Plans Are In Motion to “Take Down” America

The “black dot” is on the United States. There really hasn’t been a country called the United States for some years.

Our constitution, flawed and inadequate failed entirely when it came to protecting us from a series of coups through assassinations, rigged elections and false flag terrorism.

The worst flaw, the US Supreme Court, 5 activist maniacs, the two ”America killing acts,” the 2000 election that brought us 9/11, the depression, the wars and “Citizens United,” which turned the US over to organized crime, no longer simply Meyer Lansky, the Bush family, but something far more insidious.

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Ahmadinejad: Democracy Not Possible through NATO's Guns

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lashed out at the West for pursuing a militaristic approach under the guise of expansion of democracy.

"Democracy cannot be established through NATO's guns and through war and conflict," Ahmadinejad said speaking in a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari on the sidelines of the 12th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (OIC) in Baku today.

He called on the regional states to keep vigilant against the plots of the arrogant powers, and said, "They (arrogant powers) have been ruling over the region for 100 years and intend to continue this domination over the region today."

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Collision of Navy Ships Prompts Pentagon Inquiry

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The Pentagon is investigating a collision over the weekend involving a Navy nuclear submarine and an Aegis cruiser off the East Coast.

Full story here


CIA seeks to expand drone fleet, officials say

The CIA is urging the White House to approve a significant expansion of the agency’s fleet of armed drones, a move that would extend the spy service’s decade-long transformation into a paramilitary force, U.S. officials said.

The proposal by CIA Director David H. Petraeus would bolster the agency’s ability to sustain its campaigns of lethal strikes in Pakistan and Yemen and enable it, if directed, to shift aircraft to emerging al-Qaeda threats in North Africa or other trouble spots, officials said.

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Israeli navy takes over Gaza-bound ship

The Israeli navy took over a Gaza- bound ship carrying international pro-Palestinian activists Saturday, Israel Radio reported.

The radio quoted an Israeli army spokesperson as saying that the operation to intercept Estelle, the Finnish-flagged Swedish ship, was in accordance with a government decision to prevent the boat from reaching Gaza.

The aim of the ship is to challenge Israel’s naval blockade on the Hamas-controlled enclave. It carries symbolic humanitarian aid and activists from Europe and Canada, including some parliamentarians.

Report here


Selling War to the Public – An Interview with James Corbett


Interview with James Corbett of The Corbett Report pertaining to war propaganda, the ongoing crisis in Syria and the role of what he describes as “the real alternative media”. The real alternative media is independent and grassroots, and is not funded by the NGOs or foundations. Devon DB begs the question: How can people break free from the current system of oppression and media disinformation?

* * *

Devon DB: What is your opinion of the ongoing crisis in Syria?

James Corbett: The crisis in Syria can only be understood through the lens of what the mainstream Western media is leaving out of their reporting, namely the ongoing, on-the-record support of outside actors in arming, equipping, and training the so-called “opposition” that is currently waging a ground war against the Syrian government.

This help is coming in the form of equipment and tactical involvement from the US State Department and the CIA, arms and supplies from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, logistical support and operational bases in Turkey, and armed militants associated with Al Qaeda and other Wahabbi Sunni terror organizations from Libya, Iraq, and elsewhere. In this context, the constant demands of Clinton and other Western representatives for Russia to “stop arming Assad” can be seen as the hypocritical and deeply dishonest position that it is.

In fact, the entire conflict can only be understood when it is seen not as the spontaneous outgrowth of a popular internal resistance, as portrayed by the West, but as a foreign-funded and armed terrorist insurgency whose open terror campaign of car bombings, ethnic cleansing and other war crimes are consistently praised as heroic by the new “humanitarian interventionists” of the neoliberal imperialist set. Given what has taken place in Libya in recent days, those gun-ho interventionists who are currently praising the “Syrian freedom fighters” would be well-served to contemplate who it is they are helping to bring to power in Damascus.

Devon DB: Many in the alternative media are focusing on the actions of the rebels, while, some would say, ignoring the actions of the Assad regime. This usually results in one being accused of being a regime supporter. Why do you think that the focus is so much on the rebels rather than on the regime and how would you respond to such accusations as being a regime supporter?

James Corbett: Selling war to the public has always involved portraying the issue as a clear-cut case of black and white, good and evil. Once the issue is framed in that way, anyone who opposes the war can be portrayed as a supporter of evil. In every instance, the case for peace is effectively taken off the table by arguing that “if you’re not for the war, you’re supporting X,” where X is the boogeyman du jour.

