Thursday, July 30, 2015

Patrolling the Pacific: Japanese Juncture

The narrative will read that it was China, in a sneak attack, that fired the first shot:

"Japanese PM pledges to limit use of military; Shinzo Abe aims to ease public opposition to stronger forces" by Isabel Reynolds and Maiko Takahashi Bloomberg News  May 15, 2015

TOKYO — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to limit Japan’s use of military power as he sought to calm public opposition and regional nervousness over legislation allowing its forces to defend other countries.

Abe’s Cabinet approved the bills in Tokyo on Thursday as hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets outside the prime minister’s office shouting, ‘‘protect the constitution’’ and ‘‘Abe resign.’’

Looks like good advice. I'm always amazed that the people never want war.

‘‘We will continue to keep our pledge of not waging war, while protecting the lives and peaceful living of the Japanese people,’’ Abe told reporters on Thursday. ‘‘Based on this determination, we made a Cabinet decision today to approve security bills that will ensure the peace and stability of Japan and the world. In this age, no one country can defend itself alone.’’

Abe has vowed to pass the legislation this summer to back up his reinterpretation of the pacifist constitution and last month’s revision of joint Japan-US defense guidelines to expand the alliance globally. Since taking office more than two years ago, he’s loosened a ban on arms exports and reversed a slide in defense spending amid a territorial spat with an increasingly assertive China.

Abe said that ties with the United States were ‘‘stronger than ever’’ and any attack on Japan’s only formal ally in waters near Japan would trigger a crisis.

That's ominous. Perfect conditions for a self-serving false flag. Chinese and Japanese would know all about it.

The legislation has riled China and South Korea, the biggest victims of Japan’s wartime aggression, and faces vocal opposition at home, where pacifism runs deep and polls indicate that more than 40 percent of Japanese oppose the plan.

I think the riling is more the U.S. military machine behind all this, and God bless the Japanese people.

‘‘The bills are part of a gradual expanding of the envelope that has been going on since the 1990s,’’ said Robert Dujarric, director of the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University Japan Campus. ‘‘There are limits to what the democratic government can do as the electorate remains wedded to pacifism, and even hawkish members of Abe’s party are unlikely to take major risks on foreign policy.’’

Dujarric added that despite Japan facing threats from China and North Korea, much of the Self-Defense Forces are devoted to deterrence and there isn’t much ‘‘surplus’’ left for overseas operations.


Abe also said that Japanese citizens have been the victims of terrorism in Algeria, Syria, and Tunisia over the past two years and warned that most of Japan is within range of North Korea’s ballistic missiles.

Designed too draw them into that theater.

Concerns over Abe’s defense policy have contributed to a souring of relations with China and South Korea. Both Chinese President Xi Jinping and his South Korean President Park Geun-hye expressed concern after Abe reinterpreted the constitution last year.

She's unpopular, but they are talking.

An association of South Korean civic groups issued a sterner statement. They said the bills ‘‘mercilessly trample on the pacifist constitution, tear down the authority of the United Nations as a collective security mechanism, and run counter to the US-Japan defense treaty.’’

But the U.S. wants this.

Abe still has much to do to convince people that legislation is needed. A Yomiuri newspaper poll published Monday showed 46 percent of respondents in favor of the legislation with 41 percent against — the first time support has exceeded opposition. Some 48 percent said the bills shouldn’t be passed in the current parliament session due to end next month.

They weren't, but were filed shortly after.


Time to get the equipment in place:

"Ban lifted, Japanese companies cautiously look to export arms" by Jonathan Soble New York Times   July 13, 2015

YOKOHAMA, Japan — Some of Japan’s biggest companies, best known for motorcycles, washing machines, and laptop computers, are pitching a new line of global products: military hardware.


Quiet-running attack submarines. Amphibious search-and-rescue planes. Ship-mounted radar systems that use lasers to help pinpoint approaching enemies.

After a ban on weapons exports that the Japanese government had maintained for nearly 50 years, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, Hitachi, Toshiba, and other military contractors in this semipacifist country are cautiously but unmistakably telling the world they are open for business.

War is good bu$ine$$. No wonder there are so many of them.

Related: Toshiba Told Tall Tales About Profit 

War can only help, huh?

