Shinzo Abe News

07 May 2020

Signs Led to Japan's Second Coronavirus Cruise Ship Hot Spot

File photo: Costa Atlantica (Photo: Carnival Corp)

Seven days before Japan quarantined a cruise ship near Tokyo early this year, in what became one of the first coronavirus hot spots outside China, another cruise ship docked in southern Japan.For the next five weeks, as the virus took hold in Japan and the Diamond Princess in Yokohama port grabbed global attention, the Japanese authorities issued no warnings to the Costa Atlantica 1,200 km (750 miles) to the southwest.Passengers from the Yokohama ship were dying while people from the other vessel freely got on and off…

23 Apr 2020

Italian Cruise Ship in Japan has 48 Coronavirus Cases

© jovannig / Adobe Stock

Nearly 50 crew members on an Italian cruise ship docked for repairs in Japan's Nagasaki have tested positive for the new coronavirus, raising concern about the strain on the city's hospitals if conditions worsen for those infected. Results on Thursday showed 14 more aboard, all either cooks or those serving food, were infected with the virus, an official in Nagasaki prefecture said. One patient who had been taken to hospital previously was now in serious condition and on a ventilator, he told a live-streamed news conference.

20 Apr 2020

Japan Exports Slump as Coronavirus Hits Demand

© KnoB / Adobe Stock

Japan's exports slumped the most in nearly four years in March as U.S.-bound shipments, including cars, fell at the fastest rate since 2011, highlighting the damage the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted on global trade.Monday's bleak data underscored the challenges Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government faces in dealing with a collapse in activity that is expected to send the global economy into its deepest slump since the Great Depression of the 1930s.After a jump in virus cases…

10 Apr 2020

Orsted Hopes COVID-19 Will Not Slow Japan's Offshore Wind Projects

Illustration; Orsted's offshore wind farm - Image by Orsted

Orsted, the world's largest offshore wind farm developer, is concerned the coronavirus may delay auctions for offshore projects as it prepares to enter the market, the head of its Asia-Pacific unit said. "The pandemic will not influence investment decisions and general confidence in offshore wind, but it could delay the projects' timeline," Matthias Bausenwein, president of Orsted Asia-Pacific, told Reuters in a telephone interview. "We hope that we won't see any major delays," he said.

09 Mar 2020

Diamond Princess' COVID-19 Death Toll Rises to Seven

© junce11 / Adobe Stock

A man who had been aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship and was infected with coronavirus has died, bringing the death toll from the ship to seven, Japanese public broadcaster NHK said on Saturday.The man was not Japanese, NHK said, without giving details of his nationality or age.

02 Feb 2020

Japanese Warship to Patrol Oil Lifeline

File photo: The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer Takanami (DD 110), front, sails alongside the guided missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) March 9, 2014, in the Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Chris Cavagnaro)

A Japanese destroyer left for the Gulf of Oman on Sunday amid simmering Middle East tension to guard sea lanes that supply nearly all the oil that powers the world's third-biggest economy."Thousands of Japanese ships ply those waters every year including vessels carrying nine tenths of our oil. It is Japan's lifeline," Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the crew at Yokosuka naval base near Tokyo, before they cast off in a ceremony attended by 500 family members and representatives from the United States…

27 Dec 2019

Japan Sending Warship, Aircraft to Middle East

File Image: A Japanese naval asset. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © JP Aaron

Japan will send a warship and patrol planes to protect Japanese ships in the Middle East as the situation in the region, from which it sources nearly 90% of its crude oil imports, remains volatile, Japan's top government spokesman said on Friday.Under the plan approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet, a helicopter-equipped destroyer and two P-3C patrol planes will be dispatched for information-gathering aimed at ensuring safe passage for Japanese vessels through the region.If there are any emergencies…

03 Sep 2019

Japan Won't Join US-Led Maritime Coalition in Gulf

File Image: A Japanese Naval Warship asset. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © JPAaron

Japan will not join a U.S.-led security mission to protect merchant vessels passing through key Middle Eastern waterways, but will consider deploying its naval force independently, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Tuesday.Though the United States is Japan's most important ally, Tokyo has fostered economic ties with Iran, and Japanese firms had been major buyers of Iranian oil until U.S. sanctions forced them to find other suppliers.Citing unidentified government sources, the…