This has transitioned easily from the Bush era “axis of evil” and “war on terror” to the Obama era of “humanitarian intervention.” The rhetoric and reasoning are virtually identical, but they have been transposed into a liberal-friendly context. This thinking necessarily begs the question of who gets to decide who to “help” and what groups will take over in the aftermath. I do not support Assad any more than I supported Gaddafi or Assad. But neither do I support Mugabe, or the Al Khalifa dynasty in Bahrain, or the House of Saud, or Netanyahu, or any of the other leaders of repressive regimes. Why is one leader demonized and the other feted? The answer is obvious.

So the question is whether refusing to support the bombing and military invasion of a foreign country is morally equivalent to supporting that government’s leader. This comes down to the question of moral responsibility. As a Canadian citizen in Japan I have absolutely no control over what happens in Syria. I do have a say over what the Canadian government does, what actions it takes, and what its military does. When it lends its support to the bombardment of Libya, I become implicated in the deaths of those civilians who were killed in those strikes. So it is up to us to stop the violence, bloodshed and power grabs made by our leaders under the guise of “humanitarian intervention” as it is up to the people of Syria to deal with the Assad government however they can. This is the nature of moral responsibility.

Devon DB: In the alternative media, we have read and heard time and again that the situation is Syria could lead to “a World War 3 scenario.” Do you actually think that this is possible?

James Corbett: If NATO were to roll into Damascus tomorrow with guns blazing, there would be military repercussions. Russia has face to save in the Syria situation as well as strategic interests to protect in the country, so it would not sit idly by while the country is taken over by a foreign military. This is precisely why there has been no direct military intervention by any outside military, nor is there likely to be barring some international outrage like a false flag event.

More worrying, perhaps, is the relentless, years-long campaign by Israel to drum up support for a military strike on Iran. Such an event is very much on the table, very much a possibility, and would almost inevitably draw Russia, China, and other military powers into armed conflict with the NATO powers, which very well could lead to a third world war scenario.

Devon DB: Switching gears now, how would you define alternative media and what do you think its purpose is?

James Corbett: There are two types of alternative media. There is the establishment alternative media and the real alternative media. The establishment alternative media is usually funded (at least partially) by the big name foundations and NGOs with ties back to the usual cast of behind-the-scenes oligarchs. They will present differing views from the mainstream media, and often offer more balanced, thoughtful and contextual reports to their audience. When it comes to key paradigmatic issues like the necessity of R2P or the responsibility of Al Qaeda for 9/11, however, they will circle the wagons and defend the system.

The real alternative media is independent and grassroots, and is not funded by the NGOs or foundations. As a citizen journalist movement, it cannot be defined by any particular ideology or viewpoint; it is a representative of the population at large. Given this media landscape, it is tempting to portray the mainstream and establishment alternative media as inherently bad and the real alternative media as inherently good, but this is too simplistic.

The establishment media occasionally does good work and often reports true facts (with heavy amounts of spin and lies by omission). The establishment alternative media contains some of the best critiques of the prevailing mainstream opinion, even if those critiques are careful never to cross certain lines. The real alternative media is completely unmuzzled, but it is also unfiltered. There will be brilliant examples of truly independent reporting and analysis, and there will be dreadful examples of unreasoned speculation. No one medium is inherently good, and it is up to all of us to do the (sometimes laborious) work of piecing together the truth from a myriad of sources, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, good points and blind spots.

Devon DB: What role would you say the Corbett Report plays in the overall alternative media scene?

James Corbett: The Corbett Report is nothing more nor less than my own attempt to fill in the context that is being left out of much of the so-called debate in the mainstream and establishment alternative media. Initially spurred on by the dreadful lack of contextualization of the events of 9/11 in the media, I have branched out my own investigation into economic, social, geopolitical, scientific and philosophical matters. Through my tendency to link back all of my factual statements to source documents, I hope to be in the process of creating a resource that will be valuable for those who are seeking to come to a better understanding of the world at large.

Devon DB: Why do you think more and more people seem to be turning to the alternative media?

