of harmful to human health isotopes in seafoods, making them unfit for consumption.
I hope that the Japanese government can still do something about it and give the world the true state of the plague and it’s environmental threat.
Japan Commits PHP3.041 Billion For Aid Projects
Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto F. Del Rosario exchanged notes for three (3) Grant Aid Projects amounting to 6.917 billion yen (approximately 3.041 billion pesos) on March 20/24, 2014 at the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines.
The signed projects focus on rehabilitation and improvement in the fields of infrastructure and communications.
Programme for Rehabilitation and Recovery from Typhoon Yolanda
In the summit meeting with President Aquino last December, Japanese Prime Minister Abe stated that Japan would continue to extend support in the recovery and reconstruction phase. This project amounting to 4.6 billion yen (approximately 2.02 billion pesos) will provide Japan’s reliable disaster-resilient technology and urban planning in the rehabilitation of public infrastructure in Leyte and Samar in order to further the recovery of the people and communities severely affected by Typhoon Yolanda. Through this programme, Japan helps the Philippines to build a resilient society against natural disasters and achieve sustainable growth.
Project for Enhancement of Communications Systems
This project amounting to 1.152 billion yen (approximately 506.5 million pesos) will provide the installation of the VSAT Communication System and the INMARSAT Communication System in the headquarters of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and its district offices and vessels as well as the establishment of the Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) in Cebu’s Mactan Channel. This project aims to improve the communications capabilities of the PCG and enhance the safety, search and rescue activities in the Philippines.
Project for Improvement of Water Supply System in Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD)
This project amounting to 1.165 billion yen (approximately 512.2 million pesos) will involve the installation of flow meters, pressure meters, and water quality sensors that will be monitored using the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system (SCADA). SCADA will ensure the efficient and effective water supply management of the MCWD within Metropolitan Cebu.
Owing to the disasters of last year and the relentless efforts of the Government of the Philippines to propel the Philippines toward progress, the Government of Japan sincerely extends its support to a friend in need. Japan believes that these projects will signify its unflagging commitment to the “Strategic Partnership” between the two countries and continue to strengthen the friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines.
Turnover of Japan-Funded Disaster-Prevention Equipment in Cagayan de Oro
Minister Akio Isomata, Embassy of Japan’s Minister for Economic Affairs turned over fishing nets and dredging machines to the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in a ceremony last March 14 for the Japan-funded Non-Project Grant Aid for the Restoration and Disaster Prevention in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental. The ceremony was also attended by Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno and Congressman Rufus Rodriquez.
The assistance, signed two years ago, provided 600 million yen (approximately 315 million pesos) for the purchase of necessary products for the recovery and disaster prevention of Typhoon Sendong affected areas. Aside from the fishing nets and dredgers, housing materials will also be provided under this project to assist the victims in the restoration and rebuilding of their homes. This assistance comes on top of the 25 million yen (approximately 14 million pesos) emergency relief, composed of water tanks, tents and other relief items, and the 2 million US dollar emergency grant through international humanitarian agencies.
In his speech during the ceremony, Minister Isomata referred to the importance of proactive involvement of local communities in enhancing disaster preparedness and said, “Japan, being also a disaster-prone country, is committed to assist the Philippines in enhancing its ability for disaster risk reduction and management, and have worked together with the Philippines in this field for many years through various ODA projects. But, there is one thing we always have to bear in mind in implementing any kind of disaster-related efforts. That is, we need a heightened awareness of local communities for the prevention of natural disasters even at normal times.”
Japan, as the top donor of ODA to the Philippines as well as a disaster-prone country itself, has supported the Philippines’ disaster mitigation and management efforts by sharing its experiences and lessons learned from the past natural disasters. Recently, the Government of Japan provided assistance for the victims of Typhoon Pablo in 2012, the Bohol Earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. Moreover, a 50 billion yen Post-Disaster Standby Loan was signed last December 2013, when President Aquino visited Tokyo, to further assist in the restoration and recovery of disaster stricken areas. These projects reaffirm the continued commitment of Japan to extend cooperation in minimizing threats and impacts of disasters.
