Well, that didn't take long. Only weeks after 10 Japanese nationals were killed in a terrorist attack in Algeria, Japan's military is practicing how to rescue citizens at risk overseas. Now all they need is a law that allows them to do it for real.
Some 80 members of the Japan Ground Self Defense Force joined with U.S. Marines in Thailand this weekend to whisk scores of Japanese and other foreign citizens out of harm's way in a mock evacuation drill. The soldiers learned how to secure landing zones, screen evacuees, call in Marine Corps helicopters and coordinate with other foreign troops, administrators and relief workers. The Japanese "victims" were mostly volunteers and family from the embassy in Bangkok.
The training event was part of the annual Cobra Gold exercise, which this year includes troops from the U.S., Japan, Thailand and four other countries. A dozen other nations, including China, have sent observers.
In truth, planning for the evacuation drill began last year, but it took on greater meaning for the Japanese after the slaughter in Algeria. At least 38 hostages were killed by terrorists or died in a rescue attempt by Algerian troops.
This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )
The parents of a nightclub worker killed in an arson fire three years ago filed a suit in the Nagoya District Court on Monday seeking damages against top members of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group. (Tokyo Reporter )
Kyodo News said Monday that it has dismissed Satoshi Kondo, 51, deputy chief of its general administration bureau and former personnel affairs division chief, for meeting individually with a female student searching for a job and doing an inappropriate act.
(Jiji Press )