James Corbett: The internet has surpassed newspapers and is the process of eclipsing television as the main source for news and information for most people. This means necessarily that more people are turning to the types of alternative media outlets that can only be found on the web to keep them informed about the world. There are a number of technological and social factors that are playing into this transformation, but the number one issue has to be the public’s growing awareness of the information controls that exist in the traditional media. With the internet, people are suddenly able to become their own editors, deciding what stories are important, what sources are reliable, and what pieces of information are worth pursuing.
Why would anyone relinquish the power that comes from this very liberating experience of the world of information back into the hands of a few corporations run by the same few rich, well-connected men who have a vested interest in keeping the current order the way it is? And now that social media and blogging are making the tools for creating media platforms accessible by nearly everyone on the planet, the very idea that “news” is something that is organized by some centralized company in New York or London or Tokyo is being overthrown. The end of the old media paradigm is already here, the newspaper, magazine and tv companies just don’t know it yet.

Devon DB: In your podcasts and radio shows, you have used the term “global enslavement grid” or variations of it. What exactly do you mean by that term?

James Corbett: The global enslavement grid is an interlocking system of economic, social, political and psychological controls that have been put in place to direct society toward a planned future global government structure. Although it has existed in some form or other for centuries (and, presumably, millennia), its modern form can be traced back to the British eugenicists of the late 19th century and the Fabian socialists of the early 20th century. One can trace a line stretching from Francis Galton to Paul Ehrlich, going through such figures as H.G. Wells, Julian Huxley, Walter Lippmann, B.F. Skinner and Bertrand Russell, amongst others, who were all obsessed with the problem of how to create a well-ordered society through scientific methods. To one extent or another, they all wrestled with the question of society and how it is to be governed, as well as the possibility of using scientific methods to control the lower strata of society for the benefit of a ruling elite.

We see this coming to fruition in the creation of the modern surveillance society, where the centuries-old idea of the panopticon is being implemented at a societal level, and in the modern environmental movement, which has produced in many the conviction that humanity itself is a cancer and that the control (and eventual eradication) of humans is in itself a good thing. The history of the development of this enslavement grid and the ways that it operates is too large to encapsulate in short form like this, and it’s difficult to do justice to an idea this expansive in so few words. Articulating the enslavement grid has been one of the primary goals of my website, which has so far produced thousands of hours of media and will hopefully be able to produce many thousands more, exploring this idea and its development, as well as fruitful forms of resistance for those who are opposed to this agenda.

Devon DB: How do you think people can unplug from this matrix that has been created by the elites and is fed to us on a daily basis?

James Corbett: The most important thing people can do (and what I have come to believe is the only thing that people can do) is to realize that the power to change society truly rests with you. We tend to shunt off the big questions about “how to change the world” to the political arena, where we can support this or that political movement or put our hopes in this or that political candidate. This is part of the global enslavement grid itself. By constantly focusing on what is outside of us and waiting for a savior to come and put society back in order, we are ceding our power over our own lives to the very corporate-military-banking-governmental superstructure that is creating the global dictatorship that we are seeking to resist. Worse yet, we continue to support that very structure in the most straightforward way possible: by buying their products, shopping at their stores, banking at their banks, and voting for their politicians. How can we possibly presume to have any effect on changing the current course of society when we are still supporting the very corporations, businesses, governments and institutions that are behind it with our time, money, and energy on a day to day basis?

The only solution is to begin to create the alternative society that we want to live in. That means beginning the long, hard process of decoupling ourselves from the corporate/retail/banking system that we are born into and transitioning into a local, independent economy that bypasses that corporate structure altogether. There are thousands of ways to do this: growing your own food, buying what you need at local markets and independent retailers, participating in local alternative currency systems, supporting independent alternative media and detaching ourselves from the technology that is increasingly embedding us in this matrix. It is not an easy process, and in all likelihood it is a generational project. But it will not begin unless we take those first steps.

James Corbett is an independent journalist based in Japan. He is the producer of The Corbett Report. He is also producer and film director for Global Research TV.

Devon DB is a 20 year old independent writer and researcher. He is studying political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He can be contacted at devondb[at]mail[dot]com.


James Stewart on Prosecuting Corporations for War Crimes

October 17th, 2012

Why have there been no criminal prosecutions of corporations for international war crimes?

Crimes like pillage – the theft of natural resources during wartime?

That’s a question that James Stewart wants answered.

He’s a Global Hauser Fellow at NYU Law School.

And he has authored a recent paper on the subject – A Pragmatic Critique of Corporate Criminal Theory: Atrocity, Commerce and Accountability.