Japan Commits PHP215 Million ODA Providing “Next-Generation Vehicle Package”
Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. Del Rosario exchanged notes for the “Non-Project Grant Aid (Next-Generation Vehicle Package)” amounting to 500 million yen (approximately 215 million pesos) on March12, 2014.
The “Non-Project Grant Aid (Next-Generation Vehicle Package)” aims to contribute to the reduction of environmental pollution in the Philippines caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The products to be provided under this project will be decided in accordance with the Philippine Government’s requests. Specifically, the project is intended to provide eco-friendly products that will promote the development of the Philippines through making use of Japanese technology such as hybrid vehicle (HV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), electric vehicle (EV) and clean diesel vehicle (CD).
Projects under the Non-Project Grant Aid (NPGA) seek to assist developing countries in responding to different economic and social needs. The NPGA offers foreign currency funding for importation of goods such as industrial materials that will address a specific concern of a developing country. The objectives of these projects are in line with the concept of “Inclusive Growth” stated in the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016, as well as the concept of “Human Security” being advocated by the Japanese Government. Projects such as this serve as a continuing testimony of strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines.
By Erick San Juan
There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others. – Niccolo Machiavelli
LIKE I used to say, if the program is on and the only thing the global elites can do is to postpone the inevitable global war and precisely to their advantage. And so what can countries (like the Philippines) do to seize the opportunity of getting what they deserve in engaging with alliances? As a sovereign nation, we have to gather our act together so that we will get what is due us and not to repeat the bad part of our history.
Just like a broken record player, I’ve been repeating that we must learn from our past experiences and we should not forget how we were screwed by the global elites in dragging us into a war not of our liking. In the process we were left behind after the war and it was Japan, the perceived enemy of America who received the all out support from the United States government.
Now that the Philippines is being programmed to be the epicenter of war in the South China Sea (SCS) and in the Pacific, US State Secretary Kerry made a lip service recently that the US will give an all out support to our country just in case of war. But remember the several times that we had a near confrontation with China, all we heard from Uncle Sam was that the US will remain neutral and will not interfere with the dispute between China and the Philippines and their only concern is the freedom of navigation in the SCS.
But when Japan had the same predicament with China in the disputed area in the East China Sea, plus the recent establishment of Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) by China, we witnessed how the US military showed support to Japan. The mere fact that the US government even reminded Beijing that there is a US-Japan security pact in place and that the contested islands are part of that treaty that the US will give support to Japan in case of an attack from China. It is very clear that after all that support we gave as a loyal ally to US, we never had the same treatment as what US has been giving to Japan.
This only shows that our government should make it clear and be firm as to the extent of our relationship with Washington, especially now that there is an ongoing talks about a new “access agreement” on the presence of US military in the country.
If the US is really serious not to make us just cannon fodders, the US congress should pass a law (like what support they gave to Japan) that there will be an automatic retaliation and support from US in case of Chinese (or other countries) attack and aggression to our country.
In these exciting times, let us be very wary and always on the lookout when it comes to the country’s security and foreign policy, like what we have cited in our past two articles, the drums of war are getting louder and louder and the possibility of a regional conflict right here in our backyard is real. Any miscalculation and possible false flag operation can lead us to another destruction whether we like it or not. This is the reality! Our so called leaders allowed us to be the US military doormat in the region and like a huge magnet, we attract Uncle Sam’s enemies in the process.
The only hope that this country have with the present administration is to cast a fair deal with the US. If they want our country’s support in their pivot to Asia, they must put it in writing approved by their US Congress. That will be the moment that we can have a semblance of peace of mind especially if we will be armed like real warriors and not like toy soldiers. If not God forbid!
