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War & Terrorism, Japan


The Japanese Embassy in Syria said a correspondent from Japan was killed in the Syrian city of Aleppo during the ongoing armed clashes between government troops and rebels, RIA Novosti quoted Kyodo news agency as reporting.

The agency said that the killed correspondent was Mika Yamamoto, 45, who worked for an independent information agency Japan Press.

The late journalist used to work in many war-torn places of the world, delivering reports particularly from Afghanistan and Iraq, the agency added.


Japan planned to sign a contract with the United States next month for the purchase of four F-35 stealth fighter jets despite a price increase for the aircraft, local media reported Monday.

The fighter jets are set to be delivered before the end of fiscal year 2016 and may cost about 138 million U.S. dollars per unit. The Japanese government is making arrangements with the U.S. for the purchase as part of the budget in the current fiscal year which ends next March, Xinhua reported.


Japanese Defence Minister Naoki Tanaka Tuesday ordered the military to prepare for a possible operation to destroy a North Korean rocket if it passes through the country's airspace, DPA reported.

His order prompted the military to consider where to deploy its Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air missile system ahead of a rocket launch announced by Pyongyang for between April 12 and 16.


Around 44,000 Japanese and US troops began week-long joint military drills around Japan on Friday, 10 days after North Korea attacked a South Korean island, dpa reported.

About 60 vessels and 400 planes from the two countries' armed forces were taking part in the exercises in the Sea of Japan and near Okinawa island, which come two days after a joint drill between the United States and South Korea ended.

The South Korean Defense Ministry has dispatched observers to the drills for the first time. Japan sent observers to US-South Korean exercises in July.


Pirates have seized a Japanese-owned cargo ship and its crew of 20 Filipinos off the coast of Somalia, the European Union's anti-piracy mission said Monday, DPA reported.

The Panama-flagged MV Izumi sent out a distress signal on Sunday afternoon, indicating it was under pirate attack, EU NAVFOR said in a statement.

The captain of the vessel early Monday sent a message to a Danish warship sent to investigate that the ship was under pirate control, EU NAVFOR said.

A French warship is monitoring the vessel as it nears Somalia.


Some homemade explosives were found on a Japanese tanker which was damaged by a blast last week near the Strait of Hormuz, local media reported Friday.


A Japanese freelance journalist missing in Afghanistan since last week is being held by the Taliban in the country's north, media reports in Japan citing unnamed insurgent sources said on Monday.

Kosuke Tsuneoka, 40, is in the hands of a Taliban group in the northern province of Kunduz, the Jiji Press news agency reported, citing an unnamed Taliban commander.

The Yomiuri Shimbun daily, also citing an anonymous Taliban source, reported that the journalist was kidnapped in Baghlan province to the south of Kunduz and was now being held in one of those two provinces.