Stewart was moved by the atrocities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he spent time over the past decade or so.

“In 2001, the United Nations Security Council established this investigative body to assess the extent to which illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Congo exacerbated massive violence,” Stewart told Corporate Crime Reporter in an interview last week. “Something like 4.2 million civilians were killed in the Congo since 1998,” Stewart said. “And this panel of experts over the space of three years comes up with an extremely detailed report that names 84 companies as having illegally exported natural resources from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is a very important issue, because illegal exploitation of natural resources has surpassed superpower sponsorship as one of the most prominent means of conflict financing since the end of the Cold War.”

“Any aggrieved party in a country that is rich in natural resources can exploit diamonds and gold and tin and all sorts of minerals and natural resources. They use the proceeds from this to buy weapons through the illegal weapons trade. And they use those weapons to continue a conflict characterized by massive human rights violations.”

“It produces this kind of vicious triangle. At the top of the triangle is the continuing of violence. And at the two peripheries is illegal exploitation of natural resources and illicit weapons flows. And it strikes me that we focus too much on the apex of the triangle. We focus far too much on mopping up – murder, rape, torture – after everything has run its course. It’s better to intervene and focus on the bottom two peripheries of the triangle, for which a great number of international corporate actors are engaged and responsible.”

“There is no shortage of companies that have been named for having violated arms embargoes by selling weapons to notoriously brutal regimes all over the world. There is no end of allegations against companies for having purchased natural resources from warlords. They certainly didn’t have title to the natural resources that they sold to companies. And in a way, these practices have been ongoing for a very long time, in part because there has never been any accountability whatsoever.”

“Part of the work that I’m doing is trying to bring accountability to a field where there has been none.”

Which international prosecutor would be inclined to bring such a case?

“My greatest interest is not in international institutions at all,” Stewart says. “It is in domestic courts prosecuting their own corporations. That is so much more legitimate. Things are structured in such a way that states are starting to prosecute their own nationals for international crimes, which is a massive shift. And prosecuting corporations is the next stage in that shift.”

What is an example of a state prosecuting its own nationals for one of these types of crimes?

“Britain recently prosecuted its own soldiers for war crimes in Iraq,” Stewart says. “The Netherlands prosecuted two of its business people for international crimes through selling weapons. There are no examples of corporate criminal liability on this level just yet, but I sense that is the next inevitable stage.”

“Part of my work is to point out there already is a legal regime in place to address it, but it’s just latent and general. Take the idea of pillage – theft during war.”

“Companies that steal natural resources by purchasing them from warlords that have no title in them, can be held responsible for the war crime of pillage. Pillage is a war crime within the United States. And any reference to “person” includes a corporation. And the War Crimes Act in the United States covers any person who commits a war crime including pillage.”

“So, my research says – please stop saying that corporations can’t be responsible for international crimes. Here is how it works in about 16 countries around the world. We should start exercising this power if we are serious about accountability.”

If you were a prosecutor and had the ability to prosecute these cases, would you have in mind a hierarchy of cases to investigate?

“I would be very focused on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. You don’t have to scratch the surface very deep to find all kinds of evidence against a range of corporations – including U.S. corporations.”

“The situation has gotten to the point where companies are very complacent because there has never been any accountability. Can you imagine what happens in any situation where there is absolutely no accountability? It produces a culture of complacency.”

“The problem globally is endemic. It’s not difficult to find cases.”

“Let’s look at the mineral coltan, which is necessary for cell phones and laptops. The only place in the world – other than the Democratic Republic of the Congo – that produces coltan in significant quantities, is Australia.”

“And sometime around the year 2000, Australia stopped producing coltan for a period of time. And it spiked the price of coltan globally ten fold or thereabouts. And this produced a tremendous effect on atrocities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as warring parties vied for control over resource rich areas. They would steal the resources. Ownership meant nothing. They would forcibly take the resources. They will sell them to willing foreign companies that would purchase them. And they use the proceeds to buy weapons to continue mass violations of human rights. This is part of the dynamic that has been taking place over time.”

We put it to Stewart that the corporate crime establishment in the United States, the Justice Department and the major defense firms – would fear the slippery slope. You are talking about Darfur, Sudan, Congo. What they are worried about is Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine.

If the Iraq war was illegal and unconstitutional, can corporations be held liable for selling weapons to the illegal aggressor? Can corporations be held liable for funding an illegal occupation? You would then be moving from a project they would be interested in – big corporations being the victims of pillage – to a project they would not be interested in – big corporations funding illegal aggression.