May our leaders conscience bother them. I believe in Karma!
by Erick San Juan
“NOTHING in China happens overnight,” Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, the director of Asia-Pacific programs at the United States Institute of Peace, said. “Any move you see was planned and prepared for years, if not more. So obviously this maritime issue is very important to China.”The maritime issue referred here is the contested area in the South China Sea and there is another one with Japan in the East China Sea. These two areas in the region, believed to be likened to a ticking bomb just waiting for a trigger to ignite it and explode into a world war in the process.It is quite obvious by now that one of the reasons why China and the other claimants are restive in the disputed area in the South China Sea is about oil (and natural gas).
And maybe the so-called freedom of navigation that Washington has been insisting that China has to abide with, by not bullying its neighbors.But what about the maritime issue of China with Japan? In an article by Perry Diaz of Global Balita – Xi Jinping’s ‘Pax Sinica’, he wrote : With no economic value that’s worth fighting for, it makes one wonder what do these eight uninhabited small islands and islets have that is making China go gaga over them? Could it be that there is something else that China wants that is of far greater value than these desolate specks of land in the middle of East China Sea?
If China gained control of the Senkaku group of islands, which is 114 nautical miles west of Miyako Island, she would be in a position to control or block the Miyako Strait, which connects the East China Sea to the Philippine Sea… and the Pacific Ocean beyond.Like in the case of the Luzon Strait – “the most likely route for Chinese submarines into the wider Pacific Ocean is through the Luzon Strait, which is situated between Taiwan and the Philippines. It provides direct access into the Philippine Sea.
The Luzon Strait is a safer access point than those that lie north between Taiwan and Japan because the Philippines does not have an anti-submarine warfare capability and Taiwan’s anti-submarine capability is relatively limited, especially when compared to Japan’s. Furthermore, U.S. conventional forces are not stationed in Taiwan or the Philippines like they are in South Korea and Japan.” (PH Sea, Luzon Strait Key to China Nuke Ambitions, Stratfor, re-published @manila times online)
The geostrategic plan of China through its People’s Liberation Army Navy, is to become a naval power in the very near future is being manifested today with Beijing’s relationship with its neighbors and most recently with Japan.“Last October 31, 2013, China’s state-run Global Times published an article, saying that escalating tensions between China and Japan over territorial claims to the Senkaku Islands could ignite a war. It said that Beijing was preparing for a “worst-case” scenario of military conflict over the disputed islands.
It seems that China’s “worst-case” scenario is a deliberate attempt to fulfill Xi’s “Chinese Dream,” which is the revival of imperial China — or Pax Sinica (Chinese Peace) – that had maintained Chinese hegemony in Asia during the reign of the Ming dynasty. “The great revival of the Chinese nation is the greatest Chinese Dream,” Xi said before taking office in November 2012.Surmise it to say, China’s carefully orchestrated actions in the past two years are leading to war against Japan… and ultimately against the United States, with the goal of ending American hegemony – Pax Americana — in the Pacific.” (Perry Diaz)
Basically all these preparations by China lead to its goal of countering the move by the United States in its pivot to Asia-Pacific. Although there are other plans like “Operating from the East China Sea, South China Sea or Yellow Sea, Chinese submarines will soon have a credible sea-based nuclear deterrent against Russia and India. But the Chinese submarine fleet will still need to access the open waters beyond the first island chain to maintain a sea-based deterrent against Western Europe and the United States.
Until China builds a nuclear submarine fleet (with well-trained crew and support) stealthy enough to routinely attempt access into the Philippine Sea, or submarine-launched ballistic missiles with enough range to target the continental United States, it will have to rely on its land-based strategic nuclear forces as the primary nuclear deterrent against the United States.” (Stratfor)There seems to be no stopping China’s PLA Navy with its orchestrated moves in the East and South China Sea. It is really a full-speed ahead scenario and anyone caught in the way, might lead to a mutually assured destruction.