A maritime security exposition here in May was the first military industry trade show in Japan, organizers and participants said. And it was the first anywhere to feature the Japanese manufacturers. Sort of wondering

“I’ve never seen them,” said Major General Mick Fairweather, a procurement specialist with the Australian armed forces who regularly attends such expos around the world. “It’s going to be a growing thing.”

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe lifted the prohibition on military exports last year, part of a loosening of restrictions on Japan’s military power that were put in place after its defeat in World War II.

While much of the Japanese public opposes the changes, Abe says they are long overdue. The growing might of China, Japan’s close but not always friendly neighbor, has added force to his argument.

When did they invade Japan and commit horrific atrocities?

Abe is counting on increased military-related trade to help cement ties with other countries in the region that share Japan’s wariness of China. Southeast Asian nations and India are high on the list of potential customers.

Japan hopes Australia, a fellow Pacific democracy, will be a receptive market for Soryu-class submarines, built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Shipbuilding. The subs, which cost about 50 billion yen, or $410 million, use ultraquiet diesel-electric drives that make them hard for adversaries to detect.

Mitsubishi Heavy is also working on a prototype amphibious assault vehicle, used for landing troops on hostile seashores, that could eventually compete with American-designed vehicles used by the Marine Corps.

We will get to the troop landings later.

Some of the country’s large industrial conglomerates have long had sidelines in military production, supplying a variety of equipment, including tanks and planes, to the Japanese military, the Self-Defense Forces. With rare exceptions, the Japanese government has been their only customer.

Japan's Military-Industrial Complex.

“When you don’t fight wars, it doesn’t exactly help the arms industry,” said Masahiro Matsumura, a professor at Momoyama Gakuin University who specializes in politics and national security.

And cui bono?

Only four Japanese companies are among the top 100 arms producers ranked by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a watchdog group. The biggest, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, earns less than a 10th the revenue from military sales as the top US military contractor, Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed is involved in so much more.

Small production runs make Japanese hardware relatively expensive, Matsumura said. And a lack of real-world experience presents an additional hurdle.

“The US fights a lot of wars, so they get feedback on the performance of their weapons,” he said. “Japan doesn’t fight, so there’s no feedback.”

More and more it is performing like crap. Could the real goal be just to wave fake tension in front of us all to justify the waste of the war machine? Weapons made not caring if they work, plus cost overrun?

Japan has not sent troops into combat since World War II, and its postwar constitution renounces the use of force “as a means of settling international disputes.” 

For use only in defense.

Among the changes Abe’s government is enacting are new laws that will allow the Self-Defense Forces to operate abroad in a wider array of circumstances, including to defend allies like the United States.

India has expressed interest in a large-capacity seaplane, the US-2, built for the Japanese navy by ShinMaywa Industries, a manufacturer better known for dump trucks and the passenger boarding bridges used at airports. The US-2 could help the Indian military patrol distant island chains like the Andaman and Nicobar, hundreds of miles from the mainland across the Indian Ocean.

Related: World War III: Patrolling the Indian Ocean

I had been hanging back on reporting from there for a while, but after taking a drink I decided to march troops through the countryside, over the mountain, and through Nepal before stampeding through Bangladesh to Myanmar, where an election is due to be held. I then headed down the coast to Thailand to liberate the concentration camps and battle ISIS.

Well, I can see the coast of Malaysia now, and that would get us back into the Pacific.

Also seeObama’s Wars Have Created More Refugees Than Hitler and Tojo Combined

Now you know who is responsible for the Asian as well as the European migrant crisis.

Breaking into a market dominated by established giants, often with close ties to governments, will not be easy. In many areas, specialists say, Japan’s best bet is probably to cooperate rather than compete head-to-head.

Japan’s most marketable products, they say, are relatively inconspicuous components, like image sensors and carbon-fiber aircraft parts, many originally developed with civilian applications in mind.

“We make some excellent parts and subsystems, but if we intend to produce whole systems, like next-generation fighters, it’s impossible to develop these things on our own,” said Satoshi Morimoto, a former defense minister.

Japanese companies already sell a small number of high-tech military components to the United States, such as missile-tracking sensors used in ballistic missile defense systems, under exceptions to the export ban introduced beginning in the 1980s.

Despite their new freedom to export, Japanese companies remain wary of being associated with a controversial industry.