“That just comes back to the point of the power of corporations,” Stewart says. “There is no way of getting around that problem. Corporations are especially powerful and they have ties to powerful governments. But I don’t think that defeats the project. There are opportunities for accountability which are new. And it’s not going to be a perfect system because politics will always interfere at some level. But it is going to be a system that brings greater teeth to the desire to deal with extractive industries involved with blood diamonds or weapons being sold to notoriously brutal regimes.”

What about making the case for criminal prosecution of the five major defense contractors in the United States for complicity in illegal U.S. wars?

“The illegal U.S. wars are not technically the type of crime I’m interested in. And probably there is no basis to prosecute. The technical term for an illegal war is aggression. And there is almost no basis on which one can prosecute aggression in any domestic or international court.”

Stewart says that after World War II, “there was this project of international criminal justice which led to tribunals and courts.”

“After World War II, pretty much all countries implemented international crimes into their own national criminal systems. The best example of that in the United States is the War Crimes Act. Federal courts in this country have jurisdiction over war crimes. This happens in lots of different places around the world.”

“But aggression did not figure into these national legal systems. And generally speaking, aggression did not figure within the crimes that new international tribunals after Nuremberg incorporated.”

“There is some outside nebulous chance that there could be these sorts of prosecutions, but the chances of them are much less than a prosecution for pillaging natural resources, because pillage already exists in the United States, Australia, Britain, France and Germany.”

The United States currently does not criminalize wars of aggression?

“The United States does not. Very few countries do.”

Were the Nuremberg prosecutions of corporations for complicity in wars of aggression?

“After the Second World War, there were no companies prosecuted,” Stewart says. “But business people were prosecuted, some for complicity in wars of aggression. But the vast majority were prosecuted for pillaging natural resources.”

“The Nazi government sent business people into Russia and Poland and everywhere else, and they just took over mines. And they just stole massive quantities of natural resources to fuel the German war machine. And in a way, that is not very different from what warlords are doing in Africa. They are exploiting natural resources that they don’t own in order to sustain their war machines.”

“That was one set of cases. Another set of cases had to do with the business people who sold the chemical Zyklon B to Auschwitz. They were prosecuted for complicity in murder because they provided the means for the extermination. That’s a very extreme example, but it’s the very same legal methodology which has broad implications for weapon vendors selling all sorts of weapons to brutal regimes.”

[For the complete q/a transcript of the Interview with James Stewart, see 26 Corporate Crime Reporter 40(12), October 15, 2012, print edition only.]


Pak Army chief to undertake official visit to Russia this month

The Pakistani Ministry of defence today announced that General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Chief of Army Staff will be visiting Russia later this month.

As per the announcement, the visit is being taken out upon the invitation of Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, General Nikolai Makarov. Pakistani media reported that the exact timing of the trip hasn’t been fixed yet, but hinted that it will happen before the scheduled visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is expected to arrive in Islamabad on October 2.

The Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari had visited Moscow on 11th May 2012, to discuss various regional issues with his Russian counterpart. The two also held talks regarding the BMRE (Balancing, Modernization, Revamping and Expansion) for the armed forces, as well as the possible Russian technological support for the expansion of the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM). Zardari had recently announced that the enhancement of the Russo-Pakistani defence cooperation is one of his prime targets.

Putin is expected to arrive in Pakistan on October 2, for a two-day visit. Regional issues such as terrorism, security, business relations, and economic cooperation are likely to be taken up during the talks between Putin and Zardari. On October 3rd, Pakistan will be hosting a top level quadrilateral summit, in which the heads of state from Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan will attend. The main focus of the summit will be the prevention of terrorism in the Central Asian region.

The diplomatic relations between Russia and Pakistan has remained strained, ever since the 1960s when Pakistan aligned itself with the US side during the cold war. The situation was worsened following the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Pakistan provided refuge and support for the Afghan rebels, who were engaged in a bloody war against the Soviet occupiers for almost one decade.

Even after the breakup of the Soviet Union, the diplomatic relations between Russia and Pakistan remained more or less indifferent. However, the recent frictions in the US-Pak relations seems to have forced Pakistan to mend bridges with the Eurasian nation, which is looking forward to expand its presence in the Central and Southern Asia.



Exercise to protect China

The drill comes amid a festering territorial dispute with Japan.