07 Aug 2019

Japan: No Maritime Force Proposal Discussions

file image of a Japanese warship (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © JPAaron

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper did not have any particular exchange on the U.S.-proposed maritime coalition in the Middle East, Japan's top government spokesman said on Wednesday.Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that the premier and Esper confirmed the two nations would work on peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region as well as further strengthen the alliance between Japan and the United States.Suga also met Esper separately and the two didn't discuss the maritime coalition in the Middle East, either. (Reporting by Kaori Kaneko;

13 Jun 2019

Two Tankers Attacked in Gulf of Oman

(Photo:  Islamic Republic News Agency)

Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, leaving one ablaze and both adrift, shipping firms said, driving oil prices as much as 4% higher over worries about Middle East supplies.The Front Altair, carrying petrochemical feedstock, was on fire in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran after an explosion that a source blamed on a magnetic mine. The Norwegian owner said its crew were safe.A second Japanese-owned tanker was abandoned after being hit by a suspected torpedo, the firm that chartered the ship said.

05 Dec 2018

Interview: Shuichi Iwanami, Commandant, Japan Coast Guard

Shuichi Iwanami, Commandant, Japan Coast Guard. Photo: JCG

As the Japan Coast Guard celebrates its 70th anniversary, Maritime Reporter & Engineering News offers insights on the current status and future direction of the JCG courtesy of an interview with Shuichi Iwanami, Commandant, Japan Coast Guard.*Note: At the time this interview was conducted, Shuichi Iwanami was still Vice Commandant for Operations.Could you please tell us the history and future development of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG)?The JCG, in 2018 celebrates the 70th anniversary of its foundation. When it was founded, the Japanese waters were in an eclipse period.

19 Aug 2018

Japan, Russia Join for Trans-Siberian Rail Transportation

Lines of the Trans-Siberian Railway, from Library of Congress at loc.gov.

Japan and Russia plan to officially develop a freight transport route between the two countries via the Trans-Siberian Railway, the Yomiuri newspaper reported.The report said that the two governments aim to foster mutual economic cooperation by energizing the “third distribution channel,” after sea and air routes.Now cargo between Japan and Russia are delivered mainly either by air or by sea. According to the Japanese Ministry of transport, terms of delivery of goods by sea ranged from 53 to 62 days.

15 Jun 2018

Tiny Japan Shipping Shares Jump on North Korea Detente Hopes

© Alexey Lesik / Adobe Stock

Shares of small Japanese shippers jumped this week after the historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sparked hopes of news business ties with the reclusive country.Japanese retail investors are snatching up shares of the firms that may benefit from a potential thaw between Tokyo and Pyongyang, even though the Japanese government has been a staunch supporter of "maximum pressure" on North Korea.Shares of Rinko Corp, a marine transportation company…

30 May 2018

Macroeconomic Trends Signal Good News for Shipping

© evening_tao / Adobe Stock

The current global economic growth (GDP) looks like it may be as good as it gets, with indicators across the globe signaling healthy expansion, but at a slower pace compared to the levels seen in the last half of 2017.Global economic growth seems on track to reach its highest level since 2011, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) maintain its projection for the world GDP at 3.9 percent and expects the global economic growth to be supported by a strong momentum, favorable market sentiment and accommodative financial conditions in 2018 and 2019.

16 Apr 2018

Japan, China Agree Trade War Will Harm Global Economy

© xy / Adobe Stock

Japan and China agree that a trade war will have serious consequences for the world economy, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Monday after a high-level economic dialogue between the world's third- and second-largest economies. Concern is growing about a trade row between China and the United States in which the two nations have threatened each other with tariffs. Japan has been criticised by U.S. President Donald Trump on trade and been hit with tariffs on steel and aluminum, but it has not yet threatened counter-tariffs.

02 Feb 2018

Oil From Sunken Iranian Tanker May Have Reached Japan

File Image: The stricken tanker Sanchi burns prior to sinking. (CREDIT: china Ministry of Transport)

Clumps of oil have washed up on the shores of southern Japan and there are fears they may be leaking from an Iranian crude tanker than sank in the world's worst such disaster in decades, the Japanese Coast Guard said on Friday. Black clumps have reached the shores of the island of Amami-Oshima, a coast guard official told Reuters by phone. Authorities are checking to see if it is from the Sanchi (IMO:9356608) tanker that sank in the East China Sea last month, after being alerted to its presence by the public.