- ADIZs likely for South China, Yellow seas: report (wantchinatimes.com)
- Envoy says China has right to set another air zone (boston.com)
- Chinese Aircraft Carrier’s Debut: Gunboat In South China Sea? – Analysis (eurasiareview.com)
- Envoy Says China Has Right to Set Another Air Zone (world.time.com)
- Envoy says China has right to set another air zone (kansascity.com)
- China’s ADIZ: South China Sea Next? – Analysis (eurasiareview.com)
- Defying China, US bombers fly into East China Sea zone – Reuters (reuters.com)
- China’s ADIZ: South China Sea Next? – Analysis (albanytribune.com)
- Envoy says China has right to set another air zone (sfgate.com)
- Envoy says China has right to set another air zone (metronews.ca)
PH tops HK Open Memory Tilt
THE Philippines topped the first Hong Kong Open Memory Championships at the True Light Girls College in Hong Kong last September 28-29.
A 20-member Philippine team got a total score of 15,198 in the event, beating representatives from Mongolia, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Indonesia and India.
“The First Hong Kong Open Memory Championships included events, such as names and faces, random numbers, speed numbers, playing cards, spoken numbers, binary numbers, abstract images, historic/future dates, random words and speed cards,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said.
In a news release, the DFA said Mark Anthony Castañeda won the gold with a high score of 5,239.
Erwin Balines won a silver while Johann Randal Abrina won a bronze in the event, it added.
The DFA said the Hong Kong Memory Championships was founded by the Hong Kong Memory Sports Council and is sanctioned by the World Memory Sports Council.
“Memory sport is for everyone. It has become popular among Western countries for some time and is rapidly gaining popularity in Southeast Asia where more people are aspiring to become mental athletes,” the DFA said. #OpinYon #Foreign #Philippines
- Filipino workers not pawns in HK demand for apology – DFA spokesman (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- What Hong Kong needs to become a kick-ass destination? (fromasiawithlife.wordpress.com)
- Hong Kong could switch to yuan and dump US dollar (endtimeheadlines.wordpress.com)
- HK amenable to ‘put behind’ hostage-taking issue (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Mobile Activities in the Hong Kong Metro: Texting, Playing, Videos (mobilesociety.typepad.com)
- PCCW, I-Cable Win Free Television Licenses in Hong Kong – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- De Lima denies HK trip rumor (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Chinabound: Shenzhen (sonjamarlene.com)
- HK journalists evicted from APEC (justanotherhker.wordpress.com)
- DFA protests call to bar Filipino workers from Hong Kong (globalnation.inquirer.net)
Japanese Embassy Awards Mindanao Classrooms
TWO turnover ceremonies were held in Mindanao on September 17 -18, 2013 for projects implemented by a Japanese NGO “ICAN.” Both projects were funded by the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines through the Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO Projects, a grant funding program of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA).
On September 17, the ceremony was held at Bia-o Primary School in General Santos for the project called “Community Development Project with the Children of Indigenous Community in Mindanao” (Phase 2), amounting to US$ 240,693 (approximately PhP9.8 million). The ceremony was attended by Hon. Ronnel Rivera, Mayor of General Santos City and representatives from the Department of Education (DepEd) and the community as well as staff members of the Embassy of Japan and ICAN. #OpinYon #foreign #japan
- FEATURE: Japan-funded school building opens for tribal children in Mindanao (english.kyodonews.jp)
- New NGCP line for GenSan in anticipation of load growth (mindanews.com)
- Australia Provides Emergency Aid for Mindanao (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Stakeholders to discuss Mindanao tourism in GenSan (mindanews.com)
- Mindanao will still draw tourists despite Zamboanga City crisis (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Protests vs pork barrel set in key cities of Mindanao (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- General Santos Hotels (globalgensan.wordpress.com)
- general santos city (fpuertos.wordpress.com)
- P842-M poured to Mindanao under WB-funded project (mindanews.com)
- UPDATE1: School in Philippines celebrates Japanese gov’t recognition (english.kyodonews.jp)