“Most of the things here aren’t very weaponlike,” said Yoshibumi Kusaka, a helicopter sales representative on duty at Kawasaki’s booth at the expo, noting the absence of guns, missiles and other blatantly threatening gear from the Japanese companies’ displays.


Now that the equipment and munitions are in place they can send in the troops:

"Japan moves to let its troops fight overseas; Opponents cite pacifist nature in constitution" by Yuki Oda and Anna Fifield Washington Post  July 16, 2015

TOKYO — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s vision of a stronger Japan moved a step closer to becoming reality on Wednesday, when a key parliamentary committee approved legislation that would allow Japanese troops to fight overseas for the first time since World War II.

But the move sparked vehement criticism, with opposition lawmakers yelling and pushing in the usually staid Parliament in an attempt to block the vote, while protests erupted nationwide in a rare outpouring of public anger.

‘‘Abe, resign!’’ and ‘‘Stop fascists!’’ protesters shouted Wednesday night outside the Diet, where as many as 60,000 people gathered in the rain, according to the organizer, Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy.

The protest was not raucous. The group advised protesters to drink plenty of water on a muggy night, urged them not to argue with police, and organized trash collection.

Under the US-written pacifist constitution imposed after World War II, Japan was not permitted to maintain a military and can act to defend itself only if facing a direct attack. In 1954, Japan created the Self-Defense Forces, which can be deployed only within Japanese territory. It has participated in peace-keeping operations.

The legislation approved Wednesday by a special committee of the lower house consisted of two bills that would allow the Japan Self-Defense Forces to aid the United States if it came under attack and be deployed overseas to support another army in combat.

They won't be in the lead this time.

Abe, who has pledged to return Japan to a ‘‘normal’’ footing, said the changes are needed to fend off China and to support the United States, its closest ally. This has heightened concerns in China and South Korea, worried about what they see as Abe’s historical revisionism regarding Japan’s actions in World War II and about possible remilitarization.

Do the Japanese people really want to be drawn into another AmeriKan war?

Some in Japan have different concerns. Scholars, including some whom the government presented as expert witnesses before the committee, have deemed the government’s moves to ‘‘reinterpret’’ the constitution as unconstitutional.

What they say would be the more correct path — amending the constitution — is politically impossible because the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner do not control the upper house.

If the ruling bloc wins big in elections next year, it is expected to move toward amending the constitution, although it would probably start with less contentious issues.

A rigged election in the offing?

The proposed changes are highly controversial in Japan, where a majority of the population remains committed to a pacifist constitution.

As the vote approached Wednesday morning, opposition lawmakers swarmed around the committee chairman, Yasukazu Hamada, yelling and pushing as they tried to stop the vote.

Public broadcaster NHK, which airs major parliamentary proceedings, did not telecast the debate live but showed clips on its news broadcasts. NHK is run by an ally of Abe’s, and its coverage is supportive of the prime minister’s efforts.

Katsuya Okada, head of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, accused the governing bloc of ramming through the changes.

‘‘These bills, which are strongly suspected of being unconstitutional and will majorly change security policies, were forcibly passed. I strongly protest against what happened,’’ he told reporters after the vote.

‘‘Prime Minister Abe himself admitted that people’s understanding wasn’t deep, and was it necessary to vote on them [the bills] now? I say no,” Okada added.

An NHK poll published this week found that 41 percent of respondents approved of Abe’s performance as prime minister, down seven points from the previous month. More than half the respondents said there had not been enough discussion in the Diet of the legislation.

The legislation is set to go Thursday to the full lower house, where the ruling bloc has more than enough seats to push it through, before proceeding to the upper house. Although the governing coalition does not have the majority needed there, the measures are expected to pass. 

What opposition?


The bill is moving faster than Japan's Oriental Blitzkreig:

"Bills to expand Japan’s military powers advance" by Jonathan Soble New York Times  July 16, 2015

TOKYO — The lower house of Japan’s Parliament passed legislation Thursday that would give the country’s military limited powers to fight in foreign conflicts for the first time since World War II.

The lawmakers acted despite broad public opposition to the legislation, which has set off Japan’s largest demonstrations since the Fukushima nuclear accident four years ago.

