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U.S. Admiral: North Korean Missile Could Reach Hawaii

WIRE: America’s top military officer said on Friday that a rocket North Korea plans to launch next month has a range that could possibly reach Hawaii. Asked if the North Korean rocket could reach the US states of Hawaii or Alaska, Admiral Mike Mullen told CNN: “In some cases, yes, they could probably get down to Hawaii…”

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Japan to Activate Missile Defense if North Korea Fires, Orders ‘Destruction Order’

Japan’s Self Defense Forces plan to deploy Aegis destroyers off Japan and move PAC-3 missile units now stationed in 6 locations to northern Japan, over which a missile would likely pass…

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WIRE: North Korea is loading a Taepodong rocket on its east coast launch pad in anticipation of the launch of a communications satellite early next month, U.S. officials say. U.S. counterproliferation and intelligence officials have confirmed Japanese news reports of the expected launch between April 4 and 8…

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Fedex Cargo Plane Crashes at Tokyo Airport (Video)

AP: Police say the pilot and copilot of a FedEx cargo plane that crashed at an airport in Japan are dead…


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Japan Prime Minister: Must Build Defense

Japan Prime Minister“You must be well aware that we face many issues in the Asia-Pacific region, including North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development...for us to assure peace and stability in Japan, it is extremely important to further strengthen the Japan-US alliance as well as to make its own efforts for self defense…”

U.S. To Move Troops From Japan to Guam…

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Japanese Deflation Strikes Again: Prices Fall Through January; Unemployment Unexpectedly FALLS

Overall prices in Japan remained even in the 12 months through January after global slowing consumption reduced demand for autos and electronics. When eliminating food and energy from the metric, Japan actually suffered from deflation. These prices fell by 0.2% throughout the same period.

Interestingly, unemployment plummeted in the same month. Indeed, the jobless ratio fell to 4.1% after economists had forecast the figure to rise 0.3 percentage-points to 4.6%. This move comes as the Jobs to Applicants ratio fell, yet again, to 0.67; that’s down from 0.73 in December and 0.98 at the start of 2008. With the unemployment falling and the jobs-applicants ratio dwindling, one may think that people are leaving the work force.

The bleak picture comes as little surprise after the Asian economy shrank at an annualized 12.7% pace last year. Vehicle sales fell 27.9% in the 12 months through January alone! Exports fell 13.9% as well.

– LG

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Japanese Economy Shrinks at Annualized 12.7% Pace, Worst Since 1974

Japan’s Gross Domestic Product fell for the third consecutive quarter in the final three months of 2008, by -3.3% as demand for the Asian country’s flagship goods such as cars and electronics took a dive on slowing global consumption. On an annualized basis, the data signaled that the island economy had contracted at an annualized -12.7% pace. Economists had forecast the metric to fall by only -3.1% on the quarter.

Slowing global demand for the country’s goods continued hampering Japan’s ability to weather the storm. Sales of vehicles manufactured in Japan throughout January fell by largest amount in at least 29 years. Indeed, the January reading of the said car data fell -27.9% in the 12 months through Jan. 31st. As such, it was of little surprise that the export portion of the metric fell by -13.9% in the period alone.

With spending on Japanese goods plummeting by so much it was no surprise that new spending on entrepreneurial projects took a steep dive as well. Non-residential investments fell for the fourth consecutive quarter, by -5.3% in the last. -LG

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