And while no one of these stories itself amounts to an End of the Empire moment, taken together they point definitively to the tectonic change that is coming.
by James Corbett
The International Forecaster
An extraordinary thing happened this week: Taro Kono, Japan’s Defense Minister, got up and announced that the Japanese government would be halting its plan to deploy a new, multi-billion dollar missile defense system. Tokyo had committed itself to buy the Aegis Ashore system from the fine folks at Lockheed Martin back in 2017, a.k.a. the height of the hysteria over North Korea’s missile provocations. But Kono has put the plans “on hold” indefinitely, citing budget and schedule overruns.
What makes this announcement so unusual is that it took everyone by surprise. Not just the governors of the prefectures where the system was to be sited—who, according to Kyodo News were only informed about the change in plans in a last-minute phone call—but even the US government, which Nikkei Asian Review reports was not informed of the decision ahead of time.
What? Japan scrapping a multi-billion dollar defense deal with a key US contractor without warning? What’s going on here?