Fukushima surpasses the shame of Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

Opposition lawmakers walked out of Parliament to protest the package of 11 security-related bills, which was championed by the conservative prime minister, Shinzo Abe, and supported by the United States, Japan’s longtime ally and protector. Demonstrators chanted outside Parliament Thursday, despite a gathering typhoon.

The bills represent a break from the strictly defensive stance maintained by Japan in the decades since the war, under which the nation would fight only if directly attacked. Critics, including a majority of Japanese constitutional specialists, said the legislation violates the country’s postwar charter, which renounces war. 

If it violates the constitution, it's a criminal regime.

Abe has spent considerable political capital pushing the bills through. Voters oppose them by a ratio of roughly 2-to-1, according to numerous surveys, and the government’s once-high support ratings fell to around 40 percent in several polls this month.

Abe has presented the package as an unavoidable response to new threats facing Japan, in particular the growing military power of China.

He seized on the murder of two Japanese hostages by Islamic State militants in January as an example of why Japan needs to loosen restrictions on its military, suggesting the hostages might have been rescued had the military been free to act.

Those phony head-chopping videos meant to justify this.

“These laws are absolutely necessary because the security situation surrounding Japan is growing more severe,” he said after the vote Thursday.

China condemned passage of the bills, describing them as a potential threat to peace in Asia and invoking the memory of Japan’s wartime aggression.

I think they are more worried at whose behest it was done.

“We solemnly urge the Japanese side to draw hard lessons from history, stick to the path of peaceful development, respect the major security concerns of its Asian neighbors and refrain from jeopardizing China’s sovereignty and security interests or crippling regional peace and stability,” Hua Chunying, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said in a statement.

They don't want a war.

With opposition lawmakers boycotting the vote, the bills passed with the support of the Liberal Democratic Party, led by Abe, and its smaller coalition partner, Komeito, which controls a majority of seats in the legislature’s lower house, the House of Representatives.

To become law, they must still be approved by the upper chamber, which the coalition also controls.

The upper house is scheduled to debate the legislation for 60 days, keeping the issue in the public eye and potentially fueling more protests.

That's Israel's strategy regarding the U.S. Congre$$ and Iran.

“There is plenty of time for this newfound appetite for opposition to the Abe government to grow,” Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, said online.

Then it better be a lightning attack.


Then it is into the bunker:

"Japan’s secret navy bunker gives glimpse of WWII’s final months" by Mari Yamaguchi Associated Press  June 25, 2015

YOKOHAMA, Japan — On a hillside overlooking an athletic field where high school students play volleyball, an inconspicuous entrance leads down a dusty, slippery slope — and seemingly back in time — to Japan’s secret Imperial Navy headquarters during the final months of World War II.

Here, leaders of Japan’s combined fleet command made plans for the fiercest battles, including those of Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, from late 1944 to the war’s end in August 1945. They knew that kamikaze pilots had crashed to their deaths when signals from their planes stopped. They wept over cables from officers aboard the famed battleship Yamato as it came under heavy US fire and sank off southern Japan.

Today, the barren, concrete tunnels sit quietly underneath a high school and university campus, largely untouched and unknown, occasionally visited by guided tours for the students. This week, the school opened them to the news media for the first time to raise public awareness of the site, and the tragic history it represents, in the 70th anniversary year of the end of World War II.

‘‘It’s a negative heritage that humans made. It’s the perpetrators’ legacy,’’ said Takeshi Akuzawa, assistant headmaster of Keio Senior High School, who escorted the media tour Tuesday. ‘‘Just imagine the massive number of people who had to die in the final year of the war because of their operations.’’

The inverted U-shaped tunnels are a silent reminder of a time when students and many others were sent to war, many to their deaths, under orders that emanated from this bunker under a school.

We don't need reminders. It's happening now.

Experts say its significance is increasing, especially as that era fades from memory and there is a growing reluctance among some Japanese to look at the negative side of their country’s history....

You won't find that here. My entire view of history has been turned upside down.

Hisanao Oshima, who was there from February to May 1945 on a communications crew monitoring Morse code, still cannot forget the moments when he lost signals from kamikaze fighters. This site must be preserved ‘‘so that we can say it’s the proof why we should not wage war ever again,’’ Oshima said.

