From Volume 38, Issue 30 of EIR Online, Published August 5, 2011
Asia News Digest

Japanese Scientists See Ionospheric Precursors to March 11 Quake

July 25 (EIRNS)—Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun reports today on apparent precursors for the March 11 Tohoku earthquake, including possible precursors about 50 miles up in the ionosphere. Prof. Kosuke Heki of Hokkaido University, a researcher of geophysics, checked changes in the density of electrons in the ionosphere, using electric waves from GPS satellites. He found the density over the epicenter rose by up to 10%, compared with other areas, 40 minutes before the magnitude 9 quake.

Masashi Hayakawa, professor emeritus of the University of Electro-Communications, believes the changes in the ionosphere started "about five days before the quake." Hayakawa, who researches the relationship between earthquakes and electromagnetic phenomena, said distortions in the ionosphere were detected by analyzing the transmission of radio waves in the air.

Seismic phenomena were not as useful as a precursor for this quake, they said. A "precursor slide," upon which Japan's warning system against a Tokyo quake is based, did not occur before the Great East Japan Earthquake, even though it has the same kind of plate boundary as in the Tokyo region.

Animal behavior precursors were noted but are not understood. About 50 small whales became stranded on the Ibaraki Prefecture coastline a week before the temblor, and other strange animal behavior was noted, but could not be definitively tied to the earthquake.

Japan PM Turns to 'Creative Accounting' in Place of Nuclear Energy

July 30 (EIRNS)—As sane forces in Japan mobilize to turn back Prime Minister Naoto Kan's rush to denuclearize the country—partly powered by the mistaken perception that he can "buy" popularity by catering to media-whipped anti-nuclear hysteria—Kan is forced to turn to "creative accounting," to justify his plans.

Here is the Asahi Shimbun's description of a key aspect of Kan's revised energy program:

"According to the current method of calculation, nuclear power generation costs 5 to 6 yen per kilowatt-hour, compared with 37 to 46 yen for solar power generation.

"But the government plans to set up a committee within the energy and environment conference to rewrite the way it calculates the costs. Nuclear power plant decommissioning costs and the compensation bill from the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant are to be added to the estimates for nuclear power, while cheaper technology and the economies of scale from volume production will be factored into solar and wind energy estimates.

"The revised calculations are expected to lead to a shift away from nuclear power and toward renewable energy."

They may call this an engineering study, or even a "scientific" study, but all that it really is, is an accounting exercise to make the numbers come out as certain people wish them to, to justify their genocidal policies.

Clinton Arranges U.S.-North Korean Talks To Avert New Korean War

July 24 (EIRNS)—The British-run effort to revive the Korean War over the past several years has been set back, through cooperation between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the South Korean government in renewing a dialogue with North Korea. Following meetings between the North and South Korean delegates to the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meeting in Bali, Indonesia, Clinton announced today that Kim Kae-gwan, the long-standing North Korean negotiator with the West, will come to New York for talks, at Washington's request. This follows more than two years of tense relations on the Peninsula, with little contact between Pyongyang and either Seoul or Washington.

Clinton said that the six-party talks could be renewed if Pyongyang stands behind its 2005 agreement to abandon its nuclear efforts.

A two-hour meeting between South Korean chief nuclear negotiator Wi Sung-lac and his North Korean counterpart, Ri Yong-ho, was held on the sidelines of the ARF July 22. They agreed to make joint efforts to resume the stalled six-party talks on ending the North's nuclear program "as soon as possible," and reaffirmed their "willingness to implement" the 2005 statement in which the North agreed to give up its nuclear program in exchange for certain support from the South, Ri said.

The Foreign Ministers of the North and South, Kim Sung-hwan and Pak Ui-chun, respectively, also met on the sidelines for the first substantive meeting at this level since 2008.

Mullen Nixes China-Bashing; Calls for Cooperation

July 26 (EIRNS)—Discussing his recent trip to China, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times today, rejecting the campaign to vilify and demonize China.

"I'm not naive," Mullen wrote. "I understand the concerns of those who feel that any cooperation benefits China more than the United States. I just don't agree. This relationship is too important to manage through blind suspicion and mistrust. We've tried that. It doesn't work. I'm not suggesting we look the other way on serious issues, that we abandon healthy skepticism, or that we change our military's focus on the region. But we need to keep communication open and work hard to improve each interaction."

Referencing joint concerns about freedom of navigation, drugs, piracy, instability in Korea, and Pakistan, Mullen stated: "These are challenges we can tackle together, and missions we can plan and train for, and perhaps someday execute side by side. Our staffs signed a few initiatives in that regard, including a commitment to conduct joint counter-piracy exercises in the Gulf of Aden this year."

He warned against U.S. policy swinging "between engagement and over-reaction," and being "subject to shifting political winds," announcing that there would be "more frequent discussions, more exercises, more personnel exchanges," and that both sides believe "that the younger generation of military officers is ready for closer contact, and that upon their shoulders rests the best hope for deeper, more meaningful trust."

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