In the press review of Tuesday, May 4, we will discuss: the development of military defense capabilities, coastal development following the 2011 tsunami and the Tokyo Tower decorated for children’s day.

Japan strengthens its defense capabilities

Faced with the military strengthening of China and Russia, the Japanese government is accelerating the capacity building of the self-defense forces in the field of space, cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum. According to a senior official Self-defense forces, it is essential to have advantages in these new areas. Because, in the same way as in the conventional domains of land, sea and air, it is necessary to guarantee the effectiveness of the capacities of communication and deployment of the troops. An 80-member electronic warfare unit was launched in March on a base of the Ground Self-Defense Force in the town of Kumamoto, in the southwest of the country. The unit detects and analyzes naval and air communications as well as radar emissions from neighboring countries. It will also be responsible for disrupting enemy communications and radars if necessary. Five other similar units are expected to be set up with their headquarters at Camp Asaka, in the metropolitan region of Tokyo, by March 2022.

Coastal redevelopment following the tsunami

Pine trees are growing again along the coastline of Takata Matsubara thanks to efforts to restore the famous pine forests swept away by the tsunami caused by the great earthquake of March 2011 in eastern Japan. Before the earthquake, this stretch of beach, about 2 kilometers long, was lush with some 70,000 pine trees. It was a popular spot with bathers, which was even designated as a place of scenic beauty by the national government. But the 2011 tsunami swallowed up the pine forests of Takata Matsubara, leaving behind only one tree known as the “Miracle pine”. About 90% of the beach was also lost due to the tsunami and land subsidence that the earthquake triggered. In partnership with the departmental government from Iwate and the municipal government of Rikuzentakata, a group has been working since then to restore these pine forests. Their goal of planting 40,000 pine trees in the region should be reached by the end of the month. “We would like to pass on the pine forests as a treasure belonging to the local population”said Katsuji Chida, 72, deputy head of the group.

Carp to decorate the Tokyo Tower

The Golden Week, a famous holiday period for the Japanese, encompasses four different holidays! Added to this is a national holiday which varies slightly from year to year to complete the week. The most emblematic festival of this period is Kodomo no Hi, the “Children’s Day”. Traditionally celebrated on May 5, Kodomo no Hi is meant to be a time to celebrate the health and happiness of children. This boy-centric holiday (girls are celebrated on March 3) actually has very ancient roots, and some say it may have been inspired by similar customs in China. At Japan, in particular, the colorful streamers are a living tradition that brightens the spring sky. A total of 333 colorful koi carp sway in front of the main gate of the 333-meter-high Tokyo Tower in the district of Minato at Tokyo. The decorations are installed around the national holiday of Children’s Day every year. Carp will be on display until Sunday, although observation decks and tower shops are closed due to the state of emergency in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

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