Japan also built the Matsushiro Imperial Underground Headquarters in central Japan for then-Emperor Hirohito and Imperial Army and key government officials, as they prepared for a possible ground war with the Americans, though that one was never used.

Hundreds of hangers, tunnels, and other wartime remains still exist in Japan, but many have been abandoned as interest has waned.

That's all right; the U.S. will help them build some 21st-century memories.


Another day which will live in infamy:

"Refuel starts at nuclear plant in Japan" Associated Press  July 08, 2015

TOKYO — A Japanese utility has started loading fuel into a nuclear reactor where operations are scheduled to resume next month in the country’s first restart under safety requirements set following the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

Kyushu Electric Power Co. said the first four fuel bundles, lifted by a crane out of a cooling storage pool, were loaded into the Sendai plant’s No. 1 reactor as of late Tuesday. The utility plans to finish loading all 157 fuel bundles Friday ahead of final inspections. The reactor is set for a restart around Aug. 10.

All of Japan’s more than 40 power-generating reactors are off line for repairs or safety checks. Sendai No. 1 is one of 25 reactors seeking restarts. Despite the concerns of some residents, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government wants to get the plants operating to help grow the economy.

Once again, the leadership is ignoring the people.


Don't worry about another tsunamiexplosion, and meltdown. The Japanese Navy is taking to the seas again, with a brand new battle plan created from scratchintended to redeem the nation:

"Japan pledges to help Pacific islands cope with climate change" by Yuri Kageyama Associated Press  May 24, 2015

TOKYO — Japan on Saturday pledged $450 million in aid to Pacific island nations battling rising sea levels and natural calamities as a result of climate change.

Yeah, never you mind the 300 tons of radioactive water leaking into the Pacific every single day since March 11, 2011.

The aid will be distributed over three years to help fight environmental disasters and boost access to clean water, renewable energy, waste management, and related issues.

Taking part in the meeting were Fiji, the Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands, and other nations dotting the Pacific Ocean, some of which are threatened by rising sea levels.

Aren't they under water yet after all this time?

Scientists say the melt of Arctic glaciers is a key factor in the sea level rise that is threatening island nations, many of which are built on coral atolls just a few yards above sea level.

I don't know what to make of the rising level of BS. Their scientists say "New England seas are rising at an annual rate three to four times faster than the global average." Is that possible? Doesn't water disperse and seek the lowest level? 

In a landmark report in 2014, the UN’s expert panel on climate change said oceans could rise by as much as 3.3 feet by the end of this century if no action is taken to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

I'm sick of agenda-pushing scare tactics, too.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed gratitude to the nations’ leaders for helping in recovering the remains of Japanese soldiers killed during World War II, an important issue for Abe this year, the 70th anniversary of the war’s end.

Abe has been eager to turn a new leaf for Japan, in asserting itself in the region not only economically but also in defense and diplomacy, and countering the rise of regional rival China.

On Thursday, Abe announced $110 billion in infrastructure financing for Asia, topping the $100 billion China set for its newly created Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Japan sided with the United States in not joining the 57-country collaboration.

Oh, they didn't join the Chinese bank?


"Massive trash airlift kicks off in Alaska" Associated Press  July 13, 2015

JUNEAU, Alaska — A massive cleanup effort is getting underway in Alaska, with tons of marine debris — some likely sent to sea by the 2011 tsunami in Japan — set to be airlifted from rocky beaches and taken by barge for recycling and disposal in the Pacific Northwest.

Hundreds of heavy-duty bags of debris, collected in 2013 and 2014 and stockpiled at a storage site in Kodiak, also will be shipped out. The barge is scheduled to arrive in Kodiak by Thursday, before setting off on a roughly one-month venture.

The scope of the project, a year in the making, is virtually unheard of in Alaska. It was spurred, in part, by the mass of material that’s washed ashore — things like buoys, fishing lines, plastics and fuel drums — and the high cost of shuttling small boatloads of debris from remote sites to port, said Chris Pallister, president of the cleanup organization Gulf of Alaska Keeper, which is coordinating the effort.

Print version ended there.

The Anchorage landfill also began requiring that fishing nets and lines — common debris items — to be chopped up, a task called impossible by state tsunami marine debris coordinator Janna Stewart.

