Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Whoops! Cruiser USS Antietam Runs Aground in Tokyo Bay

The Unites States Navy has reported that the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG-54) has run aground in Tokyo Bay. It is further reported that the ship has dumped what has been described as a significant amount of oil in what Navy officials have called "an engineering mishap." U.S. Pacific Fleet reports that there were no injuries to American or Japanese personnel and that the Navy is cooperating with the Japanese Coast Guard and the Government of Japan. It remains unclear just how much oil has been split into Tokyo Bay or what the full extent of the damage to the ship's hull. What additional information released to the public is that the ship's propellers were also damaged in the incident during anchoring. Navy Divers have been sent down to assess the situation. Following the incident, the Antietam was safely returned to Yokosuka with the help of tugs attached to the installation. U.S. Navy Spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Matt Knight is quoted as saying: "The Navy is still working to determine the exact location that the spill took place and will take measures to minimize impacts to the environment as appropriate. The Navy is cooperating with the Government of Japan and Japanese Coast Guard in response to this issue."

Sunday, January 29, 2017

One Lucky Star: Haruo Nakajima

Seen here is veteran actor Haruo Nakajima. We by chance came across his unique story through a WWII forum and found it fascinating enough to share with you here. You see, Haruo Nakajima was conscripted into the IJN at the age of 14. He served as a gunner on a Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" Bomber, and somehow miraculously survived an encounter with a Grumman F6F Hellcat.Mr. Nakajima  is said to have attended Admiral Yamamoto's funeral. If surviving the Hellcat wasn't enough he just happened to be flying on the day that his new ship, the "Shinano" was sunk with 1500 men going down with her. If not for the war's end, he would have been assigned to suicide missions on Shinyo suicide boats. Nearly all of his classmates from training had died on such missions. Somebody was definitely looking out for this man!

Mr. Nakajima would later become famous when he won the role of Godzilla in 1954. He played the iconic character until 1972, when he retired. He is also known for his work on Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and recently appeared in Steve Okazaki's Documentary MIFUNE THE LAST SUAMURAI. Mr. Nakajima is now 88 years old still counting his lucky stars! How awesome is that? すごいい!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sayonara Sweet Caroline

United States Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy stepped down from her position this Wednesday. She had done so ahead of the incoming President's demand that all Obama appointees vacate their offices by January 20th without having a replacement leaving many American Citizens abroad in the lurch. Despite this rude unprecedented undignified demand on the part of Donald Trump without any real transitional period, Ambassador Caroline Kennedy leaves her office with the dignity and grace that represents the best of us. She has been a true friend to Japan of whom welcomed her with adoration. Her legacy will be remembered for having brought about the historic visit by President Obama to Hiroshima (of which PM Shinzo Abe reciprocated by visiting Pearl Harbor of which she also attended), her strong advocacy for women's & LBGT rights, and her strong support for those affected by the Tohoku Disaster. She had made many friends in Japan and had the honor to meet the widow of the IJN Destroyer Captain who collided with her father John F. Kennedy's PT-109 boat during WWII. As she expressed her gratitude to the People of Japan, she also proclaimed that she will see Japan again. We at American Mishima are very proud of Caroline Kennedy and offer her a big thank you - ども ありがとう ございまして! JFK smiles from heaven. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Enter The Hawkeyes

While the world was watching the bizarre rants of our new President-Elect, the U.S. Navy deployed E-2D Advanced Hawkeye early warning aircraft to Japan. The purpose of being to track stealth aircraft over the South China Seas. These planes who had been previously attached to the USS Theodore Roosevelt fighting ISIL in Syria will now bolster security in what has become an ever growing tense situation with the militarization of man-made islands which the PRC claims as their sovereign territory based on some 500 year old map. It is reported that these E-2D's are equipped with the latest A/N-APY radar system that can track objects with a small cross section which is the hallmark of stealth technology. There's a report which CNN reposted from the US Naval Institute News that these planes could be the secret weapon against both cruise missiles such as the so-called "Carrier-Killer" and both variants of the PRC's Stealth Fighters in production.
With the PRC bringing it's new 5th Generation J-20 Stealth fighters coming on line over the next two years, the advanced eyes in the skies will do their part to keep the peace. Of course there are no guarantees. In the old days this was called the Balance of Terror to match assets with ones potential adversaries like chess pieces on the board. This being no game, the aggressive moves on the part of the PRC and the unstable rantings of our new leader will make for a combustible mix that will fall on the hands of our military leaders to have the cooler heads and no Twitter Fingers. Let's just hope the addition of the E-2d's Hawkeyes will give the region an added ounce of stability for an unstable world.

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 New Years Greetings

Happy New Years everyone! As per our New Years tradition, we at American Mishima feature a photo of the Japanese Heisei Emperor delivering his New Years Greeting from the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan. As seen in the photo Crown Princess Masako, Crown Prince Naruhito, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are seen greeting the Japanese nation. The Imperial Household Agency reports that some 58,600 people were present many of which waving small Japanese flags were there to raise their arms and shout "Banzai" which in this context translates to "Long Life." We are particularly happy to see this and while the Heisei Emperor is pushing to abdicate the throne due to his advanced age, recent prostate cancer issues, and heart problems. We look forward to his continued health & happiness and warm New Years Greetings to both the Japanese people and the world at large. あけまして おめでとう ございます! ばんざい! ばんざい! ばんざい!