On The Scene
Keeping calm when others can't

Keeping calm when others can’t

Five days on from the Great Tohoku Earthquake, the aftershocks in Tokyo keep coming, both seismic and mental. Last night, Shizuoka prefecture (to Tokyo’s west) shook under the power of a M6.4 quake, and earlier today Chiba and Ibaraki (both affected by the March 11th earthquake) were rattled by a M6.0 aftershock. All the while...

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Guest Post: In the Wake of Disaster We Pause to Reflect

Guest Post: In the Wake of Disaster We Pause to Reflect

[The following guest post comes from Sam Porter, undergraduate at George Washington University writing for Cornell's Diplomacist blog, and currently on exchange at Kyoto University]   The First Tremors It has now been four days since the “Great Sendai Earthquake” struck Japan on March 11th. Relayed in real time over streaming video on countless Japanese...

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Four days in...

Four days in…

Four days ago, Japan was hit by a disastrous earthquake. Residents in the Kanto and Tohoku regions are now in the middle of two very different crises. Up north in Tohoku, the area most affected by the earthquake, tsunami and aftershocks, people are in mortal danger. Around me, in Kanto – particularly the Greater Tokyo...

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The Next Day

The Next Day

Yesterday I experienced the most surreal moments my still short life has had to offer: terra firma swaying like the deck of a storm-stricken ship, and a two-hour walk home through absolute darkness in the outskirts of the world’s largest city. My wife returned home after an eight-hour walk, a fellow refugee from Tokyo in...

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Iron Fist 2011: JSW Video

Here’s some video from the exercise, with commentary thrown in as anotations. The video is not all that useful and more resembles B roll, but it’s all I got. I only had a few hours and was torn between filming tanks, conversations in English, conversations in Japanese, and conversations in English and Japanese. This video...

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Iron Fist 2011: DVIDS Video

Captain Hollenbeck (my host for my visit to Camp Pendleton) and his public affairs people are doing a great job uploading video from the Iron Fist exercise. The Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System is currently hosting more than thirty videos in all, covering everything from rigid inflatable boat training to weapons familiarization. Here’s a...

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Iron Fist 2011: The Mysterious Grenade Launcher

Iron Fist 2011: The Mysterious Grenade Launcher

Saturday afternoon, my wife and I were enjoying Mexican food and margaritas in the lovely San Diego sunshine. We ate at tables on the sidewalk, under thatched umbrellas, people watching. Young men walked by in packs of fours and fives, wearing polo shirts and uniformly short haircuts, and it began to occur to me that...

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Iron Fist 2011: Photostream

Iron Fist 2011: Photostream

I’m back from Camp Pendleton, California, where I observed a portion of the  U.S. – Japan Iron Fist Exercises. I’m still going over my notes (and battling allergies) but I’ve uploaded a set of photos my photographer (wife) Lisa took during the event. Videos and a writeup to follow. Enjoy! (Link: Flickr photostream)

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U.S. – Japanese “Iron Fist” Exercises Begin

U.S. – Japanese “Iron Fist” Exercises Begin

Iron Fist 2011, the annual U.S. – Japanese amphibious warfare exercises kicked off today at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. The exercises, held since 2006, are designed to showcase marine skills, from small boat operations to company-sized live-fire events. The exercise will go on until March 8th. Iron Fist 2009 involves Japan’s Western Infantry...

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