24 Apr 2017

Economic Indicators Pointing Up -BIMCO

© Dmitry V. Petrenko / Adobe Stock photo

The recent months’ uptick in global indicators, which implies a strengthening in the global economy, is not sufficient for the patient to be discharged yet. The state of the global economy is still uncertain, despite stronger growth dynamics in advanced economies, and not least in China. When the IMF updated its outlook for advanced economies for 2017 and 2018 in January, it was the first time since 2007 that an IMF January update lifted expectations for the present and coming years.

23 Mar 2017

China Says Hopes New Japanese Carrier Doesn't Mark Return to Militarism

China said on Thursday that it hoped the entry into service of Japan's second big helicopter carrier, the Kaga, did not mean a return to the country's past militaristic history. The ship, along with its sister the Izumo, gives Japan's military greater ability to deploy beyond its shores as it pushes back against China's growing influence in Asia. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that in recent years Japan had exaggerated the "China threat" as an excuse to expand its military. "I also want to say that the Kaga was sunk by the U.S. military in World War Two. Japan should learn the lessons of history," Hua told a daily news briefing.

13 Mar 2017

Japan Plans to Send Largest Warship to South China Sea

Japan plans to dispatch its largest warship on a three-month tour through the South China Sea beginning in May, three sources said, in its biggest show of naval force in the region since World War Two. China claims almost all the disputed waters and its growing military presence has fueled concern in Japan and the West, with the United States holding regular air and naval patrols to ensure freedom of navigation. The Izumo helicopter carrier, commissioned only two years ago, will make stops in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka before joining the Malabar joint naval exercise with Indian and U.S. naval vessels in the Indian Ocean in July. It will return to Japan in August, the sources said.

15 Jan 2017

Japan, Indonesia to Strengthen Maritime Ties

Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office, Japan

Indonesia and Japan have agreed to step up maritime security and start discussions on a major railway project to link the Southeast Asian nation's capital and second-biggest city, reported Reuters. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said during a visit to Indonesia that the two Island nations would bolster their cooperation in maritime security and military affairs. "As a fellow maritime country, Japan is prioritizing maritime cooperation with Indonesia. Japan is encouraging active…

07 Sep 2016

Japan to Provide Patrol Ships to Vietnam

The Japanese government said on Wednesday it is ready to provide Vietnam with new patrol ships, in its latest step to boost the maritime law-enforcement capabilities of countries locked in territorial rows with China. On Tuesday, Japan agreed to provide two large patrol ships and lend up to five used surveillance aircraft to the Philippines, another country at odds with China over sovereignty issues in the South China Sea. Japan itself has been at loggerheads with China over a group of tiny, uninhabited East China Sea islets. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, of Tokyo's intention in their meeting on the sidelines of ASEAN-related meetings in Vientiane.

02 Sep 2016

Russia, Japan Discuss Islands Dispute 'In-depth'

Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed on Friday to draw up proposals this year to end a row over a group of disputed islands that has bedevilled relations between their countries for over 70 years. The dispute stems from the Soviet Union's decision, in the final days of World War Two, to seize the islands - known in Japan as the Northern Territories and in Russia as the Southern Kuriles - that Tokyo says are its sovereign territory. Concessions over the islands would carry risks for Putin but could boost Japanese investment in Russia at a time when Moscow, battered by low global oil prices and Western sanctions, badly needs an injection of cash.

26 Aug 2016

Australia Warns DCNS after Security Breach

Australian defence officials warned French naval contractor DCNS to beef up security in Australia, where it is preparing to build a A$50 billion ($38.13 billion) fleet of submarines, in the wake of a massive data leak, a government spokesman said on Friday. DCNS was left reeling after more than 22,000 pages outlining details relating to submarines it is building for India were published in The Australian newspaper earlier this week, sparking concerns about its ability to protect sensitive data. A senior Australian defence official, acting on orders from Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne, warned DCNS that the government was deeply concerned by the implications of the leak, a spokesman for the minister told Reuters.

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