When asked about the exercises, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday that Beijing is determined to protect its territory and called on Japan to return to negotiations.

The exercise is likely a hard-line response from Beijing to a joint US-Japan drill targeting the Diaoyu Islands, experts and media have said.

Friday's drill involved all the major Chinese maritime forces, from warships to maritime patrol and fishery administration ships.

A fleet of 11 vessels and eight aircraft participated in the one-day drill. According to reports, the navy sent at least two missile destroyers as well as fighter planes and a hospital ship.

It was based on the scenario of the navy sending warships and aircraft to protect Chinese law enforcement ships damaged in deliberate collisions by foreign ships in the East China Sea.

The drill was announced by Xinhua News Agency late on Thursday.

China has previously sent maritime surveillance ships and fisheries patrol vessels to waters near the islands as the territorial row escalated.

On Tuesday, Japanese military aircraft spotted seven Chinese warships not far from the disputed islands. China said the ships were on a routine training mission.

Xinhua said patrol vessels from the fishery administration and the marine surveillance agencies have recently been stalked and harassed by foreign vessels while carrying out missions.

Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po quoted a military critic as saying that the"high-profile notice" of Friday's drill is very rare as the PLA usually announces its exercises a few days after the actions finish.

It is deliberately showing China's law enforcement capabilities in the East China Sea, it said.

Xia Ziming, deputy head of the Directorate of Operations of the East China Sea Fleet headquarters, told China National Radio that this is the first time for the navy, maritime surveillance and fishery administration agencies to have a joint drill.

“It is the largest one in recent years," Xia said.

The Ministry of National Defense also posted reports high on its website, though it has yet to comment directly on the drill.

When asked about the exercise, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei on Friday gave no direct answer, but said the Chinese government"is resolute and determined to safeguard national territorial sovereignty".

Japan should be the one to take the responsibility for the escalating tensions, Hong said at a daily briefing.

“We hope the Japanese side can squarely face the realities, correct mistakes and come back to the track of resolving the Diaoyu Islands dispute through negotiations," Hong said.

Smooth coordination between military and civilian organs is the most prominent feature of this drill, Song Xiaojun, a military affairs commentator, told China Central Television.

“China hopes to solve maritime disputes through peaceful negotiations, while such peaceful means is actually based on our administrative bodies' and navy's capabilities to handle security issues," he said.

It's rare but important for the aircraft to join the"multi-dimension" drill as information sharing and coordination between vessels and aircraft should be improved, said Li Jie, a researcher from the Naval Military Studies Research Institute.

“Various law enforcement forces have to properly work together as maritime rights can hardly be safeguarded solely by the navy now," he said.

Feng Wei, an expert on Japanese studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, said the drill has sent a clear warning signal to Japan.

But Japan's sense of crisis might also grow in the face of China's soaring naval strength, he noted.

South Korea's Yonghap News Agency quoted an expert on foreign policies as saying that the drill is"obviously targeted at the US-Japan joint exercise" and exerting pressure on Japan.

The Friday drill has come on the eve of a joint military drill between Washington and Tokyo scheduled to start on Nov 5, which will involve the simulated retaking of a remote island from foreign forces.

This is the first time Japan and the US have had an"island retaking" drill on a Japanese offshore island.

In another move, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Oct 14 reviewed a major exercise marking the 60th anniversary of Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force, and was quoted saying that Japan faces"severe" challenges to its security.

Furthermore, Japan's Nippon Foundation on Friday announced it was abolishing an exchange program for field grade officers from the PLA and Japan's Self-Defense Forces that it started sponsoring in 2001.

The decision was made after the Chinese side asked to delay this year's activities due to the tensions.

Feng Wei from Fudan University said China-Japan military ties, which have been flagging in recent years, were further hampered by the cancellation.

China's exercise also takes place after dozens of Japanese parliamentary members, including two Cabinet ministers, visited the Yasukuni Shrine that honors Japan's war dead, including 14 Class-A war criminals.

Chinese media slammed the head of Japan's top opposition party Shinzo Abe for also going, calling his visit a provocation.

Tensions sharply rose between Beijing and Tokyo after the Japanese government last month"nationalized" some of the Diaoyu Islands.

The move took ties between the world's second- and third-largest economies to the chilliest moment in decades. Anti-Japan protests broke out across China and hurt sales of Japanese-made products.

Contact the writer at

AFP and AP contributed to the story.

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