Pallister estimates the cost of the barge project at up to $1.3 million, with the state contributing $900,000 from its share of the $5 million that Japan provided for parts of the U.S. affected by tsunami debris. Crews in British Columbia will be able to add debris to the barge as it passes through, chipping in if they do. Pallister’s group has committed $100,000. Delays due to weather could drive up costs, which Pallister said is a concern.

The cost to operate the barge is $17,000 a day, Stewart said.

Many of the project sites are remote and rugged. Crews working at sites like Kayak and Montague islands in Prince William Sound, for example, get there by boat and sleep onboard. The need to keep moving down the shoreline as cleanup progresses, combined with terrain littered with boulders and logs, makes it tough to set up a camp, Pallister said. There’s also the issue of bears.

While relatively few people visit these sites, it’s important to clean them, Stewart said. Foam disintegrates, which can seep into salmon streams or be ingested by birds, she said. There’s concern, too, with the impact of broken-down plastic on marine life.

What’s not picked up can get swept back out, she said.

‘‘It’s like it never really goes away unless we get in there and actively remove it,’’ Stewart said.

Alaska has more coastline than any other state. And Alaska cleanup operations often are expensive and dangerous, said Nikolai Maximenko, a senior researcher at the Hawaii-based International Pacific Research Center.

‘‘Even without the tsunami, Alaska is well-known for being polluted with all these buoys and other stuff from fisheries activity and from other human activities,’’ he said. 


It can be hard to definitively distinguish tsunami debris from the run-of-the-mill rubbish that has long fouled shorelines unless there are identifiable markings. Pallister and others say the type and volume of debris that has washed up in Alaska is different since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which killed thousands in Japan.

Before the tsunami, a lot of old fishing gear would be on the beach. But afterward, the debris included an inundation of Styrofoam and urethane, Pallister said. Objects such as property stakes and crates used by fishermen in coastal Japan also have begun showing up, he said.

Crews plan to do cleanup work in the Gulf of Alaska this summer, which will add to the material that has already been cached in heavy-duty bags above the high-tide line. All this would be loaded onto the barge.

The logistics are complicated.

Dump trucks are expected to ferry the large white bags of debris from the Kodiak storage yard to the barge after it arrives. Tom Pogson with the Island Trails Network, which worked on the Kodiak-area debris removal, said that will be the easy part.

In other locations, the bags will be airlifted by helicopter to the barge, which Pallister expects will be ‘‘pretty maxxed out’’ when the barge, roughly the size of a football field, is fully loaded.

Debris will be sorted for recycling in Seattle, with the remaining debris taken by train for disposal in Oregon, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. 

Someone want to run a Geiger counter over that?


Yeah, that's a lot of extra garbage!

A day which will live in ignominy:

At least it didn't crash like the drone did. 

Have you ever been inside one of those things?

How ironic that is was grounded in Pearl Harbor:

"Solar plane suspends journey in Hawaii after battery damage" by Caleb Jones Associated Press  July 15, 2015

HONOLULU — The batteries aboard Solar Impulse 2 overheated on the first day of its trip from Japan to Hawaii, and there was no way to cool down the system, the team said.

Still set a record though? 

Who made the batteries, Boeing?

The company said there was no weakness with the technology, but the team didn’t anticipate temperature fluctuations associated with rapid altitude changes in a tropical climate.


Pilot Andre Borschberg and his single-seat aircraft landed at Kalaeloa, outside Honolulu, on July 3.

His voyage of nearly 118 hours from Nagoya, Japan, broke the record for the world’s longest nonstop solo flight, his team said.

‘‘Solar Impulse is attempting a historic first of flying around the world only on solar energy,’’ the pilots said in a statement. ‘‘And while Solar Impulse has completed eight legs, covering nearly half of the journey, setbacks are part of the challenges of a project which is pushing technological boundaries to the limits.’’

The wings of Solar Impulse 2, which stretch wider than those of a Boeing 747, are equipped with 17,000 solar cells that power propellers and charge batteries. The plane ran on stored energy at night.

The aircraft took off in March from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, then made stops in Oman, Myanmar, and China. It made an unplanned stop for nearly a month in Japan after high winds damaged a wing.

The trans-Pacific leg was the riskiest part of the plane’s travels, as there was nowhere to land in an emergency.


Well, this patrol has landed for the day. We will take off again tomorrow morning.


No sense keeping you hanging....